Skip to main content

Google Lens lookups now include inline Search results, ‘copy to computer’ text shortcut

Last May, Google announced and rolled out a major redesign of its visual search tool. Google Lens is now adding three productivity-focused features, including Search results from the web and a “Copy to computer” shortcut.

One underrated Google Lens capability is fast access to optical character recognition (OCR). It’s a convenient way to get text from books/magazines and posters, as well as handwriting, that you encounter in the real world.

After you select text in Lens (either through the “Auto” or “Text” filter), there will be a new “Copy to computer” option. That suggestion chip — complete with blue icon — appears next to the existing “Copy text” shortcut, and opens a new dedicated panel that lists your signed-in laptops and desktops with Chrome installed.

This integration leverages a capability first introduced on the browser, with other mobile devices not shown. On Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS, you’ll see a notification to copy the text to your clipboard.

Meanwhile, you can now hear any piece of text recognized by Lens. A “Listen” button, which doubles as play/pause, in the actions carousel will pronounce a selected phrase with a visual indicator on each word as it’s being read. This is similar to a Lens capability found in Google Go for lower-powered Android devices.

The biggest new feature today adds Google Search results to visual Lens lookups. When you highlight text, Lens will perform a regular query that includes cards for “Top Stories” and “Videos” when relevant. The standard 10 blue links appear below, with websites opening in a Chrome Custom Tab and clips in YouTube. Previously, you had to manually trigger a search.

“Copy to computer” and inline web Search results are now available in Google Lens for Android and through the Google app on iOS. Listen is live on Google’s mobile OS and coming soon to iPhones.

Google Lens web Search

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel



Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: