How to search for text in your Google Photos pictures

Google added the ability to search photos for words and even copy and paste from those photos. Here’s how to do it.

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A new Google Lens feature will allow Google Photos users to search for text in and screenshots, Google Photos confirmed on Twitter Thursday. The feature could make it much easier to find things like business cards, Wi-Fi passwords that were saved in a photo, or receipts for expense reports and tax reporting purposes.

“Starting this month, we’re rolling out the ability to search your photos by the text in them,” the tweet from Google Photos said. “Once you find the photo you’re looking for, click the Lens button to easily copy and paste text. Take that, impossible Wi-Fi passwords.”

The text search feature is powered by optical character recognition (OCR), an artificial intelligence (AI) powered tool that can now identify more than a billion products, Google reported in December 2018. In 2017, Google had demonstrated that the Lens technology could take a picture of a router and automatically enter the password for you.

Here’s how to search for text in your pictures on Google Photos, once the feature rolls out to every device:

  1. Open Google Photos.
  2. Type the text you are looking for into the Search bar.
  3. Select the desired photo.

And here’s how to copy and paste text from photos:

  1. Open Google Photos.
  2. Find the photo or screenshot you are looking for.
  3. Tap the Lens icon.
  4. Highlight the section of text you want, and tap Copy.

For more, check out Google Lens: The potential of a smarter camera and How to use Google Lens and Wescover to discover the creators of art and designs on TechNews.

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