How to Edit a Scanned Image Document

By Billy Kirk

Many a computer user has become frustrated when working with PDF documents. While they are superb for display purposes, they do not get the job done as far as editing goes. PDF files normally cannot be edited, and this can leave some users scratching their heads. Fortunately, a quick conversion to TIFF format and the use of the Microsoft Office Document Imaging program in conjunction with Microsoft Word can result in an editable scanned image document.

Power on your scanner and access the scanner bed. Ensure that your image is properly scanned. Make sure the edges of the document are lined up smoothly and precisely on the scanner bed.

Scan the image in black and white. Scanning in color can result in a document that has errors and readability issues after converting to another image format. Color scanning may also result in shaded text, which you will want to avoid.

Save the image as a TIFF file, as opposed to a PDF. This will be necessary for opening the image document into an external program later. To scan the image, select the "Acquire Image" function or just hit the dedicated button on your specific scanner unit. While the TIFF file will be large, it maintains the quality of the image and is most compatible for editing.

Install Microsoft Office Document Imaging. To do so, click on the "Control Panel" on your desktop, and then click on "Programs" and then "Programs and Features." Right click on the Microsoft Word version that appears, and then select "Change." Select "Add or Remove Features."

Navigate the new options. Click on "Installation Options." Then click on the "+" sign, which is near Office Tools. Select the arrow by "Microsoft Office Document Imaging" and then "Run all from my computer."

Load Microsoft Office Document Imaging now that it is installed. Open your scanned TIFF file into this program. This loading can be performed from the "File" menu (the circular Windows button at the top left in Word 2007) and by browsing your computer for the name of your TIFF file.

Hit "Ctrl+A" on your keyboard, followed by "Ctrl+C." This will select and copy the entire document.

Load Microsoft Word. Open a blank document from the file menu. Then, hit "Ctrl+V" to paste the contents of your image file. Edit as you please, and then save your new document. You can write to a scanned image document that would otherwise not be accessible in the future using the tandem of Microsoft Office Document Imaging and Microsoft Word, so long as the document comes saved in the TIFF format.