KNFB Reader

Last modified
Saturday, January 19, 2019
Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Description of App

KNFB Reader gives you instant access to print anytime and anywhere.
KNFB Reader 3.0 is a rapid and efficient text recognition app. Its text-to-speech, text-to-Braille, and text highlighting tools make it valuable for blind, low-vision, dyslexic, and others with reading differences.
Use it to import or take a photo of anything containing text. Take a photo and the app reads text out loud or displays it on a connected refreshable Braille display. Read with more ease thanks to the simultaneous highlighting of the sentence and word that is being read on the picture or in the plain text document. The app helps you get a good photo with special alignment tools, including spoken and vibration guidance. Snap multiple pages, such as a book, for later reading.
Winner of the 2014, 2015, and 2016 AppleVis Golden Apple Award for Best Assistive

Technology App.
• Reads image-based PDF and JPEG files, and now tagged PDF and ePub files too!
• Exports KNFB reader files as HTML or TXT files.
• Navigates by line, sentence, word, or character.
• Crop, rotate and edit the pictures you take before performing text recognition.
• View documents in PDF presentation mode with double highlighting while reading.
• View reading order and language-tagged PDF documents.
• Add and remove bookmarks in PDF documents.
• Switch between PDF view and reflowable text view.
• Read documents in the increasingly popular ePub format.

The app also has synchronized text highlighting to help you read along with the spoken text, a benefit for people with dyslexia and other reading difficulties.

Need nutritional information from your breakfast cereal? KNFB reader can read labels. Out shopping and need a price? KNFB Reader can read price tags. Want to know what came in the mail? KNFB Reader captures it all.

KNFB Reader captures print from your computer or tablet screen. Photograph the screen and know exactly what that error message says.
Little details abound. We got rid of the fifty-page limit for batch recognition. Everything gets turned on its side with landscape support. Add subfolders to the local folder structure. Use Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, or Google Drive to store and retrieve your documents. You can now make calls, send emails, and open hyperlinks directly from documents; call or email your new contact directly from the text of her business card!

Fully localized versions (user interface, recognition and speech) are available in: English, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Norwegian (Bokmål), Swedish, Portuguese, Dutch, Turkish, Danish, Polish, Russian, Japanese, and Czech.

Other languages available for speech and recognition only: Afrikaans, Albanian, Bulgarian, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Estonian, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Romanian, Serbian (Cyrillic), Serbian (Latin), Slovak, Ukrainian.

Supported devices: iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPadPro, iPad Pro 12.9-inch, iPad Pro 9.7-inch, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPod touch 6th Generation, iPod 5th Generation.



Free or Paid


Apple Watch Support


iOS Version


Device(s) App Was Tested On


Accessibility Comments

This app is completely accessible with VoiceOver.

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads all page elements.

Button Labeling

All buttons are clearly labeled.


The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver and is easy to navigate and use.

Developer's Twitter Username



32 people have recommended this app

Most recently recommended by Michael Hansen 1 year 1 month ago



Submitted by Mike Freeman on Monday, October 20, 2014

In reply to by sockhopsinger


Submitted by jrjolley (not verified) on Monday, October 20, 2014

I know, I know, I keep saying this but whining about VO and navigation doesn't really help those who rely on these functions. Dyslexics, learning disabled, people like that for home text navigation facilities are a must for them. Anyway, VoiceOver's rubbish at navigation half the time anyway, paragraph navigation doesn't seem to exist under IOS so there is something. I know this is just my view, but I do prefer a point and listen system without point, shoot, touch screen and hope I have not missed the top line because VO is still receiving the page from the reader because the text is an odd shade of pink with white nonsensical pictures in the middle of it... You get what I am trying to say, stop complaining for once and enjoy the product for what it can do, not what you demand it should do. Dyslexics should be able to use this reader, the elderly, those with cognitive problems, anyone who needs print spoken back to them so stop assuming that the universe uses VO for everything. I note that you probably didn't complain about Voice Dream Reader, that does similar things to this and that's a paragon of access and usefulness. This reader's been out nearly a month and we're still on about TTS instead of using our reader software? Ridiculous.

Submitted by alex wallis on Monday, October 20, 2014

James, I really don't like your attitude and I find you saying I am whining offensive, I am allowed to express my view just as much as you are. Don't say those of us who don't agree with you are whiners because we are not.
I am not saying remove the alternative tts options at all, I am saying give an option to hide that panel of buttons on the bottom of the screen so those of us who don't want it can enable it, buy all means keep the alternative tts for non VoiceOver users though. You seem to dislike anyone who doesn't agree with your comments or points of view.

