How to Cleanly Extract Text From Images on Your Computer Screen

Ben Stegner 19-03-2018

If you have any experience with computers, you’ve probably heard of Optical Character Recognition (OCR). This important procedure takes images that have text in them and extracts that text into an editable form How Image-to-Text Works (aka Optical Character Recognition) Pulling text out of images has never been easier than it is today thanks to optical character recognition (OCR) technology. But what is OCR? And how does OCR work? Read More .


For instance, Google uses OCR to scan old books and make them available digitally through Google Books. But OCR can be useful to you as a home user too. Let’s take a quick look at an app that makes it easy.

Capturing and Extracting Text Using Easy Screen OCR

Easy Screen OCR is a solid program for grabbing the text from any image on your PC. Head to its homepage and download it, opting for the portable version if you like.

Once installed, you’ll find an icon for the utility in your System Tray. Right-click it to access the program’s few options in the Preferences menu. Here, you can have the program run at startup, play a sound, and change the hotkey for its use.

To start a capture, right-click the icon and choose Capture, or press the hotkey. Your mouse will change to a rainbow color; click and drag over the image you’d like to use. Once you do so, you’ll see a small window in the bottom-right corner of your screen. Click the OCR button to perform the procedure.

Windows Screen OCR


After a moment, you’ll see the text from the image appear in the Text tab of the tool. You can then copy this text and paste it wherever you’d like.

This might not be a tool you use all the time, but it’s worth keeping around. For instance, if you ever receive an error message that doesn’t let you copy its text, you can use OCR to easily copy the text for troubleshooting, without typing it all out yourself.

If you need a more advanced OCR software, take a look at our comparison of OneNote and OmniPage Free vs. Paid OCR Software: Microsoft OneNote and Nuance OmniPage Compared OCR scanner software lets you convert text in images or PDFs into editable text documents. Is a free OCR tool like OneNote good enough? Let's find out! Read More .

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  1. Adrian
    March 21, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Wow, had no clue that it's possible to capture plain text from an image so far! To be frank, there's not been a long since I've got to know that pdf-files become editable nowadays. To be clear, right before I've found this tool I like the thing about this soft in how fast fashion it works as well as how fancy it looks. Later I found out that Acrobat and Foxit both have features for pdf-editing too, but I tested them and, don't know, they feel quite raw