How Do You Scan a Document Into Microsoft Word?

Use an optical character recognition, or OCR, program to turn scanned images of text into editable content for Microsoft Word. The appropriate method for doing so varies from one version of Microsoft Word to the next.

The OCR program Microsoft Office Document Imaging, or MIDO, comes bundled with Word 2003 and 2007. It is also an optional, downloadable component for Word 2010. MIDO allows users to scan a document directly to Word. To use the program, select it from the Microsoft Office Tools submenu under the Microsoft Office menu item in the Start Menu. Use the Open command to select a scanned image to convert to text. After the conversion process completes, copy the resulting text and paste into a Word document.

Microsoft removed support for OCR from its popular word processing software starting with the release of Word 2013. To scan documents into Word 2013 or Word Online, Microsoft recommends using Microsoft OneNote, which is equipped with OCR functionality. After inserting a scanned image into a OneNote page, right-clicking on the image and selecting Copy Image from Picture initiates the conversion process and automatically stores the converted text in the clipboard. Pasting the converted text into a Word document completes the process.

In addition to these methods, some developers offer OCR software that works with most versions of Word. Popular premium OCR programs include OmniPage, ABBYY FineReader and Readiris. On the other hand, FreeOCR works for users who do not want to purchase premium software.