Monthly Archives: April 2007

Free OCR Software

Editing scanned documents with Microsoft Word

Have you ever needed to create or edit a document using content from printed materials and would rather not have to retype the text you want to use? Did you know that you may already have software on your computer that can transfer that text to Microsoft Word for editing?

Microsoft Office Document Imaging comes with Microsoft Office XP Standard or Professional. To look for it on your computer check the default location which is:

Start » Programs » Microsoft Office Tools » Microsoft Office Document Imaging

What is OCR?

Optical character recognition (OCR) translates images of text, such as scanned documents, into actual text characters. Also known as text recognition, OCR makes it possible to edit and reuse the text that is normally locked inside scanned images.

Send text to Word

Here’s how to get your text into Microsoft Word, after you’ve scanned your document. (Which we discussed last week.)

1. In Microsoft Office Document Imaging open the TIFF file that you created & saved after scanning the document.

2. In the main window, select the text to be captured by dragging a draw a box around the text you wish to capture.  The text will be highlighted in blue as you drag.

3. Click on the Send Text to Word button in the toolbar.

4. In some cases, a Document Imaging window may appear. If it does, click OK to begin the process of transferring your text.

5. The Send Text to Word window will appear next.  From this window, click on appropriate option and click OK

6. Office will open a new Word document and insert the text you captured.


» If you have a document from another source that’s not in TIFF format, most graphics programs will convert it to TIFF or try to convert it for you.

» The page layout structure will not be maintained but you will have the text and complex page layouts may cause text to be shuffled or out of sequence.

» If you need a more sophisticated option check out Adobe Acrobat Capture. It’s nice but it’s not free.

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