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How to copy text from dialog and error messages on Windows 10

Windows 10 shows error and warning messages for all sorts of events. Apart from these messages, you also get other messages that give general, vague, information about an event. For all the error messages that Windows 10 shows, it has yet to add a feature that allows you to copy text from dialog and error messages. This is something that would be useful if you need to troubleshoot an error message. Instead, you have to manually type out the entire error message in your preferred search engine which can be tedious. Textify is a free Windows app that lets you copy text from dialog and error messages.

Copy dialog and error messages

Download and install Textify. When you run it for the first time, you have to configure how you’re going to activate it when you encounter a dialog or error message. You cannot use the keyboard to interact with the app since tapping the keys may result in an option being selected or, the keyboard may not work so long as the message is visible on your screen, with the exception of the modifier keys.

You have to combine the modifier keys with a mouse button to activate the app. We used the Shift key with the left click mouse button combination during set up. You can change it any time you want.

When you encounter an error or dialog box that you want to copy the text from, tap the shortcut you configured for Textify and make sure your mouse is positioned over the text that you want to copy. It’s a good idea to click on the text first and then tap the shortcut. This will add the text inside an editable text field that you can then copy it from.

In our brief tests, this worked for warning errors/messages such as the one asking if you want to save the changes made to a file before you close it, it worked on some app buttons, and it worked on app fields such as the group names for settings in the Control Panel app. Where it didn’t work was on the UAC prompt you get when you run the registry editor, or when you open Command Prompt with administrative rights.

This app is great if you have other apps or Windows processes throwing errors but if you get a lot of BSODs, this obviously isn’t going to be useful. The only shortcoming is that you have to normally click the bit of text you want to copy before you use the app’s shortcut to copy it. In some cases, simply clicking the text may execute an action e.g., clicking the name of an app in the apps’ list on the Start menu will launch it.

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