Capture2Text

Contents

What is Capture2Text?

Capture2Text enables users to quickly OCR a portion of the screen using a keyboard shortcut. The resulting text will be saved to the clipboard by default.

Conceptual illustration:

Capture2Text is free and licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

Download

The latest version can be found on the Capture2Text download page hosted by SourceForge.

System Requirements

Supported operating systems:

Note: Windows XP support has been dropped as of Capture2Text v4.0.

How to Launch Capture2Text (no installation required)

  1. Unzip the contents of the zip file.
  2. Double-click on Capture2Text.exe. You should see the Capture2Text icon on the bottom-right of your screen (though it might be hidden in which case you will have to click on the "Show hidden icons" arrow).

Installing Additional OCR Languages

By default Capture2Text comes packaged with the following languages: English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish.

Follow these steps if you would like to install additional OCR languages:

  1. Download the appropriate OCR language dictionary.
  2. Open the ".zip" file you just downloaded with 7-Zip or similar decompression software.
  3. Drag all files contained within the zip file to the tessdata folder:
  4. Restart Capture2Text.

The following OCR languages are supported:

Afrikaans (afr) Greek (ell) Odiya (ori)
Albanian (sqi) Gujarati (guj) Panjabi (pan)
Amharic (amh) Haitian (hat) Persian (fas)
Ancient Greek (grc) Hebrew (heb) Polish (pol)
Arabic (ara) Hindi (hin) Portuguese (por)
Assamese (asm) Hungarian (hun) Pushto (pus)
Azerbaijani (aze) Icelandic (isl) Romanian (ron)
Basque (eus) Indic (inc) Russian (rus)
Belarusian (bel) Indonesian (ind) Sanskrit (san)
Bengali (ben) Inuktitut (iku) Serbian (srp)
Bosnian (bos) Irish (gle) Sinhala (sin)
Bulgarian (bul) Italian (ita) Slovak (slk)
Burmese (mya) Japanese (jpn) Slovenian (slv)
Catalan (cat) Javanese (jav) Spanish (spa)
Cebuano (ceb) Kannada (kan) Swahili (swa)
Central Khmer (khm) Kazakh (kaz) Swedish (swe)
Cherokee (chr) Kirghiz (kir) Syriac (syr)
Chinese - Simplified (chi_sim) Korean (kor) Tagalog (tgl)
Chinese - Traditional (chi_tra) Kurukh (kru) Tajik (tgk)
Croatian (hrv) Lao (lao) Tamil (tam)
Czech (ces) Latin (lat) Telugu (tel)
Danish (dan) Latvian (lav) Thai (tha)
Dutch (nld) Lithuanian (lit) Tibetan (bod)
Dzongkha (dzo) Macedonian (mkd) Tigrinya (tir)
English (eng) Malay (msa) Turkish (tur)
Esperanto (epo) Malayalam (mal) Uighur (uig)
Estonian (est) Maltese (mlt) Ukrainian (ukr)
Finnish (fin) Marathi (mar) Urdu (urd)
Frankish (frk) Math/Equations (equ) Uzbek (uzb)
French (fra) Middle English (1100-1500) (enm) Vietnamese (vie)
Galician (glg) Middle French (1400-1600) (frm) Welsh (cym)
Georgian (kat) Nepali (nep) Yiddish (yid)
German (deu) Norwegian (nor)

How to Perform a Standard OCR Capture

Follow these steps to perform a standard OCR capture using the capture box:

  1. Position your mouse pointer at the top-left corner of the text that you want to OCR.
  2. Press the OCR hotkey (Windows Key + Q) to begin an OCR capture.
  3. Move your mouse to resize the blue capture box over the text that you want to OCR. You may hold down the right mouse button and drag to move the entire capture box.
  4. Press the OCR hotkey again (or left-click or press ENTER) to complete the OCR capture. The OCR'd text will be placed in the clipboard and a popup showing the captured text will appear (the popup may be disabled in the settings).

As with all OCR captures, you must manually select the language that you would like to OCR from the settings.

To change the OCR language, right-click the Capture2Text tray icon, select the OCR Language option and then select the desired language.

