In iOS 15, Apple has added a new feature called Live Text that can recognize text when it appears in your camera's viewfinder or in a photo you've taken and let you perform several actions with it.

Apple iPadPro iPadOS15 photos LiveText 060721 big
For example, if you take a picture of a storefront that displays a phone number, you can capture that number to place a call or add to your contacts. You can also copy Live Text from your photos for making use of elsewhere. It's an incredibly simple, useful feature, and here's how it works in its simplest form.

  1. Launch the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Find a photo that has some words on show, such as a restaurant menu or product tag.
  3. Pinch to zoom the photo if the text appears small.
  4. Press and hold on the words, then drag the ends of the selection tool to highlight all the text that you want to copy.
  5. Take your finger off the screen, then select Copy from the contextual popup menu.
  6. Finally, switch to an app that supports text input, press and hold your finger where the cursor is located, then select Paste from the popup menu.

photos

Did you know that Live Text also features optical character recognition? That means if you have a picture of a handwritten note in your photos, you can still copy it and then paste it as digital text.

Live Text also works with the camera app and other images on the ‌iPhone‌, plus there are other features in addition to copy/paste including Look Up and Translate, so you can translate foreign language text found in a photo. Live Text works with the Spotlight search on the ‌iPhone‌ as well, which lets text in photos be located through a standard ‌iPhone‌ search. For more on what's new in the Photos app, we have a dedicated iOS 15 Photos guide that highlights all of the new features.

Related Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15
Related Forum: iOS 15

Top Rated Comments

Mikel30 Avatar
14 months ago
Take a look at what happens when you navigate to shelleywillems.com ('http://shelleywillems.com')
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tivoli_ Avatar
14 months ago
Even if the phone is running iOS 15, some older phones are not supporting the feature. I wish these articles state that.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
14 months ago
Love this feature! Saves so much time.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Graphikos Avatar
14 months ago

Why would "shelleywillems.com" go to the Google Android website? This is strange.
Because Apple failed to register it first.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolbreeze2 Avatar
14 months ago
Oh wow!! Years ago a close elderly relative used an iPhone to take pictures of some of his important documents and sent me the pictures in case I ever needed the information on his behalf. I just copied the writing on the pictures and pasted the writing into a document to have the information if ever needed. This is great!!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
einsteinbqat Avatar
14 months ago
Perhaps mentionning what devices this feature would work on would be a good idea. Just saying… ?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

live text translate

iOS 15: How to Translate Text in Photos

Wednesday July 7, 2021 3:02 pm PDT by
Apple entered the translation game in iOS 14 with native Safari browser translation and a dedicated translation app. Now, in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, translation has gone systemwide, which means you can take advantage of Apple's new Live Text feature to translate other languages that appear in your photos. The following steps show you how it's done in the Photos app. Note that by using largely...
2018 2018 macbook pro battery

How to Show Battery Percentage in Your Mac's Menu Bar

Wednesday March 2, 2022 8:09 pm PST by
If you're the sort of person who likes to know exactly how much battery life your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air has left, then you'll want macOS to show the percentage next to the battery level icon in the menu bar. This article explains how. If you look at the right-hand side of the menu bar in macOS Monterey, you'll notice a battery level icon indicating the amount of charge your Mac has...
using live text mac1

macOS: How to Use Live Text to Copy and Share Text in Images on Your Mac

Tuesday February 15, 2022 12:28 pm PST by
In macOS Monterey, Apple introduced a feature called Live Text that can automatically recognize text when it appears in an image in Safari, Photos, Preview, Quick Look, and elsewhere, allowing you to easily copy or share it. For example, if you have a picture in the Photos app of a storefront that displays a phone number, you can capture that number to add to your contacts. It's an incredibly ...
General Apps FaceTime

How to Make a FaceTime Call on Apple Watch

Tuesday January 25, 2022 8:09 pm PST by
When most people hear the word FaceTime, they think of Apple's call service as a video communications platform. But you don't need a camera to use FaceTime, because it supports audio calls too. That means you can use it on Apple Watch as long as it's connected to Wi-Fi or cellular. If you've ever taken a phone call on your Apple Watch when your iPhone isn't within easy reach, you'll know...
live text macos monterey feature

