How to Convert TIFF to MS Word

By Aurelio Locsin

The Tagged Image File Format, also known as TIFF or TIF, is a file format popular for images with high-color depth, though it also works with line art and grayscale pictures. Many scanners save to this format by default. You can either insert TIFF images to add punch to your Word document, or convert scanned TIFF text to editable text so you can cut and paste the words into Word.

Inserting TIFF Images

Step 1

Open a new or existing Word document if you want to insert a TIFF file.

Step 2

Click in the Word display at the location in which you want to put the TIFF file.

Step 3

Choose the “Insert” menu, the “Picture” option and “From File” to display the “Insert Picture” dialogue.

Step 4

Select “Tag Image File Format (*.tif;*.tiff)” under “Files of type” to display TIFF files only.

Step 5

Navigate to the file you want and double-click it. Word may display a message saying that it cannot insert the picture because the feature is not installed. Click “Yes” when it asks to install. You may need your original Word disc to complete the installation. The picture then appears in the Word document.

Step 6

Click on the picture until handles appear. Click and drag the handles to resize the image as needed. To define additional options such as word wrap and borders, double-click the image to display the “Format Picture” dialogue.

Step 7

Click the “File” menu and then “Save” to save the TIFF in Word, entering a new file name if needed.

Converting TIFF Text

Step 1

Download, install and run an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) program to convert a scanned TIFF file into editable text. One such free program is TopOCR (see Resources). An “Image” window opens on the left and a “Text” window opens on the right.

Step 2

Choose the “File” menu from the “Image” window and select “Open” to display the “Open” dialogue. Navigate to the TIFF file and double-click to load it into the "Image" window. The editable text version of the file appears in the “Text” window. Note that the formatting disappears.

Step 3

Click the “Image” window to select it. From the “Edit” menu, choose “Select All” to highlight all the text. Press the “Control” and “C” keys to copy the selection.

Step 4

Open a new or existing Word document.

Step 5

Click in the Word display at the location in which you want to put the TIFF file.

Step 6

Press the “Control” and “V” keys to paste the text into Word. Compare the text to the original and correct any character errors as needed. Apply formatting as needed.

Step 7

Click the “File” menu and then “Save” to save the Word document, entering a new file name if needed.

Tips & Warnings

  • The procedure for inserting images applies specifically to Word 2000 for Windows; however, the process is similar for later versions of Word.