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How to Scan to PDF and Convert to Editable Format like MS Word

Having trouble to scan paper files or book to PDF? Check this step by step tutorial to learn how to easily scan to PDF with the help of proper tools and convert the PDF file to editable format.

Elise Williams
Published: May 19,2015 18:05 pm / Updated: Aug 03,2015 11:09 am

As worldwide environmental awareness becomes stronger and stronger, a paper-free office has been a considerable issue for many people. So scanning paper files to PDF could be a great idea, it not only saves the resources (papers and storage space) but also helps us easily manage our files, and we can even convert PDF to editable format like MS word for editing purpose. So we are here talking about how to scan files to PDF and convert scanned PDF to word or other editable format.

  1. Part 01: How to Scan to PDF
  2. Part 02: How to Convert Scanned PDF to Word or Other Editable Format

Part 01: How to Scan to PDF

Generally speaking, we would need a scanner to scan the needed files firstly, or you can use a camera or smartphone to take a shot if there are not so many files and you don't have the scanner on hand. While if you expect to scan a large number of pages into PDF, we strongly suggest get a scanner with an automatic document feeder to save your time. OK, if you are readu, here are the simple steps you can follow to scan files to PDF:

  1. Connect the scanner with your computer via the cable.
  2. Put the paper face down in the scanner and start scanning.
  3. Save the scanned files to your computer.

You can also check the detail steps about how to scan to PDF with Acrobat here if you have it installed on your PC.

Lucky for you if the scanner supports exporting as PDF format directly, if not, you might need to convert the scanned image to PDF with the help of other tools.

Solution 01 Convert scanned image to PDF with Photoshop

Most of people would only use the Adobe Photoshop to edit images, but never know it can also be used as an image to PDF converter. If you have the Photoshop installed on your computer, follow the simple steps to convert image to PDF.

  1. Launch the Adobe Photoshop and import the image.
  2. Click File->Save as, and choose Photoshop PDF in the output format.
  3. Select the output quality and PDF version you need and click Save PDF to convert to PDF.

Solution 02 Convert Image to PDF with Online & Desktop PDF Converters

01 Online PDF Converters

There are a lot of free online PDF converters available, the advantages for those tools are free, easy to use and don't need to download any program. Here are 3 sources for your choosing as below:

  • http://www.zamzar.com/
  • http://smallpdf.com/jpg-to-pdf
  • http://www.convert-jpg-to-pdf.net/

Let's take the Zamzar as the example, just follow the instructions on the website and then you can convert the images or other files to PDF with ease.

convert img to pdf
Step 1: Click Choose Files to select the files you want to convert and upload to Zamzar.

Step 2: Choose the output format you like, it should be .PDF in this case.

Step 3: Enter your email address to receive the converted files.

Step 4: Click Convert to start the process.

Step 5: Check your email for the result after a few minutes.

02 Desktop PDF Converters

Compared with the online PDF converters, the desktop tool is much more versatile, reliable, safer and quicker. They can be used to convert images to PDFs and vice versa, some even support PDF editing. Learn how to convert image to PDF with PDFelement on both Windows and Mac.

Part 02: How to Convert Scanned PDF to Word or Other Editable Format

In most times, we hope the scanned PDF to be editable, and then we can make some necessary edits in the document. If the PDF is initially converted from image, we can not edit it with any PDF editor, so we need to convert the scanned PDF to word or other editable format firstly. There are also both online and desktop tools to help convert scanned PDF to Word/Excel/PPT by using OCR technology. While those tools all have their pros, you should choose the right tool according to your own requirements and needs.

Online OCR tools:

  • Free
  • Convenient
  • Available on any OS

Desktop OCR tools:

  • Reliable
  • Secure
  • High Quality
  • Fast
  • No Internet needed

01 Free Online Tools to Convert Scanned PDF to Word

If you don't want to install any program and always enjoy the free service, then the online scanned PDF to word tools should be your first choice. Here are a few online OCR tools you can consider as below:

  • http://www.onlineocr.net/
  • http://www.free-online-ocr.com/
  • http://www.i2ocr.com/

And here is the simple tutorial shows you how to OCR PDF with http://www.onlineocr.net.

02 Convert Scanned PDF to Word with Google Drive

Just a few people know the Google Drive can help convert the scanned PDF to word and other MS formats. Let's show you the simple steps about how to achieve that.

upload pdf to google drive
Step 1: Access the Google Drive and upload the scanned PDF document.

Step 2: Right click the PDF and choose Open with ->Google Docs.
open pdf with google drive doc

convet pdf to word with google
Step 3: After opened the PDF, click File -> Download as -> Microsoft Word (.docx) and save it to your PC.

03 Convert Scanned PDF to Word with Desktop Tools

Many PDF editors like Adobe Acrobat, PDFelement, NitroPDF all have the OCR features, you can easily convert those scanned PDF to word or other editable formats. Check here and learn how to OCR PDF with desktop tool.

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How to Convert PDF to Word

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Elise Williams
Elise Williams
PDF OCR & Annotation Expert
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