At WWDC in June 2021, Apple announced a new feature in its latest operating system called Live Text. This feature allows you to highlight text in any photo and use it in many ways. We have put together a guide to all the smart things you can do and ways to improve your Mac usage; follow the instructions to learn how to use Live Text on macOS Monterey.
You will be interested in:
You can copy and paste, translate, view or search text, if it includes actionable information like an email address or a phone number, MacOS is smart enough to recognize it and suggest appropriate tasks, like adding it to your contacts or starting a call.
As you can imagine, this is quite a powerful addition added in the latest version of MacOS Monterey, and it opens up many avenues for new workflows when you use your Mac making life easier for us at the office, home or school.
Open an app like Photos or Safari and find an image with text. Hover over the text and the pointer will turn into a text cursor. Click and drag to highlight some text.
Now, right-click on the text and you’ll get a set of options: find a definition of the word or phrase, translate it, search it with your default search engine, copy it, share it, or use the Services menu to perform additional tasks with he.
Alternatively, you can copy the highlighted text by simply pressing Command + C. Then just go to another application, like a Pages document, and paste the text with the key combination Command + V.
If you prefer to move the highlighted text by clicking and dragging, you can do that too. Highlight the text, then click and hold. You can drag it to another document or folder, where you can drop it in its place.
While holding the text, press Command + Tab to switch to another app that’s out of sight, then drop it instead. This also works if you press the Mission Control button, which even allows you to place it on a different desktop.
Quick Look is smart enough to recognize the type of text you are highlighting. If you highlight a date and right-click on it, you will see options to Create event and Create reminder.
Click on the first one to add a new event for this date to your calendar. You can insert details like a name, location and duration, then click Add to calendar to end.
The situation is similar if you click Create Reminder. This will add a task to Apple’s Reminders app, and you can add a name, a time, choose which reminder list to add to, and more.
Finally, there is an option to Show this date on the calendar in the context menu when you highlight a date. Clicking on this simply opens the Calendar app on the date in question, where you can add an event if you wish.
As with calendar data, Live Text can recognize email addresses and phone numbers, and then suggest appropriate actions based on them. For example, if Live Text detects an email address, a dotted box appears around the address.
Right-click or click the drop-down arrow and you’ll get options to compose a new email to that address, add it to your contacts, or initiate a FaceTime or FaceTime Audio call.
Something similar happens with phone numbers with the information highlighted in a dotted box when you hover over it. Right-click to see a variety of options, including adding the number to your contacts, starting a call with FaceTime or your iPhone, or sending a message.
There is also an option called Big Type. This displays the number in large letters on your screen, which is useful if you find that the default text is too small to read.
Quick Look gives you a preview of files without having to open them and also works with Live Text. Find a file containing text in the Finder and click it once, then press the spacebar to open a preview Quick View. Here, you can highlight the text and right-click on it, as in the previous steps.