How to Extract Text From Images on Mac

MacOS has some really great features. However, one of the best recent features is the functionality that allows you to copy text from images. With the inbuilt function, you don’t have to scour the internet in search for an image to text converter. 

Apple is constantly updating the MacOS with new features, and alongside text translation, copying text from images has become very easy. The feature is called Live Text, which is also available on the newer iPadOS and iOS versions. 

Thanks to the operating system upgrade, the experience is now better, and we detail everything you need to know in the subsequent section. 


When you find an image you want to copy text from, you simply need to drag the mouse’s pointer in the suitable direction. Automatically, the mouse pointer changes to a selection tool. Follow this up by dragging the cursor over the text, and then select it. 

When you select the text, right click to show the context menu. You can also use the Control + click shortcut. Once the menu shows up, you can then decide to either copy, translate or look up the meaning online. 

The selection functionality makes it very easy to look up new vocabulary or places without having to type out the words in a search bar. When the text you select is a popular place, Look Up leads you to Wikipedia. However, when you select an address, Look Up leads to Apple Maps. 

The Text selection tool, however, has one downside. The experience is best when using programs within the Apple ecosystem – Safari, Photos, in-built screenshot tool, etc. it also integrates well with the Quick Look tool that helps you check image details by simply clicking the space bar. 

Another downside is that the cursor can experience difficulty in switching automatically to selection tool. This can be a real hassle when you’re in a hurry – hence, reduced efficiency. You may be better off just typing out the text content. 

Furthermore, Live Text is limited to only a few languages – English, Chinese, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. Hence, if you’re dealing with other languages, Live Text doesn’t work. 


Not having the latest version of MacOS, however, doesn’t limit you from copying text from images. But to do this, you’ll need to get third-party applications. An example of image to text converter tool you can get is TextSniper. When you get the app, there’s access to a 7-days trial. If you want to continue with the app, you’ll pay about $6.99. 

When using the TextSniper tool, it has some advantages over the Live Text feature of the latest Mac version. 

One of the advantages is that it makes it easy to copy a large body of text. Hence, when you have images with plenty of text, you won’t waste time. Also, it can work on many more programs than Live Text can. 

Though, on the downside, it only supports as many languages as the Live Text app. 


When using a Mac, it’s not easy to find apps that can convert images to text. But these two are more than enough to help you through whatever image to text conversion you need.