How to use Live Text to recognize text in photos on macOS 12

Apple introduced Live Text in iOS 15, and while it works best on the iPhone, you can also use it on macOS 12 Monterey. Live text allows you to extract text from photos and can translate text using the camera on the iPhone or iPad. It’s similar to Google Lens, but is a system-wide feature on iOS 15, and iPadOS 15. It can recognize text from signboards, menus, books, and more. If you’re an Apple user, you might end up using Live Text a lot more than you think as it can be quite useful.

In this article, we’re going to show you how to use Live Text on macOS 12 Monterey.

Also see: How to install macOS 12 Monterey public beta on your Mac

Live Text on macOS 12

On the iPhone and iPad, you can use Live Text while using the camera app. Simply point the camera at anything that has text, and the feature will automatically recognize the text or translate it as well. You can also copy and paste the text in other apps. Live Text will work across any app that uses the camera on iPhone and iPad.

With macOS 12 Monterey, you can use Live Text to extract text from photos that are already available on your device or in Safari. However, things are a little different compared to iOS and iPadOS. In the latest macOS 12 Monterey beta, Live Text isn’t a system wide feature. Currently, it works in Photos, Preview, Safari, and via Quick View in Finder. It doesn’t work in other apps or browsers. Perhaps this could change in a future version of macOS 12.

How to use Live Text on macOS 12

When it works, Live Text can be very useful. You can use it to recognize text from older photos or in a webpage on Safari. Here’s how to use Live Text on macOS Monterey.

1) Open a photo in Photos or Preview or view it in Quick View in Finder. You may also open a webpage in Safari and macOS 12 will recognize the text.

2) Live Text should recognize text automatically. Click and drag on the text to select it.

Live Text macOS 12

3) You can copy the selected text by using right click and copy or with the Command + C shortcut.

As of now, macOS 12 lets you select all the text in an image, or choose individual words. It doesn’t let you select only letters, and sometimes won’t recognize text if the contrast, brightness, or exposure is too low or high. Luckily, this can be adjusted in an image editing app.

Wrapping up

Live Text on macOS 12 is certainly a useful feature, even if it doesn’t work sometimes or isn’t available system wide. Apple will definitely improve it over time, and it could even work across any app when macOS 12 is released later this fall.