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This tool gives users the ability to take a screenshot and copy to the clipboard the text content of the screenshot. Works on Windows, macOS, and most modern Linux distros.

TextShot Demo


Running with python/python3 will open an overlay over the screen, where a rectangle can be drawn over the portion of the screen containing the text the user wishes to copy.

An optional command line argument can specify the language. For example, python eng+fra will use English as the primary language and French as the secondary language. The default is eng (English). Make sure that the appropriate data files for Tesseract are installed for other languages. A list of all supported languages can be found here.

It is recommended to attach a global hotkey to this tool so you can run it without opening a console and typing in the command.

On Windows, one can accomplish this by using an AutoHotkey script; textshot.ahk contains a sample AHK script that can be used.
On Ubuntu, open the Keyboard Settings, which shows you all the Gnome shortcuts. At the bottom there is a + button to add your own shortcuts. Click it and set the command to /usr/bin/python3 <>. In case you are using a virtual environment, the python3 path above should point to the environment's python3 instead of the global python3.
The process on other operating systems can be found by searching how to run a shell command with a keyboard shortcut.


  • Install Python 3
  • Clone this repository... git clone
  • ...and cd into it cd textshot
  • (Optional) Create a virtual environment, for example with python -m venv .venv, and activate it
  • Install the required packages with pip install -r requirements.txt
  • Install Google's Tesseract OCR Engine, and ensure that tesseract can be reached from the command line by adding the directory to your system path.
  • python

Mac users: You may need to give permission to capture the screen. You can do so by going to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Screen Recording, then checking the box for Terminal/iTerm.
Linux users: If the text shows up correctly in the notification, but you cannot paste it, install xclip (e.g. with sudo apt install xclip).

@rigred has added this to the AUR, so Arch Linux users can install the package textshot-git with their AUR helper. For example, yay -S textshot-git. This may not be up to date, so if you encounter issues, use the normal installation method above.

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