Want to copy text from apps or your phone screen? An easy workaround is to capture your screen and save it as image files on the mobile phone. Then use an OCR app to extract text from the screenshots. Today, we will use the free scanner app, Simple Scanner, to perform OCR and copy text from your screenshots, image files on Android devices.
Download language pack
Before using OCR function with this free PDF scanner app, you need to download the corresponding language pack first. Run the free OCR app on your mobile phone. Go to its Settings, scroll down to the OCR section, tap on OCR Language Download.
After you opened the Language List, find the language you want to perform OCR and tap the Download icon behind it to download the language pack onto your phone.
Set Current OCR language – optional
If you have downloaded two or more languages in the OCR app, you have to set the current OCR language. Head to its Settings > OCR > OCR Language to change another language.
Add screenshots, images to the OCR app
Run the free OCR app on your mobile phone. Tap the Menu button, three dots icon, at the top right corner to bring up the menu at the lower section on your phone screen. Then choose Import from Gallery, browse through your screenshots folder or other photo albums on the phone to find and import them into the OCR app.
Copy text from screenshots – perform OCR
Open the screenshots or image files in the OCR app on your mobile phone. Tap the Menu icon, three dots at the top right corner, then choose Recognize from the drop-down menu.
You will see the process bar during the OCR processing. After that, you can preview the text, copy text, share the text with other apps, send the text file to other people.
Image to text OCR alternatives
In fact, some stock apps on Android may also support OCR or scanning functionality. Google Photos is a good example. This app is pre-installed on many Android smartphones. Check out this tutorial to copy text from images on Android mobile.
Except the above mentioned Simple Scanner app, you can also find many other similar apps on Google Play Store, notably the Adobe Scan. It is very powerful, free, easy to use. Follow these steps to copy text from images and screenshots on Android phone.
Update Mar 2021: this post was originally published in Nov 2019. the Google Photos was added in this update.