how to use live text on mac
how to use live text on mac

how to use live text on mac


With Live Text, a groundbreaking feature introduced in macOS Monterey, your Mac empowers you to seamlessly interact with text in a whole new way. Harnessing the capabilities of Apple’s machine learning prowess, Live Text allows you to instantly recognize, select, copy, translate, and even look up text from within images or videos on your Mac. This remarkable tool unlocks a world of possibilities, streamlining your workflow and enhancing your computing experience. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the depths of Live Text, exploring its multifaceted applications and providing step-by-step instructions to help you master this innovative technology.

Section 1: Unleashing Live Text’s Capabilities

Subheading 1: Selecting and Copying Text with Ease

Live Text’s true brilliance lies in its intuitive text selection and copying capabilities. To harness this power, simply hover your cursor over the desired text within an image or video, and presto! The text becomes instantly selectable, enabling you to highlight, copy, and paste it effortlessly. No more tedious image-to-text conversion tools or manual retyping—Live Text does the heavy lifting for you, saving you valuable time and eliminating transcription errors.

Subheading 2: Translating Text on the Fly

Imagine being able to translate foreign text with a simple click. With Live Text, this dream becomes a reality. Select the foreign text within an image or video, right-click, and choose "Translate." Live Text instantly renders the text into the language of your choice, breaking down language barriers with unprecedented ease. This feature is a game-changer for global communication, allowing you to access information and engage with content regardless of its original language.

Section 2: Exploring Advanced Live Text Features

Subheading 1: Searching for Text on the Web

Live Text goes beyond mere selection and translation. It empowers you to search for the selected text on the web with a single click. Simply select the text, right-click, and choose "Search the Web." Live Text seamlessly opens a new browser tab, displaying search results related to your selected text. This feature streamlines research and knowledge acquisition, enabling you to delve deeper into topics of interest with minimal effort.

Subheading 2: Looking Up Definitions and Information

Uncover the meaning behind unfamiliar words or concepts with Live Text’s integrated lookup functionality. Select the word or phrase you wish to define, right-click, and choose "Look Up." Live Text instantly displays a comprehensive definition, pronunciation guide, and relevant information from Wikipedia, ensuring you never have to leave your current application to satisfy your intellectual curiosity.

Section 3: Live Text in Practice: Real-World Applications

Subheading 1: Extracting Text from Documents

Live Text transforms your Mac into a powerful document digitization tool. Snap a picture of a physical document, be it a receipt, letter, or handwritten note, and Live Text automatically recognizes and extracts the text, allowing you to edit, search, or archive it digitally. This feature eliminates the need for manual data entry, saving you time and reducing the risk of errors.

Subheading 2: Enhancing Accessibility for Images and Videos

Live Text empowers individuals with visual impairments or dyslexia by making text accessible in visual content. Simply activate VoiceOver or use the Zoom feature, and Live Text will read out the selected text, providing a more inclusive and accessible computing experience.

Table: Live Text Capabilities and Shortcuts

Capability Keyboard Shortcut
Select text Hover cursor over text
Copy text Command + C
Translate text Right-click > Translate
Search for text on the web Right-click > Search the Web
Look up definitions Right-click > Look Up
Extract text from documents Take a screenshot or import an image
Enhance accessibility Activate VoiceOver or use Zoom


Live Text revolutionizes the way we interact with text on our Macs, empowering us with unprecedented flexibility, efficiency, and accessibility. Its seamless integration into macOS Monterey unlocks a myriad of possibilities, from effortless text selection and translation to advanced search and lookup functionality. Whether you’re a student, professional, or anyone who works with text on a regular basis, Live Text is an indispensable tool that will undoubtedly enhance your Mac experience. Embrace its capabilities, explore its applications, and unlock the limitless potential of Live Text today.

FAQ about How to Use Live Text on Mac

1. What is Live Text and how does it work?

Live Text is an OCR (optical character recognition) feature that lets you interact with text in images and videos on your Mac. It uses machine learning to recognize text, allowing you to select, copy, and search it as if it were regular text.

2. How do I use Live Text with images?

  1. Open an image that contains text.
  2. Hover your cursor over the text and select it with the cursor.
  3. Use the options in the shortcut menu to copy, search, translate, or share the text.

3. How do I use Live Text with videos?

  1. Open a video that contains text.
  2. Pause the video at the frame where the text appears.
  3. Hover your cursor over the text and select it with the cursor.
  4. Use the options in the shortcut menu to copy, search, translate, or share the text.

4. Can I edit or format the text I select?

No, you cannot edit or format the text directly in Live Text. However, you can copy it into another text editor and make changes there.

5. What languages does Live Text support?

Live Text supports a wide range of languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and many others.

6. Can I use Live Text with handwritten notes?

Yes, Live Text can also recognize handwritten notes, but it may not be as accurate as with printed text.

7. How do I turn on Live Text?

Live Text is enabled by default on macOS Monterey and later. If it’s not working, check your System Preferences under "Accessibility" to make sure "Recognize Text in Images" is turned on.

8. Can I use Live Text on older versions of macOS?

Live Text is only available on macOS Monterey and later.

9. What are the limitations of Live Text?

Live Text may not always recognize text accurately, especially in complex or poorly lit images. Additionally, it cannot recognize text that is covered or obscured.

10. How can I use Live Text to quickly search for information?

When you select text using Live Text, a magnifying glass icon will appear. Click on the icon to quickly search for the selected text on the web.