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How to Copy Text from Pictures or Images in Microsoft OneNote

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Microsoft OneNote is one of the best places to take down notes and edit them. But did you know that you can also copy text from pictures or images using your OneNote app?

There are instances when we encounter a photo containing valuable inscribed text that we want to copy. It is possible to read and type it manually. But sometimes, it may take too much of our time. In some cases, the text is not that legible or looks encrypted for us to accurately copy.

Microsoft OneNote uses a tool called Optical Character Recognition or OCR that automatically copies text from a picture. You can also extract and convert texts from the file printout image you receive from other people. Once copied, it is easier for you to paste them into your notes for editing or saving. That way, you will save time while having the text in its precise form.

How-to-Update-the-Microsoft-OneNote-App-on-Windows-10
Credit: Microsoft

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How to Copy and Paste Text from Photos Using the Microsoft OneNote Tool

Note that the OCR feature is only available in the desktop version of the Microsoft OneNote app on your laptop or desktop macOS or Windows computer. If you only have the OneNote UWP app, it may not contain the tool you need to copy and extract text from images.

  • Launch the desktop version of Microsoft OneNote on Windows 10/11 PC or Mac computer.
  • Insert the picture with the text that you want to copy. 
  • Click Insert from the menu bar.
  • Select Pictures.
  • Search for the photo you want to copy and insert it into your OneNote notebook.
  • Now, right-click on the image.
  • Select Copy Text From Picture.
  • Next, go to the notes app where you want to paste the text.
  • Press Ctrl + V or Command + V to paste it.
How-to-Extract-Texts-from-File-Printouts-Using-Microsoft-OneNote-App
Screenshot credit: Windows Dispatch

How to Extract Texts from File Printouts Using Microsoft OneNote App

If you have PDF files, documents, spreadsheets, or other formats that you want to copy and paste, the process is almost similar.

  • On your Microsoft OneNote, click Insert from the menu bar.
  • Select File Printout.
  • Look for the file that you want to insert.
  • Click Insert.
  • Now, look for the image in your printout with text that you want to copy.
  • Right-click on it.
  • Select Copy text from this page of the printout. You can also choose Copy text from all the pages of the printout if you want to copy text from all pages.
  • Go to the notes app where you want to paste the text.
  • Press Ctrl + V or Command + V to paste it.

How to Convert & Extract Text from Screenshots on PC or Mac Using Microsoft OneNote

Aside from photos, it is also possible to copy text from screenshot images you made on your Mac or PC device.

  • Click Insert on your Microsoft OneNote menu.
  • Select Screen Clipping.
  • Highlight the text you want to copy using the Plus sign cursor to paste it into your OneNote notebook.
  • Right-click on the image.
  • Select Copy Text from Picture.
  • Go to the notes app where you want to paste the text.
  • Press Ctrl + V or Command + V to paste it.

What do you think of the Microsoft OneNote OCR feature? Is it useful for you? We value your opinion. You can write to us one in the comment section below.

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