OCR or Optical Character Recognition is a technology used for recognizing and scraping text characters from images. This basically works by grabbing the printed text on photos and convert them into machine readable text. Until iOS 14 you can use third-party apps in iPhone to grab text from images. However, Apple introduced Live Text function in iOS 15 that you can use for this purpose. In this article, we will explain how to use Live Text in iPhone to extract text content from images.
Why to Grab Text from Photos?
There are numerous practical usages for extracting text from images. In addition to simple text extraction, you can also use camera to directly grab the text and translate the content to your favorite language.
- Let’s say, you are living in a foreign country and do not know the language written on a signboard. With Live Text function in iPhone, you can now use the camera to grab the text from the signboard and translate it live without any other app or person’s help.
- If extracted text contains phone number, you can directly call the number.
- Share the text content in email.
- Scan text content from signboards, computer or from anywhere and send as a message or mail.
Grab Text from Photos in iPhone
First make sure you have the iOS 15 or later versions on your iPhone and follow the below instructions:
- Open Photos app and tap on any of the photos that contains text.
- You will see a floating Live Text icon and tap on it.
- It will highlight all text content available on the image.
- Now tap and hold on the text you want to grab to open the pop-up menu.
- Drag the start and end positions and tap on “Copy” option.
- Again, tap on the Live Text icon to disable text highlighting on the image.
- Open Messages, Mail or any other app and tap on the text area to view paste option.
- Tap on “Paste” to insert the grabbed text content from the photo.
Note: You can simply tap text on any image for selection without tapping on the Live Text icon. however, you need to tap the icon for quitting the text selection.
Scan and Insert Text
Live Text icon will be available almost on all the apps like where there is a text box. As you can see in the above screenshot, the Messages app will show Live Text in the pop-up menu when you tap on the text area. Similarly, you can also tap on the Mail app’s text area to see Live Text option in the pop-up.
- In order to scan and insert text from any live object, select the Live Text icon from the pop-up menu.
- A live extraction screen will appear on the bottom portion of your iPhone as shown below. The content in the live area will be automatically inserted in the text box. You can simply tap on “Insert” to close the preview.
- If you are not happy with the selection, tap on the Live Text icon showing in the preview pane. Now, you can select any text from the preview pane and tap on “Insert” to precisely select the text.
Translate Text from Photos
iPhone already comes with a default Translate app that you can use for text and voice translation. Apple now uses the Live Text option combined with Translate app to make the translation more convenient for you.
- When selecting text from the image using Live Text, you will also see “Translate” option in the pop-up menu.
- Simply tap on it to get the automatically translated content.
- You can also copy the translated content, add to your favorites, change language and open the translation in Translate app.
- The favorites will be added in the “Favorites” section of Translate app.
- At this point of time, Apple only supports English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish languages with Live Text. You will get the following message when trying to translate with Live Text option.
Live Text enables system-wide option for grab text from photos in iPhone. It also allows to insert text by scanning and get instant translation with the limited languages. This makes life easier in many situations and remove the language barrier. We do hope the Live Text function will be enhanced and get additional features in the coming iOS updates.