How to Scan Documents Into Excel

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Excel spreadsheets are particular about fields and how they are filled with data. Scanning documents into Excel is possible, and you can even convert a PDF to Excel in some instances. That said, not all document types convert into an Excel spreadsheet. You may also find it difficult to scan the data into the document accurately. Some fields may require manual adjustments to work properly. Scanning saves a considerable amount of time because your data doesn't require manual input, but you need to insert any relevant formulas after scanning the information.

Initial Word Doc Scan

Scanning a document into Microsoft Word before transferring it to Excel is good practice. You can also use OneNote. Bringing the data into a Word document makes it possible to copy and paste specific rows and columns into Excel. The input method takes a little longer than a direct import to Excel, but it allows you to work with the data and make sure it enters Excel as intended. In a direct scan-to-Excel situation, the data may not align in rows and columns properly. Making the necessary adjustments after the fact is more difficult than starting with a fresh spreadsheet and pulling the content from Word.

Outside Converter

Document converters are not a sure bet, but there are free versions online, and they can work. Scan the document you want to convert and save it as a PDF. Then search for a free document converter. Numerous options are readily available. Load the PDF into the converter, and the software makes the conversion. Most free converters work within a web browser and generate a spreadsheet for download. Others ask you to download the software. While this option is not necessarily bad, working inside a browser saves space on your drive and is the better route.

Scan to Excel

You can work the scan into Excel directly through Microsoft as well. Access Microsoft Office tools and open Microsoft Office Document Imaging. Click "File" and "Open" and then select the document. Look at the lower right corner of the screen and find the eyeball icon. Hover your mouse over this icon, and it should read "OCR" or "Optical Character Recognition." Click the icon to run the scan through the character recognition process. Next, highlight the entire document, copy it and then paste it into Excel. You can still opt to paste the results into a Word document first to work through the data before entering it into Excel.