When you scan a document that has text or numeric data on it, you are able to read and understand what is written in the scanned image. However, to a computer, the resulting image file is just as meaningless an assortment of pixels as a landscape photo. In order to transform this information into an editable format that you can search through, copy, and modify without retyping it manually, you will need the an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software.
There is a wide variety of OCR software available. While they all share the ability to convert images of machine printed (not handwritten) text or numbers into an editable format, the various software often have different features, accuracy, prices, and language options.
The majority of OCR software is written for the Windows platform, but a few of the major companies have released versions for MacOS systems, as well. Mac OCR software are often slightly more limited than their PC counterparts, but this discrepancy is getting less and less pronounced with every version.
Currently, there are are professional versions of ABBYY FineReader and both pro and corporate versions of ReadIRIS available for MacOS.