5 Ways to Scan Document into Excel with OCR on Mac or Windows

Connie Wisley
time September 18, 2020 Preview 9.4K
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Can you scan printed spreadsheets into Excel?---Quora
How does one scan Excel Spreadsheets, selectively pick and process data?---Quora

We need to scan a PDF document or receipt to Excel for data extraction into a report or financial documents sometimes. Scanning to Excel is the process to create editable/searchable Excel spreadsheet from image-based files scanned from a scanner or a camera, in which OCR is required. Here in this post, 5 ways to scan documents into Excel with OCR on Mac or Windows PC are listed with complete steps.

#1 The Easiest Way to Scan to Excel with OCR (Mac and Windows)

You may have noticed that there are 2 steps involved in the process to scan documents into Excel, you need to turn printed files to scans first, then OCR the scans to Excel format. But, with today’s pervasiveness of mobile devices that carry a camera, it is very easy for us to scan documents by using a camera. In the case that you don't have a scanner, you can use the camera on your mobile photo to scan, then find a OCR program to turn scans to Excel spreadsheet.

Cisdem PDF Converter OCR is a mac program to turn scanned PDF and image into Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Keynote, Pages, ePub, HTML, RTFD and Text with original formatting retained. It enables users to scan documents to Excel in high quality and in batches.

How to Scan to Excel with the Best Converter?

  1. Capture the printed files and save them in scanned PDF or Image;
  2. Download and install Cisdem PDF Converter OCR onto your PC;
    Free Download Free Download
  3. Launch the program, drag and drop scans into the program;scan to excel mac01
  4. Adjust the settings for scanning to Excel with OCR;
    When importing scanned PDF files, turn OCR button ON;
    When importing scanned images, the OCR button is ON by default;
    Then choose page range, select file language and set output format as Excel;scan to excel mac02
  5. Scan to Excel with OCR;
    Then click Convert button to scan your documents into Excel. The status bar will indicate a complete OCR process, check the Excel output then.

#2 If You Have Installed Adobe Acrobat (Mac and Windows)

For users who have installed Adobe Acrobat, Adobe offers a comprehensive solution to scan, OCR, edit and convert your documents. It allows to users to create scans from files in the scanner, then OCR to Excel spreadsheet. You can use this method to scan to Excel both on Mac or Windows, since Adobe offers both versions.

The greatest benefit of using Adobe Acrobat to scan to Excel is capability to edit the file in Adobe before OCR to Excel, also, it allows users to fix OCR errors smartly, which will substantially save your time and effort to work on the scans.

How to Scan to Excel with Adobe Acrobat on Mac or Windows?

  1. Run Adobe Acrobat, connect scanner to your Mac or Windows PC
  2. Go to Tools>Create PDF>Scanner;scan to excel adobe01
  3. Then OCR the scans by going to Tools>Scan & OCR>Recognize Text;scan to excel adobe 02
  4. Once ready, go to Tools>Export PDF, choose Spreadsheet as the output format.scan to excel adobe03

#3 Scan to Excel with ABBYY FineReader (Mac and Windows)

If you are looking for an Adobe Acrobat alternative to scan to Excel, ABBYY FineReader PDF 15 is worth a try, it is as powerful as Adobe Acrobat, but gives a better performance on OCR files with a lower price (Standard Version priced at $165.83 for onetime). It supports scanning, editing, protecting, collaborating, creating, converting and doing OCR on PDF files.

Also it supports more output formats than Adobe, including PDF, PDF/A, DOCX, RTF,  XLSX, PPTX, ODT, HTML,TXT,CSV,EPUB,FBS.

How to Scan to Excel with ABBYY FineReader?

  1. Download and install ABBYY FineReader to your computer, connect the scanner to your computer;
  2. Run the program, go to Scan and create scans from files in your scanner;scan to excel abbyy01
  3. Then go to Recognize, revise or edit the file if needed;scan to excel abbyy02
  4. Choose output as Excel, you will be able to scan document to Excel with ABBYY FineReader.

#4 Scan to Excel for Free (Mac and Windows)

Actually, there is a free method to scan to excel offline, using Microsoft OneNote. It is note-taking program available on macOS, Windows, Android and iOS, it builds in the OCR feature, allowing users to copy and paste texts from image or screenshot. Though it doesn’t allow exporting scans as Excel directly, its copying & pasting feature won't disappoint you.

However, you should be aware of that, OneNote OCR doesn’t maintain formatting, if you want to scan well-formatted documents to Excel, OneNote is not recommended to you, just try other solutions.

How to Scan to Excel for Free with Microsoft OneNote?

  1. Download and install Microsoft OneNote to your Mac or Windows PC, connect the scanner to your computer if you have one;
  2. Run the program, go to Insert>Pictures>From Scanner or Camera, import the scans;scan to excel onenote01
  3. Once the scanned image is displayed in Microsoft OneNote, right click on the picture to choose “Copy Text from Picture”;scan to excel onenote02
  4. Then paste the text to a Excel spreadsheet. Done.

#5 Scan to Excel Online Free

You can also scan documents into Excel with online free OCR tools, but you will need to create scans from paper files using your mobile device camera first, then prepare the scans in image format and upload online for OCR. Here we recommend scanning to Excel with Online2PDF, it is great platform to create, convert, merge, split, edit, compress, protect and unlock PDF for free. With its OCR feature, users can convert scanned documents to Excel, Word, PowerPoint, searchable PDF, Text and ePub format. It supports batch OCR too.

However, the formatting won't be fully maintained in the Excel output, you need to check and manually revise to make sure there is no OCR errors or formatting mess.

How to Scan to Excel Online Free?

  1. Scan documents with a camera, save the files in image format and transfer to your computer;
  2. Go to Online2PDF;
  3. Upload scans to the program;
  4. Choose output as Excel and select OCR feature. Also, choose the file language;
  5. Then click Convert to scan to Excel;
  6. Finally, download the editable Excel spreadsheet to your computer and manually revise if necessary;scan to excel online free


Today, it is not required to scan files with a scanner, you can use your camera or mobile device to create scans. And it become quite easier to scan to Excel, as long as you have found a professional OCR program to turn digitized scans to editable Excel format, just like Cisdem PDF Converter OCR, ABBYY FineReader. Both of them bring highly accurate OCR result, also enable users to convert scans to various output formats that you use very often.

Connie Wisley
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Connie has been writing for Mac productivity and utility apps since 2009. Each review and solution is based on her practical tests, she is aways energetic and trustworthy in this field.

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