There are many reasons or instances where you would want to copy text from an image or screenshot on your Windows 10 or 11 computer. You want to copy contact details or addresses from banner ads, email id, that delicious cooking recipe, or any other data point. Copying text from images or screenshots is not immediately clear but Windows does offer a native way to do so.
How to Copy Text from Images on Windows 10 and 11
Windows 10 and 11 don’t come with a dedicated OCR app. In fact, the feature is also not present in the Photos app, Windows default image viewer. Instead, OCR is built into Bing Image Search as well as Edge browser. Let’s take a look at both ways.
Grab Text from Image Using Bing Image Search
Bing has come a long way and its image search prowess is well-known. What users don’t know is that it also comes with a powerful OCR tool built-in to capture text from any image you upload within seconds.
1. Open Bing Image Search in your favorite browser. Doesn’t have to be Edge either.
2. Click on Search using an image button next to the search bar on the right.
3. You can now either upload the image or screenshot from your local drive, paste the URL if it is uploaded to a cloud storage service, or use the webcam to capture in real time. I will upload a screenshot. For that, click on the Browse button.
4. In the pop-up window that opens, navigate to the folder where the image is saved and double-click on the same to open it in Bing Image Search.
5. Bing will immediately process the image and capture all the text accurately. You will see the image on the left and the text on the right.
It can also process URLs however the link is not clickable directly inside. Click on the Text tab and you will see a few more options. Here you can copy the text, search the web using Bing Search for the text, or enter the Text mode. The last one will allow you to highlight lines so you can choose what you want to see and copy from the image.
Copy Text From Image Using Visual Search in Edge
Microsoft has integrated its powerful Visual Search feature in the Edge browser too. Open any image in your browser tab. It can be a file on Google Drive or an image on Instagram. Simply right-click on the image and select Visual Search from the context menu.
What is impressive in the above screenshot is that Visual Search is able to capture text in the background too and not just at the bottom of the screen which is obvious.
1. Are there any OCR software to copy text from an image on Windows for desktop?
We understand that you are not comfortable uploading sensitive images on the web for security and privacy reasons. That’s why we have covered some of the best OCR apps for Windows.
2. Can you copy text from images or screenshots on Windows using the Snipping Tool?
Sadly, no. While that would be an ideal solution for both online and offline usage, OCR is still missing from the otherwise perfect screenshot utility tool.
3. Are there any browser extensions for the job?
Yes, there are many browser extensions that can copy text from images but we don’t recommend them. Why? Because they will reduce your browser and computer’s performance. It is generally advisable to have a bare number of extensions installed.
A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words
The Visual Search feature is also embedded in the Windows Search icon in the Taskbar. However, it is not intuitive enough and not really necessary. Bing Image Search can be opened in any browser on any computer. All you need to do is upload the image and voila! OCR will do its job and you will have the text ready to copy in an instant.