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If you’re abroad, in a country where you don’t speak, or are not fluent in the language, you’re likely to run into a situation where you want to translate something. While translation dictionaries and phrasebooks can be effective, they can often be slow to use. These translation tools are especially slow when you want to translate a block of text at once, such as a sign, or a menu.

Translation apps, such as Google Translate are particularly helpful here, as you can relatively quickly type in what you want to be translated. If you’re abroad in a country that uses a different alphabet, however, it can be difficult to type as you may not know or recognize the characters very well. This is where the camera translation feature of Google Translate comes into its own.

Camera translation allows you to take pictures of text in a large and increasing variety of languages and translate it directly from the image. With many languages, you can automatically translate in real-time as you hold the phone. With some languages, you may need to take a photo and then highlight the text in the image that you want to be translated. The feature works through a combination of optical character recognition, the translation algorithm, and image processing.

To launch the camera translation feature, just tap the “Camera” icon on the left under the standard translation box.

Tip: Before switching to the camera mode, it’s helpful to ensure that your language selections are correct.

In languages where instant translations are available, this option will be selected by default. All you need to do is point the camera so that the screen shows the text you want to be translated.

Tip: For the best results you should ensure adequate lighting, that the text is correctly orientated and that the text is flat on to the phone, rather than crumpled.

The process of instant translation can be a little slow, especially on older phones. Google Translate will, however, automatically translate the text on the screen and overlay the translation on top of the original text.

If instant translation isn’t available in the language you need, you will generally be able to take a still image of the text you want to be translated with the “Scan” mode. Google translate will then highlight text it can identify with blue boxes. Highlight the text you want to be translated by swiping over it or tap “Select all” at the bottom of the screen.

Tip: If you want to enter this mode manually, tap the “Scan” icon in the bottom centre of the screen when in the instant translation mode.

The words you’ve highlighted and their translation will be displayed at the top of the screen in the white and blue boxes respectively. If your selection is more than a few words, however, this will likely extend off the edge of the screen. To see the full translation, tap the arrow on the right of the blue box to copy the text and translation back to the standard view.

Tip: If you’ve already taken a picture that includes text that you want to translate, you can import it by tapping the “Import” icon at the bottom-right of the camera translation views.

You're reading How To Use The Camera To Translate Text With Google Translate On Android

6 Google Translate Tips You Need To Start Using

Decades ago, Star Trek introduced the idea of a “universal translator,” a small baton that let crew members converse with aliens in their native languages simply by flipping a switch. And now we’re almost there thanks to Google Translate.

Further reading: The best Android phones

Download offline languages

You won’t always have the best mobile data connection while traveling the world, so it’s a good idea to have an offline backup in Translate. The app can do basic translation without any internet access, as long as you remember to download the necessary files.


Several dozen languages are supported in offline mode.

To cache languages offline, open the navigation menu and tap Offline translation. The several dozen languages supported in offline mode include the biggies like Spanish, German, and French, along with Romanian, Icelandic, Greek, and more. In offline mode, you cannot do conversational voice input, but typing and camera scanning both work normally. You can even have translations read with text-to-speech.

Translate highlighted text

Starting in Android Marshmallow, the operating system gained support for custom text selection actions. Google Translate plugs into that feature via Chrome, so it’s a snap to translate any block of text you happen to come across. Just highlight it, tap the menu button in the popup, and select Translate.


Just highlight text in Chrome to translate.

The translation of your selected text appears in a floating box at the top of the screen. The source language should be detected automatically and translated into your default language. There’s also a New translation button if you want to translate more text without leaving the popup.

Conversation mode

The main Translate UI has all the tools you need to translate a quick word or phrase, but there’s a separate mode if you need to actually carry on a conversation. You can enter conversation mode by tapping the microphone icon at the bottom of the main text box. There’s a handy popup with instructions accessible via the hand icon at the top of the conversation screen. It explains the situation to the other person in their language.


Chat more easily with conversation mode.

Live visual translations

Google acquired a firm several years ago called Quest Visual to get its hands on the company’s augmented reality text translator called Word Lens. That technology is integrated in Translate, allowing you to point your phone at a sign written in another language and get a live overlay in your own language.

Ryan Whitwam/IDG

Just point your camera at a sign, and Translate can tell you what it says instantly.