Submitted by jrjolley (not verified) on Monday, October 20, 2014

It seems that not many in our industry stand up for those with different needs though, that is what irritates. We here at Applevis are mainly VO users, but I am sure the KNFB folks did field testing to see if the navigation was something that was wanted. Do you seriously believe they included it just to irritate Alex because he wants VoiceOver to do everything when someone with serious impairment can't even perform a flick but can access the Reader with a switch device as a possible example? That's all I am saying, we need to consider others outside of VO. Making the interface overly complex defeats the point. As I have said countless times, it'll be rendering speed they are concerned about at KNFB, they market it as a fast OCR system and will want it to appear that way, hence the TTS.

Either way, it doesn't really matter - I suspect they won't remove it entirely anyway. Imagine how rubbish voice Dream would have been if it weren't for the fact it used alternative voices. Notice that app started out for the learning disabled community first, we just need to consider things from all angles.

Submitted by alex wallis on Monday, October 20, 2014

James again your missing my point, I am saying keep the options sure but give a setting under settings tucked away to disable the third party tts completely and hide that panel of buttons.
I find your comment about did they include it just to annoy alex rather childish.

Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Monday, October 20, 2014

I agree that thinking of those who cannot use voiceover due to conditions they may have is a great idea and if this app can work for themthen that's awesome.

I've just spent many paragraphs arguing for the existence of the TTS and why they won't change it as it stands now, they want fast OCR and won't want the support calls for VoiceOver seeming slow reading pages or having some of the text missing because the page rendered slower than the user's speech rate. Being childish is complaining to developers about small details when half the functionality isn't implemented yet, give the guys a chance to add in the other stuff like the language translation and whatever else. We have a reader, just use it instead of complaining about it

Submitted by Orko on Monday, October 20, 2014

James; So, are you telling us that after you paid hard-earned, good money for something that had correctable problems, you'd just accept and ignore them, rather than ask the provider to fix them? What is so wrong with asking the KNFB Reader developer to help fix something that is a problem for some of usthat you have to be hostile towards us? Especially when, after I wrote to the KNFB Reader developers about my experiencess with the app, and got a very positive response thanking me for my feedback on the app, and for letting them know of the problems I encountered with it. I'm not saying that they should completely remove TTS or VO, I'm just asking to be able to choose which one I want to use so I don't have to try and understand two voices talking over each ither.

Submitted by alex wallis on Monday, October 20, 2014

There is no reason why the tts couldn't be left enabled buy default with the option to disable if the user wanted.
Anyway I doubt commenting on this thread will make any difference because KNFB haven't engaged with applevis at all, and I know there is no law that says they have to, it would just be nice if they did that's all.

Submitted by raaj on Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hello lovely people,

After thinking a lots, I've bought this app finally yesterday.

I was playing with it for a long and I found most of them success other than exporting feature. I tried exporting it to dropbox and even facebook, both failed unfortunately. Could someone guide how to do this? Or is there any glitch on that part?


Submitted by Jordan on Friday, October 24, 2014

No of course not. You iOS users can stick to Apple. Android has a lot more people using it than you really want to believe. The NFB has no idea what even equallity is since they are stupid enough to seem to like saying the iPhone is better than Android. Guess what! It is not. I have had 2 iPhones, and they were good but my Android devices are just as good. My S5 still kicks the iPhone out of the water. The KNFB Reader was completely stupid by not hitting Android at the same time. Stupid Stupid Stupid. Hell with that app just like the BARD app. We are working on it is all you will get if asked and that means never as far as I am concerned based on the fact that BARD has yet to appear. Oh BTW, I have a built in OCR on my S5 that works well. KNFB Reader is behind now.

Submitted by alex wallis on Friday, October 24, 2014

Do we really need something like the above comment on this thread?
It doesn't contribute anything to app discussion, at the end of the day developing for android is far more complex because of all the different phones out there and versions of android, the development issues are far more complicated with android than ios.

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Friday, October 24, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team


Going forward, please try to keep discussions in this thread on topic--that is, related specifically to using the KNFBReader app itself.

While forum topics naturally branch out from time to time, we generally ask users to please keep discussions in app entries related to the specifics of using the app in question. This is because people tend to look at the comments for an app entry to determine user experiences/tips/issues with an app. With that in mind, personal attacks and off-topic Android comparisons are not likely to be of value to the user seeking specific information about the KNFBReader app--especially in the long term when the discussion has long since ended.

Michael Hansen
AppleVis Editorial Team

I understand that if one exports one document in the KNFB Reader's native format, exporting docuents works after that. I haven't tried this myself in that I've not yet bought the app.

Submitted by Kelly on Monday, November 3, 2014

What's New in Version 1.3

- Added text recognition for Turkish and Polish languages.
- Added user interface translations for Turkish, Polish and Danish.
- Added "tap and read" function on sentences or words for low-vision and users not using voice-over functions.

Submitted by jrjolley (not verified) on Monday, November 3, 2014

Significant update for those wanting more language support.

