Windows 11 AI brings OCR features akin to Google Lens in Camera and Snipping Tool

KEY POINTS

  • Microsoft is updating its Windows 11 apps with AI capabilities, including Optical Character Recognition in Camera and Snipping Tool. This feature will allow users to easily extract and copy text from images or screenshots.
  • The Windows Camera app will soon enable users to scan text directly through the camera lens, making it particularly useful for tablet users. Additionally, users can redact sensitive information before sharing edited photos.
  • The Snipping Tool has already introduced its “Text Actions” feature. It utilizes Windows 11’s AI to detect text in captured screenshots, allowing users to select and copy text directly from images.

Microsoft Paint isn’t the only app at the company undergoing AI evolution. Two other inbox apps in Windows 11 will receive an AI upgrade, with support for OCR being added. As you may know, OCR enables the extraction and copying of text from images or screenshots with a simple tap.

The Windows Camera app will soon have the ability to copy text from an image and paste it into apps like Word, preserving the formatting. Windows Camera’s OCR capabilities are powered by Microsoft’s AI technology, which may be influenced by its partnership with OpenAI.

OCR functionality has already been available on Windows in various applications. For instance, you could copy text from an image using Bing.com or PowerToys’ OCR feature. Now, the optical character recognition (OCR) feature and in-house AI technology are being integrated into the Camera app, and the Snipping Tool already has this capability.

The integration of OCR in the Camera app could greatly enhance the usefulness of the Windows 11 inbox app Photos on desktops. Tablet users can directly scan for text through the camera lens and copy it to the clipboard. This feature is expected to be rolled out for testing in the upcoming weeks.

The AI integration in the Camera app of Windows 11 resembles Google Lens or OCR in Google’s Pixel Camera app.

According to a source, the OCR feature in Windows Camera is incredibly accurate, thanks to AI technology. For example, you can take a picture of an open book and flawlessly copy the text, including text with complex formatting or characters like “æ”.

OCR comes to Snipping Tool on Windows 11

The OCR feature is expected to be added to the Camera app in the coming weeks. However, if you can’t wait to experience the AI magic on Windows, you can use the updated Snipping Tool.

The Snipping Tool has already introduced “Text Actions,” which utilizes AI-powered OCR.

Text Actions utilizes Windows 11’s AI technology to detect text in your captured screenshots, allowing you to easily select and copy the text from any image and paste it or copy it to the clipboard.

Snipping Tool OCR

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