Imagine there was an easy way to get or extract text out of an image, scanned document, or PDF file and quickly paste it into another document or chat tool.
The good news is that you don’t have to waste time retyping or searching for the original document. There are programs that use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to analyze the letters and words in an image and then convert them to text.
There are a number of reasons why you might want to use OCR technology to copy text from an image or PDF.
- Paste text from a picture or screenshot into Slack, Teams, Word, or another tool
- Capture text in an error message, pop-up window, or menu where text can’t be selected
- Capture the text in a file directory (filename, file size, date modified, etc.)
Regardless of your situation, this function can be helpful, especially when you need to copy information from a file folder or screenshot of a website that typically would require you to spend a significant amount of time retyping all of the text.
Luckily, there’s a simple way to capture text or convert a picture of text to editable text. With Snagit, it only takes a few steps to quickly grab text from an image.
Snagit is an all-in-one screen capture and recording software that helps you capture your screen and camera, add additional context, and share images, GIFs, or videos across your preferred platforms.
It also has OCR technology that can help you easily extract text.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to capture text on your computer screen or pull text out of an image.
How to use a screenshot to capture text on Windows or Mac
Step 1: Set up your capture settings
To capture text, open the Capture Window, select the Image tab, and set the selection to Grab Text.
You can also speed things up by using the Grab Text Preset.
Step 2: Capture your screen
Initiate your capture, then use the crosshairs to select the region of your screen with the text that you want.
Snagit then analyzes the text from your selection and displays the formatted text.
If the font identified is not installed on your computer, Snagit will substitute it with a system font of similar style.
Select the text you want to copy, or click Copy All to copy all of the text to your clipboard.
Step 3: Paste your text
Finally, you can paste the text into a chat tool, document, presentation, or any other destination.
Image to Text: How to extract text from an image with OCR
Step 1: Find your image
You can capture text from a scanned image, upload your image file from your computer, or take a screenshot on your desktop.
Step 2: Open Grab Text in Snagit
With the image open in Snagit’s Editor, go to the Edit menu and select Grab Text.
Or, simply right or control click on the image, and select Grab Text.
Step 3: Copy your text
Then, copy the text, and paste it into other programs and applications.
That’s it! It doesn’t take much effort at all to extract text from pictures, PDFs, or scanned documents.
Frequently asked questions
Upload your image into Snagit. Then right-click anywhere on the image and choose Grab Text. This scans your image and converts it to text.
First, use Snagit to take a screenshot of your image or upload it into the editor.
Snagit uses Optical Character Recognition software, or OCR, to recognize and extract the text from your image on your Windows computer.
You can capture text from a scanned image, upload your image file from your computer, or take a screenshot on your desktop. Then simply right click on the image, and select Grab Text.
The text from your scanned PDF can then be copied and pasted into other programs and applications.
Use Snagit’s image capture window. Then, in the selection dropdown, choose Grab Text. When complete, a box pops up with all of the text, ready to copy and paste.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.