This free tool lets you extract text from images

If you can't select text with the usual copy & paste method, then the free Windows software Capture2Text will help you get text from images and write-only PDFs. — Photo: Christin Klose/dpa

BERLIN: When you can't copy a text directly because it's read-only or embedded in a graphic, then you need to turn to text recognition or optical character recognition (OCR) for help.

One of the tools that can do the job for you is, a free, open-source program for Windows that can be downloaded from the software project site Sourceforge.

Once you’ve downloaded and extracted the ZIP folder you can start the program by double-clicking on the file called Capture2Text.exe.

Before you start extracting text, right-click on the program icon at the bottom right of the taskbar and set the language under "OCR Language." The standard languages are English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish. Additional languages can also be installed.

To copy text, position the mouse cursor at the upper left edge of the sentence or block you need. Then press the Windows + Q key combination and the program will suggest a blue highlighted area.

If the highlighted area is the text you want, press Windows + Q again and the program will store the text in the clipboard. The copied text can then be pasted into any document by pressing CTRL + V.

You can alter the highlighted area using the right mouse button if it doesn't encompass all the text you want.

The program can also translate copied text into another language after it’s been extracted. To do this, right-click on the program icon and open Settings where you can choose the language to translate text into. – dpa

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