A scanner is a device similar to a copy machine. You put a piece of paper in the scanner according to the instructions that came with your scanner. Then you scan the document. But unlike a copier, a scanner doesn’t give a copy of the document on paper. Instead it stores a copy of the printed document as a file in your computer.
You use a scanner to get copies of things that exist only on paper into your computer. The scanned image is like a photocopy of the original. This means that even if the scanned document contains words, you won’t be able to edit it in a word processing program such as WordPad or Microsoft Word.
If you want to edit a scanned document, you first need to use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software to convert the scanned document to an editable form. Windows 8 doesn’t come with OCR software built in. However, many programs that work with Windows do have built-in OCR capabilities. Chances are that when you bought your scanner, you got OCR software with it. To find out, check the documentation that came with your scanner.
To scan a document using Windows Fax and Scan, first open that program as described earlier in this chapter. At the bottom of the left pane, click Scan. Clicking Documents in the left pane lists all documents you’ve scanned with that program. If you haven’t scanned yet, the list will be empty except for a sample scan, as in Figure 35.12.