Copy the text of your photos on Mac: guide and requirements to do it

A simple image can contain a large amount of information, such as contact numbers or a page of notes that you must convert to an editable file. In these situations, you will be able to use artificial intelligence to be able to extract this text in a comfortable way thanks to LiveText. We will tell you all the details of this functionality below, and how you will be able to use it.

What you should know about Live Text

This is a tool integrated into the operating system that is undoubtedly very useful, since it makes use of artificial intelligence. It has the ability to analyze a photograph in search of a fragment of alphanumeric text. This will allow you to copy and paste the text that exists in a specific image to the clipboard, without having to copy it manually which would take you a lot of time. This is something that includes both the photographs you have stored of a sheet of paper or a poster, as well as the screenshots of a web page. It must be remembered that this is a function present on both iPhone and iPad, but it is also present on the company’s computers.

The requirements to meet on Mac

Unsurprisingly, any software feature is limited to meeting a set of requirements that are primarily software-centric. Apple shipped this text-in-image recognition functionality with macOS Monterey. That is why one of the requirements that must be taken into account is that you have installed on your Mac macOS 12 or later.

But it is not a limitation that is only found in the operating system. In addition, the need to have a Mac that has a Apple Silicon chip or a T2 security chip. This is necessary, since sufficient processing power is required to be able to develop the artificial intelligence that will be in charge of detecting the text in an image.

On by default

Once you have verified that you have macOS Monterey installed on your Mac, you are probably wondering how to activate the functionality. You should know that at first you will not have to do anything at all to start using it. It is a feature that is activated natively at the time of having this version of macOS. The thing to keep in mind is that visually, you won’t see any panels when you enter Preview.

Live Text Mac

The operation is practically automatic, since when you open an image in Preview, the artificial intelligence will be activated quickly. This is undoubtedly quite comfortable for the user, since they do not have to access any alternative panel. Directly you will be able to enter the image, copy, close it and move the text wherever you want. Without a doubt, this is a brand from the Cupertino company that wants to simplify all your processes.

The way to use Live Text

When it is clear what Live Text is, the requirements, and the uses, you can start using it. The operation is really simple, since it is integrated into an application that you have surely used: Preview. The steps you must follow to exploit it are the following:

  1. Open a photo showing text in Preview.
  2. Hover over the text.
  3. Drag it to be able to select it.
  4. Click on secondary button and choose one of the different functions that are displayed.

live text

When you press the secondary button, there are many options that open to be able to exercise an action on the text that you have been able to select in the image through artificial intelligence. In this case, we can summarize them in the following options:

  • Copy text: the most basic function that can be found when working with text. Ideal to be able to paste the fragment in another editing document.
  • Find the meaning of a text: ability to perform a quick search in the dictionary of the Mac, showing the meaning of a set of words in particular without having to access the browser.
  • translate text: with this option you will instantly choose the language into which you want to translate. Ideal especially when you have a sign or a menu that is not in your native language.
  • Search for text on a website: ideal when you need to carry out an in-depth search of a specific term through the browser that you have activated by default. Something ideal, to save you the fact of copying the text and moving it to the search bar. Obviously, it is something that you should always end up getting used to.
  • Share the text with others: Preferred by users who need to share a snippet they found interesting with someone else. The sharing menu opens, and the use of native applications such as messaging is allowed, but also others that you have installed.
  • Call the phone number: FaceTime will automatically open and you can make a call, if the number is in the correct format.
  • Contact with an email address: will open the default mail manager of your Mac, and will automatically enter the email address you have selected in the recipient. You only have to worry about writing the body of the message and sending it.
  • Go to a website: option that is enabled when a compatible web address is detected. At the moment it will open the web browser that you have configured.

The limitations found

Although Live Text can be a really attractive feature, it has some limitations that are very important to highlight. Throughout the operation steps, we have only been able to name the Live Text program. Unlike iPhone or iPad where it is a much more open function, in macOS it is more limited. In this case Live Text doesn’t work in any other image editing app other than Live Text.

That is why if you are using another app, you will always have to make the changes, save it and then open it with Preview or Quick View. Obviously, this is not something comfortable at all. Also, the text needs to be very sharp for it to work properly. This can become a problem because you do not always have access to an image with optimal quality.

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