How to copy and paste text from photos

Read Time:2 Minute, 34 Second

Apple launched the iPhone 13 in the UK at the Regent Street store in London, UK on September 24, 2021.

Ming Yang | Getty Images

The latest version of the iPhone operating system, iOS 15, There are several new features that can use artificial intelligence to analyze the content in the photo.

Although object recognition has been around for a while, Apple Said its implementation is different because it happens on the device, not on the cloud server. In addition, it is built into the operating system.

One of the most convenient applications of this new technology is the ability to copy and paste text from photos—for example, users can take a photo of a page in a book, then grab the text and place it in a document or note.

It also allows users to make calls or send emails more easily by identifying phone numbers and email addresses (such as business cards) that have been written down.

It also applies to handwritten text—the example when Apple announced the feature in June was to turn graffiti on a whiteboard into notes.

This is how it works:

Copy text from photos

  • Take a photo with the text you want to copy into the document. For this example, we use the recipe from the cookbook.
  • Go to the “Photos” application and select the photo with the text you want to copy. This feature is also applicable to the camera roll in the camera app.
  • Press the text you want to copy with your finger, just like in Apple Note or SMS. Two text selector dots should appear on the photo.
  • Stretch the text selection cursor to cover all the text to be copied. Press “Copy”.
  • Go to the word processor of your choice, click on the text field, and paste.

Take a photo of the text and put it directly into the memo app

Real-time text works in a word processor


  • The new features can also be used directly in word processors such as note-taking applications.
  • Tap the screen and select the icon that looks like three lines of text in a square box in the pop-up window. That is the real-time text icon.
  • It will display a camera window in the lower half of the screen. Point it to the text and the software will automatically recognize it.
  • Apple’s software will highlight the text it wants to insert into the application in the photo window.
  • When the software selects the correct text block, press the blue “Insert” button.

Scan text directly from iPhone camera

  • You can also scan text directly from the iPhone’s camera app.
  • Point the camera at the text. If the software recognizes the text, it will display a three-line text icon in the lower right corner of the viewfinder or the horizontal upper right corner.
  • Push the button. It will turn yellow and open a window dedicated to the text in the photo.
  • You can select this text and copy and paste it into any document.
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