One of the new features that Windows 11 brings to its users is the improved Snipping Tool, which now has the ability to recognize and copy text from screenshots. This feature, also known as optical character recognition (OCR), can be very useful for extracting information from images that contain text, such as road signs, documents, or web pages.
The Snipping Tool is a built-in app that allows users to capture screenshots of any part of the screen and edit them with tools like pen, highlighter, and eraser. The app also lets users share their screenshots via email, OneDrive, or other apps.
The new OCR feature in the Snipping Tool is available for Windows Insiders in the Canary and Dev Channels on Windows 11. To use it, users need to click the Text Actions button in the toolbar after taking a screenshot. This will show the selectable text in the image, which can be copied with the mouse or keyboard. Users can also copy all the text in the image by clicking the Copy all text button or using Ctrl + A and Ctrl + C.
Another option that the OCR feature offers is to redact sensitive information in screenshots before sharing them. Users can select Quick Redact from the toolbar to automatically hide emails and phone numbers, or select any text and choose Redact Text from the right-click menu to hide it.
Microsoft announced this update on its Windows Insider Blog, where it also revealed another new feature for Phone Link, an app that connects Windows PCs with Android devices. Phone Link now sends a notification to the PC whenever a new photo is taken on the Android device, providing a quick way to edit that photo on the PC using the Snipping Tool.
Microsoft said that these updates are part of its effort to improve the overall capture experience on Windows 11. The company also asked for feedback from Windows Insiders on these features, which can be submitted via the Feedback Hub app.
The Snipping Tool and Phone Link apps are expected to roll out to all Windows 11 users in the coming weeks. Windows 11 is scheduled to launch on October 5, 2021, as a free upgrade for eligible Windows 10 devices.