The Shortcuts app can be run from the CLI:

shortcuts run 'Extract Image Text' -i /Users/rich/Desktop/alpha.png -o /Users/rich/Desktop/imagetext.txt

However, the structure of the actual Shortcut is confusing. I want to run the script and copy the sniffed text into the clipboard for further processing. I don't know what instructions I need to get this done.

Right now I have Extract text from File and Copy Text from Image to clipboard however this doesn't seem to work, given the structure above:

shortcuts run 'Extract Image Text' -i /Users/rich/Desktop/alpha.png

Does anybody know how I have to structure this for it to grab the text?

1 Answer 1


This works for me. The initial box was supplied by the app itself. I've ticked "Use as Quick Action", but it works on the CLI as well.

enter image description here

  • OK, interesting. I had to start again, as the actions change scope depending on what is currently in the workflow. So I had to delete some actions and re-choose them in order for them to work.
    – Rich_F
    Apr 22, 2022 at 16:08

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