How to copy text from anywhere on the web


It’s 2022, so retrieving text from a website or document should be pretty easy, right? But it’s not always the case.

There may be a part of a site that doesn’t let you easily copy text, or maybe the text you need to copy is part of an image. So we are going to talk about some tools to capture text easily.

iPhone Live Text

Apple recently rolled out the Live Text feature in iOS 15 which lets you easily copy text using your camera.

To make sure this feature is enabled on your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > General > Language & Regionand tap the Live Text toggle.

Now you can open a photo and tap the text to select it, or tap the Live Text button to copy all the text.

You can easily copy text from Photos to iPhone, thanks to Live Text.

Alternatively, when you want to insert something into a text field, tap in the field, then tap the live text button and point the camera at the text you want to capture.

Google lens

While the iPhone’s Live Text feature is cool, Google Lens has had a similar feature for quite some time. Here’s how to use it:

Open the Google Search app on your phone and tap the camera button. Take a photo of the text you want to capture, then you can select what you want to copy. Then press the Copy button to grab the text and add it to your clipboard.

While selecting the text, you can also press the Copy to computer button, so that you can use the text on your system. Notably, for this to work, you need to be signed into the same Google account on your computer and phone.

This is how Google Lens text capture works.

AI black box

The first two solutions are more suitable when you use your phone. But when you’re on the web, it’s easier to use an extension like AI black box.

It is available as a Chrome extension and it is very easy to use. Once the extension is installed, visit any webpage you want to copy text from and click the Blackbox AI icon. Select the area around the text – like taking a screenshot – and it will be copied to your clipboard.

You can watch the video below to see it in action:

You can download the extension from here.

All of these options are free, but if you want text snipping tools with more features, you can try TextSniper ($7.99) for Mac, and TextGrab ($6.99) for Windows.


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