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Tech tips

Clever iPhone tip: How to copy text from a photo

Apple’s latest operating system version for the iPhone comes with some pretty neat features. Tap or click here for the best new features on iOS 15. The Live Text feature allows you to scan, search, and share text in photos and images.

This is very handy if you need to translate text that can’t be copied and pasted or if you need to find a photo with specific wording in it. It also works for telephone numbers, making it convenient to call the number located on packaging.

It doesn’t just work with your photos or images either, as you can use the camera app to scan for text around you. Keep reading to take advantage of this clever new feature.

How to use it on photos

To scan for information in photos and images, you must make sure that the function is activated. Here’s how: Tap the Settings app, go to General and then to Language & Region. Enable Live Text by sliding the toggle next to it to the right, and you should be good to go.

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It currently supports English, Chinese, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Spanish. You’ll also need an iPhone XS, iPhone XR, or later with iOS 15 to use Live Text.

For photos on your camera roll, open the Photos app and select the image you want to scan. Touch and hold over the text in the picture, and the grab points will appear around it. You can move them to grab more text if necessary.

iOS Live View and photos

When selected, you have several options to copy, select all text, translate or share. For a fast way to select all the text in an image or photo, tap on the indicator icon on the lower right side of the frame.

For translations, go through the same process but select Translate from the options. You’ll be able to select the text’s language and the language you want it translated to.

How to use it with the camera

You can also use your camera for text around you to get the same options. To do this, open the camera app and point it towards the text. The indicator icon will be available in the bottom right corner when the app detects text in the viewfinder.

Tap on the icon to scan the text, and the iPhone will bring it to the front. From there, you can select the text as with the photos described above. To cancel the capture, tap on the screen and the image will disappear.

Use it to make calls through photos

You can use the Photos app to scan images and then call the number in an almost identical process. To do this, open your camera roll and select the image or photo with the number or email address on it.

When you tap on the phone number or the email address, you will be presented with options to send a new email, FaceTime the number, add it to your contacts, or copy the email address.

This also works with photos and images saved from the web. Different options will be provided depending on the information in the image.

iOS live view photos

Visually look up anything

Another great feature that has been added to iOS 15 is the ability to look up and reference almost anything. It also uses the Photos app and can give you a brief description of what the AI thinks it is. This is handy when identifying popular landmarks, art, plants, pets and other objects.

To do this, open a photo, tap the Visual Look Up button (it looks like an ‘i’ with a circle around it.) Then tap the icon that appears in the photo or below the image. For example, you might see a paw print icon for pets and animals or a leaf icon for plants and flowers.

The result will identify what it is together with other information about the image or photo.

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