How to Copy and Paste Text from a Photo with Your Phone

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Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has close to a decade of experience covering consumer technology and previously worked as a News Editor at XDA Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews. Read more…
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With so much of our lives spent online, we’re often bringing things from the real world into the digital space. Google Photos makes it easy to copy and paste text from a photo and it works for iPhone and Android.
Google Photos is easily one of the best photo management apps out there. You don’t have to back up your photos to use Google’s great features, either. The ability to detect text in a photo is thanks to Google Lens abilities being built into the app.
RELATED: How to Change Google Photos Backup Quality
First, you’ll need a photo on your device that contains text. This can be a photo of something in the real world or even a screenshot. Open Google Photos on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device and select the photo.
Select a photo.
Next, one of two things will happen. Google Photos may immediately detect text and a suggestion will say “Copy Text From Image.” Go ahead and tap that if you see it.
Select "Copy Text From Image."
If the text in the photo is not as obvious, you’ll have to initiate Google Lens yourself. Tap the “Lens” icon in the bottom toolbar.

Google Lens will scan the image and highlight any text it detects. You can now select that text just like you would anywhere else.
Select the highlighted text.
After you select the text you want, tap “Copy Text” from the bottom menu.
Tap "Copy Text."
That’s it! The selected text has now been copied to your clipboard! You can paste it anywhere you’d like, just as you would with normal text. This is a great time-saving tip for transferring text onto your phone. If you’re an iPhone owner and you don’t use Google Photos, Apple’s gallery app has a similar feature.
RELATED: How to Copy Text From a Picture on iPhone
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Digital Strategist Chris Hood

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