KNFB Reader for Android Quick Start Guide


Welcome to the world of rapid efficient text recognition and reading with our life changing KNFB Reader Android app. The KNFB Reader app is capable of reading a wide variety of document types you may encounter throughout the day. It performs particularly well for reading printed memos, reports, fliers, and virtually any other kind of document typically printed from a personal computer. It will also read many professionally printed items of various sizes, colors, and styles.

Take a Picture, Display and Read Text

When KNFB Reader first starts up, you will be in the Image Capture screen with Talkback focus on the Take Picture button. With the screen of the device facing up, place your Android device down with the camera in the center of the document with the device in the same orientation as the document (portrait orientation is recommended), and lift the device straight up approximately 11 to 13 inches (letter format documents) or 27 to 32 cm (A4 format documents).

Held in this position, the camera is on the underside of the device. (Check your camera periodically to make sure that the lens is clean and unobstructed.) Be sure to hold the device so no portion of a finger or your hand is close enough to the camera to block the view of the document. For a normal 8.5 by 11 inch (letter format) or 21 by 29.7 cm (A4 format) sheet, the camera will see the entire page at a distance of 11 to 13 inches or 27 to 32 cm.

To take a picture touch the left side of the screen, and Talkback should say, “Take picture.” Then you can gently double tap anywhere on the left-hand side of the screen, and the camera will respond with the distinctive sound of the shutter.

For best results avoid jiggling the phone while the picture is taken. We recommend using a one finger with a double tap and hold gesture, then lift your finger to activate the camera. Hold the device steady until you hear the camera shutter sound.

As soon as the camera snaps the picture, the image is processed automatically to recognize the text. If any is found, the text is displayed automatically and read aloud as the Text Navigation screen opens. To pause or resume reading, touch the read/pause button in the center of the screen near the bottom and just above the home button on most devices.

To save the document, locate and double tap the Save Document button found just above the recognized text in the right-hand corner of the screen. To return to the Image Capture screen for taking another picture, touch the Back button on your device, often located immediately to the right of the home button at the bottom of the screen.

Picture-taking Tips

Sharp pictures are essential for optimal performance. Hold the device steady by using both hands and brace your elbows on the reading surface, while still keeping the device far enough from the document to capture all the text. For best results, place the text you want to read on a flat surface in front of you. Flatten the document as much as possible. Keep the device level over the page. Fill the screen with the view of the document you want to capture.

To confirm your camera position or learn the feel of a well lined up picture, use the Field of View Report option. You can activate the Field of View Report by double tapping or using the double tap and hold gesture on the right-hand side of the screen then gently lifting your finger as you hold the device still to listen to the report; you can then adjust the position of the device above the page and repeat the process as needed. The goal is to have the device close to the document but still far enough away that all four edges of the document are seen by the camera.

Practice will help in the beginning. Use a familiar document printed in clear type on an 8.5 by 11 inch (letter format) or 21 by 29.7 cm (A4 format) white sheet of paper for your initial practice sessions. Place the document on a flat surface having a plain dark, not shiny background. After some practice with aiming and taking pictures, you will begin to know how KNFB Reader responds. You will also be better prepared to analyze and correct conditions you can control when performance does not measure up. A little practice and persistence can greatly improve performance.

Getting Help

A User Guide is available to explain many more features of the app, including use of all buttons and controls on the Image Capture and Text Navigation screens. Details about KNFB Reader’s multi-language and document type options are also presented in the user guide. The guide can be found at or from within the app itself by navigating to the file list.

If additional help is needed after consulting the User Guide, please send email help requests to