How to Convert Scanned Documents to PDF

by Amy Dombrower
laptop image by Angie Lingnau from

Practically any document can be converted to Portable Document Format (PDF) using the Adobe Acrobat software. You can create a PDF from scratch (a blank page), import an existing document, such as a webpage, Word document or other type of file, or you can scan a paper document to PDF format. To convert a scanned document, your best option is to scan the file directly through Adobe Acrobat.

Step 1

Connect your scanner to your computer. Place a paper document properly on the scanning bed.

Step 2

Open Adobe Acrobat.

Step 3

Click the "File" menu. Select "Create PDF, From Scanner, Custom Scan." The "Scan" dialog box will appear.

Step 4

Select your installed scanner. Choose other scanning options, such as color and resolution, double-sided scanning (if your scanner allows it), paper size and whether to prompt you to scan more pages.

Step 5

Click "Scan." The paper document will be scanned directly into a PDF document in Acrobat.

Step 6

Select "Scan More Pages" if you are prompted and have multiple documents. Click "Scan Is Complete" when you are done.

Save the PDF file.


  • In the scanning options, you can choose to create multiple PDF files from multiple scanned documents. If you click "More Options," you can decide whether you want to create a PDF portfolio from multiple documents and how many pages you want for each file.


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About the Author

Amy Dombrower is a journalist and freelance writer living in Chicago. She worked in the newspaper industry for three years and enjoys writing about technology, health, paper crafts and life improvement. Some of her passions are graphic design, movies, music and fitness. Dombrower earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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