Text Capture

  • 275
  • Idea
  • Updated 9 months ago
  • Implemented
  • (Edited)
(This idea is something we’ve heard from customers over time from several of our sources of feedback. We’re posting it here to gauge how well this fits our users’ needs. So please let us know what you think. We want to see how the community stacks it up against the other items on the voting list. This one in particular has been a long standing issue. So we expect a lot of votes. :) )


TechSmith has been investigating alternative approaches to bring back Text Capture to Snagit after it was broken over time with OS updates. 

The most common use cases that we've heard that this is valuable for include:

  • I want to capture text in an error message, pop-up window, app, or drop-down menu where text is not selectable or “copy” is disabled.
  • I want to capture the text in a file directory (filename, file size, date modified) to compare against previous versions.
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Chris Larson, Snagit Technical Product Manager

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Posted 2 years ago

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haase

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Please bring OCR back.

I'm tired of screenshotting to OneNote for OCR.
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wrichert

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We don't use the feature often but it was very handy when we needed it. Please bring it back.
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anthony.muscio

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I want this a lot, and so would many Snagit users who are in a similar situation. Perhaps this could open a whole new membership for snagit (Tech support staff/Developers and Coaders). I support and troubleshoot people, apps, help desk and create documentation and training material. Sometimes I just want the image but a lot of the time I want to capture detailed text and search / google for solutions, save it in a database and make it searchable.  This would be a premier feature for many and needs to happen because OCR is slowly being addapted in many solutions, snagit should not be left behind.
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tpegar

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It would be great to have this back because sometimes you really just need the text and don't want to it in an image format.
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Mike62

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Yes, it would be great to get the text capture back!
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eredington

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Text capture was the only reason I downloaded the program...and now it's not there.  :(
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dirk.goerner

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YES – please bring back the text capture feature (OCR). I really miss it!

As a long term user I was very disappointed that the OCR feature was removed from SnagIt (12) and that TechSmith had no intention to re-implement it. First consequence: Like others I had downgraded from version 12 to the last SnagIt version with the built-in the text capture feature in order to get it back.

But because SnagIt 11 does not support all Windows 10 features, I had looked for an alternative once again: Version 12 was ruled out – just as SnagIt 13, which also comes without the text capture feature. As a result of this I have changed to another screenshot software with an OCR option: Ashampoo Snap 10. This works, but not so easy like it was in SnagIt 11...

So, if you (TechSmith) put in the text capture feature into the coming SnagIt version, this will be the signal to me to change back to the new text capture featured SnagIt version. Many thanks in advance!

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César Frederick Qüeb

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Where is the Text Capture feature in Snagit 12?.

Hello,

As programmer the Text capture feature was very, very useful for me. Just right now trying the latest version of Snagit I see that text capture feature has been removed!. Why?.
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Ajet

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OCR - yes, that will be excellent!
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Mike62

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Maybe they could license Abbyy Screenshot Reader and add it to SnagIt ?

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Bob

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I keep both v13 and v11 installed. I have to exit v13 to capture text in two day-trading applications, which saves a lot of typing to keep track of wins and losses. Please bring back text capture (which is not the same as OCR!)
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Rick Stone

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Your comment makes me curious. You say that you capture from some "day-trading" applications. You don't want OCR (and admittedly, I never used SnagIt in past versions to capture text because Ctrl+C has never failed me for doing that)

So how does (or did) SnagIt behave differently than simple Ctrl+C if what you are capturing is basically text anyway?

That bit seems confusing to me. I always figured folks snagged an image, then SnagIt used some sort of OCR mechanism to "capture" the text from that.
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Chris Larson, Snagit Technical Product Manager

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You have spoken and we’re are listening! We plan on having text capture in Snagit. We’ve been experimenting with ways to bring this back for the past year or so and we now have a solution that will work. Thank you for spelling out the ways you have used text capture in the past. Understanding what use cases are most important to you all and how you want the end result really helps shape how we create the features. While we were investigating this, we found several new ways to bring the power of text capture to you, beyond the original feature. 

Some details:

Windows doesn’t allow us the same level of access as it once did, which made the old Text Capture implementation fail for too many use cases. We will be using Optical Character Recognition to accomplish Text Capture in an upcoming release. We’ve not used OCR in the past because we haven’t found a solution that has been reliable enough. But now we have a solution the will work for the use cases you’ve spelled out for us. We’re calling it “Grab Text” after doing some testing on the name with new and existing users. It’s not just a capture type anymore, it will be exposed in a couple different ways:

  • “Grab Text” as a capture type

  • It will also be available in Editor in a couple different places. Which is huge. You don’t have to know that you want the text from an image ahead of time. You can always come back to an image capture and grab the text from it later. It’ll be in the Edit menu, context menu when you select something with the Selection tool, and a customizable toolbar button.