Tap to Translate

If you get more than a few messages or emails in another language, constantly flipping back over to the Translate app can be a pain. That’s where Tap to Translate comes in handy. You enable this feature from the translate settings—and set your default languages. With Tap to Translate enabled, a translation bubble appears whenever you copy text.


Tap the bubble to translate copied text.

Custom phrasebook

You don’t need to frantically type or shout at your phone to get a quick translation for common phrases. Translate includes a custom phrasebook where you can save important translations for quick access later.


Keep your most important phrases in one place.

Translate keeps a running list of recent phrases under the main text box. To the right of each one is a star icon. Tap that, and it’s added to your phrasebook. The phrasebook is accessible from the navigation menu. It’s just a long list, but there’s a search feature. Tapping on any item in the phrasebook drops it into the main Translate UI.

With these tips, you should be ready to take on the world with Google Translate. Just make sure to install the app before you go!

How To Use Google Assistant In Chrome On Android

Many Android users love the convenience of Google assistant. You can control smart home devices, play games, get important details, and much more. A new experimental feature allows you to enable Google Assistant in Chrome on Android to enjoy the voice assistant directly within the browser.

Benefits of Enabling Google Assistant

For most users, you’re probably already used to just asking Google Assistant a question by saying “Hey Google” or pressing the Google Assistant button on your Android device, if one’s available. Having it incorporated in your browser may not seem like a big deal.

However, Google is slowly adding Google Assistant functionality to as many existing Google features as possible to ensure easy access no matter what you’re doing. For instance, some devices already have Google Assistant integrated into the Gboard keyboard to aid in more accurate voice typing.

By enabling Google Assistant in Chrome on Android, you can search using Google Assistant versus just Android’s built-in voice recognition search software. This can lead to better accuracy for voice searches.

Before You Enable

There are three things you need to know before trying to enable this feature. At the time of writing, the feature is still experimental, meaning there could be some glitches. Also, it’s not enabled by default. If it goes over well, it’ll likely be incorporated into newer versions of the Chrome browser.

The feature is only available on Android devices for now. Even if you’re using Google Assistant on iOS, the feature is only compatible with Android.

Finally, you’ll need the latest version of Chrome for this to work. If you have an older version of Android, newer versions of Chrome may not be compatible with your device. I had to update to version 87.0.4280.141 to do this.

Enable Google Assistant in Chrome on Android

The Google Assistant feature in Chrome on Android involves enabling a flag. Chrome flags are experimental browser features. They come and go as new features are tested out. They’re a great way to try out new things before they’re fully released.

To access flags, open Chrome on Android and enter chrome://flags in the address bar.

This brings up all the current Chrome flags available.

Instead of scrolling, type “omnibox assistant voice search” in the search box at the top of the screen.

When the Omnibox Assistant Voice Search appears, tap the drop-down box below it. It’ll say “default” at first.

Choose “Enabled” or opt to add a grey or colorful mic. I went for the colorful mic.

You’ll need to relaunch Chrome for the changes to take effect. Tap the blue Relaunch button at the bottom right to relaunch.

When Chrome restarts, you’ll see a microphone in the Google search box. If you tap the omnibox or address bar to search, you’ll see the colorful mic (or whatever option you chose) to use Google Assistant.

Alternative Way to Use Google Assistant in Chrome

If you don’t want to go through enabling a flag, there is a workaround. Gboard keyboards have Google Assistant built in on newer devices. Others may only have Android’s voice recognition built in.

Tap the search box or address bar in Chrome to bring up your keyboard. Tap the microphone icon and then speak.

Whatever you say is entered into the search box. However, not all Android devices have this feature.

The good news is there is a possible new feature on the horizon that may enable nearly hands-free voice typing using Gboard. It’s just rumor for now but shows what the future might hold.

Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

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How To Fix The Google Meet Camera Not Working Error

Are you having trouble getting your camera feed to load in Google Meet? If so, your camera may be faulty, or your device may have technical issues. You can resolve most of these issues, and we’ll show you how to do just that.

The most common cause of the broken camera functionality is Meet needing permission to access your camera in your web browser. However, there are other reasons, too.

Table of Contents

Check Your Camera’s Connection With Your Computer

When you can’t see your camera’s feed on your machine, ensure you’ve plugged your camera correctly into your computer. A loose or improper connection prevents your computer from transferring the required feed data.

