OCR screencaptures

Has anyone been able to successfully OCR a screen grab and use this data from clipboard? I’d like to make a macro that does math and then controls a macro based on specific numbers shown on screen.


Btw…I’m not able to copy/paste the numbers from app. Once clicked on, the data disappears.

Is there a way to ocr screen captured data and use this for a macro, once in your clipboard?


Keyboard Maestro does not have any direct OCR capabilities. To do this, you would need to capture the screen to an image (which Keyboard Maestro can do), then save the image to a file (again, no problem), and then use an OCR tool to process the file, and then extract the result. I’m afraid I don’t know of any appropriate OCR tools.

The best OCR tool I have found for the Mac is Abbyy Finereader OCR. However, I think it would be very difficult to extract the data automatically from its converted files for it is not perfect and the position of the OCR’d text in the output files would be very hard to specify in a way KM could interpret.

Hey There,

As Peter said KM doesn’t do this, but there are several little apps on the App-Store that do screen-based OCR.

The one I have is picatext. It’s not perfect, but given clear text on an uncomplicated background it’s pretty accurate.

I ran a quick text with Keyboard Maestro, and it’s possible to get them to work together. The speed isn’t as good as I’d like, but it works.


Thanks for the advice on picatext, I downloaded it and will find it very useful (mostly for stuff other than KM) - seems to work well.

This alfred workflow that captures a screenshot and performs OCR might be relevant. It uses an open-source OCR engine, and I'd expect this workflow could be recreated in keyboard maestro.

Hey Zach,

Thanks. I’ll scope that out as soon as I get the chance.