Microsoft is working on a new PowerToy that will let you copy text from an image


It is something pretty much all of us have needed to do at one time or another -- copy text from an image so it can be used in another document. Search online for how to extract text from an image, and you will be pointed in the direction of various OCR tools, but Microsoft is working on a solution of its own.

The ability to copy text from an image is coming to PowerToys. The developers are working on a new utility that will make the process very simple. Called PowerOCR, the unreleased PowerToys utility is undergoing testing right now.

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The utility will make use of Windows' OCR API and it is based on an existing tool called Text Grab. It's clear that PowerOCR is still in the early stages of development, but there are some details available in a pull request over on the PowerToys GitHub repository:

This PR introduces a new PowerToy to perform OCR anywhere on screen by selecting a rectangular region, clicking a word, or right-clicking an image file and selecting PowerOCR.

As of the first week in July, there is much more that needs to be done to make this PowerToy ready for prime time, but this is the MVP if anyone wanted to pull and build just this tool. Most of the code is copied from my repository Text Grab.


It is difficult to say quite when PowerOCR will be released, but as it is such a useful tool, many PowerToys users will be hoping it is sooner rather than later.

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