How to Edit a Scanned Document in Word

Updated April 17, 2017

Using a computer scanner allows you to create a digital copy of a document. You might scan a document so that you can e-mail it to another user, or you may simply want a scanned copy for safekeeping. Perhaps there were times when you wanted to edit a scanned document, but found that Word did not recognise the file. Microsoft Office features a tool called Microsoft Office Document Imaging, which makes it possible to create a copy of the document that can be edited in Word.

Install Microsoft Office Document Imaging if it is not already enabled. Go to the "Control Panel," click "Add/Remove Programs" and select "Microsoft Office" in the list. Click "Change" and then "Add/Remove Features." Expand "Office Tools" and select "Microsoft Document Imaging."

Convert the scanned document to a TIFF file. This can be done by opening or copying and pasting it into Microsoft Paint or a similar program and then saving it as a TIFF file.

Go to the "Start" menu, point to "All Programs" and select "Microsoft Office." Open "Microsoft Office Tools" and then "Microsoft Office Document Imaging."

Click the "Open" button and find the scanned document saved as a TIFF file. Press the keyboard shortcut "Ctrl+A" to select the document. The scanned document will have a red line around it, showing that it is selected.

Right-click the scan and select "Send Text to Word." The scanned document will open as a new, editable Word document.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Word 2003 or 2007
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About the Author

Tricia Goss' credits include Fitness Plus, Good News Tucson and Layover Magazine. She is certified in Microsoft application and served as the newsletter editor for She has also contributed to The Dollar Stretcher, Life Tips and Childcare Magazine.