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Microsoft’s Phone Link app now allows text extraction from photos: Here’s how to use it

Microsoft's Phone Link app now lets you extract text from images on your Android phone directly to your Windows PC. Here's how to use this handy new feature.

Updated on: May 30 2024, 07:10 IST
Microsoft's Phone Link app now lets you copy text from Android photos straight to your Windows PC. (Microsoft)

Microsoft has rolled out a fresh update for its Phone Link app, introducing a nifty feature that lets users extract text from images on their Android devices directly through their Windows desktop. This addition enhances the app's functionality, making it even more versatile for users.

Phone Link, a somewhat underrated tool, serves as a bridge between your PC and Android phone, offering conveniences like managing notifications, handling calls, and responding to messages seamlessly from your desktop.

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Effortless Photo Management Made Easier

Among its array of features, the photo tool stands out. It allows users to access and share photos stored on their Android phones directly from their PCs, bypassing the need for transfers via messaging apps or Nearby Share.

In its latest update, the Phone Link app for Windows has further augmented the photo feature by enabling text extraction from images. This means that any text visible within an image can be recognized by Phone Link and copied to the clipboard for easy sharing or storage.

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Here's a step-by-step guide on how to utilise this new feature:

1. Ensure your Android phone is connected to your Windows machine via the Phone Link app. If not already connected, download the Link to Windows app from the Play Store and follow the setup instructions.

2. Once connected, access your phone's photos through the Phone Link app on your Windows desktop.

3. Navigate to the Photos section within the Phone Link app, located next to Calls and Messages.

4. Select a photo containing visible text and open it within the app.

5. Click on the "Text" option at the top of the photo viewer.

6. If text is detected, highlight it with your mouse or use the "Select all text" or "Copy text" option.

7. Paste the copied text wherever needed, or use the shortcut Windows + V to access your clipboard.

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While this new feature is undoubtedly a welcome addition, users may encounter some limitations. In certain scenarios, the tool may struggle to accurately detect text, particularly in images with complex backgrounds or busy pixels, resulting in a "No text detected" message.

Nevertheless, the tool demonstrates its effectiveness in clear instances, showcasing its potential usefulness for frequent users of the Phone Link app on Windows.

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First Published Date: 29 May, 15:32 IST