Microsoft Word/scanning


QUESTION: hello Suzanne, how've you been?

Can you help me with scanning?

I scan a document, and I see that the file has an jpg extension.
I see the file name in Windows Explorer. I click it and I see a dialog box titled File Conversion. But no matter what I choose, all I see in the result is hieroglyphics!!
What am I doing wrong? I want to be able to see the scanned file.

Thanks for your help.


ANSWER: When a scanned file has a .jpg extension, it is a JPEG, which is a graphic format. That file is an image, just a picture of your document. It cannot be opened in Word and is not editable (at least not as text--you can edit the picture in an image editor). If you want to be able to edit a scanned document, you must use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software. Most scanners come with some rudimentary OCR software, and if you opt to scan the document as editable text rather than a picture, it will be used.

One way to extract the text from a document scanned as a picture is to paste the picture into OneNote, right-click on it, and choose "Copy Text from Picture." What you'll get will be pretty rough, with a lot of interpretation errors and a paragraph break at the end of every line, but if there's only a small amount of text you want to extract, it might serve the purpose.

If you just want to *see* the document you scanned, open it in Microsoft Office Picture Manager or a graphic editor.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: hello Suzannne!

thank you for your prompt reply.
I'm not familiar with some of the items you mention.

You wrote:

"Most scanners come with some rudimentary OCR software, and if you opt to scan the document as editable text rather than a picture, it will be used"

How do I access the OCR software?
How do I opt to scan the document as editable text?



Not knowing what kind of scanner you have, I can't tell you that, but surely the scanner (or all-in-one, as is increasingly the case) came with some sort of documentation (nowadays the "user manual" is often a PDF on the installation disk). It should tell you how to scan a document as editable text.
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Suzanne S. Barnhill


I've been using Word for Windows since version 2.0 (1992), and the more I learn about it, the more I realize how little I know. But I may know a few things that you don't, and I'll help if I can. I answer many questions every day in Microsoft's peer support forums and as a result have been awarded the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) designation by Microsoft Corporation. You may be able to find the answer to your question at the Word MVPs' FAQ site or at my own Word FAQ site, so please check those first! Please, no questions about VBA (macros), Registry editing, networks, or complex merges, as I have no experience with these aspects of Word, nor do I have any experience with Word for Mac. Please indicate which version of Word you are using; if you are not sure, see "What version of Word do I have?".


I have a master's degree in classics (Latin), which is surprisingly helpful, though I no longer teach. The things I am proudest of: Having raised two children to maturity, both Merit Scholars, both college graduates (one a philosophy major!), one Phi Beta Kappa (from Harvard!); having been made a Paul Harris Fellow by my Rotary club; having been designated a Microsoft MVP.

Rotary Club of Fairhope, Friends of the Fairhope Public Library

B.A. (Latin), Agnes Scott College, 1966; M.A. (Classics), Emory University, 1972.

Awards and Honors
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award every year since 1999; many Rotary honors

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