Scrolling through 2,567 photos to find the precise picture you want can be a nightmare. Now, a new feature in Google Photos will let you search for pictures that have text in them so you can quickly find what you’re looking for. You can even copy and paste the text when you find it.
The new tool makes it easier to find a recipe you saved, a funny meme you screenshotted or your bank account number. You can also use it to pinpoint a photo that you took of a Wi-Fi password, business card or phone number.
Google Lens powers this search feature. The company’s image-searching software is available in Google Photos for Android and iPhone ($1,000 at Amazon). It’s still rolling out, however, so if you don’t see it yet, keep checking daily (and make sure the app is updated).
Here’s how to use the Google Photos search tool to find your photos.
1. Open the Google Photos app.
2. Tap on the search bar and type what you’re looking for. For example, if you took a screenshot in Yelp or Google Maps of a coffee shop you want to try, just type coffee or the name of the business.
3. Once Google has spotted the image for you, tap on it.
4. Tap the Google Lens button on the bottom of the screen. It’s a square with a dot in the center.
5. Google will highlight all of the text in the photo. Tap on the words you want to copy.
6. Select Copy text.
7. Now you can paste the text wherever you need, like in the messages app or in a browser.
Ready for more Google tips? Check out this enormous arrow for the directionally challenged in Google Maps and how to urn it on now.
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