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How to scan into Word 2010

Posted on 17 Aug 2010 at 15:48

Word no longer lets you insert a scanned image directly into a document, but Simon Jones explains how to design a button that allows you to do just that

Word 2003 used to have a button that connected Word directly to your scanner and grabbed an image directly into your document without you having to go through the rigmarole of starting another application, scanning an image, saving it to a file, returning to Word and inserting it.

For some people, this button cut out all that palaver and let them get on with what they were doing. However, others found this button didn’t do quite enough; it didn’t give them enough control over the properties of the image that was being scanned, or it didn’t work at all with their particular scanner.

Microsoft obviously took more notice of the latter group than of the former, because in Word 2007 it removed the button rather than fix the problems with it; scanners are notoriously difficult devices to work with, every different make and model behaving ever so slightly differently, and driver problems are common.

Microsoft therefore decided to make everyone use the software that came with their scanner or the software that was built into Windows. The reasoning was, if you already have two ways of doing a job, why would you need a third, unreliable one?


This was sensible in some ways, but it meant that quite a few users were miffed that their simple method of getting a scanned image into Word wasn’t available any more. And Microsoft hadn’t simply hidden the button, leaving it available from some dialog for you to drag on to the Quick Access Toolbar; it was gone without a trace.

Legacy command

However, it didn’t remove the legacy WordBasic command that this button had worked through invoking. Now I don’t know whether Microsoft deliberately left this command in place because it was cheaper than taking it out, or because it wanted to retain compatibility with older macros, or perhaps because it just forgot the command was there, but for whatever reason the command Application.WordBasic.InsertImagerScan() still works in both Word 2007 and Word 2010.

This means that if you make your own macro containing just that single line, you can put it on the Quick Access Toolbar and click it whenever you want to scan directly into Word.

In Word 2010, you can customise the ribbon to add a group to the Insert Tab and add your macro as a big button to that group. If you call this group “Scanner” and the button “Scanned Image”, then you’d have the path to the button as Insert | Scanner | Scanned Image, which is pretty logical. You can’t, however, put the new button in the Illustrations group, because you’re only allowed to show or hide built-in groups, not to add or delete buttons from them.

Custom buttons

What you also can’t do in Word 2007 or Word 2010 is assign your own image to the button; you get to pick from a predefined range of button images and that’s it. The nearest you can get is an image of a picture as you’d see for a JPEG file. If you really want your own image on the button – for example, a picture of a scanner – then you have two choices.

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User comments

A Code of Honour?

Well done Simon for producing a useful way of replacing a lost function.
Another lost function from both Word and the OS is the ability to import .pcx files.
These used to be ubiquitous graphics files. Although little used today, there are thousands of graphics .pcs libraries, and, of course, many original archive documents were scanned and saved as .pcx files.
It would be very useful if the .pcx graphics format could be re-integrated into Windows Explorer ( from XP onwards ) and also directly importable into Word documents.
Whilst there have been a few claimed kludges, with directions to import legacy graphics filters from, say, an old version of MS Paint, nothing works as it did up to 2003.
Perhaps there is a challenge here for PCPRO and its readers.
( )

By specious on 24 Aug 2010

Scan Macro for 2007 & XP

Great idea, however there is a minor error when using Word 2007 & XP. There shouldn't be a pair of brackets after the command. The following macro seems to work:-

Sub Scan()
' Scan Macro


End Sub

When I invoked the macro for the first time, I found that I needed to untick the box "Add pictures to clip organizer" and then it works OK.

By pjajennings on 2 Sep 2010

Scan Macro for Word 2010

Thank you PC Pro. I am a novice user but found your instructions perfect and they worked!! Brilliant thought and sharing by you and your work is appreciated. Cheers for now... Marianne

By mjf3049 on 9 Sep 2010

It's slightly terrifying that it takes one line to scan the image and insert it into a document and ~20 to make the button on the toolbar. MS should maybe look at that.

