how to set Writer to open for scanned documents instead of Draw

Scanned documents are automatically opening in Draw. How do I change this so they open in Writer? I’m using Widows 10, Chrome (required for all my office software).
Thank you,


What type of file are the scanned documents? JPG, PDF, PNG?

If they are images, it may be better to just go to menu Insert - Image…. Not shure if the best is to change the application that opens an image or PDF file by default.

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HI, It’s a pdf. There are settings in the scan tool that allow the extension to be changed. I have tried left clicking the scanned document which gives me a choice to choose which app but I’m unable to make LibreOffice an option. I’ve opened LibreOffice and tried to open the scanned doc from there but it only opens up into Draw.

PDFs cannot be opened by Writer (and afaik the file type recognition algorithm of LibreOffice will always choose Draw for any .jpg /.png, image or any other supported image type. Hence @LeroyG’s advice to use Insert -> Image and select from the file picker is the only choice you have).

@anon73440385: well, PDFs can technically be opened by Writer. But the result would be full of textboxes all over the place, and it would be even less manageable than in Draw.

And what is the goal that you try to achieve by opening a scanned PDF in Writer?


My advice is to change the settings in the scan tool to save as image (JPG o PNG), and (once in Writer) use menu Insert - Image….

Also you can drag the scanned image from the file explorer and drop it in Writer.

Conceptually, PDFs are a set of graphic elements.

What the scanner does is embed an image inside a wrapper so that PDF viewer interpret correctly the file and display it.

Even “classic” PDF made from text documents are groups of nested graphic elements: pages, then various boxes in a page. What you see as consistent paragraphs are in fact text boxes, at most one line wide. If you have stylistic variations, you have several homogeneous text boxes in the line.

This explains why it is very tedious to import a textual PDF into Writer. It is a manual task resulting in 1-line paragraphs which must be then merged to form the initial ones and the spacing between them must also be restored.

Either you insert the PDF as an image in Writer (directly if your scanner software produces .jpeg, .bmp, .png or others; indirectly via Draw for PDF: copy the “page” and paste it) or you proceed with the manual textual conversion if the original PDF came from a text creator (not a braphic creator like a scanner).

The third solution is to process the scanner image through an OCR application (OCR = optical character recognition).

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If you do not use OCR when scanning, then it might be preferred to scan from inside Writer, so that the image goes right into the document: InsertMediaScan.

This, however, does not manage multi-page scans, so would not help in those cases. For PDFs to open in Writer, you might want something like a desktop shortcut with a command line like

soffice --infilter="writer_pdf_import"

… and drag your PDFs onto it.