Microsoft’s Phone Link App May Soon Let You Copy Text From Images

Microsoft Phone Link is set to introduce text-copying capabilities on Windows 11, according to a report. The mobile pairing app, which comes preloaded on Windows 11, lets users connect their smartphones – both Android and iOS – to their PCs, syncing text messages and images, and allowing them to make and receive calls. According to a report, the Phone Link for Windows app will soon be updated with a new optical character recognition (OCR) feature, enabling users to copy text from images.

Phone Link App to Add Text Recognition Support

A few of Microsoft’s apps, such as Lens and Office, already have OCR capabilities. Last year, the Snippet tool on Windows 10 and 11 also gained this feature, making it easier to copy text from captured screenshots. Windows Central reports that OCR support will soon make its way to the Phone Link app.

Tthe feature was spotted in the latest Phone Link app version 1.24051.91.0 on the Release Preview Channel which is accessible via the Windows Insider Program. However, it isn’t available to the public yet but may be rolled out to all Windows users in the future, according to the publication.

Text Recognition on Phone Link: How It Works

When an image is opened via the Photos section of the Phone Link app, a new icon labelled Text reportedly appears, as per the report. When clicked, it automatically scans the image to detect text within the image, following which two options appear – select all text or copy all text. Users can the copy the selection to the clipboard and paste it elsewhere.

AI-powered Advanced Paste on Windows

Microsoft is reportedly also testing a more advanced paste option which appears to be powered by artificial intelligence (AI). According to a Microsoft Learn blog, the new Advanced Paste feature is available via PowerToys version 0.81.0. It can be accessed with a shortcut: Windows Key + Shift + V.

Users can then select between 3 options for pasting from the clipboard – Plain text, JSON, and markdown, all of which can be used with a quick key shortcut. It also gets another option called Paste with AI which uses OpenAI’s technology, allowing users to summarise text, translate and stylise it and even generate code.

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