You can fix that by disconnecting and reconnecting the camera to your computer.

Restart Your Devices to Fix Camera Not Working

Sometimes, your desktop or mobile phone’s minor glitch causes your camera to not work in apps like Google Meet. You can resolve most minor issues like this by rebooting your various devices.

Rebooting your device deletes temporary files and fixes many issues. Just save your unsaved work before turning your device off and back on.


Open the


menu and select the





in the menu.


Press and hold down the


button to open the power menu.



in the menu.


Press and hold down either

Volume Up




Volume Down



until you see a slider on your screen.

Drag the slider to turn off your phone.

Turn your phone back on by pressing and holding down the


button until you see the Apple logo.

Activate Your Computer’s Camera

Windows and Mac desktop units let you disable your webcam, allowing you to protect your privacy. Your camera feed not loading in Google Meet may result from a disabled camera on your machine.

So, activate your camera from your computer’s settings menu to resolve the issue.



Windows Settings

by pressing







in Settings.



from the sidebar on the left.



and turn on the toggle on the right.

Activate the

Allow apps to access your camera





from the sidebar on the left.

Enable the option for the web browser that you use for your Google Meet meetings on the right.

Enable Camera Permission for Google Meet in Your Web Browsers

Your installed web browsers (like Chrome browser) give you the option to allow your sites to use your machine’s components. You may have denied camera access to the Google Meet site in your web browser, causing the camera error on the platform.

You can fix that by changing Google Meet’s camera permission in your web browser.

Google Chrome

Launch the Google Meet site in



Select the padlock icon beside the address bar.

Turn on the



Mozilla Firefox

Open the Google Meet site and access a meeting.

Select the camera icon beside the address bar.


Blocked Temporarily

next to

Use the camera


Microsoft Edge

Access Google Meet and join a meeting.

Choose the lock icon beside the address bar.

Select the drop-down menu next to


and choose



Set a Default Camera in Google Meet

Google Meet allows you to set a default camera, so all future meetings use that particular camera. When you experience camera feed problems, it’s worth choosing your primary camera as the default in Meet’s settings.

Access Google Meet in your web browser.

Select the gear icon at the top-right corner.



from the sidebar on the left.

Select the


drop-down menu on the right and choose a camera to make it the default.

Close Other Apps Using Your Device’s Camera

Your desktop or mobile phone may have multiple apps running, all using your device’s camera simultaneously. Sometimes, this causes issues and prevents you from using your camera in specific apps, like Google Meet.

You can fix that by closing all apps (other than Meet) on your devices. You can close a Windows app by selecting X in the window’s top-right corner. On Android, you can quit an app by pressing the Recents button and swiping up on your app’s card. Similarly, you can close an iPhone app by swiping up from the bottom of your screen, pausing in the middle, and then swiping up on an app’s card.

Switch Between Front and Rear Cameras in Google Meet

Google Meet allows you to use your phone’s rear and front cameras in your meetings. When you have issues using a specific camera, switch the camera, which should resolve your issue.

For example, tap the switch camera icon on your phone’s Google Meet app. This will make the app use the alternative camera on your phone. Then, you can switch back to the original camera to see if it’s working.

Update Camera Drivers on Your Windows PC

A possible reason your camera isn’t working is that your PC is using outdated camera drivers. Old drivers often have various problems, and you can fix that by downloading and installing the latest drivers.

Use Windows’ Device Manager utility to find and install the required camera drivers automatically.

Open the


menu, search for

Device Manager

, and select the tool in the search results.


Search automatically for drivers


Allow Windows to install the available drivers.

Reboot your PC by accessing


, selecting the


icon, and choosing



Fix Google Meet Camera Issues by Updating the Meet App

One reason you can’t use your camera with Google Meet is that your phone is running an outdated version of the app. Old app versions are known to have many issues.

Luckily, fixing that is easy. Update the Google Meet app on your iPhone or Android device, and your app bugs will all be patched.



Google Play Store

on your phone.

Search for and select

Google Meet




to update the app.



App Store

on your iPhone.

Select the


tab at the bottom.



next to

Google Meet

on the app list.

Bring Your Smiling Face Back in Your Google Meet Meetings

Your meeting participants are probably disappointed not being able to see your face in the meetings. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be like that for too long. You can follow the methods outlined above to give Meet permission access to your camera and fix other items, allowing you to appear in your online meetings again.

