My guess is that Word does not embed higher resolution than the native screen resolution.
I generally scan text at 1200×1200 dpi and save as .bmp files; color graphics at 600×600 dpi. Text files are ~16MB; color files almost 100MB. The advantage of this format is ‘lossless’ quality – the intrinsic resolution is preserved with editing. You could equally well save as a .tiff file if you preferred.
I then edit my scan (if needed) with Adobe Elements. You could use any photoeditor. Once the editing is complete, I copy/paste into MS Word and format the image with Word picture editing controls.
This may seem a bit of a hassle, but the image quality is superb, and pasted text looks like native text.
If you have Adobe Acrobat, you can convert the .bmp or .tiff file into .pdf with a mouse click. The 16MB .bmp file becomes a 200KB .pdf file with no discernible loss in quality. Obviously you would archive the ‘raw’ .bmp file if you planned subsequent editing.
Most scanning software offers you the option to create .pdf files directly, but my experience with this is not favorable. The 2 step procedure described above results in a much better quality .pdf document.
I see, so there was a reason that word was set up this way. I do understand about losing quality of an image since I work with images in photoshop, but had no idea that scanning them directly into the document would lose quality like that. This greenhorn thanks you for the info.
I can tell from your question that you’re no ‘greenhorn’ – you seek real understanding. Glad I could help.
When I suggested that you copy/paste the edited image into Word, I meant Prt-Sc for ‘copy’, Ctrl-V for ‘paste’. Configure your edited image so that it maximally utilizes the display dimensions before you capture it with Prt-Sc.