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About Everything Wiki » Windows » How to copy non-copied texts in Windows

How to copy non-copied texts in Windows

16 Jan 2024, 12:06, parser
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Imagine: you want to Google the contents of a pop-up error message or a description of a section in the "Options". To do this, you need to copy a piece of text on the Windows screen, but it is impossible to highlight it. It turns out that it remains only to reprint it for a long time and tediously? Not really. There are methods to avoid unnecessary work.

How to copy the contents of error messages

In order to copy the contents of pop-up windows with an error code or a Windows notification, you do not even need to install third-party software. The necessary function is already built into the system.

Select the desired window by clicking its title. Then press Ctrl + C. Next, launch Notepad or any other text editor and use the Ctrl+ V combination. The text will be inserted into the file.

Then you can copy the error number and Google it or send the file to the technical support staff. A very convenient and useful, but completely non-obvious trick.

How to copy text in any application

Despite the fact that the above method is convenient, it only works with Windows pop-ups. To copy text from applications, you can use a third-party Textify tool. It is free and open source.

Download and install Textify. In the settings, you can set a keyboard shortcut to launch it. By default, the application is activated by pressing Shift and the middle mouse button at the same time.

Open the window with the text you want to copy and press the desired key combination. The application will make the characters in the window highlighted, and you can copy them. In addition, Textify offers to immediately translate the text or search for it on Google, DuckDuckGo or Wikipedia.

After launching, Textify always runs in the background. You can exit it through the tray menu.

Download Textify →

How to copy text from images and videos

Although Textify is useful when working with Windows applications or settings, it is not able to copy text from images or videos. However, you can use Optical character recognition (OCR) for this, which translates from English as "optical character recognition". This technology allows you to extract text from almost any image, photo document, screenshot or from a paused video.

There are quite a few tools for text recognition. For example, the built-in Scissors utility in Windows 11. That's how it works. Click "Start" and type "Scissors". Then click on the "New" button and select the desired area. When the screenshot appears in the program window, click on the framed text icon on the toolbar.

If you have not yet upgraded to Windows 11 and this feature is not available in Scissors, use the official and free application from Microsoft — PowerToys. This is a powerful thing that allows you to do a lot of interesting things with your computer. But now we are interested in a function called Text Extractor.

Download and install PowerToys. Run the program and scroll through the list of tools until you find the Text Extractor. Activate it by clicking on the switch and set the keyboard shortcut you need to run. By default— Win + Shift + T.

Now, when you need to copy any text from the screen, press Win+ Shift + T, select the desired passage, and it will appear in the clipboard. But keep in mind that PowerToys is able to recognize only those languages that are installed in your OS. If you need, for example, German or Spanish, click "Start" → "Options" → "Time and language" → "Language and region" → "Add a language" and install an additional language pack.

PowerToys is not the only application capable of recognizing text from the screen. You can set Capture2Text for the same purpose, for example. Or applications for taking screenshots ShareX or Greenshot. The latter, however, has OCR present only in the Unstable version.

Download PowerToys →

How to copy non-copied text in the browser

Sometimes it is simply necessary to select and copy text from a web page in the browser, but this is impossible for some reason. Maybe the symbols are actually pictures. Or the site owners forbade copying the data for security reasons. Well, or the right mouse click is disabled on the site.

The Copyfish extension can help here. It is available for both Chrome and browsers based on it, as well as for Firefox. Install it, click on the Copyfish icon in the panel, and then select the text you need on the page.

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