BPMS Guide

How to Edit a Scanned Document

We are regularly asked if it is possible to edit a scanned document. The answer to this question is yes and below in the latest of our guides we explore the simplest ways of achieving this outside of the version control delivered via document management systems.

Editing a Document using OCR (Optical Character Recognition)

It is possible to scan a document and convert the text into data that you can then edit.  This process is referred to as OCR (Optical Character Recognition). To scan and use OCR, you will need to download an OCR program, for example ABBYY FineReader. To use the software all you have to do is upload the document and then click on “Start”. The program will then extract the text from the image PDF and display it in TXT format which you can then edit. To facilitate this, we would recommend using software such as ScanWritr www.scanwritr.com

Edit text in a pdf scanned document

This is possibly the easiest method of converting a previously scanned document which is currently in PDF format. To achieve this open the scanned PDF file in Acrobat. Choose Tools > Edit PDF.  Acrobat automatically applies OCR to your document and converts it to a fully editable copy of your PDF. … Choose File > Save As and type a new name for your editable document

  1. Open the scannedPDF file in Acrobat.
  2. Choose Tools > Edit
  3. Click the text element you want to editand start typing. …
  4. Choose File > Save As and type a new name for your editable document.

How to Convert a Scanned Document to Word

A common requirement is to be able to convert a previously scanned document, for example a pdf to word for the purposes of editing it. This is easily achievable using the following method:

  1. Click Choose file. It’s a grey button at the top of the page. …
  2. Select the scanned
  3. Click Open. …
  4. Click Upload + OCR. …
  5. Scroll down and click Download. …
  6. Click Microsoft Word(DOC). …
  7. Open the document. …
  8. Clean up your document.
  9. Save the new document.

How to Edit a Hard Copy Document via Your PC

Editing a scanned document on your PC is a simple procedure and allows you to make changes to previously “fixed” documents. To achieve this, follow these simple steps.

  1. Firstly, scan the document you wish to edit as a pdf. Whilst all scanners are slightly different, they all allow this facility.


  1. Open Word, locate and open your PDF. You might have to select the drop-down menu to the right of the File name field, then select PDF Filesso Word looks for PDFs instead of Word files.


  1. Word will automatically advise you that it’s about to convert your PDF document to an editable Word file. This is what you require, so select OK.


  1. At your command, Word converts the document, making it an editable file. Now you can use any of the features available within Word.


  1. Once you have made the changes you require to the Word document you should save it to a convenient location on your PC using a title you will recognise.


  1. When you’re ready to create a new PDF from this edited file, simply selectFile > Save a Copy, decide where you wish to store the file, then, from the File Type drop-down menu, select PDF.


  1. Save the newly created pdf in a secure location on your PC.