Digitize Any Text with Live Text in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15

Originally published at: Digitize Any Text with Live Text in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 - TidBITS

With the new Live Text feature of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, any text your device’s camera can see or that appears in a photo or other image can be selected, copied, and pasted like any other text. It’s a brilliant feature, and “Take Control of iOS 15” author Josh Centers explains how and where you can use it.


I haven’t used Live Text yet but I will be using this great tool plenty. One thing I would also like to see is the option to retain columns, and perhaps other formatting.

I’ve already found the feature useful and was disappointed that my 6th generation iPad didn’t support it. On the other hand, I can pick up my new iPhone and use the camera on the iPad screen, so there’s that :face_with_monocle:

Live Text doesn’t work on my iPhone 8, so I will have to resort to TextSniper and Photos Search for now. How do they compare to Live Text?

I already stumbled upon this just the other day, quite by accident. Most useful especially since my brother just sent me the photo of a business card of a company — which will be replacing the HVAC at my very elderly parents’ house. Whew!

PS This is hilarious, I just tried it on a letter that… Marie Antoinette had written to her “dear Swedish Count” https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/01/science/marie-antoinette-letters.html, and the speech, though in perfect French, doesn’t quite get the words right from her calligraphy!

Thus instead of “confiance” (confidence), the Frenchman says “confinée” (confined), which is utterly appropriate — because she was under house arrest when she wrote this particular letter!

Reading about Live Text in Camera made me wonder if you could do the same in the Magnifier app. You can’t, you have to save a captured image to the roll.

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I haven’t upgraded to iOS 15 yet due to slow DSL internet here at home. If you scan a document and save it as a PDF does it embed the text?