How to Edit a Scanned Document on Mac, Be It in JPG or PDF

How to Edit a Scanned Document on Mac, Be It in JPG or PDF

2020-10-28 11:15:00 / Posted by to OCR PDF Follow @ admin

This article will show you how to edit a scanned document on Mac, be it in PDF, JPG or other formats.

When you scan and convert your paper documents to a digital format, you make it easier and more effective to share, archive and manage your documents. PDF is the most popular file format used for scanned documents. Other common formats are JPG and PNG. As we all know, it’s easy to edit a Word document. But how do you edit a scanned document on a Mac? There are two common methods.

Method 1. How to edit a scanned document on Mac by making it editable first

You can scan a paper document to a PDF, JPG, BMP, or TIFF etc. file. To easily edit a scanned PDF or image document, you can first convert it to a Word document. If the scanned document only contains a table, you can convert it to Excel for effortless editing. Enolsoft PDF Converter with OCR can do these and more for you!

  • Support all PDFs, including native, image-based and scanned PDFs
  • Support BMP, PNG, TIFF, JPG and GIF images
  • Perform OCR on supported files, recognizing 27 languages
  • Convert supported files to 15 formats: editable Word, Excel, PowerPoint, EPUB and more
  • Keep the formatting and other elements of the source file
  • Can batch OCR and convert files
  • Offer other useful features and options
  • Provide high quality and high speed
  • Easy to use
  • Support macOS 10.10 or later

Free Download

Edit a scanned document on a Mac in easy steps

  1. Download and install the app. Open it.
  2. Drag the scanned document that you want to edit into the app.
  3. Make sure that the OCR is turned on.
  4. Click the output format dropdown list and choose to DOCX or to DOC.
  5. Click Covert. Choose a location and click Save.
  6. Open the converted, editable document in Microsoft Word and edit it as you wish.
  7. In Microsoft Word, save the edited document as Word or PDF, etc.

If the scanned document is in a foreign language, you need to select the OCR recognition language. To do so, click the language dropdown list language dropdown list next to Advanced Settings. Select a language (or a combination of languages).

Method 2. How to use Adobe Acrobat to edit a scanned document in JPG or PDF, etc. format on Mac

Adobe Acrobat is a powerful PDF editor, enabling you to edit a scanned PDF document, a scanned image document, etc. Once you use its OCR feature to turn a scanned paper document into an editable PDF file, you can then use its editing tools to edit the text and images in the editable file.

Adobe Acrobat comes in different versions. To deal with scanned documents, you need to get Acrobat Pro DC. This PDF editor is versatile and easy to use. However, it’s expensive. If you think it isn’t worth investing in, you can consider cheap apps that can also get the job done.

With Acrobat Pro DC, there are two ways available on how to edit a scanned document on Mac.

Use the Edit PDF feature directly

  1. Open the scanned document in Acrobat Pro Edit PDF
  2. In the Tools Pane on the right, click Edit PDF. And this PDF editor will automatically perform an OCR on the scanned document.automatically perform OCR
  3. Once the OCR is done, the document becomes editable. You can now easily edit or add text, add images, change fonts and do other editing.
  4. When you finish editing, from the top menu bar, select Files > Save As.

Use the Scan & OCR feature first

Alternatively, you can turn the scanned document into an editable PDF first using the Scan & OCR feature.

  1. In Acrobat Pro DC, open the scanned document.
  2. Click More Tools in the Tools Pane and click Scan & OCR. And the Scan & OCR toolbar will appear.
  3. From the toolbar, select Recognize Text > In This File.Recognize Text
  4. This step is optional. Select options and configure settings if needed.
  5. Click the blue Recognize Text button.
  6. When the process is complete, you can edit it immediately or save it for later editing.

Tip: How to change text on scanned document on Mac online

Both methods above let you effortlessly change text on a scanned document. Now consider this scenario. A scanned paper document contains the text content you need. You aim to extract text, change text and then use the edited text for certain purposes.

In such a case, you can consider this free way to edit a scanned document on Mac.

  1. Open your web browser. Go to
  2. Click Select file and upload the scanned document.upload the scanned document
  3. Select the desired output format.
  4. Click Convert.
  5. Open the converted editable file, manually check for errors and correct them.
  6. Edit the text content and save the edited file.

In the same way, you can also edit text in a screenshot on Mac.

This web-based OCR service is free to use. It does a relatively good job of dealing with text content. You can use it for scanned documents that contain content with little formatting. However, there are a few downsides.

  • To be able to use the service, you need to upload your document to its server first. It’s not recommended for documents containing confidential information.
  • The maximum file size is 15 MB. It doesn’t support large scanned PDF documents.
  • The OCR accuracy is not good enough. You need to manually correct the recognition errors.

Can you edit a scanned document in Pages?

Some Mac users wonder if they can edit a scanned document in Pages, a word processor included in macOS, iOS and iPadOS. The short answer is no. But you can easily insert a scanned JPG document or scanned PDF document, etc. into a Pages document.

To be able to handle a scanned document, a software or service should have the OCR (optical character recognition) feature. Pages don’t have it.

If needed, you can use the first method to convert a scanned paper document to an editable Word document and then edit the document in Pages. Pages supports opening and editing Word documents.


This article mainly talks about how to edit a scanned document on Mac. Regardless of the format, a scanned document is basically a photo of the paper document. To be able to edit it, you first need to make the document editable. The methods recommended here are easy to follow. They offer useful features and options to help you get the job done efficiently on a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, etc.