How to Turn Off Live Text on Mac

Tuesday February 15, 2022 12:26 pm PST by
In macOS Monterey, Apple's Live Text feature can automatically recognize text when it appears in an image in Safari, Photos, Preview, Quick Look, and elsewhere, allowing you to copy or share it. If you find this text auto-detection a distraction, and you might prefer to turn it off. This article explains how. How to Turn Off Live Text in macOS Launch System Preferences from your Mac's Dock, ...
multiple copies same app home screen

How to Add the Same App to Multiple Home Screens on Your iPhone

Wednesday March 9, 2022 1:15 pm PST by
In iOS 15, you can put multiple copies of the same app on your iPhone's Home Screen. On the surface, this may seem like a strange thing to allow, and perhaps even a bug, but Apple has intentionally made it possible to have additional copies of an app across several Home Screen pages so that the apps can be used in conjunction with its new Focus features. One of the functions of Focus is that ...
ipados 15 live text

How to Disable Live Text on iPhone and iPad

Tuesday February 15, 2022 12:24 pm PST by
In iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, Apple's Live Text feature can automatically recognize text when it appears in your camera's viewfinder, in a photo or screenshot you've taken, and in Safari, and let you copy or share it. Sometimes, however, the text auto-detection can become a distraction, and you might prefer to turn it off, either completely or just for the Camera app. This article explains how. Ho...
split view 4

How to Use Split Screen on iPad

Thursday January 27, 2022 5:49 pm PST by
In iPadOS, Apple includes several multitasking options that let you work with more than one app on your iPad at the same time. This allows apps that support multitasking to be used in a few different ways. This article looks at Split View, which makes two apps appear side by side in a split screen arrangement. Be sure to check out our separate Slide Over how-to guide by clicking the link. We've...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Predicted to Start With Increased 256GB Storage Alongside Rumored Price Increase

Wednesday August 10, 2022 11:14 am PDT by
Earlier today, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed iPhone 14 Pro models will be more expensive than iPhone 13 Pro models. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing, but he said that the average selling price of all four iPhone 14 models will increase by about 15% overall. While higher prices would be disappointing for customers, it is possible the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will offer increased...
iOS 16 battery percentage

Apple Limiting iOS 16 Beta 5 Battery Percentage Display to Select iPhones: Here Are the Supported Devices

Tuesday August 9, 2022 2:51 am PDT by
Apple this week brought back one of the most highly requested features from iOS users since the launch of the iPhone X in 2017: the ability to see your battery percentage directly in the status bar. Ever since the launch of the iPhone X with the notch, Apple has not allowed users to show their battery percentage directly in the status bar, forcing them to swipe down into Control Center to...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Silver

Kuo: Apple to Increase Prices of iPhone 14 Pro Models

Wednesday August 10, 2022 8:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to increase the prices of iPhone 14 Pro models compared to iPhone 13 Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, in a tweet today, he estimated that the average selling price of the iPhone 14 lineup as a whole will increase by about 15% compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. In the United States, the iPhone...
ios 16 beta 5 battery percent

iOS 16 Beta 5: Battery Percentage Now Displayed in iPhone Status Bar

Monday August 8, 2022 10:43 am PDT by
With the fifth beta of iOS 16, Apple has updated the battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the specific battery percentage rather than just a visual representation of battery level. The new battery indicator is available on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, with the exception of the 5.4-inch iPhone 12/13 mini. It is also available on the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, XS and XS Max, and...
battery percentage ios 16

Here's Why the iPhone Battery Status Icon in iOS 16 Is So Controversial

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:34 am PDT by
In the latest iOS 16 beta, Apple has updated the status bar battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the exact percentage remaining rather than just a visual representation of battery level, and while the change has been largely welcomed, some users are unhappy with the way it has been implemented. In iOS 15 and earlier, battery percent has not been present on iPhones that have...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive feature

iPhone 14 Is Just a Few Weeks Away: Three Tips to Prepare for the New iPhone

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:08 am PDT by
The launch of the new iPhone 14 is just a few weeks away, meaning millions of iPhone customers will soon upgrade their existing iPhone or perhaps get an iPhone for the first time. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo Whether upgrading from an older model or this is your first iPhone, we've rounded up a few tips to help you prepare for the next flagship...
iPhone 14 Lineup Feature Purple

Color Options for All iPhone 14 Models: Everything We Know

Monday August 8, 2022 3:59 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models are rumored to be available in a refreshed range of color options, including an all-new purple color. Most expectations about the iPhone 14 lineup's color options come from an unverified post on Chinese social media site Weibo earlier this year. Overall, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro's selection of color options could look fairly similar to those of the ...