How to Convert an Image Into Editable Text Using Microsoft Word and Adobe

167012 How to Convert an Image Into Editable Text Using Microsoft Word and Adobe

Converting an image into editable text can be extremely useful for extracting text from scanned documents, photos, screenshots, and more. This allows you to edit and reuse the text from images in word processors, spreadsheets, presentations, and other applications.

There are a few ways to perform image-to-text conversion using Microsoft Word and Adobe software. Here is an overview of some of the top methods.

Using Microsoft Word’s Built-In OCR

Microsoft Word has built-in optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities that allow you to import an image and convert it into editable text. Here are the steps:

  1. Open a new blank Word document
  2. Click “Insert” and select “Pictures”
  3. Select the image file you want to import
  4. Word will import the image and automatically run OCR to detect text
  5. The recognized text will now be present in the Word document and editable


  • Built-in capability, no additional software required
  • Fairly accurate OCR for clean images


  • Limited formatting options for recognized text
  • Accuracy decreases for low quality or complex images

Using Microsoft OneNote’s OCR Capabilities

Microsoft OneNote also contains integrated OCR functionality that can be used along with Word. Here is the process:

  1. Open the image file in OneNote
  2. Right click the image and select “Copy Text from Picture”
  3. This extracts the text from the image and copies it to your clipboard
  4. Paste the clipboard contents into a Word document
  5. Edit the text as needed in Word


  • Also uses built-in Microsoft software, no extras required
  • Handles some more complex image layouts than Word


  • Text formatting is stripped out
  • Lower accuracy for poor quality images

Using Adobe Acrobat’s Enhanced OCR

Adobe Acrobat Pro has advanced OCR capabilities for precisely converting images and PDFs into editable formats. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the image file in Acrobat
  2. Click on the “Edit PDF” tool in the right pane
  3. Select the text sections you wish to edit
  4. Acrobat will automatically OCR the image text
  5. The image text is now selectable and editable


  • Very accurate OCR conversion, including complex layouts
  • Preserves fonts, formatting, flows for OCRed text
  • Can directly save output as Word file


  • Requires paid Acrobat Pro subscription
  • Advanced features have a learning curve

Using Free Online OCR Tools

There are many free online OCR tools that allow you to easily convert JPGs and other image formats into editable documents. Some top options include:

To use these tools:

  1. Navigate to the tool’s website
  2. Upload your image file
  3. Specify output format (e.g. Word, text, etc.)
  4. Download the converted editable file


  • Totally free to use
  • Fast and easy conversion


  • Results may have lower accuracy
  • Formatting options are limited
  • File size limits on free tiers

Tips for Best Results

Follow these tips when converting images to text for the best possible OCR accuracy:

  • Use high quality, clear, and sharp images
  • Ensure proper lighting and contrast in image
  • Adjust image rotation if text is not straight
  • For screenshots, capture at 100% zoom
  • Clean up images first by cropping borders, removing noise etc.
  • Simplify multi-column layouts into a single flow
  • Specify the correct output language for OCR


Converting images into editable text unlocks the ability to reuse valuable information from scanned documents, screenshots, photos, and non-text digital formats. Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat both provide capable OCR functionality, either built-in or through add-ons. Free web-based OCR tools also offer an easy path to extract text from images. Follow the recommendations in this guide to efficiently leverage these platforms for your image-to-text needs.

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