- Added text recognition for Turkish and Polish languages. - Added user interface translations for Turkish, Polish and Danish. - Added "tap and read" function on sentences or words for low-vision and users not using voice-over functions.

Submitted by Apple Khmer on Friday, January 23, 2015

So from what I can gather, this seems to work more efficiently than Prizmo? I'm using Prizmo right now and get a lot of garbage along with the text from whatever it is I captured. Or perhaps it is because I need to practice taking pictures with the Prizmo app a bit more?

Submitted by Rafal on Friday, January 23, 2015

I have purchased it at Christmas for the lowered price and I find the application pretty good. Of course, one needs some training beforehand but it is quite easy to get good results. I have problem with automatic scanning. When I select this profile, the programmeannounces: "hidden camera" and no scanning takes place. How can I solve this?

Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Friday, January 23, 2015

It's not fully implemented yet. It means that scannning like that doesn't work for now.

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

What's New in Version 1.4

* New design for the file explorer, now all files in one table instead of three seperate tables.
* Text recognition on images from e-mail or camera roll.
* Vertical tilt detection added.
* Optimized voice-over and Braille display support.
* New import/export user-interface and optimization for import/export functionality.

Submitted by Lisa on Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Has anyone had any success scanning credit or debit cards with the KNFB reader app? I have not been able to do this, so I'm not sure if it's possible. Thank you.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I personally would not do this. The card is very very small and a Credit card near and iphone is asking for trouble since both work on magnets.

Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I'd not do that. I'd get sited help if possible.

Submitted by Ka Yat Li on Thursday, February 19, 2015

Unfortunately KNFB Reader isn't able to scan credit cards very well. However, if you add credit cards for use in Safari by scanning, that works very well. When you scan a card using that feature, it will display the information, that's when I copy down the information it's able to get. Once I do that, I just hit cancel. I don't use Safari on my device to purchase things. I only use that feature to get the information I need.

Submitted by alex wallis on Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hi, I know where the options are to scan a credit card in settings, but I am not sure is this accessible with VoiceOver? I haven't been able to get this to work at all, it doesn't detect anything, is the information on the side with ridges that is raised or is it on the other smoother side of the card? and should scanning be done in landscape or portrait?

Submitted by Ka Yat Li on Thursday, February 19, 2015

To add a credit card go to Settings/Safari/Passwords and Auto-fill and click on the "saved credit cards" button. Once you've clicked on that, click "add a credit card" and then click on the "use camera" button. Now you just have to lift your phone away from the card and position the camera properly. When it detects the information, the phone will vibrate and you can see how much of it it was able to detect, in the edit fields.

Submitted by Usman on Thursday, February 19, 2015

Can anyone recommend the best way to use this app to scan receipts? I tried everything, but the awkward length of the receipts especially on long grocery ones is making it difficult and cumbersome.

I don't mind to spend 100 dollars on the app. Unless there is a free trial version. I don't care how accessible the app is. No free trial version? I don't think so. It sounds crazy to me anyway.

Submitted by Mike Freeman on Friday, April 17, 2015

C'mon! ooTunes doesn't have a free trial; neither does Voice Dream Reader IRIC. And having a free trial for an OCR app is problematic because it takes some people more time to get used to it than one might expect for an app that doesn't require exact positioning of the camera.
Ah well.

I am talking about 1 app cost 100 dollars. You can add the cost of ooTunes and Voice Dream together they not even 100 dollars. Oh by the way I don't even have Voice Dream. Anyway an app cost 100 dollars without free trial version that is outrageous. Sorry not worth it.

Submitted by Siobhan on Friday, April 17, 2015

Get someone to buy you gift cards if you're so tight with a penny. Seriously. I get a lot of use with this. this reads junk mail, addresses on packages that come in for the five others that live here, so i don't accidentally open something that isn't addressed to me. I've done it, and people are kind, but still I wouldn't really enjoy that if someone did it. No I have nothing to hide. It reads phone bills, it reads bank statements,but if you're so set in your ways, lobby for a free trial, then see if you can handle it's uses.

I am not asking for free stuff okay. Like I said at the beginning I don't mind to spend 100 dollars on the app. All I say was it would be nice if I can try it out first. I bought a lot of apps from the app store for myself. You don't know what my situation is so don't judge me or anybody for that matter.

Submitted by Siobhan on Friday, April 17, 2015

So I'm not agreeing with you wanting a free trial I'm judging you. Pretty sure that's not the case, but opinions are like back ends, everyone has one. I simply suggest you try out the app, and if it doesn't work for you, it is possible to obtain your money back. I have when an app hasn't met the needs which I thought it would. There's nothing wrong with refunding your purchase, if it is what you wish. Lol.

Submitted by peter on Friday, April 17, 2015

I didn't think it was possible to get a guaranteed refund from the Apple app store in the U.S. if one didn't like an app.

