Basic usage: - Launch `normcap` - Select a region on the screen - Retrieve recognized text in clipboard

Programming language: Python
License: GNU General Public License v3.0 or later
Tags: OCR     Utilities     Multimedia     Graphics     Capture     Screen Capture    
Latest version: v0.2.0-b3

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OCR powered screen-capture tool to capture information instead of images.

Build passing License: GPLv3 Code style: black Coverage Status

Links: Repo | PyPi | Releases | Changelog | FAQs

Content: Quickstart | Python package | Usage | Contribute | Credits



❱❱ Download & run a pre-build package for Linux, MacOS or Windows ❰❰


  • If you experience issues or have questions please look at the FAQs or open an issue.
  • On Linux, make the AppImage executable before running it: chmod +x NormCap-Linux.AppImage ./NormCap-Linux.AppImage
  • On MacOS, you have to allow the unsigned application on first start: "System Preferences" → "Security & Privacy" → Tab "General" → "Open anyway". \ Depending on your OS, you might also need to allow NormCap to take screenshots.

Python package

As an alternative to a pre-build package you can install the NormCap Python package:

On Linux

# Install dependencies (Ubuntu/Debian)
sudo apt install tesseract-ocr tesseract-ocr-eng \
                 libtesseract-dev libleptonica-dev \

## Install dependencies (Arch)
sudo pacman -S tesseract tesseract-data-eng leptonica

## Install dependencies (Fedora)
sudo dnf install tesseract tesseract-devel \
                 libleptonica-devel python3-devel

# Install normcap
pip install normcap

# Run

On MacOS

# Install dependencies
brew install tesseract tesseract-lang

# Install normcap
pip install normcap

# Run

On Windows

1. Install "Tesseract 4.1", e.g. by using the installer provided by UB Mannheim.

2. Set the environment variable TESSDATA_PREFIX to Tesseract's data folder, e.g.:

setx TESSDATA_PREFIX "C:\Program Files\Tesseract-OCR\tessdata"

3. Install tesserocr using the Windows specific wheel and NormCap afterwards:

# Install tesserocr package
pip install https://github.com/simonflueckiger/tesserocr-windows_build/releases/download/tesserocr-v2.4.0-tesseract-4.0.0/tesserocr-2.4.0-cp37-cp37m-win_amd64.whl

# Install normcap
pip install normcap

# Run



  • Press <esc> key to abort a capture and quit the application.

  • Press <space> key while selecting a region with the mouse (left mouse button has to be hold down) to switch between the two capture modes:

    • ★ (parse): Try to auto-detect the type of text using magics and format the text accordingly, then copy
    • ☰ (raw): Copy detected text line by line, without further modification

Command line options

NormCap has no settings, just a set of command line arguments:

(normcap)[email protected]:~$ normcap --help
usage: normcap [-h] [-l LANGUAGE] [-c COLOR] [-n] [-t] [-v] [-V]

OCR-powered screen-capture tool to capture information instead of images.

optional arguments:
  -h, --help                  show this help message and exit
  -l LANGUAGE, --language LANGUAGE
                              set language(s) for text recognition, e.g.
                              eng+deu (default: eng)
  -c COLOR, --color COLOR     set primary color for UI (default: #FF2E88)
  -n, --no-notifications      disable notifications shown after ocr detection
                              (default: False)
  -t, --tray                  keep running in system tray - experimental
                              (default: False)
  -v, --verbose               print debug information to console (default:
  -V, --very-verbose          print more debug information to console
                              (default: False)


"Magics" are like add-ons providing automated functionality to intelligently detect and format the captured input.

First, every "magic" calculates a "score" to determine the likelihood of being responsible for this type of text. Second, the "magic" which achieved the highest "score" takes the necessary actions to "transform" the input text according to its type.

Currently implemented Magics:

Magic Score Transform
Single line Only single line is detected Trim unnecessary whitespace
Multi line Multi lines, but single Paragraph Separated by line breaks and trim each lined
Paragraph Multiple blocks of lines or multiple paragraphs Join every paragraph into a single line, separate different paragraphs by empty line
E-Mail Number of chars in email addresses vs. overall chars Transform to a comma-separated list of email addresses
URL Number of chars in URLs vs. overall chars Transform to line-break separated URLs

Why "NormCap"?




Setup Environment

Prerequisites are Python >=3.7.1, Poetry, Tesseract (incl. language data).

# Clone repository
git clone https://github.com/dynobo/normcap.git

# Change into project directory
cd normcap

# Create virtual env and install dependencies
poetry install

# Register pre-commit hook
poetry run pre-commit install

# Run NormCap in virtual env
poetry run python -m normcap


This project uses the following non-standard libraries:

Packaging is done with:

  • briefcase - converting Python projects into standalone apps

And it depends on external software

Thanks to the maintainers of those nice libraries!



*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the normcap README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.