How to

How to Extract Text From Images in Web Browsers

Extracting text from images can be useful for various reasons. Text extraction is most useful for research purposes when an image includes some text-based info. It’s quicker and more convenient to extract required text from an image rather than manually noting it all down within a word processor.

Many users utilize Windows or Mac OCR (optical character recognition) desktop software for image text extraction. However, you can also extract text from online images within web browsers with extensions and web apps. This is how you can extract text from images in your web browser.

Copyfish is one of the most highly rated OCR browser extensions with which you can extract image text. That extension enables you to extract text by dragging a rectangle around an image displayed in your browser. Then you can copy the text to the clipboard for pasting into word processors.

You can add Copyfish to Google Chrome, Opera, Edge, Firefox, and other Chromium browsers. Click on the page links at the bottom of this section to bring up the Copyfish download page for your browser. Then click the Get or Add install button on the extension page.

You should see a Copyfish icon on your browser’s URL toolbar or Extensions menu after installing the add-on. If you can’t see an icon on the taskbar, click the Extensions button. Clicking Copyfish will activate the extension’s text extraction tool.

The Copyfish button on Chrome's Extensions menu

First, you’ll need to find an image to try out the extension. Bring up Google search and input a book text keyword. Click on Chrome’s Images tab to view thumbnails.

To extract text, right-click a thumbnail and select Open image in new tab; then click the Copyfish extension button. Hold the left mouse button and drag the red rectangle around the image in the tab.

The image text selection box

A Copyfish OCR result will now appear that shows the extracted text. You can click the Open in tab button at the top of the box to view the extracted text in a full browser tab. Click Copy to clipboard to copy the text result. Then open the Notepad app in Windows or a word processor, and press Ctrl + V to paste in the extracted text, which you can save from there.

The Copy to clipboard option in Copyfish

Note that you can also extract text from videos with Copyfish. Head over to YouTube and play a video from there. Pause the video at the moment when it shows the text you want to extract. Then activate the Copyfish extension to utilize it.

To adjust the extension’s settings, click the cog button on the Copyfish tab. You can select alternative OCR engine options on the Copyfish Options tab. Click the Text Box Font Size drop-down menu to select a larger or smaller text size value. Copyfish will capture text from tables better with the Use Table OCR option turned on.

The Enable Lens feature in Chrome flag

Download: Copyfish for Google Chrome | Edge | Opera | Firefox (Free)

IC2R is a web app for extracting text from images in any browser. The good thing about this app is that it also enables you to upload image files from your PC. It also includes a PDF OCR for extracting text from Portable Document Format files. You can extract text from images on webpages with IC2R like this:

  1. First, open a webpage with an image to extract text from.
  2. Right-click on the image and select the Copy image address or equivalent context menu option.
  3. Open the IC2R web app in a browser.
  4. Select the URL radio button.
    The URL radio button

  5. Press Ctrl + V to paste the copied image URL into the text box.
  6. Click the Extract Text button.
  7. Press Download and select Text to save a TXT document. Or you can select alternative DOC, PDF, and HTML options on the menu.
    The Download button in the IC2R app

  8. Open whatever folder your browser usually downloads files in to find the extracted text document.

If you want to extract text from an image already saved on your PC, click the File option; press the Select Image button, choose a file to extract text from, and click Open. Click Extract to view the extracted text from the selected image file.

The Google Photos web app incorporates Google Lens image recognition technology, with which you can extract text from saved images. There are also many other things you can do with Google Lens.

You’ll need to enable the Lens flag to utilize that feature within the Google Chrome Windows desktop browser. This is how you can extract text from images with Google Lens in Chrome:

  1. Enter chrome://flags/ into Chrome’s webpage address bar and press the Return key.
  2. Input the keyword enable lens inside the Search flags box.
  3. Click on the Enable Lens feature in Chrome drop-down menu to select Enabled.
    The Enable Lens feature in Chrome flag

  4. Select the Relaunch option to restart Chrome.
  5. Open the Google Photos page in Chrome.
  6. Click the Go to Google Photos button.
  7. Double-click an image saved in your cloud storage to view it in a separate page tab.
  8. Now you should see a Copy text from image button alongside the other image options. Click Copy text from image to view extracted text in a sidebar.
    The Copy text from image Google Lens option

  9. Click the Copy text button.
    The text selection sidebar

  10. Bring up a word processor you can paste the copied text into and press Ctrl + V.
  11. Then save the document you pasted the text in.

You can also select more specific text to extract from an image. To do that, hold your mouse’s left button and drag the cursor over the text in the sidebar to select it. Then copy your selected text and paste it into a word processor.

Brave is one of the few web browsers with a built-in option for copying text from images. You can also enable Google Lens in Brave, much the same as Chrome. If you don’t already have Brave, click the download link for that browser’s page below. Then select the Download Brave option and double-click the BraveBrowserSetup-QSF150.exe file to install the web browser.

After installing Brave, open a web page with some images on it. Then right-click a picture and select Copy Text from Image. A box will appear that shows the extracted text, which is automatically copied to the clipboard. Copy and paste the text into a word processor and save the document.

The Copy Text From Image option

Download: Brave (Free)

Now you can extract text from images while web browsing with Copyfish, IC2R, or Google Lens. Those tools can be invaluable for online research. Copyfish, IC2R, and Google Lens work well enough and are decent alternatives to the best free OCR apps for converting images into text.

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