TextSniper: Text Recognition Simplified


Many Mac users are accustomed to grabbing text from websites and documents by simply selecting and copying it. Sadly, that doesn’t work for a growing amount of online media. Today we’re taking a look at TextSniper, an app that makes capturing non-selectable text as easy as taking a screenshot.

It’s free to try, $6.99 for a single Mac license from the TextSniper website, $8.99 for multiple Macs on the Mac App Store, and it’s part of the Setapp subscription. The app requires macOS 11 Big Sur or macOS 10.15 Catalina.

TextSniper speedily captures text from any image
TextSniper speedily captures text from any image

What Do We Mean By “Non-Selectable Text”?

Non-selectable text is any text that appears on your Mac screen that you cannot select by dragging the text cursor over it. This includes text from:

  • YouTube vidos
  • PDFs
  • Images like the one seen above
  • Online courses
  • Screencasts
  • Presentations
  • Photos
    and more…

Mac users are usually left with one solution — re-typing the text into a word processing app or text editor.

TextSniper To The Rescue!

TextSniper eliminates that drudgery. Simply press Command ( ⌘ ) + Shift + 2 or select Capture Text from the menu bar, select the area of the Mac screen where the text to be captured is located, then press Command ( ⌘ ) + V to paste the text into another app.

Here’s a video showing the app in action:

Other Features Of TextSniper

It’s out of the way until you need to use it.
Seriously, most of the time Mac owners can just use the customizable keyboard shortcut or click the tiny menu bar icon. TextSniper doesn’t take up space in the Dock.

Incredibly accurate
I use the app almost every day for one reason or another. The majority of text found on the web and in documents is recognized with 100% accuracy. Even incredibly small text and odd typefaces are no match for the character recognition of TextSniper. Symbols like those used in coding may cause issues.

Even tiny text on an infographic is no match for TextSniper’s amazing text recognition
Even tiny text on an infographic is no match for TextSniper’s amazing text recognition

Super fast
You’ll never wait for TextSniper to convert your scans to text.

QR code / bar code reading
QR codes and bar codes contain text, web and email addresses, even vCards (address cards). Use the “Read QR/Bar Code” command found under the menu bar icon, scan an online code, and it is immediately translated to readable information.

Text to speech
TextSniper even converts text that it has recognized into audible speech. This feature is perfect for those with visual problems, for reading small text on screens, and those learning foreign languages (it’s worth mentioning that TextSniper support eight languages when used with macOS Big Sur).

The text to speech feature is also a powerful assistive technology for those with dyslexia.

Who Can Benefit From TextSniper?

TextSniper can save almost any Mac user a lot of time.

Students doing research can find online courses and presentations, then copy the text error free for use in their notes

Bloggers needing to capture text from promotional videos or advertisements find TextSniper to be a useful menu bar asset

Office Workers who need to grab text from PDF files for use in creating new documents without onerous retyping

A Common Use Case for TextSniper

I’m doing some website design work for a local non-profit organization. The board of directors wanted the website home page to feature the complete text of the group’s mission statement. They sent me a PDF of the document, with no way to copy the text.

No problem! All I had to do is open the PDF, press Command + Shift + 2, drag over the PDF, and then paste the converted text into the web design tool.

What would have taken me five minutes to re-type took less than five seconds to accomplish with TextSniper.

TextSniper is part of the amazing Setapp app subscription bundle
TextSniper is part of the amazing Setapp app subscription bundle

Try TextSniper Free

Love the idea of TextSniper but you want to know if it’s really as good as I say it is? Try it for free for 7 days as part of the Setapp free trial. You’ll get access to over 210 other great Mac apps at the same time.

Once you’ve seen just how useful TextSniper is, either continue the Setapp subscription for just $9.99 (plus tax) per month, or purchase TextSniper separately.

Should you decide to purchase TextSniper by itself, a single license is available directly from the developer for $6.99. When purchase on the Mac App Store for $8.99, TextSniper is usable on multiple Macs.

It’s a Universal app, meaning that TextSniper works on both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs.

Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Steve is the founder and former publisher of Apple World Today and has authored a number of books about Apple products. He's an avid photographer, an FAA-licensed drone pilot, and a really bad guitarist. Steve and his wife Barb love to travel everywhere!