Many of us experience frustration when trying to copy text from an image—often it isn’t possible or the result is unreadable. For those using Windows' systems, help is at hand, thanks to a built-in tool known as the Snipping Tool. A long-serving feature on Microsoft systems, including Windows 10 and 12, the Snipping Tool allows you to select and copy text from images effortlessly. Another application worth mentioning is Easy Onscreen OCR, which, though not available for one-time purchase, can effectively extract text from any given section of your screen. The aplication returns the text to you.
Technology like OCR (Optical Character Recognition) has come to play an important role in converting text from not just images but also scanned documents and PDFs into editable and shareable forms. For instance, applications such as OneNote 2016 enable users to capture screenshots and extract text from them. This feature has further been enhanced with the launch of the Windows 10 API which brings native OCR support to all Windows 10 apps.
Since OCR is an integral part of the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), it can be incorporated into apps targeting Microsoft's platforms. Furthermore, Windows' OCR is not restricted to specific image types and can accurately read from an array of images, including scanned documents and photos. Microsoft has even introduced the OCR library for Windows as an Azure offering on NuGet. This has made it easier to upgrade the OCR API in Windows 10 if you're using this library in an app for Windows/Windows Phone 8.1.
Extracting text from images isn't limited to Windows' systems only. It's also possible on MacOS. Simply select the document in which the image has been created and opt for the 'Copy' option to extract the text. Additionally, there are various methods to copy text from images on your PC outside of Windows 10 or MacOS. For instance, users can depend on third-party applications such as Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Word, or even online OCR sites and software from Easy Onscreen or Snagit.
Another route to follow would be using browser extensions, such as Project Naptha in Chrome or UC Browser. These extensions with OCR capabilities allow users to highlight and copy text from images. They are especially helpful when needing to copy large blocks of text. Finally, Google Chrome also has an extension called OCR – Image Reader that enables the extraction of text from images.
Smartphones have also not been left behind in this technological advancement. iPhone users, for instance, can use the Google Photos app to scan screenshots or photos and extract text from them. Microsoft's OneNote is another good option, especially for converting handwritten characters in an image into editable text within seconds.
With a sound understanding of these tools, the future of text copying simplifies. Copying text from an image or document is no longer a hurdle for anyone. Make the most of the evolving OCR technology, browser extensions, and apps available on various platforms. The tedious task of manually entering text that can be found in an image is now a thing of the past.
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