Screen to text capture using Snagit on Mac

Want to capture text from screen on your Mac? Mac OS comes with the built-in screen capture that can capture anything displays on your screen and save them as image files. Sometimes however you may need to capture text from your Mac screen so you don’t have to retype them manually. Snagit is a powerful, cross-platform screen capture for Windows and Mac. It can capture screenshots, videos, text from your Mac screen, capture sound inputs from your microphone and even internal sound from Mac system. In this article, we will introduce its screen to text capture feature and show you how to grab any text from your Mac screen in only a brief moment.

Launch the Snagit screen capture from the Launchpad on your Mac. Click Capture from the top left corner of the capture tool or click the Snagit icon at the top menu bar. Switch to the Image capture mode, then choose Grab Text from the Selection menu. 

Click the Capture button in red, drag an area on your Mac screen to grab text. Snagit will capture the text from the selected area on your Mac screen and display them in the Snagit Editor window. You can copy them to your clipboard and paste to any document you want. 

Screen to text capture with time delay

If it takes a while to bring the screen or text you want to capture to front, you can enable time delay and set your desired time in Snagit before you capture screen.

Convert screenshots, images to text using Snagit

Snagit can also help you grab text from saved screenshots, images, photos on your Mac. Go to its File menu, select Open to import the existing screenshots, pictures, photos from Mac to Snagit Editor. Then go to Edit > Grab Text. It will then perform OCR and the Grab Text Result window pops up where you can select and copy any plain text.

grab text from screenshots, images, photos using snagit for mac

Snagit text capture problems

Snagit utilizes the Abbyy OCR Engine to recognize and capture text. 

The OCR library that is used in Snagit does not recognize text that is slanted. 

Light colored text on a light colored background can be difficult to recognize by the OCR engine. 

Shadowed text or shadowed text may have problems capturing.

Mac OCR software alternative

As we mentioned above, Snagit uses the Abbyy OCR Engine to recognize text from screen, screenshots on Mac. You can also use FineReader OCR software which is from Abbyy to copy text from images, scanned PDF and other files.

Update Apr 2019: added the method to convert existing screenshots to text using Snagit for Mac. added the alternative OCR software for Mac.