Convert scanned documents to editable text

OCRIf you need a physical document scanned and turned into text, don’t type it up yourself! Online OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is a free service that will convert PDFs and other image files (TIF, JPG, PNG, GIF) to editable Word, Text and Excel formats.

Just upload your file, choose the format you would like, and the program will convert it so you can download the editable version.

Try Free Online OCR now »

Create automated backups of Word files

Microsoft WordSometimes Word files can get corrupted or accidentally deleted. If you write in Word a lot, it might make sense to keep backup copies of your documents just in case. Word has a built in feature to automate this process. Once enabled, it will generate a backup (duplicate) file in the same directory every time you save your document.


  • Go to Word > Preferences > Save.
  • Check the Always create backup copy.
  • Click OK.


  • Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Word Options.
  • Click Advanced.
  • Scroll to the Save section, and then select the Always create backup copy check box.

Read more on how to save and restore backups.

Remove Word formatting

Microsoft Word is great for writing and formatting text. But sometimes you want to copy that text into another program (an email, your website) without including the formatting (i.e. font size, color, margins). The easiest way to do this is to open up Notepad (PC) or TextEdit (Mac) and paste your text in a new document. Next, copy your text from the new document. When you paste it again, the formatting will be removed.

Converting Files

Have you ever had a file in a format you can’t read on your computer? Maybe it was created in a newer version of Word, or it’s a music file you can’t listen to. If you have a Google account, you can upload Word/Excel files to Google Docs and read them there or export them. You can also try Zamzar, a free online file conversion tool.

Saving in Word

Before writing a document in Word, follow these two important tips:

First, make sure autosave is enabled and set at a short interval (I recommend 1-5 min). Mac users: go to Preferences > Save > and check the AutoRecover box. PC users (Word 2007): click on the Microsoft Office Button, Word Options, and then Save. PC users (Word 2003): Go to Tools > Options > Save. If Word freezes or your computer crashes, the autosaved file should be there when you reopen Word.

Second, save your document before you start typing and do a manual save on your own every few minutes (you can do this easily by hitting CTRL-S on a PC or CMD-S on a Mac).