It’s extremely inconvenient to want to copy text from a screenshot but have to manually type it all out.
That’s where Live Text comes in — this new iOS 15 feature allows you to extract text from photos you’ve taken or saved on your phone. You can then copy the text and paste it into any text field. It’s ideal for quickly sharing addresses, phone numbers, and other information that you don’t want to type out.
Live Text understands English, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Portuguese, French, Italian, German, and Spanish, and works with both typed and handwritten text. It is compatible with any iPhone (or iPad) model released in 2018 or later.
Here are three solutions:
How to Use the Photos App’s Live Text
To begin, you can use Live Text on any photo saved in the Photos app. This includes screenshots, saved photos, and photos taken by you.
- Locate a picture with text in the Photos app.
- When you open the image, you’ll notice a small square icon in the bottom-right corner. Tap it. A quick tip: Close and reopen the photo if no icon appears. If it’s still not there, try tapping some text in the image. If nothing happens, Live Text is most likely not recognizing any of the words in the picture.
- Except for the space around the picture’s text, the image will darken. You can now interact with the text by highlighting it with your finger. Once highlighted, you can copy, share, translate, and do other things with it.
You can paste the text into any text field on your device if you copy it.
You can also do this natively in Safari with images that appear on websites. Simply tap and hold your finger on a photo that contains text to select that text.
How to Type in Any App Using Live Text
You can use Live Text to type directly into any text box to quickly scan the text you’ve found in real life.
- Open any app that allows you to type and tap a text field.
- Tap the Scan Text option in the black pop-up that appears. It could also just be the small square icon.
You may need to try this several times depending on how the text you’re attempting to scan is formatted.
How to Use Live Text While Photographing
This feature allows you to capture text simply by pointing your camera at it. Some older iPhone models may not support it.
- Launch your Camera app and point it at some text.
- Tap the square Live Text icon in the corner when it appears.
- The text on your device will be highlighted. You can then press and hold your finger on it to copy, share, or look it up.