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How to Convert Scanned PDF to Word in a Few Minutes (Video Guide Included)

How do you convert a scanned PDF to Word format to make it editable in Microsoft software? Converting a scanned or non-editable PDF file requires a special process called OCR or optical character recognition. Once you've processed your document using OCR, you can proceed to convert the PDF into a Word file. There are a few different ways to do this, but in this article, we'll show you the most effective and convenient ways to convert scanned PDFs to Word on Windows and Mac.

How to Convert Scanned PDF to Editable Word with UPDF?

With support for over 38 OCR languages, UPDF is definitely one of the most versatile and powerful scanned PDF to Word conversion tools you'll find for Windows and Mac.

Remember: converting a scanned document with OCR requires a great deal of accuracy, and UPDF uses a powerful OCR feature for its conversions. The final output will be a PDF document with the same layout and formatting as the original document. Download it now to begin. In addition, you can select specific pages in a scanned PDF and convert them to a Word file.

scanned pdf to word with updf

In summary, converting a scanned PDF to a Word file is a quick and straightforward process with UPDF, requiring just a few simple steps. Follow the instructions below:

Step 1: Define OCR Document Type

Go to the "Recognize Text Using OCR" button on the right panel after opening the PDF. From the "Document Type" section, select "Searchable PDF" and continue with the process.

scanned pdf to word with updf

Step 2: Set the Layout Settings

Starting with setting the parameters for the OCR tool, you will have to set up the "Layout" settings of this process. For that, you will be provided with three different layout settings, which are explained as follows:

  • Text and pictures only: This layout setting saves all the text and images in a PDF document. The file that is created is smaller in size than the original and has no specific formatting followed.
  • Text over the page image: While being the default layout set during the OCR PDF process, this particular mode contains the images and illustrations according to the original file. While large, they are not so different from the original PDF document.
  • Text under the page image: The complete image structure in the original PDF document is preserved under this particular mode. The text is present under the image layer of the document, so it is not editable; however, it is searchable.
convert scanned pdf to word

Once you are done, proceed to the "Document Language" section, where you have to select the particular language that is to be detected. You can choose any appropriate language out of the 38 options available in the menu.

Proceed to the "Image Resolution" section and set the right value by using the ones available in the menu. If not sure, you can click on the "Detect Optimal Resolution" button and proceed.

Step 3: Convert Scanned PDF to Editable Words

Proceed by specifying the page range where you want to execute the function and click "Perform OCR". Set the right location for the converted document so that it can be converted to editable text. After that, UPDF will automatically open the OCRed PDF for you.

If your goal is to edit the text within the converted PDF directly, you can edit now by utilizing UPDF's PDF editing tools without the need to convert it to a Word file. UPDF is a versatile PDF tool that provides a multitude of PDF-related features, encompassing PDF OCR, PDF editing, PDF conversion, and more.

UPDF PDF editor

However, if you prefer to convert it into a Word file for other purposes, UPDF can still accommodate that for you. Here are the steps to convert PDF to Word:

  • Open the PDF file on UPDF and click "Export PDF" on the right toolbar.
  • Select the "Word" format and then click "Export" on the pop-up window.
  • Name the file and save it in the folder on your devices.
how to convert scanned pdf to word

Some fonts might not transformed accurately, especially if your scanned file has handwriting on it, but the content will be as close to the scanned copy as possible as UPDF retains the original formatting. Check the final output and you will see how powerful this tool is. Download it now and experience it yourself!

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convert scanned pdf to word

Video Tutorial on How to Convert Scanned PDF to Word

To further assist you in seamlessly navigating the conversion process, we've prepared a step-by-step tutorial video below. Watch the video for a detailed walkthrough, providing intuitive insights into each step. Follow along and make the most of UPDF's features for a smooth and efficient experience.

