Microsoft is bringing 'OCR' text recognition to Windows 11's Snipping Tool

Microsoft Edge icon in Windows 11 Start menu
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has unveiled new updates to the Snipping Tool and Phone Link.
  • Snipping Tool is getting the ability to recognize and copy text from screenshots.
  • Phone Link will now let you jump into editing your most recent photo quicker. 

Microsoft has announced new updates for the Snipping Tool and Phone Link apps on Windows 11 that are rolling out now in preview for Windows Insiders. The updates bring new functionality, including optical character recognition (OCR) technology in the Snipping Tool.

OCR technology enables the Snipping Tool to recognize text in screenshots, and makes it super easy to copy and paste that text elsewhere. This is helpful in scenarios where you might be screenshotting an image with text in it, such as a road sign or identification that you need to copy information from.

OCR lets you select text within an image.  (Image credit: Microsoft)

The app is also gaining the ability to quickly redact certain parts of a screenshot, which will be handy for when you need to hide certain bits of information from an image. 

Additionally, the Phone Link app is being updated to push a notification whenever you take a new photo, providing a super quick way of jumping in and editing that photo on your Windows PC using the Phone Link app. 

As mentioned, these new features are rolling out now in preview for Windows Insiders in the Canary and Dev Channels, and will most likely roll out to everyone in the coming weeks. 

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads