Google Photos will now allow you to copy text from an image into your web browser, which is quite frankly huge for everyone.
The impressive Google Lens optical character recognition (OCR) technology has been available for a while on Android devices,. But it is now being rolled out on desktop, which could be a real game-changer for note-taking.
The text scanning feature basically does all of the work for you. All you need to do is upload a photo with readable text, and Google Lens’ OCR tech will do the rest.
According to 9to5Google, the feature has begun being rolled for users, but not everyone has access just yet.
To try the feature (or see if it’s available for you), all you need to do is open up the Google Photos website and upload a picture with some readable text. It could be a book, a letter from a friend or even a receipt. Literally, as long as it has some words, the feature should work.
If Google detects text, you should be prompted with a ‘copy text from image’ button at the top of the page.
From there, you simply click the button, let Google scan the text and you should receive a handy text-converted version of whatever you were trying to read.
Obviously, it won’t always be perfect, but the results are pretty accurate. One writer at The Verge managed to convert a whole page of The Great Gatsby with near-flawless results.
Pretty neat, huh?
The feature would’ve been incredibly useful during school and university, when we all wished we could just take a photo of a textbook instead of re-writing it all manually.
But even in your personal life, this could be a handy way to convert old handwritten letters from loved ones, or even just save information from receipts for tax time. The possibilities are truly endless.
Text scanning is just one of many helpful features on the Google Photos mobile app, which can also do everything from identifying animals and plants to recommending popular foods at your favourite restaurants.
Unfortunately, text scanning is the only feature Google has rolled out on desktop so far, but here’s hoping the others are soon to follow.