Copy text from image on iPhone – the FREE way

Did you take a photo of a paper book, magazine, or document using your iPhone and want to be able to copy text from it? Did you ever capture a screenshot of web page, app, ebook and don’t know how to extract text from the screenshot? Scanner Pro is the most popular PDF scanner app which can scan paper documents into PDF files and turn them into selectable, searchable, editable text. It can also scan those screenshots, photos so you will be able to select and copy the text from them and paste the text to your clipboard or other apps on your iPhone. This however is not a free app. If you don’t want to spend some dollars on it. You can choose free alternatives, such as Adobe Scan or Google Photos.

Today, we will show you how to use Google Photos to scan a screenshot from the Photos app or your photo album on iPhone.

Get this free app from App Store onto your iPhone. Launch it on your device. If it is the first time you run it on your iPhone, it will request full access to your photos. Make sure to grant it the permission. Google offer free storage to keep your photos, but you can opt not to back up them to Google drive. Open the screenshot or photo you like to scan in Google Photos app. The app analyzes the selected picture which you want to extract text and displays the option “Copy text from image” below the image file.

google photos to copy text from image on iphone

You can then select any text you like to extract or simply tap on Select all button and it will select all the text found on the image or screenshot. Google Photos will show you a few options at the bottom of the screen, Copy text, Search, Translate and Copy to computer.

google photos to select and copy text from image, screenshots, photos on iphone

Tap on Copy text, then open any other app where you want to paste the text to, such as Notes, Mail, or else. It is just that easy!

Other OCR solutions to extract text

Except Google Photos or Lens, iPhone users can also use Scanner Pro or Adobe Scan for the same purpose. You can follow these steps to convert photos to text using Scanner Pro or this guide to copy text from screenshots or images using Adobe Scan.

Bonus tips

Google Photos integrated Google Lens feature which can interpret any picture and give information and further options accordingly. For example, it can scan business card, phone numbers, dates, addresses, furniture, clothing, books, movies, music albums, video games, landmarks, notable buildings, barcodes, QR codes, etc.

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