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 David Goodwin👨‍🦯 on Friday, August 21, 2015

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

The developers have now said that due to unforeseen problems the Try Before You Buy facility does not work in version 2.0 and that it will be “coming soon” in version 2.1.

Submitted by David on Thursday, September 3, 2015

I just went to the App Store, and I only get a button to purchase KNFBReader for £79.99. Is there a different way to get the trial version than through the Ap Store?

Oh, and it's showing the version as 2.2, so I think it definitely should have the trial version.

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

What's New in Version 2.4

- Speech rate fixed for iOS9 compatibility
- "Lens covered" message in automatic mode triggered to fast. This has now been fixed.

Submitted by alex wallis on Thursday, October 8, 2015

what are the results like compared to a 6 plus or lower spec phone? interested to see if the 12 mp camera makes a difference.

Submitted by DarkLordMark on Sunday, January 3, 2016

This is easily the most useful app on my phone. Worth every penny.

Submitted by Brian Giles on Sunday, January 3, 2016

I don't see why everyone raves about this app. Perhaps there's something I'm not doing, but I can't get any useful results, and most of the time it tells me there's no text recognized.

Sometimes I can get enough text to let know what I'm looking at, but I thought this app was supposed to be better than that, like you could get all the text off a page and save it. I watched all their tutorial videos on YouTube, but they seemed set up to make the app look perfect, which I guess makes sense.

I used iTunes credit to buy it since it was on sale, but right now I kind of regret it. With as much as it costs, this. app. needs. a. demo.

Submitted by Raul on Monday, May 2, 2016

I don't get how to use this app. I read the full guide and follow the instrucions, check that all corners are visible, but it keeps saying there is no text. Also, why is all the time vibrating like crazy? There is very little info within the app itself and I have no computer to check properly.

Submitted by alex wallis on Monday, May 2, 2016

the vibrating is the tilt guidance, that should have been mentioned in the guide you read, the faster the vibration the more tilted you have the phone, when the phone is level vibration should stop, the app does work. did you read the full user guide not just the quick start guide? and you can disable tilt guidance if you want.

Submitted by Rashad on Monday, May 16, 2016

I've been having trouble with this app and was hoping someone could help. First, for whatever reason, half the time I try to take a picture the take picture button doesn't work. When asking a sighted person I'm told this is because the camera froze. Restarting the app fixes it but if I cant get a picture in time it happens again. Second, when using this for PDFs it seems to skip the tops and bottoms of pages even though I'm told they're perfectly readable.
Any help would be appreciated.

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Friday, September 9, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

What's New in Version 2.7.1

Supports iOS10;
- Use all available voices on your device in normal and enhanced quality;
- Take a picture using the volume up/down buttons of your device;
- Minor bug fixes and stability issues solved.

Submitted by MsHollyWeezy on Saturday, November 26, 2016

I just bought this app and the results I get back are great!!!! I'm not the best at taking pictures even though I use Tap Tap See every day and this now. But I just need to keep practicing and I'll get better. Even though I am not taking the perfect picture and a little text is cut off (that is on my part though lol) I'm vary happy with this app.

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Friday, April 21, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

What's New in Version 2.7.3

- New app icon and splash screen added;
- Czech user interface language added;
- Fixes a crash some users experienced when taking a picture;
- The "volume up" button will now take a picture and the "volume down" button will execute field of view;
- Fixes some minor issues with voice-over accessibility.

Submitted by alex wallis on Monday, April 30, 2018

Hi all,
I am writing to give you all a heads up regarding some significant issues that I believe are present in the upcoming knfb reader release, I am a beta tester for this, I won't go into specific upcoming features though I personally don't seem any of them as particularly revolutionary or game changing.
a few days ago they posted the final release candidate build to testflight users which presumably means there are no more upcoming changes, I have tried reporting issues several times to the developers throughout the cycle both through the support email address and the testflight system, but I haven't received a response. I have certainly heard from there support email in the past so I doubt its that they haven't received my reports.