Having mastered the conversion of scanned PDFs in the previous video, let's now uncover more powerful features within UPDF. Watch as we showcase advanced tools for seamless PDF management:

  • Dedicated PDF conversion tool that supports many common output formats such as Word, Excel, PPT, image formats, HTML, XML, Text, and RTF.
  • OCR function to convert scanned PDF to editable Word format.
  • The format is kept consistent during conversions - minimal manual correction is required.
  • All-in-one solution. It also allows you to edit PDF documents, comment on PDF documents, protect PDF documents, etc.
  • UPDF AI features to help you summarize, translate, and explain PDF documents in seconds!

Ready to take your experience to the next level? Upgrade to UPDF Pro for exclusive access to premium features. Discover the difference and revolutionize your PDF workflow.

What Are Some Common Issues with Converting Scanned PDF Files to Word?

In general, the OCR engine can convert most scanned PDF files. However, not all scanned files are made equal. First and foremost, if you are working with scanned files, ensure that you have enabled the OCR option in the program.

Before opening and converting a scanned file, go to OCR settings and select Convert using OCR. If the file does not convert, this could be the cause: the gap between the characters in the document is too close, and the OCR cannot detect each character.

The poor image quality of the scanned document, a mix of fonts used in the scanned documents, and italicized and underlined typefaces, all of which can muddy the clarity and shape of the individual characters, are all issues that can impair the OCR result. As a result, confirming that the character "recognized" by the OCR software corresponds to the character on the scanned paper is much more challenging.

Most importantly, you should know that, with UPDF OCR, you don't need to worry about any of these issues as it will give you the perfect results and accuracy. Try it now.

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FAQs about Converting Scanned PDF to Word

Q1. What is OCR (Optical Character Recognition)?

OCR, or optical character recognition, is the process of converting a text image into machine-readable text. Scanned forms and receipts are often saved as image files, limiting their utility in text editors. With OCR, these images can be transformed into editable text documents. In business workflows, dealing with printed materials like forms, invoices, and contracts can be time-consuming. Digitizing these documents often results in image files, which OCR technology converts into data usable by various business applications. This streamlined process facilitates analytics, operational efficiency, and productivity enhancement.

Q2. What is a Scanned PDF? 

A PDF document can be created by scanning a paper document into an electronic version. This is performed by selecting a scanner or a similar machine that captures an image of a paper document and saves it as an electronic PDF file. When a scanner makes this scanned image, it does not replicate each character of every word. It only takes a "snapshot" of the paper document. The software provided with the scanner then converts the photo into a PDF document. As a result, a "scanned" PDF document is produced.

A scanned PDF's content cannot be searched or modified. OCR software is necessary to electronically recognize each character on a page and then transform it into a usable format to search or edit a scanned PDF. Essentially, it recognizes and extracts text from images.

Q3. What is a Native PDF File? 

A native PDF is a PDF of a document that was "born digital," meaning it was made from an electronic version of the document rather than a print version. On the other hand, a scanned PDF of a print document, as when you scan pages from a print journal and save the file as a PDF.

Q4. What is the Difference Between a Scanned PDF and a Native PDF?

Scanned PDFs are images of documents, hindering text search capabilities. Native PDFs, born from electronic sources like Word documents, allow seamless text search. ProQuest's databases increasingly feature born-digital content, expanding the availability of native PDFs in PDF format. The percentage of born-digital information in ProQuest databases continues to grow annually.

Q5. What are the Types of Scanned PDFs?

Scanned PDFs are classified into three categories:

  • Image PDFs- The most frequent type of PDF is an image PDF. This is true when a hard copy document is scanned into a PDF file.
  • Scannable PDFs with searchable text - This scanned PDF document may contain hidden text behind the image.
  • Scanned PDFs with Mixed Content -This PDF may contain scanned photos and electronically generated PDF elements.


From the above introductions of converting scanned PDF to Word, we can know UPDF is the best scanned PDF to Word converter. It is affordable, accurate, dedicated, versatile, and available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android systems. In addition, you can convert PDFs to various other formats so the files can be edited in their native applications. Give it a try and join the UPDF that tons of users are satisfied to rely on for their everyday document workflow. The Beebom site even provides valuable insights into UPDF's capabilities. We encourage you to check out their review for more information.

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