First things first. This article is not about screencasting tools.

Using Optical Character Recognition (Screen OCR) technology, some text recognition and capture programs allow you to capture screen text, error messages, windows dialogs and text anywhere on the screen from any Windows program that otherwise cannot be saved or printed.

Structu Rise and Capture Text are the two leading names in Screen capture OCR programs offering similar programs - Kleptomania and Capture Text - both are priced at $29.95 for a single user license. (Trial versions available but no freeware)



These program let you select text anywhere on the screen, including areas that you cannot highlight with your mouse, such as columns of data from a word processor or error messages from any Windows program. Kleptomania keeps track of all of your Windows fonts and can capture text from folder trees, file lists, database reports, messages and dialog boxesm legacy systems or the windows console (like telnet screen). Capture Text recognizes letters, punctuation, and numbers. If you select graphics it translates it as letters and punctuation.

Capture Text is very similar to Kleptomania, has a similar UI and functionality. The above screenshot illustrates how Capture Text actually works. I am copying the Mozilla version to clipboard using CaptureText which would otherwise have been impossible. Can be of great use when writing email to software support.