To quickly switch between 3 languages, use the OCR language quick access keys: Windows Key + 1, Windows Key + 2, and Windows Key + 3. The quick access languages may be specified in the settings.

When Chinese or Japanese is selected, you should specify the text direction (vertical/horizontal/auto) using the text direction hotkey: Windows Key + O. If auto is selected, horizontal will be used when the capture width is more than twice the height, otherwise vertical will be used. The text direction also affects how furigana is stripped from Japanese text.

(For Japanese) Capture2Text will attempt to automatically strip out furigana.

How to Perform a Text Line OCR Capture

Capture2Text can automatically capture the line of text that is closest to the mouse pointer.

Follow these steps to perform a Text Line OCR Capture:

  1. Position your mouse pointer on or near the line of text to capture.
  2. Press the Text Line OCR Capture hotkey (Windows Key + E).
  3. Capture2Text will outline the captured text and save the OCR result to the clipboard.

Example:

How to Perform a Forward Text Line OCR Capture

Capture2Text can automatically capture the line of text starting at the character that is closest to the mouse pointer and working forward.

Follow these steps to perform a Forward Text Line OCR Capture:

  1. Position your mouse pointer on or near the character to start at.
  2. Press the Forward Text Line OCR Capture hotkey (Windows Key + W).
  3. Capture2Text will outline the captured text and save the OCR result to the clipboard.

Example:

How to Perform a Bubble OCR Capture

Capture2Text can automatically capture text contained within a comic book speech/thought bubble as long as the bubble is completely enclosed.

Follow these steps to perform a Bubble OCR Capture:

  1. Position your mouse pointer in the empty part of the bubble (not on the text).
  2. Press the bubble OCR Capture hotkey (Windows Key + S).
  3. Capture2Text will outline the captured text and save the OCR result to the clipboard.

Example:

How to Specify the Active OCR Language

To specify the active OCR language, right-click the tray icon, click on OCR Language, and select an OCR languages from the list:

Translation

To enable the translation feature, start by opening the settings dialog (right-click tray icon and select "Settings..."), and clicking on the Translate tab.

Check the "Append translation to clipboard" checkbox to append the translated text to the clipboard using the provided separator.

Check the "Show translation in popup window" checkbox to display the translated text along side the OCR text in the popup window. For example:.

Each installed OCR language may be translated to a different language.

Note 1: Some OCR languages do not have translation support. Unsupported languages will not be displayed.

Note 2: The translation feature requires Internet access.

Settings

Right-click the Capture2Text tray icon in the bottom-right of your screen and then select the "Settings..." option to bring up the Settings dialog. You may hover over many of the option labels to display a helpful tooltip explaining the option.



The Hotkeys tab allows you to specify which key and modifiers to use for each hotkey. To disable a hotkey, select "<Unmapped>" from the drop-down list.


Current OCR language: Specify the active OCR language to use. You may also specify the active OCR language in the tray icon menu.

Quick-Access Languages: The languages to use for each of the quick-access language hotkeys.

Whitelist: Inform the OCR engine that the captured text will only contain the provided characters.

Blacklist: Inform the OCR engine that the captured text will never contain the provided characters.

Text Orientation: The orientation of the text that will be captured. This option is only used when Chinese or Japanese is set as the active OCR language. If Auto is selected, horizontal will be used when the capture width is more than twice the height, otherwise vertical will be used. The text direction also affects how furigana is stripped from Japanese text. You may also specify the text orientation in the tray icon menu or with the Text Orientation hotkey.

Tesseract Config File: An advanced feature that allows you to specify a Tesseract config file.

Deskew Text: When enabled, Capture2Text will attempt to compensate for slanted text found in an OCR capture.


Contains options for configuring the automatic captures. Hover over the option labels for more information.


Allows you to specify the colors of the OCR Capture Box. The transparency can be changed by adjusting the "Alpha channel" value in the color selection dialog.


Allows you to specify the preview position, color, and font. You may disable the preview by unchecking the "Show Preview Box" checkbox.


Save to clipboard: Save the captured OCR text to the clipboard.

