Use a screen reader to convert images into text in the Office app

Use a screen reader to convert images into text in the Office app

Read out loud symbol with the label Screen reader content. This topic is about using a screen reader with Office

This article is for people with visual impairments who use a screen reader program with the Office products and is part of the Office Accessibility content set. For more general help, see Office Support home.

Use the Office app with VoiceOver, the built-in iOS screen reader, to take a picture of an item with text and extract text from the picture. You can then use the text somewhere else. You can, for example, take picture of a whiteboard with text, extract the text, paste it to a note or a PowerPoint slide, and have VoiceOver read the text to you. You'll also learn how to extract text from an existing picture.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in iOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, visit Apple accessibility.

Convert an image into text

You can use the Office app to take a photo with the camera on your phone and extract the text in the image. Alternatively, you can use an existing image, for example from Photos.

Once the text is extracted, you can paste it where you want to use it, share it straight from the app, or save it to Files for later.

Note: To use the Office app to take a picture, you need to allow the app to access your camera. You can do this in the Office app settings.

  1. In the Office app, tap near the bottom of the screen with four fingers. The focus moves to the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Swipe left or right until you hear "Actions," and double-tap the screen. The Actions menu opens.

  3. Swipe left until you hear "Image to text," and double-tap the screen. The camera mode activates.

  4. Do one of the following:

    • To take a picture with your device camera, point the camera toward the text you want to capture, swipe right until you hear "Capture," and double-tap the screen.

    • To select an existing picture, swipe right until you hear "Gallery," followed by the name of the picture you want, and double-tap the screen.

      If the picture is not in the gallery, swipe right until you hear "Choose photo from library," and double-tap the screen. The Photos app opens. Locate the picture and double-tap the screen to select it.

  5. You hear: "Top left corner." You can now crop the image if needed to only show the text in the image. Swipe right until you find the crop handle you want to use, then double-tap and hold the screen, and slide your finger to adjust the cropping area. You may need someone to help you with this step.

  6. Once you're done, swipe right until you hear "Done," and double-tap the screen. The Office app starts to process the image.

  7. Once the text has been extracted, you hear an audio cue and the first line of the extracted text. To read all of the text, swipe right.

  8. To copy, share, or save the extracted text, do one of the following:

    • To copy the text, swipe right until you hear "Copy text," and double-tap the screen. You can now paste and edit the text where you want to use it, for example, in an email message, a note, or a PowerPoint slide.

    • To share the text straight from the app, for example in Microsoft Teams, swipe right until you hear "Share," and double-tap the screen. Swipe right until you reach the app where you want to share the text, and double-tap the screen. You can now paste and edit the text, fill in the recipients, and send your message.

    • If you want to save the extracted text for later, swipe right until you hear "Share," and double-tap the screen. Swipe right until you hear "Save to Files," and double-tap the screen. Swipe right until you find the location you want, and double-tap to select it. Swipe left until you hear "Save," and double-tap the screen.

  9. To exit the text view, swipe right until you hear "Close," and double-tap the screen. You hear: "Alert, discard text?" Swipe right until you hear "Yes," and double-tap the screen. The focus returns to the camera mode.

  10. To return to the Actions menu, double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to convert images into tables in the Office App

Use a screen reader to work with PDFs in the Office app

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Basic tasks using a screen reader with the Office app

Learn the layout of the Office app with a screen reader

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate the Office app

Use the Office app with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to take a picture of an item with text and extract text from the picture. You can then use the text somewhere else. You can, for example, take picture of a whiteboard with text, extract the text, paste it to a note or a PowerPoint slide, and have VoiceOver read the text to you. You'll also learn how to extract text from an existing picture.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Android screen reader, TalkBack. To learn more about using TalkBack, go to Android accessibility.

Convert an image into text

You can use the Office app to take a photo with the camera on your phone and extract the text in the image. Alternatively, you can use an existing image, for example from Photos.

Once the text is extracted, you can paste it where you want to use it or share it straight from the app.

Note: To use the Office app to take a picture, you need to allow the app to access your camera. You can do this in the Office app settings.

  1. In the Office app, swipe down-then-up to move the focus moves to the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Swipe left or right until you hear "Actions," and double-tap the screen. The Actions menu opens.

  3. Swipe left until you hear "Image to text," and double-tap the screen. The camera mode activates.

    If you're prompted to allow the app to take pictures and record video, swipe right until you hear "Allow," and double-tap the screen.

  4. Do one of the following:

    • To take a picture with your device camera, point the camera toward the text you want to capture, swipe right until you hear "Capture," and double-tap the screen.

    • To select an existing picture, swipe right until you hear "Gallery thumbnail," followed by the name of the picture you want, and double-tap the screen.

      If the picture is not in the gallery, swipe right until you hear "Import," and double-tap the screen. The app for your saved pictures opens. You may be prompted to allow the app to access your images. Locate the picture and double-tap the screen to select it.

  5. You hear: "Crop image." You can now crop the image if needed to only show the text in the image. Swipe right until you find the crop handle you want to use, then double-tap and hold the screen, and slide your finger to adjust the cropping area. You may need someone to help you with this step.

  6. Once you're done, swipe right until you hear "Confirm," and double-tap the screen. The Office app starts to process the image.

  7. Once the text has been extracted, you hear: "Text extracted from image." To have TalkBack read the text, swipe right.

  8. To copy, share, or save the extracted text, do one of the following:

    • To copy the text, swipe right until you hear "Copy text," and double-tap the screen. You can now paste and edit the text where you want to use it, for example, an email message, a note, or a PowerPoint slide.

    • To share the text straight from the app, for example in Microsoft Teams, swipe right until you hear "Share," and double-tap the screen. Swipe right until you reach the app where you want to share the text, and double-tap the screen. You can now paste and edit the text, fill in the recipients, and send your message.

  9. To exit the text view, swipe down-then-left. You hear: "Alert, do you want to close the session?" Swipe right until you hear "Yes," and double-tap the screen. The focus returns to the camera mode.

  10. To return to the Actions menu, swipe down-then-left.

See also

Use a screen reader to convert images into tables in the Office App

Use a screen reader to work with PDFs in the Office app

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Basic tasks using a screen reader with the Office app

Learn the layout of the Office app with a screen reader

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate the Office app

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

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