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.

  • 2
    Google prefers proprietary Apps over a standards based web interface (for anonymous user) because of data collection. I doubt there is a web interface.
    – Sybil
    Jul 24, 2017 at 9:26
  • 1
    @FyodorGlebov: I was assuming their app was using a web interface somehow...
    – einpoklum
    Jul 24, 2017 at 11:24
  • 1
    it uses some undocumented API
    – Sybil
    Jul 24, 2017 at 15:12
  • 1
    @FyodorGlebov: If you know that for a fact, make it an answer please.
    – einpoklum
    Jul 24, 2017 at 15:13
  • 1
    You also never said you wanted to avoid requiring a Google Account. Jan 19, 2019 at 2:16

4 Answers 4


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).

Afterwards you can use the foreign text from Yandex (Open in Translate button) with alternative translation services like DeepL or Google Translate.

Also: on the latest macOS, you should be able to extract foreign text from an image and translate it.

  • 1
    Yandex translator really saved my day. Unfortunately it can't save translated image, but I solved it by taking a screenshot. Nov 7, 2020 at 20:35
  • 1
    At least in October 2022 the translator yandex website linked above can save the translated image (tested on desktop PC)
    – Ken Grimes
    Oct 12, 2022 at 13:07

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


  • 1
    "Your Google Drive" <- I don't have a Google account. But I guess this is reasonable advice for someone who has.
    – einpoklum
    Jan 18, 2019 at 21:35
  • 2
    @einpoklum my solution achieves "Google Translate" or Translation using Google services. Jan 19, 2019 at 2:00
  • Thank you for showing this option, but this should be possible to do without a workaround, shouldn't it? Don't know what are they thinking at Google, why it works on Android but not on web. Gonna use Yandex for that.
    – nick722
    Jun 13, 2022 at 7:13

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).

  • 1
    Um, what Drive settings? Don't you need a Google account for that?
    – einpoklum
    Dec 8, 2017 at 23:38
  • OK... I was hoping to avoid having a Google account, but I guess I can't complain.
    – einpoklum
    Dec 8, 2017 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, 2019 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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