Use Live Text to Capture Text from the Camera or a Photo

Live Text is a new function for IOS 15 that allows you to capture text that appears in your Camera app or on a photo in the Photos app.

Imagine you are viewing a new recipe in the printed newspaper and you would like to make a shopping list from the ingredients of the recipe.  And you want to be able to keep that shopping list in the Notes app.

With Live Text you can point the camera at the text and your iPhone will read the text. 


It is an amazing function.  

How to Use LIve Text

Use the Live Text function of your iPhone with the following steps:

1 Open the Camera app, point your phone at some text.  The subject here is a recipe ingredient list.

2 Wait for a moment and you will see brackets around the text in your Camera screen.

3 Tap on the Live Text icon that appears at bottom right

4 When it pulls the image of text out of the photo, tap on that text image to select text and copy the text.

5 Tap Select All. This will select the entire text block.  It’s OK if the selection is not perfect, it will be easy to edit wherever we paste this text.  

6 Tap Copy.  The full set of actions on the text includes Select All, Copy, Look Up, or after tapping the right arrow, Translate or Share.

The copy action will copy the text so that it can now be pasted into another app like Notes, Messages or Mail. 




For our demonstration, launch the Notes app

Tap the Compose icon to create a new note

Tap on the Notes screen to see a Paste option.

Tap Paste to paste the text into the note.


It is pretty amazing that you iPhone can capture the text from the newspaper article.



Other Ways to Use Live Text


If your Live Text has a phone number, email or website, you can tap on the item for your iPhone to place a call, start an email or load the website into Safari.


Handwritten Text


Live Text was able to recognize handwritten notes on a whiteboard for pasting into another app.  


This is Amazing!!

Also Works on a Photo


Live Text will also work on a photo previously taken.  Imagine you had taken a quick photo of a business card.  Later when you view the photo of the business card in the Photos app, you will also see the Live Text icon in the lower corner of the photo.




Live Text allows you to use the Camera app to recognize and scan text using your camera from from within a photo.





Additional Information

The Senior Tech Club recommends the following additional resources for members that wish to pursue additional and/or advanced information on this recipe:

iPhone User Guide – Use Live Text with the iPhone camera

Apple Support – Use Live Text and Visual Look Up on your iPhone