MDI - Microsoft Document Imaging File

What is a MDI file

The MDI file extension (Microsoft Document Imaging File) was originally created by Microsoft as one of the components of it’s suite of Office products. The file type was used by Microsoft to save documents that were scanned into your system. You could then use optical character recognition software, known as OCR, which would scan the graphics of the document and turn them into words. This created a DOC file, the standard Microsoft Word document. Typically, an MDI file can only be created though a Microsoft product specifically designed for this purpose. Microsoft Office Document Imaging, MODI, is a function that was a standard part of Office XP, both in the 2003 and 2007 versions.

When MODI saves the text after it has gone through the OCR process, it is saved into a TIFF format. However, the resulting TIFF file does not match the typical TIFF standards. That makes the file only useable within the MODI software. While the MODI format was standard in Office XP for several years, it has been discontinued and is no longer available. That means if you have an older document that was created in MODI and has a MDI file extension, you will not be able to open it unless you have the specific older version of Office XP. You will need to convert the MDI file to one that can be handled by your operating system.

Here's a small, but not exhaustive list of programs that can open MDI documents:

  • Microsoft Office XP, 2003, 2007 (Windows)
  • Bugysoft MDI2PDF Converter (Windows)
Extension MDI
MIME type image/
Useful links
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