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How to Extract Text From Anywhere on Windows 11/10

by Ravi Teja KNTS
Extract Text From Anywhere on Windows

Windows 10 and 11 OS doesn’t allow you to copy text from images, PDF files, videos, and other file formats. So you may have to enter everything manually or use some online OCR services that can help extract text from images and screenshots. Sometimes, we all need to do that. For example, a screenshot of a visiting card or a handwritten note? Fortunately, you can grab text from anywhere on-screen using the Text Extraction module of Power Toys using a simple keyboard shortcut. It lets you extract and copy text from images, videos, PDFs, and documents among other things on Windows 10/11.

Extract Text From Anywhere on Windows 10/11

Using Power Toys, you can now copy text from any file format including images, PDF files, videos, etc. It works everywhere and with a quick keyboard shortcut.

1. First, you need to download the PowerToys app from GitHub. You can also download it from the Microsoft Store too, but it is usually a few versions behind. Power Toys is free and open-source.

2. On the GitHub page, scroll down to the Assets section. If your PC has an X64 processor, click on Power Toys Setup X64. If you have an ARM processor, click on Power Toys Setup ARM64 option. Then click on the Save button in the pop-up to save the setup file.

Downloading Power Toys Setup

If you are not sure which processor your PC has, open Settings > System > About. Now on the About page, check for the System Type option. Here you should find your processor type.

System Type on Windows PC

3. To install, open the downloaded file. Now enable the checkbox beside I agree to the license terms and conditions option. Then click on Install. In the pop-up, click on the Yes button for the installation process to start.

Installing Power Toys Application on Windows PC

4. Now open the Power Toys app and click on the Text Extractor option in the left sidebar. Then make sure the toggle beside Enable Text Extractor is enabled. This will enable the module making it ready to use.

Enable text Extractor on Power Toys on Windows

5. You can start extracting text with the keyboard shortcut Windows + Shift + T. However, you can change the shortcut if you want. Just click on the edit icon (pencil icon) under the shortcut option. In the pop-up, press the keys on your keyboard to enter the new keyboard shortcut and then click on Save button to save changes.

Changing Shortcut for Text Extractor on Windwos

6. Now you can extract text from anywhere including the UI elements on Windows. Just press Windows + Shift + T or your custom keyboard shortcut.

7. Simply select part of the text using your mouse pointer. Whether it’s general text or photo or video or any other file format, Text Extractor will extract the text instantly and copy it to your clipboard.

Extracting text from images on Windows PC

8. Once you select the text, it will be copied to your clipboard instantly but you will see no notification or visual cue. Simply paste it anywhere you need with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + V. You can also press Windows+V to open the clipboard.

Pasting the extracted text on Windows PC

The Power Toys module doesn’t just copy the text. It is trying to understand and predict what you have selected using OCR (Optical Character Recognization). But it does a good and accurate job of it. It also can perfectly copy sentences and words that do not make any sense like passwords. However, when copying text with special characters, do check twice because there is a chance that it misses or replaces a few characters like ~.

As of December 2022, the Text Extraction module in the Power Toys app only supports English US, UK, and simplified Chinese language versions. If Microsoft started supporting more languages, you can check from the Power Shell terminal on Windows. Enter this command:

[Windows.Media.Ocr.OcrEngine, Windows.Foundation, ContentType = WindowsRuntime]

Then, enter another command.


It will display the supported list of languages in the Power Shell itself.


1. Does It Work With Other Languages?

You can use it for languages that have the same English alphabet as Spanish. Anyhow, it is not going to be as accurate as English. So you can use it, but make sure to double-check after pasting it.

2. Is Text Extractor in Power Toys Accurate?

Text Extractor is not 100% accurate and there is always a margin of error. But if it is just normal words, sentences, or paragraphs, most probably it will get it right. During testing when compared with other OCR services, Text Extractor came out on par or even better than them for the most part.

Power Toys on Windows

Just like Text Extractor, Power Toys carries many other useful modules like Keyboard Manager to remap keyboard keys, File Locksmith to check which processes are using the selected file, Color picker to pick colors from images, etc. And then there are even more modules like Power Rename and Fancy Zone for you to explore.

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