We hope the guide helps you out.

Google On Alt Text Seo & Accessibility

Google’s John Mueller and Lizzi Sassman discuss creating image alt text that’s good for those using screen readers, briefly touching on what to do about decorative images and how it’s tricky to write alt text that finds the balance between SEO and accessibility.

Alt Text is For Accessibility & SEO?

According to the World Wide Web Consortium (commonly referred to as the W3C), the official HTML standards body, the purpose of the image alt text is to make images understandable to site visitors who cannot view image content and are using screen readers.

Alt text also helps those using screen readers understand the purpose of the image or become aware of text that is in the image.

The W3C also says that alt text has an SEO purpose as well.

The guide states:

“…if you want your website to be indexed as well as it deserves, use the alt attribute to make sure that they won’t miss important sections of your pages.”

The purpose of alt text can be said to be for making images understandable and accessible to those who cannot see the image, which includes search engine bots.

It takes a surprising amount of thought to get the alt text right. The W3C published an alt text tutorial for seven different kinds of image contexts.

Don’t Say an Image is an Image

While SEO might require that the alt text of a screenshot say that the image is a screenshot, for accessibility purposes it’s considered redundant (and annoying to write that an image is an image).

Lizz Sassman and John Mueller discuss handling this problem:

“So one of the best practices is not to start every image with a screenshot of, a screenshot of, because then, it just becomes repetitive.

We already are aware that it’s an image. You don’t need to say, ‘It’s an image of’ and then the thing.

Just launch in with whatever the description is. And it also doesn’t necessarily need to be a full sentence, I think.

John Mueller: Yeah.

Lizzi Sassman: It could be just a descriptive phrase. It doesn’t need to be a full thought, I think.”

Balancing SEO Needs With Accessibility

John Mueller introduces the topic of the tension between what traditional SEO practice is with regard to image alt text and accessibility requirements.

Mueller continued:

“John Mueller: Yeah, yeah. I think that makes a lot of sense.

I mean, the tricky part is probably balancing the two sides. The kind of accessibility aspect. What people want from alt text for accessibility.

And then the SEO aspect where you would do some things like… traditionally, you would do some things that might be slightly different.

Like you would list a bunch of synonyms, for example.

Like, “Oh, this a beach at the ocean with waves.”

And that’s the kind of stuff where sometimes it makes sense to do that in the alt text for SEO reasons, but probably not for accessibility reasons.

And finding that balance is something that’s sometimes a bit tricky.

So it’s good to watch out for that.”

Something is Better than Nothing

An important point about image alt text is that it’s a bad practice to leave the alt text field blank.

One reason it’s a poor practice is because screen readers may start reading the image file names, which is a negative user experience.

Another reason is because it deprives visitors using screen readers from receiving important information that may be in some of the images.

Then there are SEO considerations with regard to alt text and getting images properly indexed and found in search.

John Mueller recommends adding something into the alt text because something is better than nothing.

He suggested:

“John Mueller: But if you’re just adding alt text for the first time, then sometimes, even any alt text is better than nothing.

Lizzi Sassman: Like nothing.

At least starting with something, but then, what can you do to even improve on top of that.”

Alt Text and Decorative Images

Lizzi Sassman next discussed what to do about decorative images.

The first problem is distinguishing between whether an image truly is decorative or whether it’s conceptual and contributes to the meaning of the content, in which case, the challenge is how to communicate a conceptual image.

“And that’s definitely something that… I think I struggle with more, like the more you get into decorative images, or things that are not…

I don’t know… the search result thing is fairly straightforward.

But once it gets into things like, “Oh, this is a concept,” or like, “It’s decorative,” so it doesn’t…

There’s some places that say, ‘Oh, you don’t need to put alt text in a decorative image.’

Like if it’s purely there just for aesthetics, then it’s better to just leave the alt text empty.

But on the other hand, why would I have put it there? There was a reason to put it there.

So shouldn’t we have something that fills that gap for the experience of someone who is not seeing the image?

Shouldn’t we have a replacement thing? It was serving a purpose.

We put it there for a reason, like what would be an alternate experience to still get that information across, I guess?

So for like Googlebot, like doing stuff.

Sometimes we have these I guess what would be categorized as a decorative image.

Where it’s like Googlebot is exploring the web, or something.

