iOS 15 Live Text: Copy & paste text from photos

On iOS 15, Apple added a new feature called Live Text that can recognize text when it appears in your camera or in a photo you have taken. Thanks to iOS 15, you can then copy it and paste it into any app. We’ll show you below how it all works.

Live Text is an automatic optical character recognition in the camera app, which is supposed to facilitate the handling of large amounts of written information. Apple’s highly acclaimed feature will only work with iPhones that use the A12 Bionic chip or newer, which means that users will need an iPhone from 2018 to use it. Simple example: if you take a photo of a storefront displaying a phone number, you can capture that number to make a call or add to your contacts. You can also copy live text from your photos to use elsewhere. It’s an incredibly simple, useful feature that many users will surely fall back on.

The conditions

So let’s get to the preserves. So that you can actually use the function, please ensure the following:

  • You must have at least an iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR or newer, as the feature requires the A12 Bionic chip or newer.
  • If you want to use an iPad, you need the iPad 2020, iPad Air (2019 or newer) or the iPad Pro (2018 or newer)
  • The respective device must also be running iOS 15 / iPadOS 15 or later.

Live Text on iOS 15: How to copy text on photos and paste it into other apps

If you meet the requirements, you can proceed as follows.

  • Start the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Find a photo that shows a few words, such as a menu or a product label.
  • If the text looks small, enlarge the photo.
  • Press and hold on the words, then drag the ends of the selection tool to highlight all of the text you want to copy.
  • Take your finger off the screen, then choose Copy from the context menu.
  • Now switch to an app that supports text input, press and hold your finger where the cursor is, then choose Paste from the pop-up menu.
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Image: apple patient

Copy & paste live text directly from the camera

However, if you want to copy a certain text from a magazine or a shop window without taking a picture beforehand, you can proceed as follows:

  • Open the camera app on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Focus on the text until the viewfinder activates.
  • Now press the new sandwich-like icon in the lower right corner.
  • Press and hold on the words, then drag the ends of the selection tool to highlight all of the text you want to copy.
  • Take your finger off the screen, then choose Copy from the context menu.
  • Now you can paste the text in any app.
iOS 15 Copy & Paste Live Text
Image: apple patient

Insert live text from the camera directly into notes

A third option would be to insert text directly into the notes application using the camera app – this is how it works:

  • Open Notes on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Create a new note for this.
  • Place your finger on the screen, then choose Text From Camera from the context menu.
  • Now you can insert any text directly into the Notes app.
iOS 15 Copy & Paste Live Text
Image: apple patient

Did you know that Live Text also has optical character recognition? That said, if you have an image from a handwritten note in your photos, you can still copy it and then paste it as digital text. In addition to copy / paste, there are other functions, such as look-up and translation, so that you can translate foreign-language text found in a photo. The feature also works with the iPhone’s Spotlight search, which allows you to find text in photos using normal iPhone search. (Image: Apple)

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