Look for this in an upcoming release of Snagit. :) 



Here are the definitions of what the statuses mean for Ideas.
Here is the overall vote count for the rest of the Ideas in this round up.
(Edited)
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Johnny Jones

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I use text capture to capture the "find" list in Notepad++ when I do a "search in files".  Nothing captures that output as good as SnagIt.  I recently updated to v. 13 and was shocked to find I couldn't capture text.  I had to reinstall v11 to do so (which works perfectly fine on Windows 7 and 10).
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jared.hess

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I didn't read all the above posts, so it's possible someone already mentioned this (if so sorry for the duplication). Anyway, I just found out that for for things like errors and message boxes, it looks like you can do a standard Ctrl + C to copy the text on the message into Windows Clipboard.
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david

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Agree, this is a very important feature, enough in fact to purchase just because of that feature.
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Chris Larson, Snagit Technical Product Manager

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Hello again!

For those interested in beta testing the next version of Snagit, please fill out this form. (Some of you have reached out to me directly, I already have you signed up, no need to fill out the form)

We have some changes related to this Idea that we’d love your feedback on. We expect the beta to start next week and it’ll last around a month.

Have a great weekend!
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Chris Larson, Snagit Technical Product Manager

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Official Response
Hello all! Grab Text was released today in Snagit 2018. Like I mentioned before, we are using Optical Character Recognition to accomplish Text Capture. But it's not just a capture type, you can Grab Text from any existing image. We’ve not used OCR in the past because we haven’t found a solution that has been reliable enough. But now we have a solution the will work for the use cases you’ve spelled out for us. We’re calling it “Grab Text” after doing some testing on the name with new and existing users. It’s not just a capture type anymore, it will be exposed in a couple different ways:

  • “Grab Text” as a image selection type and as a preset
  • It will also be available in Editor in a couple different places. A button you can put on the toolbar, a context menu when you make a selection, and in the Edit menu. Which is huge. You don’t have to know that you want the text from an image ahead of time. You can always come back to an image capture and grab the text from it later. It’ll be in the Edit menu, context menu when you select something with the Selection tool, and a customizable toolbar button.

This also works really well with our new Text Replace feature. You can edit text directly in your capture. If you want to make a quick update without having to recreate the exact same setup and retake the screenshot. You can just double click text when using Smart Move (found in the Move tool) or make a selection, right-click and hit Edit Text. Really easy. Just edit and you're done. If the font doesn't match exactly what you wanted, it's now just a regular text object, so you can edit the font to your liking.


Snagit 2018 is a paid update.
There is upgrade pricing available. You can upgrade from any previous version of Snagit and get this pricing.
If you are currently paying for maintenance, this update is included for free.
(Edited)
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ebell451

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So for those of us that have been around for a while, you got us to pay for an upgrade to remove OCR/text recognition. Now we have to pay for an upgrade to bring it back. Smart move product management. This is a good way to have existing users pay for the Abbyy OCR licensing.
(Edited)
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Chris Larson, Snagit Technical Product Manager

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Hi ebell!

As we mentioned above, Windows doesn’t allow us the same level of access as it once did, which made the old Text Capture implementation fail for too many use cases. It wasn't just that that led to a poor experience for most people. It was also how other apps were creating their UIs. Snagit 11 used a technology to get the text directly from the app you captured. There are more apps today set up in a way that makes grabbing text from them with that same process really rough.

We have looking for a way to bring it back for quite some time. Historically, OCR hasn't been particularly reliable when processing screen shots, it was made for scanning text on paper. There were far fewer pixels in a typical screen capture. Traditionally 96 or 72 dots per inch. Where a typical scanner processes images and brings them in around 300 dpi, and it had more pixels to recognize the characters in a document.

But OCR tech has improved as well as people using higher pixel density monitors. So after evaluating several OCR engines and tuning them for screenshots, we got to a place where we had the results we wanted and found the ABBYY OCR engine to work the best for our customers' use cases.

What's great about this is that we're able to bring this back in a way that is unlikely to break in the future. Considering that we're processing the image itself and no longer relying on other apps or the OS to tell us what text they contain.


(And also, if Text Capture in Snagit 11 does still work for the use cases, you can still download and use that version with your software key from a later version. It's not officially supported on the newer operating systems, so use it at your own risk, but it's definitely an option if you prefer that.)
(Edited)
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djcrane

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I find Grab Text very useful. In situations where I Snag an image of pop up or drop down text, and then use Grab Text / Copy All the resulting text frequently does not have a space at what was end of line in the original Snag. This is the case with content from several different websites and happens when there are several lines or paragraphs of text. 
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marksmithzurich

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Folks, why can't the OCR'ed text be searched for in the SnagIt Editor library?
Seems you missed a trick here - add a further category after Tags called "OCR" or "Text search" to show this text and search results please.
(Edited)
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Matthias Oversluizen

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Can you make an option to grab text while in panoramic mode or scrolling window mode?!
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Chris Larson, Snagit Technical Product Manager

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I'll chat with the team about having an option for doing that from a capture workflow!

Just as an FYI, if you didn't see it, you can Grab Text after you capture from Edit > Grab Text... in Editor. This is a panoramic capture I took.