Or like it’s conveying some kind of idea, and should the alt text focus on the idea? Or like, ‘Oh, it’s Googlebot with some friends.’

Or it’s Googlebot… like putting spam into a computer, and then, being happy at the end.

Like describing what is happening in there, so that you still sort of get the idea of what was meant to be there is, I guess, one of the things that… yeah, it confuses me.

John Mueller: Yeah. I mean from a personal point of view, I would definitely add alt text to these kind of images, because they’re kind of unique and special.

It’s not… I don’t know… a floral background, or something like that.

It’s actually something where people spent a lot of time creating that image.

And it’s also something that people might want to find in the search results.

So if you’re searching for Googlebot, like we spend so much time creating all of these images, it will be nice to be able to be found for them as well.”

The W3C has published an entire page of documentation about how to handle the alt text for decorative images.

This is the official W3C recommendation:

“Decorative images don’t add information to the content of a page.

For example, the information provided by the image might already be given using adjacent text, or the image might be included to make the website more visually attractive.

In these cases, a null (empty) alt text should be provided (alt=””) so that they can be ignored by assistive technologies, such as screen readers.

Text values for these types of images would add audible clutter to screen reader output or could distract users if the topic is different from that in adjacent text.”

The W3C also suggests four ways to identify a decorative images.

Four Tests For Whether an Image is Decorative:

Image is used for styling the document (the look and feel)

If it is an image that is supplementary to link text

Does not contribute information to the text content

The image is described by the surrounding text content

Ultimately it’s up to the author to decide what’s best for image alt text.

As Google said, something is better than nothing. So if the image doesn’t contribute information then just use the null value for alt text, which is coded with alt=””


Listen to this portion of the Google Podcast at the 15:17 minute mark:

Featured image by Shutterstock/Roman Samborskyi

How To Quote Text On Discord For The Desktop And Mobile

Have you ever felt the need to quote someone on Discord but you’re not sure how to go about it? You’re not alone, and luckily, this is an easy task to accomplish. Now, many users like the quoting feature because it allows them to easily reply to certain messages in the chat.

How to quote something or someone on Discord

When it comes down to quoting persons on Discord, there are multiple ways to get the job done. Also, the steps to quote other users in a chat are the same across desktop and mobile versions of Discord.

How to use the Single-line Quoting feature in Discord

If you only want to quote text that takes up a single line, then it makes sense to use the single-line quoting method.

Open the Discord app on your device of choice.

Navigate to the conversation where you want to quote a message.

Hit the Space key once.

Finally, add the text you want to quote.

How to use Multi-line quote in Discord

Folks who want to quote more than just a single line of text must use the multi-line quote method.

Again, fire up the Discord app.

Go to the relevant conversation.

Hit the spacebar key.

Add the text you want to quote.

Finally, select the Enter key to complete the task.

Back in 2023, Discord released a new update that introduced Code Blocks to the feature set. By using the Code Blocks, users can easily highlight messages with ease, so let us look at how to do this.

If you want to create a single-line of Code Block, type (`). As in, only the backtick inside of the brackets. So, the message should look a little like the following:

`The Windows Club is the best there is. `

For those who want to add multiple lines of text, we suggest typing (‘’’), which is all three backticks in the bracket. It should look like the following when you’re done:

‘’’The Windows Club is the best website for news and reviews.‘’’

That should be enough for quoting text in single and multiple paragraphs. As you can see, the tasks are simple and do not take a lot of time complete.

How to use the Discord quote bots

There is also the option to use a Discord quote bot on your preferred device. There were quite a few such bots on GitHub, but these days they are pretty hard to find. Luckily, Quote from Deivedux is still available, though no longer on Discord.

Deivedux/ Quote: As for this one, then, well, it brings to the table several features that we find very pleasing. For example, message link & ID quoting, deleted/edited message snipping, message cloning, personal quoting, server quoting, server-based language responses, and more.

Read: How to export Discord chat messages using DiscordChatExporter

Why aren’t quotation marks working on Discord?

If you confuse the backtick symbol with the quotation symbol, things will not turn out as intended. It’s up to you to make sure the correct symbol is in use before pressing the Enter key.

What does Quoting do on Discord?

OK, so whenever a message or text is quoted in Discord, you either reply to a user or highlight important pieces of text. This is super important if you’re in a chat with hundreds of users who are communicating at the same time.

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