This app can copy text from anything on your Mac screen

One of the newest features in macOS is Live Text, which allows you to copy text from an image on your Mac in Preview, Quick Look, or Safari. Honestly, it's kind of magical - any text in an image can be highlighted and copied, just like text on a website or document. The problem is: this feature only works with image files, not videos, and you can't use it to copy text from a presentation shared in a meeting unless you take a screenshot and then extract the text from it.

TRex is a free application for Mac that speeds up solutions. It works similarly to Windows' text extractor: select the area of ​​the screen that contains the text you want, whether that text is in an image, video, or presentation. Any text in the screen area you select is instantly converted to text and copied to the clipboard. This feature comes at a cost: TRex costs $8 in the Mac App Store, or free if you download it from Github.

After installation, you will get a short tutorial on how the application works and the icon will appear in the menu bar. You can trigger the app from there, or set optional keyboard shortcuts in settings. The app itself uses the same crosshairs you see when taking screenshots on your Mac, but instead of creating a screenshot, it looks for text that can be recognized through optical character recognition (OCR). The text is then immediately copied to the clipboard.

Currently only a few languages ​​are supported: English, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese. The app can automatically detect the language of the text you're copying if needed, but it performs better if you choose the default in the settings.

I tested it a few times, and while it's not perfect, it always proved easier than retyping the text myself, and saves a step over the usual "screenshot + OCR" process. If you find that certain words are consistently misspelled (such as unusual names), you can add that word to the "Custom Words" tab in settings.

Perhaps the most unique feature is in the automation tab. If desired, you can set the app to automatically recognize and open URLs and QR codes. You can also automatically trigger URL schemes and even Apple shortcuts. This is a very flexible program - you can set it up to send converted text anywhere you like.

Even without automation set up, TRex is the fastest way to copy text from locations on the screen that can't be easily copied. Heck, at this point, some sites even prevent you from copying entirely - but TRex can take care of that, too. Worth downloading.