Tech

PowerOCR, a new PowerToys tool to copy text from an image

PowerOCR is a new tool for Windows PowerToys, which allows copy text from an image to be used in another document or image. There are several third-party tools that do this, but Microsoft is working on a proprietary solution.

This new tool will make use of the Official Windows OCR API (Windows.Media.Ocr) and from an already published application called Text Grab. This has allowed it to develop rapidly with the help of other volunteer developers and Microsoft employees.

Its operation is simple as you can see in the demo published on its GitHub hosting. You use the mouse to select a region of text on an image and it will automatically be converted to text and copied to the Windows clipboard for use in any other file.

It is not known when PowerOCR will be released, although its main functionality appears to be complete. It is another small utility that will facilitate the task of extract text from images and use it in other applications.

PowerToys continues to grow

If you remember, the PowerToys are a utility set that as external tools improve the native ones of the system, the integrated controls of Windows, its customization and even the productivity in some tasks. Released in Windows 95 and with a version for Windows XP in 2002, the tool was unused until Microsoft resurrected it in 2019 as an open source, third-party development project hosted on GitHub.

If you want to test them, download the “PowerToysSetup” file and run it. When the service starts you will see a PowerToys icon in the system tray. The user interface shows all the individual tools installed, allows you to enable and disable them, and provides settings for each utility. There is also a link to the help document for them. To stop the service just right click on the tray icon.

Microsoft and other developers have been adding utilities to this set of tools. Up to 4,000 of them have participated in one way or another and the Redmond firm wants to create a community around them. PowerOCR will be another of the additions.

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