Using Microsoft Office Document Imaging to Scan Text Into Word

Microsoft Office Document Imaging was a feature installed by default in Windows 2003 and earlier. It converted the text in a scanned image to a Word document. Redmond removed it in Office 2010, though, and as of Office 2016, hasn't put it back yet. 

The good news is that you can reinstall it on your own—rather than purchase OmniPage or some other relatively expensive commercial optical character recognition (OCR) program. Reinstalling Microsoft Office Document Imaging is relatively painless.

Once you have done so, you can scan the text of a document into Word. Here's how.

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Open Microsoft Office Document Imaging

Click on Start > All Programs > Microsoft Office. You’ll find Document Imaging in that group of applications.

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Start the Scanner

Load the document you want to scan into your scanner and turn the machine on. Under File, choose Scan New Document.

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Choose the Preset

Choose the correct preset for the document you’re scanning.

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Choose Paper Source and Scan

The program’s default is to pull paper from the automated document feeder. If that’s not where you want it to come from, click on Scanner and uncheck that box. Then, click the Scan button to start the scan.

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Send Text to Word

Once it finishes scanning, click on Tools and select Send Text to Word. A window will open giving you the choice of keeping photos in the Word version.

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Edit the Document in Word

The document will open in Word. OCR isn't perfect, and you’ll probably have some editing to do—but think of all the typing you've saved!