How to extract text from images on Windows 11

PowerToys and Snipping Tool get OCR capabilities to extract text from images on Windows 11, and here's how to use the feature.

Windows 11 extract text from image
Windows 11 extract text from image
  • To extract text from images on Windows 11, use the “Windows key + Shift + T” keyboard shortcut and select the text to extract and copy the contents to the clipboard. The feature works as long as you have PowerToys installed. 
  • To extract text from screenshots with Snipping Tool, capture a screenshot, click “Text Actions,” select the text, right-click the selection, and choose the “Copy text” option. Or choose the “Copy all text” option from the “Text Actions” menu.

UPDATED 11/7/2023: On Windows 11, you can extract text from any image file using the “Text Extractor” feature available on PowerToys from Microsoft or using the Snipping Tool. The feature will come in handy in many situations. For example, when you need to copy text from a receipt that you may have taken a picture of, information from an important document, or to get the address or phone number of a sign in the background of a picture.

PowerToys is an application that includes a set of utilities to improve the Windows experience. The app is aimed at advanced users, but anyone can use it. For instance, the app includes a window manager to make it easier to create different layouts. It also includes an image resizer, bulk file rename tool, keyboard manager to remap keys, and color picker, and with the release of version 0.62.0, you’ll find a tool that uses OCR technology to extract text from any image format.

Starting with version 11.2308.33.0, the Snipping Tool app also comes with OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology that enables new features, including the ability to redact text before sharing a screenshot and copy text from a screenshot to the clipboard.

This guide will teach you the steps to extract text from any image or screenshot on Windows 11.

Extract text from images on Windows 11 from PowerToys

Once you have PowerToys installed and the “Text Extractor” feature enabled, extracting text from an image is straightforward. Here’s how:

  1. Open the image on Windows 11.

    Quick note: You can open the image with any application. You can even extract text from an image embedded on a web page. Also, it doesn’t necessarily have to be an image. You can select any text on the screen.
  2. Use the “Windows key + Shift + T” keyboard shortcut.

  3. Select the text you want to extract from the images to copy the contents to the clipboard automatically.

    Extract text from image

  4. Right-click and select the Paste option on the application you want to paste the extracted text.

The feature isn’t perfect. You can select multiple lines, but try one line at a time if the text extraction isn’t working correctly. Also, select the text correctly without cutting off the letters at the top or bottom.

Install PowerToys

The easiest way to install PowerToys on Windows 11 is using Command Prompt using these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to install the latest version of PowerToys and press Enter:

    winget install --id Microsoft.PowerToys

    Install PowerToys with winget

Once you complete the steps, you can enable the feature (if it’s not already enabled.)

Enable Text Extractor

To enable the option to extract text from images on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for PowerToys and click the top result to open the app.

  3. Click on Text Extractor.

  4. Turn on the “Enable Text Extractor” toggle switch.

    Enable Text Extractor

  5. (Optional) Click the edit (pencil) button to change the activation shortcut.

After you complete the steps, you can use the keyboard shortcut to activate the feature and extract text from the image.

Extract text from images on Windows 11 from Snipping Tool

To extract text from screenshots from Snipping Tool, use these steps:

  1. Open Snipping Tool on Windows 11.

  2. Click the Snip button.

  3. Click the New button.

    Snipping Tool take screenshot

  4. Choose the snipping mode.

  5. Capture the screenshot on Windows 11.

  6. Select the text, right-click the selection, and choose the “Copy text” option.

    Snipping Tool extract text from screenshot

  7. (Optional) Click the “Text actions” button and choose the “Copy all text” option to extract all the text from the screenshot image.

After you complete the steps, you can paste the text of the screenshot to any document, text file, online post, etc.

At the time of this writing, Microsoft is still testing these features in the latest preview of the Snipping Tool app, and it’s only available for devices enrolled in the Dev and Canary Channels of the Windows Insider Program.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.