Note taking, screenshots (images), and OCR

Feature request: OCR on images.

Use case: I take a lot of notes when in WebEx / Zoom / Google Meet meetings. This includes screenshots of interesting material. Some notes may have 15-20 images in them.

Problem: Since there is no OCR done on images, they are not searchable. So, useful information gets lost. Converting notes to PDF and then doing OCR, while possible, is klutzy and not a great path forward.

With the advent of Live Text capability in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, can we finally get this capability? Pretty Please? I searched and it has been asked for many times over the years.

Thank you!

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Which file format do you use for your notes?

I normally use Rich Text. It’s fast, it’s WYSIWYG, and it works for me.

I tried Markdown, but it just didn’t flow well for me when taking notes.


Live text appears to be just that: live.

It’s not embedding text content for the file so the image would not be searchable later.
OCR produces a searchable document.

Also, Live text doesn’t work on attached images in RTFD files, even in TextEdit.

This is a feature for occasional one-off use, not a replacement for OCR.

Thank you for the knowledgable and quick response. I was hoping Live Text would be a convenient solution to the problem.

The feature request still stands. I really could use automatic OCR for attached images. Far too much data in my DT databases is not searchable, and therefore not findable.

Thank you, and have a great day!

You’re welcome.
And you never know what we have up our sleeves :wink:

(Image ©Warner Brothers)

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If you need a Top Hat Tester, let me know.

Have a great day!

Bump! Its been a year and I’m curious if/when I get a peek up your sleeves.


Nothing to report here. The memory required to run OCR via Shortcuts would be too high to make this feasible at this time.