Excel Tutorial: How To Convert Scanned Document To Excel


In today's digital age, businesses and individuals often find themselves needing to digitize physical documents for easier organization and manipulation. In this Excel tutorial, we will explore the process of converting scanned documents to excel, allowing for greater flexibility and efficiency when working with data. We will discuss the importance of this conversion and provide an overview of the steps to be covered in the tutorial.

Importance: Converting scanned documents to excel format enables users to edit, analyze, and manipulate the data within the document with greater ease. It also allows for easier organization and retrieval of information, and facilitates the integration of the scanned data into larger projects or databases.

Overview of the steps:

  • Step 1: Preparing the scanned document
  • Step 2: Converting the document using OCR software
  • Step 3: Cleaning and formatting the data in Excel

Key Takeaways

  • Converting scanned documents to excel format enables easier data manipulation and analysis.
  • OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software is crucial for converting scanned documents to excel.
  • High-quality and legible scanned documents are essential for accurate conversion to excel.
  • Data cleaning and formatting are necessary steps to ensure accuracy and efficiency in working with the converted data.
  • Excel offers powerful functions for data analysis and manipulation, enhancing the usability of the converted data.

Understanding OCR

Converting scanned documents to Excel can be a daunting task, but with the help of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, it can be made much simpler. In this chapter, we will delve into the concept of OCR and its importance in the conversion process, as well as recommended OCR tools for the job.

A. Explanation of OCR

OCR is a technology that enables the conversion of different types of documents, such as scanned paper documents, PDF files, or images captured by a digital camera, into editable and searchable data. This is achieved by recognizing and extracting text from these documents using specialized software.

B. Importance of OCR in converting scanned documents to excel

The importance of OCR in converting scanned documents to Excel cannot be overstated. Without OCR, the text within scanned documents would remain inaccessible and unsearchable, making it impossible to manipulate and analyze the data within Excel. With OCR, however, the text is converted into a format that can be easily imported into Excel for further processing.

C. Recommended OCR tools for the process
  • Tesseract: This open-source OCR engine is widely regarded as one of the most accurate and reliable tools for converting scanned documents to text, which can then be easily imported into Excel.
  • ABBYY FineReader: ABBYY FineReader is a popular OCR software that offers advanced features for converting scanned documents into Excel, such as preserving the original document layout and formatting.
  • Adobe Acrobat: Adobe Acrobat includes OCR functionality that allows users to convert scanned documents, PDFs, and images into editable text for use in Excel.

Preparing the scanned document

Before you can convert a scanned document to Excel, it's important to ensure that the document is in a good condition for conversion. Here are some tips for preparing the scanned document:

A. Tips for selecting high-quality scanned documents
  • Choose documents that are scanned at a high resolution, preferably 300 DPI or higher, to ensure clarity and accuracy during the conversion process.
  • Ensure the document is scanned in black and white or grayscale to minimize any color interference that could affect the conversion.
  • Use a scanner with automatic document feeder (ADF) to ensure all pages are scanned consistently and accurately.

B. Ensuring the document is clear and legible
  • Check the scanned document for any smudges, blurs, or other imperfections that could affect the accuracy of the conversion.
  • If the document is not clear or legible, consider rescanning it to ensure optimal quality for the conversion process.

C. Removing any skew or distortion in the document
  • If the scanned document appears skewed or distorted, use image editing software to straighten and correct any imperfections before proceeding with the conversion.
  • Ensure the document is aligned properly on the scanner bed to minimize any skew or distortion during the scanning process.

Using Excel's data import feature

Converting a scanned document to Excel can be made easier by utilizing Excel's data import feature. This allows you to seamlessly transfer data from a scanned document into a structured Excel format.

A. Accessing the data import feature in Excel

Before you can begin the process, you'll need to access the data import feature in Excel. This can typically be found under the "Data" tab in the Excel ribbon. Look for the "Get Data" or "Get & Transform Data" option, depending on the version of Excel you're using.

B. Choosing the appropriate data source option

Once you've accessed the data import feature, you'll need to choose the appropriate data source option. In the case of a scanned document, you may need to select the "From File" option, which will allow you to import data from an external file.

C. Selecting the scanned document for import

After choosing the appropriate data source option, you can then select the scanned document for import. This may involve navigating to the location where the scanned document is saved and then choosing the file for import into Excel.

Data cleaning and formatting

When converting a scanned document to Excel, it's important to clean and format the data to ensure its accuracy and usability. This involves removing unnecessary characters, formatting the data into appropriate columns and rows, and checking for any errors or discrepancies.

A. Removing any unnecessary characters or symbols

Before you start formatting the data, it's essential to remove any unnecessary characters or symbols that may have been included in the scanned document. This could include stray punctuation marks, special characters, or any other non-essential elements that could affect the accuracy of the data.

B. Formatting the data into appropriate columns and rows

Once you've cleaned the data of any unnecessary characters, the next step is to format it into appropriate columns and rows. This involves separating the different pieces of information into distinct columns and organizing them into clearly defined rows, making it easier to work with and analyze.

C. Checking for any errors or discrepancies in the imported data

After cleaning and formatting the data, it's important to check for any errors or discrepancies that may have occurred during the import process. This could involve verifying the accuracy of numerical data, identifying any missing or duplicated entries, and ensuring that the imported data aligns with your expectations and requirements.

Utilizing Excel functions for analysis

When it comes to converting a scanned document to Excel, the real power lies in the ability to manipulate and analyze the imported data using Excel's functions. Whether you're dealing with numerical data, text, or dates, Excel offers a wide range of functions to help you make sense of the information.

A. Using functions to manipulate and analyze the imported data
  • Text functions:

    Excel's text functions can be used to manipulate text data, such as extracting specific characters, combining different text strings, or converting the case of the text.
  • Numerical functions:

    Functions like SUM, AVERAGE, MAX, and MIN can be used to perform calculations on numerical data, providing valuable insights into the data set.
  • Date & time functions:

    For documents containing dates and times, Excel's date and time functions can be used to manipulate and analyze this type of data, such as calculating the difference between dates or extracting components of a date and time.

B. Creating charts or graphs for visual representation
  • Once the data has been imported and manipulated, creating charts or graphs can provide a visual representation of the information. This can help to identify trends, patterns, and outliers within the data.
  • Excel offers a variety of chart types, such as bar charts, pie charts, line charts, and scatter plots, allowing you to choose the most suitable visualization for your data.

C. Applying filters and sorting options for better organization
  • Filters and sorting options in Excel can be extremely useful for organizing and analyzing the imported data. By applying filters, you can easily focus on specific subsets of the data, making it easier to spot important details.
  • Sorting options allow you to arrange the data in a specific order, such as alphabetically, numerically, or by date, making it easier to identify patterns and trends within the data set.


Converting scanned documents to excel is a crucial skill in today's digital age, allowing for easier data analysis and manipulation. In summary, the key steps in this tutorial include using Excel's OCR feature to extract text from scanned documents and then formatting the data into a structured table. I encourage all readers to practice and explore further with Excel's features, as there is always more to learn and discover in this powerful tool.

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