How do I copy text from images

Convert images to text: With these 3 tools it works

If a document is only available as PDF or image, you need a program with "OCR" (optical character recognition) to convert images into text. In this article, we will show you 3 tools that will work best for you.

Convert pictures to text with Evernote and OneNote

If you want to make your everyday life as paper-free as possible, digital notebooks such as OneNote or Evernote can help.

  • OneNote is completely free and will scan your notes with OCR as soon as you upload them. The program not only recognizes the text in PDF and image format, but also based on your handwritten notes. So if you are looking for a term that appears as text in a picture, for example, OneNote will show you this file.
  • With OneNote you can of course also convert textual content from PDF and image files into plain text, copy it and paste it into Microsoft Word, for example. To do this, right-click on an image and select the option "Copy text from image". You can then paste the text elsewhere.
  • The direct competitor Evernote works similarly and searches your images for desired text in the free version. Only in the premium version for up to € 59.99 per year does the tool also search your PDF and Office files. However, there is no way to extract the text and paste it into another file.

Free online offer: OnlineOCR

On the OnlineOCR website you can upload your PDF or image files and have them converted to either Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel or a simple text file. But be careful: when you upload your documents to third-party servers, data protection is no longer guaranteed.

  1. Click on "Select file ..." and upload your PDF or image file with the text content. You can also simply drag the relevant file onto the button. Then wait until the file has been fully uploaded.
  2. In the second step, select the language in the selection box. For example, choose "German" if your text is in German.
  3. If you then want to download the text, select the appropriate file format. You have the choice between Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and a simple text document.
  4. Now click on "Convert". A box now appears below with the recognized text, which you can now simply copy. Alternatively, you can download the file. This retains the original formatting and you can edit the text as you wish without changing the overall appearance.

Convert images into text on the go: OCR apps

Sometimes you want to search or copy the text on a book page. You do not need a detour via a stationary scanner, just your smartphone.

  • For the simple use of OCR, you can simply use the OneNote app. Office Lens is best for editing the text in another Office program. If you have Office 365, you should definitely try this app. The app is available for your Windows, Android and iOS devices.
  • "Text Fairy" for Android is free of charge and without ads. This allows you to quickly scan documents or books and also export the text as a PDF. In contrast to Office Lens, this app cannot turn manual notes into text.
  • A good alternative for both systems is Google Keep. Upload the picture as a note and select it. The image appears in its own window with the icon with three dots in the top right corner. There you can select the option "Capture Caption". When using a mobile app, it can take a few minutes until the image is ready for text capture.

Note systems have many useful options that are not immediately apparent at first glance. In our next practical tip you will therefore find tips for getting started with OneNote.