When you scan documents, they are typically saved as image files, such as JPG or PDF files. These files are not editable and cannot be opened with traditional word processing programs like Microsoft Word or Apple Pages, though you can open them with an image or PDF program. The reason why you cannot open these files is because they are in a different format than what these programs are used to reading.
In order to be able to open and edit scanned documents, they must first be converted into a compatible file format. Many scanners come with software that can convert scanned documents into editable formats. This process is called Optical Character Recognition (OCR). OCR software basically “reads” the scanned document, recognizes the characters and then translates them into text that can be edited.
Another popular way of converting scanned documents is to use online OCR services. Most of these services are free and allow you to convert scanned documents and images into editable formats such as Word and txt files. All you need to do is upload the scanned document, wait for it to be processed, and then download the converted file.
If you have access to a printer/scanner device, then you may already have an OCR program installed on it. If not, you can find many third-party OCR programs that are available on the market. OCR programs are relatively easy to use. You just select the file to convert and the desired output format, and the program will automatically convert the document.
Overall, scanned documents are not editable until they are converted into an editable format. Fortunately, you have several options available to you if you need to open and edit your scanned documents. Whether you use an OCR program or an online service, you can easily convert your documents into an editable format that can be opened and edited in any word processing program.