That is one of the problems with the app store and some of the relatively expensive apps. If you don't like a one dollar app or you find it not accessible, you're not out much. However if you find that a $100 app doesn't meet your needs that is a lot larger of an investment that is lost.

I guess the way that some apps get around the large initial sticker price is to have "in app purchases" that unlock certain features or else they use a subscription model to make it possible for folks to give the app a test drive before sinking a lot of money into a purchase.

I've also heard of people having similar problems when they purchase an app and are quite happy with it, it is accessible, etc., and then a future upgrade of the app is not as accessible. That is even worse when you buy a high priced app that works fine and you're happy with and suddenly an upgrade breaks the app you bought.

Well, I guess it is not a perfect world. Fortunately we have reviews to read before we purchase as well as sites like AppleVis that can give you plenty of insight before making a major purchase.


Submitted by Jason on Friday, April 17, 2015

In reply to by peter

Hi Peter, You are absolutely right about everything you said in here. I just want to add a little bit to it and that is 100 dollars it's a lot of money to some people include myself. That's why I want to make sure it works before I buy the app and you are right nothing is perfect in this world.

Submitted by Mani on Saturday, April 18, 2015

Hello Peter and Jason:
What a bout a case like the infamous Read2Go app I bought for 20 dollars and then Voice Dream Reader came along. I probably used the Read2Go app once or twice. What a if a free app came along and put KNFB Reader out of the market? That would feel lousy. I guess that's what life's all about.

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Saturday, April 18, 2015

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team


At this point, I think it'd be best to please move the discussion back towards the specifics of using the KNFBReader app.

While freer-ranging discussions of Apple products, related applications, and the pricing of said products and applications are certainly welcome, we generally ask that users please hold these broader discussions on our forum. This way, users looking for specific usage information about an app can more easily find it without having to read through a lot of discussion that might not relate directly to the specifics of using the app at hand.

Submitted by raaj on Saturday, April 18, 2015

Hello, whether anybody facing this problem? or me alone? I can't change the language in the settings. It's just telling one out of 5 2 out of 5 or something like that. Instead of telling the language which I'm on. I'm using 5s with the latest KNFB.


Submitted by raaj on Sunday, April 19, 2015

I'm using KNFB reader. I saw that on KNFB settings. I've also wrongly changed the language by accident and ventured out for a sighted assistance for changing it back to English.


Submitted by AnonyMouse on Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

What's New in Version 1.5

- Added support for iPad Air 2;
- Fixed an issue with voice-over using the language picker;
- Fixed an issue with voice-over using the Field of View button.

Submitted by Orko on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sometimes I have to wonder about this KNFB Reader.

Most of the time it's reasonably accurate, though no where near as good as the OCR program on my computer. But othertimes I have to wonder what the heck it's looking at because all that comes out is gibberish. Then the other day I was scanning the labels on a couple of packs of labels for the Pen Friend audio labeler I just bought to put them in alphabetical order. KNFB reader read "Set A" as "Set F", which confused me because I had ordered sets A and B. Some sighted help cleared up the confustion.

I'm always careful to make sure there's plenty of light and that I hold my phone very steady while taking a picture for KNFB Reader, so I have a hard time understanding how it could make that mistake.

Submitted by David Goodwin👨‍🦯 on Thursday, August 20, 2015

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

What's New in Version 2.0

  • Now free to try for 25 pictures, full version through In-App Purchase;
  • Stand mode added;
  • Field of view report improved;
  • Limit recognition and speech languages in the settings screen;
  • Voice-over improvements;
  • Dropbox synchronisation and backup functionality;
  • General improvements

Submitted by raaj on Thursday, August 20, 2015

Whether any of you noticed, it is not giving vibration in the tilt guidance in this version? Or am I doing any mistake?


Submitted by alex wallis on Thursday, August 20, 2015

Vibration is working fine for me in the update, make sure you have the tilt guidance switch on, and that you have vibrate enabled in your iPhone settings. I have noticed the spacing between pulses in tilt guidance is much slower so your phone isn't constantly vibrating away like before you have to really wait a good second or two between pulses now.

Submitted by alex wallis on Thursday, August 20, 2015

Hi all, well looks like I got an unwelcome surprise after upgrading, I was prompted to use the unlock button which I did, and then I got an invoice through from apple a while later. So looks like maybe they haven't properly implemented detection of existing knfb reader users. So if you already purchased the app and are prompted to use the unlock button and do, make sure you keep a close eye out for an invoice from apple. when I used the unlock button I was thanked for my purchase, I guess that's how you will know if you have had to pay again. I have already emailed knfb reader support for a refund.

Submitted by Mike Freeman on Thursday, August 20, 2015

You probably haven't been charged again. I've seen this behavior before with some apps with in-purchase capability -- notably when redownloading the NHL app in versions prior to this year where one had to pay a fee for radio broadcasts.

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