Edit Scanned Text

Dear Computer Lady,

I was wondering if there is anyway to edit or copy text that is in a scanned file? (that is without retyping the whole thing?)

Thank-you, David


Dear David,

When you scan a file to your computer, it is saved as an image. Image files can’t be edited in a text editing program.

The only way around this is to scan your document using an OCR program, which will try to recognize the letters and save them as a text file. It has been a long time since I used an OCR program, and they might have improved a lot since then, but usually you have to do quite a bit of correcting once you have scanned the document in.

Many scanners come with either a trial version of an OCR program, or a basic version of an OCR program. You should give that a try before you invest in a retail version.


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    • rmb
    • December 24, 2010


    You can also try FreeOCR form http://www.paperfile.net/. It has worked pretty good for me, and it has a pretty good help file. Usually, though, unless a file is big, just retyping is faster.

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