By steviesteveo on 30 Sep 2010

WordScan Problem

I downloaded the WordScan add-in. It came as a zip file. I extracted the files. Clicked/installed the Setup.exe file, restarted. Clicked/installed the MSI file. Nothing showed up in Word 2010. I was expecting to see a Scanner button on the INSERT ribbon. What else do I need to do? Thanks.

By JHSJR on 21 Jan 2011

Word 2010 Scan problem

Hi Simon

I am having the same problem as JHSJR (21 Jan 2011). I have installed the wordscan add-in as instructed but I cannot find any scanner button. Need advise please. Many thanks.

By HopePhil on 18 Mar 2011

word 2010 scan prob

having the same problem as JHSJR (21 Jan 2011). I have installed the wordscan add-in as instructed but I cannot find any scanner button. Need advise please. Many thanks.

By sunny on 14 Jun 2011

MS Word 2010 scan problem

I am having the same problem as JHSJR (01 July 2011). I have installed the wordscan add-in as instructed but I cannot find any scanner button or add-in tab with it. Need advise please. Many thanks.

By jbl79705 on 1 Jul 2011

Word 2010 scan problem

I am having a similar problem to those above. Windows 7 64b, Office 2010 64b. Any help or tips would be useful.

By 750Duke on 3 Jul 2011


I'm having the same problem as jbl79705 Scanner is HP5590. Please advise.

By BForehand on 23 Aug 2011


I'm having the same problem as jbl79705 Scanner is HP5590. Please advise.

By BForehand on 23 Aug 2011


I'm having the same problem as jbl79705 Scanner is HP5590. Please advise.

By BForehand on 23 Aug 2011


I also cannot find a button to scan directly after installing using Brother MFC 7430

By MSfrustrated on 30 Aug 2011

Where is the Scan Button

After running the EXE and bringing up WORD, I cannot find the SCAN button. What needs to be done to get the SCAN button viewable? Where is it?

By BigBird on 2 Oct 2011

still no reply?

I guess simon has left the desktop.. but if you are interested i found that windows photo gallery has some scanning functionality under the "File" button. regards stuart.

By usernamealreadytaken on 9 Nov 2011

much easier way to scan into Word 2010

alt + ips - use this command and the original insert scanned image dialogue pops up - exactly like in word 2003.

By GLENNMCBRIDE on 12 Jan 2012


how do i see the responces to other comments

By Lmike on 31 Mar 2012

Another way

Hi, I had the same problem as above but found another solution. Create the following macro...

Sub Scan()
On Error Resume Next
End Sub

I hope this helps

By JonGiger on 2 Apr 2012


I though the macro was cool, but your solution of alt + ips is way cooler for a keyboard addict like me. Thanks!

By srawcliffe on 12 Apr 2012

scanning in office 2010

we have canon ir3300 printer how can I scan in word 2010 using network scan gear

By ksingh on 24 Apr 2012

Thank you.. now for office 2013

Have used this for a long time without any glitches and worked perfectly (Many thanks to you Simon).. without sounding too proverbially "Olivered", would a word 2013 workaround be in the offing.. and while you at it would you enquire from Microsoft why in the world they would leave such a useful feature out of word?

By AdewaleAdesanya on 16 Aug 2012

vstor40_x86.exe problem

Thankf for your efforts in addressing this nagging issue. I've d/l'd the files needed but I'm getting the following error on installation:

"Setup has detected that the file 'C:\TEMP\VSD301.tmp\VSTOR40\vstor40_x86.exe' has changed since it was initially published.

See the setup log file located at 'C:\TEMP\VSD301.tmp\install.log' for more information."

Just looking for some advice as to a workaround - (I am on a corporate network if that has anything to do with it i'm not sure).

I have to cancel out at that point, clicking OK just cycles to the same point.

Kind Regards,

By davel on 10 Oct 2012

A Solution for Word 2013

The solution above fails in Word 2013 afaik. I've developed and documented a workaround - described here:

Hope it's readable, because I'm not a native English speaker.

By guenni on 5 Feb 2013

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Simon Jones

Simon Jones

Simon is a contributing editor to PC Pro. He's an independent IT consultant specialising in Microsoft Office, Visual Basic and SQL Server.

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