Scan Directly From Word 2013

Microsoft Office 2013 is shipped with new features, but some users are missing usability. For instance, a simple button to scan directly from Word 2013 is missing. Also old solutions won’t work anymore. Therefore I’ve developed a solution, to add a scan option to Word 2013.

How it Works

The following instructions will show you how to create a scan button in Word 2013.  The functionality wasn’t included in the product, but you can create your own.

Using this button invokes the dialog box shown below. A user may select the WIA device to obtain a photo.

After clicking OK, the WIA dialog box shown below will be visible. Here we see the scanner dialog box.

Using the Scan button obtains the scan from the connected device and inserts it into the Word document. Therefore it’s required, that Windows supports WIA drivers and devices.

Implementing a macro for WIA control

How to implement this feature in Word 2013? The View tab contains the Macro button which may be used to invoke the Macros dialog box. The button create may be used to add a VBA macro.

At this point, you still don’t have a word object for scanning – you will have to make a change to the Type Libraries (Menu Tools, command References).

Locate the “Image Acquisition Library” type library and enable it by selecting it.  This will be used to access the WIA interface.

VBA code to access the WIA interface

The following VBA code will access WIA, detect the temp folder and store the image there.

‘ Scan for Word 2013
‘ Implements a Scan function in Word 2013
Private Declare Function GetTempPath Lib “kernel32″ Alias “GetTempPathA” (ByVal nBufferLength As Long, ByVal lpBuffer As String) As Long
Private Function TempPath() As String
Const MaxPathLen = 256 ‘ Max path length
Dim FolderName As String ‘ Folder name
Dim ReturnVar As Long ‘ Return Value
FolderName = String(MaxPathLen, 0)
ReturnVar = GetTempPath(MaxPathLen, FolderName)
If ReturnVar <> 0 Then
TempPath = Left(FolderName, InStr(FolderName, Chr(0)) – 1)
TempPath = vbNullString
End If
End Function
Sub Scan()
‘ Scan Macro, to be invoked in Word
On Error Resume Next
Dim objCommonDialog As WIA.CommonDialog
Dim objImage As WIA.ImageFile
Dim strDateiname
‘ instantiate Scan WIA objects
Set objCommonDialog = New WIA.CommonDialog
Set objImage = objCommonDialog.ShowAcquireImage
strDateiname = TempPath & “Scan.jpg” ‘ set temporary file
If Not objImage Is Nothing Then
Kill strDateiname
objImage.SaveFile strDateiname ‘ save into temp file
Selection.InlineShapes.AddPicture strDateiname ‘ insert in doc
Set objImage = Nothing
End If
Set objCommonDialog = Nothing
‘ MsgBox strDateiname ‘ test output
End Sub


The VBA code initiates a WIA.CommonDialog object and invokes the ShowAcquireImage method. The method returns the scan as an object. This will be stored temporarily and will be inserted into Word document file.

Add a scan button

This is the final step where you add the button that will do the scanning.  Go to the insert tab and associate it with the VBA macro.

1. Right click the ribbon bar und select the command to change ribbon settings.

2. Select the entry “macro” in the left list of dialog box Word options.

3. Add a new group entry “Scan” to Insert tab and associate the macro from left list to this new group. Name it “Scan” and assign an appropriate image to this button.

After closing the dialog box, the new Scan button shall be working. You can download the code here in a zip file.  It contains a Word *.docm file and a macro code file (.bas) ready to use.  You can use the sample and copy the macro code to your file to make it available by default in new documents.