Clean up your desk: Scan a stack of papers

Has your desk become buried under 3 tons of paper so that you can can no longer locate your computer? Wish you could somehow transport all this paper into your computer? Well, with Microsoft® Office Document Imaging and a scanner, there actually is a way that you can do this!

With the scanning component of Microsoft Office Document Imaging, you can scan multiple pages (with or without an automatic document feeder (ADF) (ADF: An attachment available on some scanners that allows automatic scanning of multiple pages.)), organize them onscreen into files with single pages or multiple pages, and save them as Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) (Tagged Image File Format (TIFF): A high-resolution, tag-based graphics format. TIFF is used for the universal interchange of digital graphics.) or the Microsoft Document Imaging Format (MDI) (Microsoft Document Imaging Format (MDI): A high resolution, tag-based graphics format, based on the Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) used for digital graphics.), (and recycle that 3 tons of paper and be reminded again of the color of your desktop.) Microsoft Office Document Imaging also performs optical character recognition (OCR) (OCR: Translates images of text, such as scanned documents, into actual text characters. Also known as text recognition.) on your scanned documents. This makes it possible for you to use the text in your scanned document, for example, you can copy text from a scanned document into a Word document or an email message.

Stack of papers on a desk, a scanner, and the resulting clean desk.

Get started

First, gather the paper you want to scan. If your scanner has an ADF, you can load a stack of pages at a time. The first time you scan, Document Imaging detects the ADF for you. For more information about the ADF and whether your scanner has one, see the documentation that came with your scanner.

You will also want to sort your paper; if you have color pages that you want scanned in color, sort these in a separate stack from the black and white pages. Load your first page, or first stack of pages (with an ADF) in your scanner.

Then, start Microsoft Office Document Scanning (the scanning component of the Microsoft Office Document Imaging program.)

  • On the Windows Start menu, point to All Programs (Programs in Windows 2000), point to Microsoft Office, point to Microsoft Office Tools, and then click Microsoft Office Document Scanning.

 Tip   If Microsoft Office Document Imaging is already running, you can start the scanning component by clicking Scan New Document on the File menu.

Set up your scanning options

In the Scan New Document dialog box, do one or more of the following:

  • To view your scanned file(s) in Document Imaging after they have been scanned (recommended), select the View file after scanning check box.
  • If your scanner is equipped with an ADF, click Scanner, and then select the Use automatic document feeder check box.
  • If your scanner is equipped with an ADF and you have double-sided originals, select the Original is double sided check box to scan both the front and back of multiple pages. Place the pages in the feeder so that the page fronts are scanned first.

The Microsoft Office Document Scanning dialog box will appear after each scan, allowing you to turn the pages over and scan the page backs. Document Imaging automatically collates the pages in the correct order after scanning is complete.

  • If you have a true duplex ADF (one that automatically scans both sides of the page), do not select the Original is double sided check box. Instead, in the Scan New Document dialog box, click Scanner, and then select the Show scanner driver dialog before scanning check box. When your scanner driver dialog box appears during scanning, select the proper duplex settings.
  • If you want to scan pages manually, select the Prompt for additional pages check box. Office Document Imaging will pause after each page is scanned, allowing you to place the next page in your scanner.
  • By default, optical character recognition (OCR) is performed on your document during the scanning process. Although performing OCR adds time to the scanning process, it also has the following benefits:
    • When you open the scanned document in Microsoft Office Document Imaging, you can search for recognized text in the document, copy recognized text in the document to another document or program, and send recognized text in the document to Microsoft Word, without performing OCR manually.
    • You can have your scanned files saved with an automatic filename based on the first words on the page (this is the default.)

To turn off OCR during the scanning process (you can perform OCR manually in the document in Document Imaging after scanning), do the following:

  1. In the Scan New Document dialog box, select the preset you want to use, such as Black and white.
  2. Click Preset options, and then click either Create new preset (and then type a name for the preset), or click Edit selected preset.
  3. On the Processing tab in the Preset Options dialog box, clear the Use OCR to recognize the text of the scanned image check box.

Select location, name, or file type for the scanned files

Part of the scanning process is to save a scanned page to a file. By default, when you scan multiple pages, the pages are saved in one file. If you want to save each scanned page as a separate file, select the naming convention for the scanned files, or change the location or file format of the scanned files, do any of the following:

  1. In the Scan New Document dialog box, select the preset you want to use, such as Black and white.
  2. Click Preset options, and then click either Create new preset (and then type a name for the preset), or click Edit selected preset.
  3. Do one or more of the following:
    • To save each scanned page as a separate file, select the Save each page as a separate document check box on the Page tab.
    • To change the location for the saved files, click the Change button on the Output tab, and select a location.
    • To select the way the individual files will be automatically named, click one of the File Name options on the Output tab. (If you have turned off OCR during scanning, you will be unable to use the Auto name based on first words on page option.)
    • To select the file format the scanned pages will be saved in, click the Advanced button on the General tab, and select the options you want.
  4. Click OK.

Scan your pages

  1. In the Scan New Document dialog box, make sure the preset you want to use is selected, and then click Scan.

If you selected the Original is double sided check box or the Prompt for additional pages check box, the Microsoft Office Document Scanning dialog box appears periodically to let you know that the scanner has finished. You then have the option to continue scanning (place another page in a scanner that doesn't have an ADF) or turn your page or pages over to scan the other side. Arrange your page or pages as desired, and select the option you want to continue scanning.

  1. When all pages, all sides have been scanned, click Done in the Microsoft Office Document Scanning dialog box.
  2. To scan additional pages, review the Get started section above, and then repeat the instructions in this section (Scan your pages.)

Organize pages in the saved file(s)

Now that you've finished scanning, it's time to take a look at the results. If your scanned pages are not open in Document Imaging, do the following:

  1. On the Start menu, point to All Programs (Programs in Windows 2000), point to Microsoft Office, point to Microsoft Office Tools, and then click Microsoft Office Document Imaging to start Document Imaging.
  2. In Document Imaging, click Open on the File menu.
  3. Locate the file you want to open (by default, the scanned page(s) is saved to the My Documents folder with an auto filename based on the first words on the page, such as Page1of.tif) and then click Open.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 until all of the files you need are open.

You now have an online version of your stack of paper. Here are a few tips to get you started organizing pages.

  • Rearrange pages within a document    In the thumbnail pane (thumbnail pane: Presents the current scanned document as one or more small images.), select one or more pages to move. Click any selected thumbnail and drag the selection to the new location in the thumbnail pane.
  • Copy a page to a new document    In the thumbnail pane, select the page you want to copy. On the Page menu, click Copy Page. Switch to the Document Imaging document into which you want to insert the copied page. In the thumbnail pane, select the page that precedes the location where you want to paste the copied page. On the Page menu, click Paste Page.
  • Delete a page    In the page pane or the thumbnail pane, click the page you want to delete. On the Page menu, click Delete Page.

For more information about scanning or organizing pages, see Microsoft Office Document Imaging Help.

The papers that were once cluttering your desk have now been transformed into electronic documents. Within these documents, you can arrange pages, move pages to different documents, delete pages, print pages, add annotations, copy text to other Office programs, or send a page to someone in email. And still have room on your desk for your coffee.