Copy Text From Picture versus Select Text from Image in OneNote

A fellow member of the Victoria Office 365 Users Group recently shared his excitement at discovering the Optical character recognition (OCR) functionality in Microsoft OneNote. He was particularly excited about the “Copy Text From Picture” function that gives you the ability to copy text from an image or screenshot you’ve pasted onto a Page. It just takes one right click to open the menu – you’ll find the button right below the cut and copy buttons (see below in pink).

This feature is one I love as it is a HUGE timer saver. This reminded me that another tip worth sharing:

Tip: If you don’t want to copy/paste ALL the text from a picture, you can install a free add-on called Onetastic for OneNote (created by Microsoft Developer Omer Atay).

It adds a TON of functionality (stay tuned – I’ll be sharing more features in future posts!), but one that is worth mentioning now is a “Select Text from Image” option (see below circled in red).


“Select Text from Image” allows you to use your cursor to highlight the portion of the text you want to copy/paste it. In the example below I wanted to snag a line of text from a portion of an PDF invoice to send to a client. Instead of wasting time typing and opening up the opportunity for typos, two clicks and two keyboard shortcuts gets it done quick and clean.



  1. Right click on image to select “Select Text from Image” from bottom of menu.
  2. Use your cursor to highlight the portion of text you want. Press Ctrl +C on your keyboard to copy the text.
  3. Press the “Copy Selection and Close” button to close the popup screen.
  4. Place your cursor on your OneNote page and press Ctrl +V on your keyboard to paste the text.