Yep, that’s what this post via lifehacker shares: Microsoft Office Tip: Scan Images to Text in Microsoft Word. Though a quick read of the comments (at both posts referenced) will tell you there are better OCR programs out there, ABBYY getting the most mentions, I think the MS Word option might be useful to those who only occasionally need to scan documents and translate to text.
Tech help site Of Zen and Computing describes how to use Microsoft Office to do Optical Character Recognition (OCR)—that is, recognize text inside digital images (like scanned documents). The Microsoft Document Imaging application comes with Microsoft Office (who knew?) and can grok text from TIFF images.
Here’s one positive comment on the feature from MARKSMAN7328 :
This was great for my Chemistry class. Just scan in the book pages and convert to a Word document for quick and easy notes. (I don’t own the chemistry book so I can’t highlight the real pages or write in it.) It is pretty good at recognizing characters (although you will want to proofread). It had trouble reading subscripts in chemical formulas, but it was easy to just paste the formula as an image in the word document. This was also great for copying graphs and pictures from my book into my notes since I had the page scanned in already anyway
And another useful comment from Rob on the Of Zen and Computing post:
This works although I had to scan the document from within MODI. Once I did that it created the word document far more quickly that my other OCR program. I won’t be using that again. Thanks for the tip.
Most of the rest of the comments at both posts either mention problems using the feature, question it’s viability and usefulness or offer alternative OCR solutions. I still think this feature might be useful. If you don’t have Microsoft Office Document Imaging on your PC, check out the OZAC comments for additional help.