If you're keeping notes of your PC activity, or compiling instructions for someone else on how to use their computer, it's often useful to copy and paste text from the operating system into a document or other program. Perhaps most common is the requirement to copy the text from an error message dialogue box, so that you can paste it into a search engine and hopefully find a solution to your problem.
Annoyingly, though, some parts of certain Windows screens won't let you copy the text. However hard you press the mouse button, the cursor stubbornly refuses to change into the shape that tells you it's allowing you to copy the text.
The solution is a small program called GetWindowText. It's a tiny 0.05 MB download from http://www.softwareok.com/?Microsoft/GetWindowText which works on all versions of Windows from XP onwards (I personally tested it on 8.0). It's free, portable, and malware-free according to VirusTotal and Web of Trust.
To use the program, run it by clicking the .EXE file from the unzipped download. Then click on the small button that you can see in the screen shot below and, while holding down that button, move your mouse to a section of the screen that you want to copy. The section will be outlined in black as you do so, in order to inform you which component is selected. Now release the left mouse button and, assuming the highlighted section of the screen is supported by the program, its text will appear in the GetWindowText editor window, so you can copy and paste it to your heart's content.
Please note that, while GetWindowText is a useful and free program, its download web site can be misleading. Make sure you click on the correct links to download the program, and not on the large green Download buttons that are actually adverts for other products.
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