Show popup window: Show the captured OCR text in a popup window:

Keep line breaks: Check this option if you don't want carriage returns and line feeds to be stripped from the captured text.

Logging: Allows you to save all captures to the specified file in the specified format. The following tokens may be used in the format: ${capture}, ${linebreak}, ${tab}, ${timestamp}, ${translation}. The default format is: "${capture}${linebreak}".


Allows you to perform text replacements. Supports regular expressions. The text on the left will be replaced with the text on the right. Different replacements may be specified for each OCR language.


See the translation section.

Command Line Options

Usage: Capture2Text_CLI.exe [options]
Capture2Text may be used to OCR image files or part of the screen.
Examples:
  Capture2Text_CLI.exe --screen-rect "400 200 600 300"
  Capture2Text_CLI.exe --vertical -l "Chinese - Simplified" -i img1.png
  Capture2Text_CLI.exe -i img1.png -i img2.jpg -o result.txt
  Capture2Text_CLI.exe -l Japanese -f "C:\Temp\image_files.txt"
  Capture2Text_CLI.exe --show-languages

Options:
  -?, -h, --help                     Displays this help.
  -v, --version                      Displays version information.
  -b, --line-breaks                  Do not remove line breaks from OCR text.
  -d, --debug                        Output captured image and pre-processed
                                     image for debugging purposes.
  -f, --images-file <file>           File that contains paths of image files to
                                     OCR. One path per line.
  -i, --image <file>                 Image file to OCR. You may OCR multiple
                                     image files like so: "-i <img1> -i <img2>
                                     -i <img3>"
  -l, --language <language>          OCR language to use. Case-sensitive.
                                     Default is "English". Use the
                                     --show-languages option to list installed
                                     OCR languages.
  -o, --output-file <file>           Output OCR text to this file. If not
                                     specified, stdout will be used.
  --output-file-append               Append to file when using the -o option.
  -s, --screen-rect <"x1 y1 x2 y2">  Coordinates of rectangle that defines area
                                     of screen to OCR.
  -t, --vertical                     OCR vertical text. If not specified,
                                     horizontal text is assumed.
  -w, --show-languages               Show installed languages that may be used
                                     with the "--language" option.
  --output-format <format>           Format to use when outputting OCR text.
                                     You may use these tokens: ${capture},
                                     ${linebreak}, ${tab}, ${timestamp}. Default
                                     format is "${capture}${linebreak}"
  --whitelist <characters>           Only recognize the provided characters.
                                     Example: "0123456789".
  --blacklist <characters>           Do not recognize the provided characters.
                                     Example: "0123456789".
  --tess-config-file <file>          (Advanced) Path to Tesseract configuration
                                     file.          

Troubleshooting & FAQ

  1. I'm getting a message about a missing DLL file when I double-click Capture2Text.exe.

    Solution: Install the Visual Studio 2015 redistributable.

  2. Capture2Text doesn't work at all. What can I do?

    Possible solutions:

  3. I found a bug!

    Great! Create a ticket and describe the bug.

  4. I want to make a suggestion.

    Great! Create a ticket and describe your suggestion.

  5. Capture2Text is outputting garbage characters.

    Solution: Specify the correct OCR language.

  6. The language that I'm interested in doesn't appear in the OCR language menu.

    Read Installing Additional OCR Languages.

  7. I don't see the Capture2Text tray icon.

    Click the "Show hidden icons" button (it looks like a triangle or a ^ character).

  8. I've clicked on the Capture2Text tray icon but it doesn't do anything.

    Right-click it instead.

  9. Capture2Text isn't working on my Mac.

    Capture2Text is a Windows-only software. If you have a technical background, feel free to port it (but don't ask me to help).

  10. Where is the uninstaller?

    There isn't one. Capture2Text doesn't have an installer either. To remove Capture2Text from your computer, simply delete the Capture2Text directory.

  11. Where is the settings .ini file located?

    Type "%appdata%\Capture2Text" into Windows Explorer.

    You may delete it to restore default settings.

  12. Where is the source code located?

    The source code is located on SourceForge.

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