This page is complete guide on how to scan paper documents or document copies into digital PDF documents or Microsoft Word documents, and edit them using PDF editors and Microsoft Word. You can also edit existing text on scanned PDFs!
In need of editing a scanned document PDF? Then you’ve come to the right place. From scanning paper or printout documents to editing scanned documents easily, you’ll find detailed and illustrated tutorials here.
In this post, I’ll step by step show you scan and edit a PDF document. The introduced methods are free and easy, now let’s get started.
The simplest way of editing scanned documents is using an online PDF editor, and one of the best of them is PDFgear. The PDFgear Online PDF Editor presents a clean and intuitive PDF editing screen for you to change the content in your scanned documents.
With annotations, free text, and drawings, you can easily make adjustments to your scanned PDF. The options for commenting on PDFs and highlighting text in documents are also available. More PDF editing features such as eSigning, cropping, stamping, and even inserting fillable form fields are waiting for you to find out.
Note that this method works with an existing digital PDF scan. If you don’t have that already, turn your paper document into a PDF file using a free scanner app. Check below the “How to Scan a Paper Document to Digital Document PDF” part of the content for details.
Navigate to the PDFgear Online PDF Editor with your web browser. PDFgear works on both computers and mobile phones.
Drag and drop the file into the PDF editor to upload the scanned document. On your mobile phone, hit the “Choose files” button instead.
Now you’re in the document editing workplace, and you can use the option from the upper panel to edit the scanned document at will. Document editing options include text boxes, annotations, stamping, drawing, commenting, e-Signing, cropping, etc.
When you’re done editing, hit the Print button from the upper-right side of the PDF editing workplace to print the edited PDF document to PDF, Microsoft OneNote, Microsoft Print to PDF, etc. You can also choose to download the PDF instead.
If you need to edit existing text in a scanned PDF, that’s a different story, since scanned documents are unselectable and uneditable. Additionally, in some cases, you do have a digital document but it’s a printed copy from other people instead of the original hard one, and the PDF is flattened.
In that case, you need a PDF editor tool that uses OCR (Optical character recognition) to turn scanned PDFs into editable PDFs, and the best option in the industry is Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, it automatically extracts text in scanned PDFs into editable fields, allowing you to edit unselectable text right inside the PDF document.
Note that unlike PDFgear which is entirely free to use, Acrobat Pro subscriptions start at $29.99/mo, which is the cost of the enterprise-level PDF editing features.
Step 1. Download and install Adobe Acrobat Pro from the official website.
Step 2. Launch Adobe Acrobat Pro on your computer, and go to Create PDF from the Tools section.
Step 3. In the follow-up window, click Create from Single File.
Step 4. Then the scanned PDF will be loaded in Acrobat Pro. Go to Tools once more and click Edit PDF.
Step 5. Then a progress bar will show up indicating that Acrobat is transforming your scanned PDF into an editable text and images.
Step 6. Once done, you’ll be able to freely edit existing content in your scanned PDF as if working with an editable PDF. If needed, you can also change the OCR language.
Scanned documents can also be edited in Microsoft Word, the ones with text notably, and in this part, we’ll talk about that.
According to the Microsoft recommended method, you can also open the PDF document in Microsoft Word, edit the PDF, and save it in Microsoft Word document format. This is actually one of the commonly used ways of converting PDF to Word.
The detailed steps are as follows:
Step 1. Open the Microsoft Word program. Go to File, click Open, and select your PDF in the File Explorer.
Step 2. Then a dialog will pop up saying Word will convert your scanned PDF into an editable Word document. Click OK.
Step 3. Now you will be able to edit text in your scanned PDF in Word. When you’re done, go to File to export the Word document to Word or PDF.
Moreover, there’s a more effective solution. Apart from being a scanned PDF editor tool, PDFgear serves also as a fast PDF-to-Word converter that converts scanned documents to Microsoft Word in 2 seconds, so you can easily edit a scanned document in Word.
The following tutorial shows you how to convert scanned PDF to Microsoft Word documents with PDFgear.
Hint: As Microsoft Word mainly works with text-based documents, this method works best with text-based PDF documents. To edit picture-based documents in Microsoft Word, please see our guide on how to edit JPEG in Word.
If you haven’t scanned your paper document yet, you need to start by scanning your paper document to digital document format PDF. In so doing, you can get editable digital documents from paper ones, which can be edited and further sent to other people using electronic submissions or emails.
To convert paper documents to digital documents, here we’ll use the popular free document scanner app Adobe Scan, one of the better scanner apps for mobile phones.
2. Launch the Adobe Scan app on your mobile phone.
3. Then Adobe Scan will activate your mobile phone camera to scan the paper document.
4. Adjust the placement of your mobile phone camera to align the paper document with the four calibrating dots.
5. When the document is successfully scanned, hit the Save PDF button from the main workplace to save the scanned document as PDF.
If the file size of the scanned document is too large for the high DPI, the PDFgear free compressor tool will help to reduce the scanned document size.
Yes, it’s possible to scan documents and edit them for free. All you need is a free scanner app Adobe Scan or the free OCR tool OnlineOCR, and the best free online PDF editor PDFgear.
To scan and edit a document on Mac, the simplest method is to directly edit it using PDFgear PDF editor software or using PDFgear Desktop PDF to Word Converter to edit scanned PDF in Microsoft Word.
To scan a document and edit the text on iOS and Android, you need to scan the document with a scanner app or an OCR tool and edit it with the best free online PDF editor PDFgear. PDFgear is compatible with iPhone and Android smartphones.
To type on a scanned document, you need the free online PDF editor PDFgear. It allows you to annotate, sign on, and add free text to scanned PDF documents.
There are two ways to edit a scanned document in Word. One is saving documents as Microsoft Word, and another is converting PDF to Word with a PDF online converter tool.
The online PDF tool PDFgear is the best option for you to edit a scanned document online for free. It allows you to add comments, sign on, add free text to, and do more with scanned documents.
That’ll be the complete tutorials from scanning your paper document to digital PDF document files and scanning a digital copy of the document, to editing digital PDF documents with the best free PDF management tools or Microsoft Word. I hope you have learned this guide and have followed the tutorials to edit your scanned document.
The introduced online tool PDFgear is an all-in-one PDF toolbox for converting, compressing, reading, and editing PDF documents. The service is clean and safe, and completely free to use, so don’t forget to give it a try! It will certainly be helpful in editing scanned documents!