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OneNote supports Optical Character Recognition (OCR), a tool that lets you copy text from a picture or file printout and paste it in your notes so you can make changes to the words. It’s a great way to do things like copy info from a business card you’ve scanned into OneNote. After you extract the text, you can paste it somewhere else in OneNote or in another program, like Outlook or Word.

Extract text from a single picture

  1. Right-click the picture, and click Copy Text from Picture.

    Note: Depending on the complexity, legibility, and the amount of text shown in the picture you’ve inserted, this command may not be immediately available on the menu that appears when you right-click the picture. If OneNote is still reading and converting the text in the image, wait a few moments and then try again. Some results may take up to 24-48 hours to become available.

  2. Click where you’d like to paste the copied text, and then press Ctrl+V.

Extract text from the images of a multiple-page file printout

  1. Right-click any of the images, and then do one of the following:

    • Click Copy Text from this Page of the Printout to copy text from only the currently selected image (page).

    • Click Copy Text from All the Pages of the Printout to copy text from all the images (pages).

  2. Click where you’d like to paste the copied text, and then press Ctrl+V.

Note: The effectiveness of Optical Character Recognition depends on the quality of the image you’re working with. After you paste text from a picture or a file printout, it’s a good idea to look it over and make sure the text was recognized properly.

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