If you often extract text from photos, the new function that Windows 11 is going to introduce will prevent you from having to type it by hand, or use an external app.
Microsoft has announced on its blog Windows 11 Snipping Tool updatewhich will receive a feature highly anticipated by users: optical character recognition (OCR).
Surely on more than one occasion you have wanted copy text from a photo, and paste it into another document. But it cannot be done directly, because a photo is only pixels, and there is no difference between the pixels that make up the texts, and any other.
That is why Optical Character Recognition (OCR) applications emerged: they are capable of analyzing pixels of a photo as a whole, and identifying letters. In a way, they were one of the first uses of artificial intelligence, a couple of decades ago.
Windows 11 will integrate an OCR function
Android integrated an OCR feature into its code a long time ago, but Windows 11 didn’t have it… until now. To be precise, it was available within Microsoft PowerToys, but as an external app that must be installed. Now you are going to integrate it into the operating system.
The Windows 11 Snipping Tool is going to add a feature called Text Actions. When selected, it searches for text in a photo and allows you to copy and paste it as a document:
Not only that. It will also be possible to edit that text within the photo, to eliminate private information, such as an email or phone number. Or, on the contrary, add the text we want to the photo itself.
The Crop Tool will also allow apply these functions to mobile photos, through the Mobile Link app of Windows 11.
You can edit photos directly on your smartphone, and even add and edit text inside the photoas long as you have your Android mobile linked to the Windows 11 PC, through the Mobile Link application.
Microsoft has not revealed the date on which we will be able to enjoy this update that integrates Optical Character Recognition (OCR) into the Windows 11 Snipping Toolbut he’s already announced it on his blog, so it should be available in a matter of days, or a few weeks.