Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is gradually becoming an essential element in any operating system environment. Streamlined through the age that it has lived, OCR has become a mainstream feature that many of us put to use through our day-to-day activities. For Windows 10 as well, we have a lot of software available which does the swift conversion from image to text. Today we are going to review Capture2Text which is a freebie that you can use to quickly OCR a portion of the screen using the keyboard shortcuts.
Capture2Text – Copy text from image
Capture2Text is a free software for Windows that lets you extract and copy text from images and save it to the Clipboard. It makes it ultra-easy to OCR a portion of the screen and automatically copies the text in an image to the clipboard. To capture the desired portion, you can hit the default keyboard shortcut (WinKey + Q) and select the portion. Apart from recognition and conversion to text, it also supports translation to other languages, with help of Google Translate. It supports almost 100 languages and can recognize any text written in these languages. However, by default it comes packed with the following languages: English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish.
How to use Capture2Text
Capture2Text is as easy as falling off a log. You just need to download the compressed zip file and then unzip the contents on your local storage. Double-click on Capture2Text.exe and it should greet you with the below image in case you’re running it for the first time on your computer.
As it is a keyboard shortcut based tool, you don’t need any specific UI to launch. It will bury itself under Quick Launch toolbar on the taskbar. You can launch its settings and tweak other options from there.
Follow the below steps to convert any portion of the screen to text:
1. Once you have launched the executable file for Capture2Text, the default keyboard shortcut (WinKey + Q) gets activated. You can then point the cursor to the top-left position of the portion that you want to select.
2. Hit the hotkey combination and start selecting the desired portion of the screen by moving the mouse cursor over the text that you want to OCR. You can even move the blue box around the screen window by using right-click mouse button and dragging the portion box over the desired text.
3. In order to complete the portion selection, hit Enter or just press the left-click mouse button. The text within the selected portion will be recognized and a popup will appear which will show the captured text while copying the same in the clipboard.
The free tool also offers various other options for OCR Capture as well (Text Line OCR Capture, Forward Text Line OCR Capture, Bubble OCR Capture etc.) which automatically captures a line of text based on the hotkey operation that you select.
Tweak the Settings
You can change the active OCR Language and adjust other settings from the Capture2Text settings page. Go to Quick Launch toolbar and right-click the application icon.
You can turn on/off the options to save the text to the clipboard or show the popup window. For changing the active OCR language, select the desired entry under OCR Language menu. Also, you can harden the text orientation settings in order to keep it strictly horizontal/vertical.
For more diverse options, you can click on Settings which opens the settings window. Below are the few of many options available in here:
- Change the assigned keyboard shortcuts for different OCR capture schemes.
- Tweak the settings background/border/text color settings related to the capture box and preview window.
- Choose how the system behaves with the output presented.
- Choose translation options that are powered directly by Google Translate.
Well, that’s pretty much about this easy and handy tool. You can visit the official site to download it and for more insights on how to use it. The tool also works from the command line.
Windows 10 Photo Scan app, JOCR, Gttext are similar tools that can help you extract text from images and copy them to Word or Notepad.