The Google Translate application now supports in-image OCR and translation of text:


but this functionality does not seem to be accessible using a PC and visiting translate.google.com.

How can I get it to work for files on my PC (with no Android phone)?

Note: People somehow assume I have Google Drive, or a Google Account etc. I never said that.

  • Google prefers proprietary Apps over a standards based web interface (for anonymous user) because of data collection. I doubt there is a web interface. – Ivanov Jul 24 '17 at 9:26
  • @FyodorGlebov: I was assuming their app was using a web interface somehow... – einpoklum Jul 24 '17 at 11:24
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    it uses some undocumented API – Ivanov Jul 24 '17 at 15:12
  • @FyodorGlebov: If you know that for a fact, make it an answer please. – einpoklum Jul 24 '17 at 15:13
  • You also never said you wanted to avoid requiring a Google Account. – Matt Sephton Jan 19 '19 at 2:16

Not Google, but similar.

Yandex Translate has image upload using desktop web browsers.


I use this in a Flotato browser which enables me to quickly translate screen grabs without them accumulating on my hard drive (because the screen grab is automatically deleted after I've dragged it onto the Yandex/Flotato window).

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    Yandex translator really saved my day. Unfortunately it can't save translated image, but I solved it by taking a screenshot. – AbstractVoid Nov 7 at 20:35

The purely Google approach I use is:

  1. Upload the image to your Google Drive
  2. Right click image and choose Open with > Google Docs

A new document will be created containing the image and extracted text

  1. In Google Docs choose Tools > Translate document... and choose your target language

A second document will be created with the translated text


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  • "Your Google Drive" <- I don't have a Google account. But I guess this is reasonable advice for someone who has. – einpoklum Jan 18 '19 at 21:35
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    @einpoklum my solution achieves "Google Translate" or Translation using Google services. – Matt Sephton Jan 19 '19 at 2:00

First, change your Google Drive setting, if necessary (maybe back again afterwards), to check Convert uploaded files to Google Docs editor format (see).

Upload your image file to Google Drive, open it and choose Tools > Translate document... and the language of your choice (from those available!) then click Translate.

As an example I selected a snip (.JPG) of Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Persian from Omniglot:

Arabic script

and the result (in a different file) for English was:


with the top (Arabic) as an image and the bottom (English) editable text (note cursor).

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  • Um, what Drive settings? Don't you need a Google account for that? – einpoklum Dec 8 '17 at 23:38
  • OK... I was hoping to avoid having a Google account, but I guess I can't complain. – einpoklum Dec 8 '17 at 23:48
  • Ok, found the action, but a below answer helped me more saying we're actually creating a Google Docs file where they start to interpret the text (OCR) in the image. I'm not here to change an entire drive setting. – Pysis Jul 12 '19 at 19:38

The Translatium desktop app allows image upload.

You may be lucky to find a download of this app, because it was discontinued. Why? The unofficial API it uses can sometimes fail. My solution is to simply try again a minute or two later and it usually goes through OK.


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