Copying text is usually a simple case of cutting and pasting, but what if the words you want are in an image, protected PDF or another type of file that you can’t normally copy from?
Copyfish is a Chrome add-on (Download Now ) that lets you grab text that normally can’t be selected from your browser and other software.
If the item containing the text you want to convert is already on the web, find it and open it. Or, if you’re converting a file from your hard drive, try opening it in Chrome.
You can drag and drop web-friendly images (JPG, GIF, PNG etc) and PDFs straight into a Chrome window.
If you can, zoom in on the text you want to convert. If the text is unclear, try doing it in multiple parts so you can zoom in further. Click the Copyfish button.
The words “Please select the text to grab” appear. Click and drag the crosshair to draw a rectangle around the text.
Copyfish looks for text in the image, highlights it and prints it below.
It can also translate the text if you’ve configured the settings. Recapture lets you draw around the text again, while ‘Copy to clipboard’ lets you paste the text elsewhere.
If you’re scanning a high-resolution image, try uploading it to a photo-sharing or storage service before scanning it.
Sites such as Google Photos provide better zoom controls than the standard image viewer in Chrome, which can help the software recognize words.
You can capture words from other Windows programs, though it’s a bit hit and miss. It works well with Explorer, though, which is useful for grabbing lists of files in a folder.
Right-click the icon, choose Desktop Text Capture, select the window you want,
To change the settings, click the cog icon or select Options from the right-click menu. You can change the input or translation language, and use ‘quickselect’ settings to switch between several languages.
You can also choose whether to overlay text and what size it will be.