I just think that owners of knfb reader should be aware of the issues that are still present so they can make an informed choice about weather to upgrade or not, the issues are certainly not deal breakers but they are significant and I think given how much the app costs users have a right to expect a good quality app with as few bugs as possible, in my view the app certainly isn't ready for release yet.

so the issues I would like to bring to people's attention are as follows,
1. if you take a photo and no text is found in the new version you are still left on the reading screen even though it has nothing of value on it to read, users must manually switch back to the camera tab to take another picture, in the old version you were automatically placed back on the screen to take a picture.
2. the second issue I have to highlight concerns how knfb reader reads information, if I take a picture or access the help system I don't want to be forced to use there self voicing system to read information, I don't need it and would actually far rather have the option to totally disable it and hide the controls, I did suggest this to them several times over the years but without success.
But the issues I need to mention concern how VoiceOver interacts with text on the reading screen, if I have my phone in portrait mode and am flicking say in a document or email or some other app text is read to me one line at a time, but with knfb reader if I want to read text on screen with VoiceOver if I flick with one finger on screen VoiceOver reads it to me one word at a tine, flicking down with two fingers does get VoiceOver to read continuously,
but I don't understand why they have bypassed the default way of VoiceOver interacting with text.
the final issue I have to raise concerns the help system, when I go into the new help tab the self voicing system reads it as complete rubbish its missing out words, sentences and even lines it just reads as complete rubbish in places it certainly wouldn't give a good impression to new people buying knfb reader for the first time.
the strange thing is that VoiceOver reads the help fine if you flick down with two fingers and have it continuously read, but again if I want to manually flick on screen the help system is read by VoiceOver one word at a time.
I am amazed that no other testers have reported any of these issues to knfb reader like I have on at least 3 or 4 occasions throughout the testing cycle. also, there testing seems quite sloppy if they haven't picked up on the issues, if they haven't then they should have come back to me to get me to do more testing.

Submitted by Orko on Wednesday, May 30, 2018

I just had an occasion to use KNFB Reader today and I have to say that I am very disappointed. It is no longer as easy to use or convenient as it used to be. So I deleted it from my phone, withdrew my recommendation, and will be using Seeing AI from now on instead.

Good job KNFB! You showed me that you definitely know how to ruin what used to be a great app!

Submitted by alex wallis on Wednesday, May 30, 2018

I tried lots of times throughout the beta process to report issues I found such as VoiceOver only reading one word at a time when navigating scanned text, but my feedback was utterly ignored. just be glad they took out the messaging system they were trying to add in to notify users of useful information, great idea in principal but poorly implemented. I can only think of two issues they fixed during the beta that I reported and don't know how many others did and that was a button labeled in both English and german with some other nonsense. I also mentioned a lot about how the app still keeps text saying no text found on screen rather than just returning you back automatically to the camera screen, I mean how is that remotely helpful. I don't think knfb really listen to our feedback at all. plus of course the self voicing system doesn't read the help documentation properly either missing out words and sentences which VoiceOver does read. oh actually to be fair to knfb I can think of one other issue they fixed in this new version and that is that alex now works again as my self reading voice of choice, though actually I would prefer not to have the self voicing system and controls rammed down my throat. but they claimed before this new version they couldn't reproduce the issue with alex not working. the alex issue was fixed in the first public beta that was out though so it wasn't actually fixed during the beta testing cycle at least in public. but I actually rarely use knfb now and use either seeing ai or prizmo go, though prizmo go I would hesitate to recommend, as I have found that frequently it confuses English for Chinese when documents are upside down and even when no useful text is found it still deducts credits from my account for scanning, I don't know if I will buy more when I use the ones up I paid for. I guess knfb could still be useful for sensitive documents after all when images are scanned for cloud recognition we don't know what happens to them or how they are stored. but I do increasingly use other apps these days.

Submitted by turner42 on Friday, June 1, 2018

I find that this new version of KNFB Reader is needlessly complicated. It is also still not very good at retaining the page format. Seeing AI does a better job for scanning a document page and retaining format and it is free. None of my clients who have tried this version like it at all and more are switching to Seeing AI.

Submitted by Amirudin abdullah on Tuesday, April 16, 2019

do you experience this? this is the latest version of knfb.
recognizing multi page documents works for the first time, then after you save the document and reopen it to continue to taking picture, the multi page mode button or the batch mode button (i forgot the term but something similar) is not there! you cannot do multiple capturing of photos and then process it at a later time!
Do you notice it? go ahead and try! this is basic function, how come?
iphone 5s knfb latest, long time no update i think.

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