How to translate words, sentences, and text found in images in Safari, Notes, Photos, and other apps

This tutorial will show you how to translate words, sentences, or paragraphs on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. We will also show you how to use the Live Text feature to translate text found in images.

We will guide you through the steps using Safari as our example. But since the translation feature is built into the operating system, you can also use it in all Apple-made apps such as Notes, Photos, Mail, and more. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work with all third-party applications.

How to translate words, sentences, paragraphs, and web image text in Safari

How to translate selected words and sentences

On iPhone or iPad

  1. Select the word or sentence you want to translate. It should show a menu with various options like Copy, Select All, and Find Selection. If you don’t see this menu, tap the selected word once again.
  2. Tap the arrow (>) to see more options.
  3. Tap Translate and a screen will slide up from the bottom of the screen that will have your translation.
  4. From here, you can hear the pronunciation of the original selected word as well as its translation. Plus, this screen also lets you copy the translation, change the language, add this translation to your favorites (which can be accessed in the future inside the Translate app), or open this translation in Apple’s built-in Translate app.
Use translate in Safari on iPhone for a selected word or sentence

On Mac

  1. Select the word.
  2. Control-click or right-click over the selected word and choose Translate “Word”.
    Translate a selected word in Safari on Mac
  3. From the translation popup, you can hear the pronunciation, copy the translation, or change the language.
    Selected word translated in Safari on Mac

Related: How to translate a full page in Safari on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

How to translate text inside an image

On iPhone or iPad

iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 have added Safari web page image translation, which you can use to translate text in images using Live Text.

  1. Open Safari and go to the image containing the text you want to translate.
  2. Put your finger over the text that’s in the image. You should see that the text is selected, thanks to Live Text. Optionally, adjust the selection to select more text.
  3. Finally, tap the arrow (>) and then choose Translate.
Web page image translation in Safari on iPhone

If the text inside the image is too small, press the image firmly inside Safari and choose Show Text. This should open the image in full screen and highlight all the text. You will now find it easier to select the small text inside that picture. After selecting, tap the arrow (>) and pick Translate.

Show Text of an image in Safari on iPhone to use Live Text on tiny words

On Mac

Like iPhone and iPad, Safari on Mac also gets web page image translation, letting you translate text that’s in an image.

  1. Take your mouse pointer over the text inside a web image. The arrow pointer should change into the selector icon and let you select the text. Sometimes, even if you don’t see the pointer turn into a text selector, you may be able to select the text inside the image.
  2. Control-click or right-click over the selected text and choose Translate “Word”.
    Choose Translate Word after right-clicking over selected in-image text in Mac Safari
  3. You’ll immediately see the translation. You’ll have to click Continue if this is the first time you’re using translate.
    Text inside image translated in Safari on Mac

This is how you can translate the selected word(s), sentences, paragraphs, or text that’s in an image on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. I hope this little tutorial was helpful. Besides using Apple’s built-in translator, you can also explore some of the best third-party apps to translate text in iOS.

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