How to scan a document into Microsoft Word

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Physical documents can take up a lot of space! 

If you’re trying to organise a cluttered home or office, having piles of papers lying around can make tidying up difficult. Without systematic storage, how will you know what to throw away and keep? 

Plus, keeping your documents out in the open may subject them to quicker wear and tear. You’ll have to make more copies to replace older ones, and before long, you’ll notice more limitations of physical copies. 

Unless you make additional prints, you can’t edit or format its contents, whether correcting typos, changing fonts, or restructuring paragraphs. So, how can you use your document scanner to make changing documents in Microsoft Word easier? 

What is Microsoft Word? 

Microsoft Word, initially named ‘Multi-Tool Word’, is a renowned word processor that has evolved significantly since launching in 1983. 

As of 2023, Microsoft Word is compatible with various platforms, including IBM PCs running DOS, Apple Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, and even mobile platforms like iOS and Android. 

It’s one of the most widely used word processors for creating, editing and formatting documents. Best of all, it can be used by people of all skill levels. It’s commonly used in commercial landscapes, educational institutions and by those working from home. 

Its range of functionalities and templates makes it adaptable, particularly when editing scanned documents. 

Why scan documents into Microsoft Word?

Scanning documents into Microsoft Word has countless advantages for casual and professional users. 

Once a document is scanned and imported into Word, users can modify the text, format it, and even integrate it with graphs, statistics or other data. It’s especially useful for businesses and professionals who need to update documents regularly.

Integrating your scanner with Microsoft Word allows you to share your edited documents with colleagues, family or friends. With modern versions of Microsoft Word, multiple users can work on the document simultaneously.

Everyone can be on the same page (literally and figuratively!) 

How to scan a document into Word

So, how do you scan a document into Microsoft Word? 

The specifics of each step will depend on the device you own, whether you use Brother ScannersCanon Scanners, Epson ScannersFujitsu Scanners or Kodak Alaris ScannersThere’s never been a better time to start your digital documentation journey!

1. Scan your document

Before you can import any content into Microsoft Word, you need a digital version! 

Start by preparing what you need. Double-check your documents are free of any folds, creases, or marks that might affect the scan quality. Then, place the document on your scanner's bed and ensure it's aligned properly.

Activate your scanner, either through its dedicated software or a button on the device, and wait for the scanning process to complete. Once done, save the scanned document to a location on your computer that you can easily access.

2. Decide what to do with it

Now, decide what exactly you want to do with your scanned documents. Ask yourself if the document is mainly textual and needs editing or if it's more of a visual asset, like a photo or a graphic.

3. Import editable text

If your document contains text you want to edit in Word, you'll need to use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software.

Many modern scanners come with OCR capabilities, converting scanned text into a format that Word can recognise and edit. 

If you've used OCR during the scanning process, open Microsoft Word and navigate to where you saved your scanned document. Import the file, and you should see the text appear as editable content within Word.

4. Import images

For those who have scanned images or graphics, the process is slightly different. Ensure your scanned image is saved in a format compatible with Word, such as .JPG or .PNG. 

Open Microsoft Word and navigate to the location where you want the image to appear. Go to the "Insert" tab, select "Pictures," and choose the scanned image file from your computer. The image will then be inserted into your Word document.

5. Use your scan in word! 

With your scanned content now in Word, you can treat it like any other document or image. 

For textual content, you can edit, format, and rearrange as needed. For images, you can resize, crop, and apply various visual effects using Word's built-in tools. 

Remember, the quality of your scanned content will significantly impact how it appears and functions within Word, so always aim for high-resolution scans.

Choose The Scanner Shop for premium document scanners

Take the next step in document organisation with The Scanner Shop. 

We offer premium A3A4, and flatbed scanners for all your digitisation needs. Whether you’re a professional working from home or a student organising their workload, one of our top-brand scanners can ensure supreme clarity and detail for your digital copies. 


What types of documents can I scan into Microsoft Word?

Microsoft Word can handle many document types, such as: 

  • Textual documents: These are the most common documents scanned into Word. They can include letters, reports, essays, and other written materials.
  • Images: Photos, graphics, and other visual materials can be scanned and inserted into Word as images: this includes formats like JPEG, PNG, BMP, and TIFF.
  • PDFs: While Word is primarily a word processing software, it can import content from PDFs. When a PDF is scanned and imported, Word tries to convert the content into an editable format.
  • Forms: Physical forms, whether filled or blank, can be scanned into Word. Once in Word, users can use various tools to create fillable forms or extract data from filled forms.
  • Charts and graphs: If you have physical charts or graphs, they can be scanned and imported into Word. Once in Word, they can be used as static images or edited using Word's chart tools.
  • Handwritten notes: With the advancement of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology, handwritten notes can be scanned into Word. The software will attempt to convert the handwriting into editable text, though the accuracy of this can vary based on the clarity of the handwriting.

What are the benefits of scanning a document into Microsoft Word?

Using The Scanner Shop’s products for Microsoft Word document scanning has countless advantages: 

  • More office space: Scanning documents into Microsoft Word can significantly reduce the need for physical paper storage methods, like filing cabinets. 
  • Information preservation: Historical documents are prone to wear and tear, especially when regularly accessed and handled. However, digital formats don’t degrade over time, and the legibility of old hardcopy records can even be improved. 
  • Audit compliance: Many businesses are subject to regulatory requirements that mandate specific record-keeping practices. Scanned documents in Word can be organised, indexed, and retrieved quickly, making it easier for businesses to comply. 

Published November 2023.