How to use Live Text in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15

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The ability to digitize text from images is a very efficient feature that is now available due to Optical Character Recognition (OCR) apps and the Live Text feature is one such app. It allows your device to recognize information and data from images, while. It also allows you to copy the texts.

This feature allows you to recognize words using the camera app or texts from images. While there are a lot of third-party applications that do the required, Live Text is an in-built feature and hence it is a favorite amongst users of iOS.

If you have an iOS 15 and want to use this feature, this article but are not sure how to go about it, then this is the article for you. We will walk you through the different ways of using Live Text iOS 15 and iPadOS.


What is the Live Text feature?

First off, we will begin by describing what exactly this feature is and the facilities it entails. Live text is an optical character recognition (OCR) feature integrated into iOS that converts text from images into a digital form that can be recognized and used by your device.

Once the text is scanned and recognized by the device, it can be used in various ways, from using it as a web search or simply copying and pasting.

Apart from the fundamental characteristics discussed above, Live Text also possesses the following features

  1. Recognizes and treats texts as a rich result

All the information processed by this feature is managed as rich results. This means that email addresses, phone numbers, and locations are recognized as they are, allowing the user to take the required actions like making calls or texting, sending emails, by simply clicking on the text.

  1. Translation

The Live Text feature recognizes seven languages, Portuguese, Italian, Chinese, French, German, Spanish, and English. Due to the system-wide translation feature that is available on iOS, you can translate any text scanned by simply clicking on the screen.

  1. Continuity

Apple is known for its continuity amongst its iOS devices. Due to this feature, any text can be selected, copied, and pasted across various Apple devices.

  1. Spotlight

Due to its integration with the system, the Live Text feature can be used to search for texts in your images and present results in accordance with it.

List of iOS Devices Supporting Live text feature

Though this is a feature that ensures increased efficiency of your device, it is not available across all iOS devices. Given below is a list of the devices that support the iOs 15 Live Text feature.

The list of compatible iPhone models

  • iPhone Xs
  • iPhone Xs Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE 2
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max

The list of compatible iPad models

  • iPad Pro 2018
  • iPad Pro 2020
  • iPad Pro 2021
  • iPad 8th-gen
  • iPad Air 3
  • iPad Air 4

The list of compatible Mac models

  • MacBook Air with M1
  • MacBook Pro with M1
  • Mac Mini with M1
  • 24-inch iMac 2021.

What languages are supported in the Live Text feature?

The Live Text feature on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 supports seven languages, all of which are listed below

  • Portuguese
  • Italian
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • English

How to Use Live Text in iOS 15?

  1. Use Live Text in Camera App on iPhone and iPad

    1. Open the Camera app and point it towards the subject matter you want to capture.
    1. Click on the general area surrounding the text. A yellow bracket will surround it.
    1. Click on the Live Text icon (it is displayed as text within brackets within a yellow circle, that is present on the bottom right side of the screen.
    1. Click on the text you want to select. You can now do the following actions.
    • Copy the selected text to the clipboard and paste it as and when needed.
    • Click on Look Up, if you want to search the web for the selected text.
    • Select translate, to convert the selected text to a language that is supported by the system (The seven languages that are recognized are listed above.)
    • Click on Share to send the selected text via, email, messages, Whatsapp, or any other communication app.

Live Text in iOS 15

  1. Use Live Text in Photos App on iPhone and iPad

    1. Open the Photos app and click on the photo that has the text you want to work with.
    2. Click on the Live Text icon (it is displayed as text within brackets within a yellow circle, that is present on the bottom right side of the screen.
    1. To select the text, move your fingers across the desired text.
    1. Once the text is selected you can do the following actions
    • Copy the selected text to the clipboard and paste it as and when needed.
    • Click on Look Up, if you want to search the web for the selected text.
    • Select translate, to convert the selected text to a language that is supported by the system (The seven languages that are recognized are listed above.
    • Click on Share to send the selected text via, email, messages, Whatsapp,  or any other communication app.

Live Text in iOS 15

  1. Use Live Text to Copy Text from the Camera App

    1. Open the app of your choice, that you want to copy the text to. For the image below, the application chosen notes.
    1. Long-press the screen and a floating option will appear on your screen.
    1. Click on the option titled text from Camera. In doing so, the display will divide into two sections, with the camera app open at the bottom.
    1. Bring the text that you want to be copied into the camera frame and the Live Text feature will recognize the text automatically and add it to the app.
    1. If that does not happen, select the text you want to be copied and click on the blue insert button that is displayed at the bottom of the screen.

  1. Use Live text to Call or Email on iPhone or iPad

Open the Camera app or and point it towards the subject matter you want to capture or open the Photos app and click on the photo with the text you want to work with.

    1. Click on the Live Text icon (it is displayed as text within brackets within a yellow circle, that is present on the bottom right side of the screen.
    1. On clicking the phone number, you can call, FaceTime, Message, or copy the number and paste it into the phone app.

On clicking the email address, the default mail app opens so that you can draft the mail you need.

On clicking the address, it will open the Maps app.

  1. Use Live Text to Recognize Handwriting in iOS 15

Live Text can also be used to recognize and digitize your own handwriting. Follow the following instructions.

  1. Open the Camera app and point it towards the subject matter you want to capture.
  1. Click on the general area surrounding the text. A yellow bracket will surround it.
  1. Click on the Live Text icon (it is displayed as text within brackets within a yellow circle, that is present on the bottom right side of the screen. This will digitize your handwriting converting it into text.
  1. You can now select the text and do as required.

  1. Use Live Text to Search in Safari on iOS 15

  1. Open the web browser. Long-press the screen and a floating option will appear on your screen.
  1. Long-press the screen and a floating option will appear on your screen.
  1. Click on the option titled text from Camera. In doing so, the display will divide into two sections, with the camera app open at the bottom.
  1. Bring the text that you want to be copied into the camera frame and the Live Text feature will recognize the text automatically and add it to the app.
  1. If that does not happen, select the text you want to be copied and click on the blue insert button that is displayed at the bottom of the screen.

  1. How to translate Text Offline Using Live Text in iOS 15

Translations can also be done even if you are not connected to the internet. But keep in mind that due to the translation being offline it might not be as accurate as online translations.

For this, to work you need to enable the on-device translation and have the language you want it to be translated to be downloaded.

  1. On your iOS 15 device, open the settings application.
  1. Scroll down and click on the option titled Translate.

Live Text in iOS 15

  1. Toggle the switch titled On-Device Mode to turn it on.
  1. Select Downloaded Languages and download the languages you desire and ensure that they are available offline.

Live Text in iOS 15

And now doing so you will be able to translate texts on your iOS device, using Live Text even when your device is offline.

  1. Use Live Text inside Messaging Applications

Live text can be used inside messaging apps, similar to how you would use the Live Text app to copy text from the camera app.

  1. Press and hold the text input area.
  1. Select the Text from Camera option.
  1. In doing so, the display will divide into two sections, with the camera app open at the bottom.
  1. Bring the text that you want to be copied into the camera frame and the Live Text feature will recognize the text automatically and add it to the app.
  1. If that does not happen, select the text you want to be copied and click on the blue insert button that is displayed at the bottom of the screen.

Live Text in iOS 15


Conclusion

Those were the different ways you can use Live Text on your iOS 15 devices. Live Text allows you to recognize texts, email addresses, phone numbers, and even translate texts and allows you to digitize the same.

We’ve mentioned seven different ways the Live Text feature can be used. Live Text can be used through the Camera App and the Photos App. It can also be used to recognize handwriting, search in Safari, translate texts offline, and even call, send emails, inside messaging apps, and even look up locations.