How to Make Changes to a Scanned Document

By Meaghan Ellis

Scanned documents are usually virtual copies of physical documents transferred from a printing device to a computer. When scanned documents are transferred to a computer, they are automatically saved as JPEG images. Therefore, scanned documents can be changed just as any other image can, and text can also be altered. Scanned documents can be edited using both image editing platforms, and desktop publishing application utilities, such as the Microsoft Office Document Imaging tool. Editorial options are usually available when right-clicking the image of the scanned document.

Make Changes to Scanned Documents Using Image Editing Platforms

Open the folder where the scanned document is stored on the computer.

Right-click the image of the scanned document.

Click "Edit." The scanned document image will appear on the digital canvas in the computer's default image editing platform, such as Microsoft Paint or Mac OS SeaShore.

Use the image editor's tool bars, located at the top or along the left pane, of the screen. The tool bar will have icons available so you can crop, re-size, and paint over certain parts of the image.

Click the "File" tab above the image editor's canvas. Then, click "Save As." Rename the scanned document, and click "Save" to store the changed version to your computer.

Edit Scanned Documents as Word or Text Files

Open the scanned document image.

Click "File", and select "Save As." Change the file extension from JPEG to the TIFF file format. The TIFF file format will enable the scanned document's text to be editable when accessed in a desktop publishing platform such as Microsoft Word or Notepad.

Click the system icon on the task bar, and navigate to "Microsoft Office Tools." Then open "Microsoft Office Document Imaging."

Click "File" in the Microsoft Office Document Imaging window, and select "Open." Locate the TIFF version of the scanned document, and click "Open."

Go to the "Tools" tab on the Microsoft Office Document Imaging menu when the TIFF file opens in the program.

Select the "Send Text to Word" action in the Tools menu. This action will extract the text from the scanned document so you can make the proper changes.

Edit the text from the scanned document as you desire. Then, save the changes to the TIFF file to lock in the editorial adjustments to the scanned document.