TopOCR Reader is a PC-based Reading Machine application that can help someone who has difficulty reading books, magazines or newspapers. It has a very easy to learn Visually Accessible User Interface and a very powerful state-of-the-art OCR (Optical Character Reading) system that transforms text images into speech that can be played on a headset or saved on an MP3 Player. TopOCR Reader can read and speak in eleven different languages (English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish), and all it takes is just one key (F6) to select any of the supported languages.

TopOCR Reader automatically performs text orientation correction on each scanned image, so even if your documents are placed sideways or upside down, TopOCR Reader will always be able to read and display them in the proper orientation. TopOCR Reader also provides an optional Column Straightening function (Control-X) to correct document skew and reduce page curvature from books and will also use its Text To Speech System to notify you if the light level is too low for effective scanning.

TopOCR Reader's Accessible User Interface is completely "self voicing" so it doesn't require an external screen reader. All OCR processing is performed locally on your PC, making the process faster and more convenient. This also makes it possible for you to read documents in situations where you don't have a network connection.

What about OCR accuracy? When TopOCR Reader was compared to KNFB Reader (the leading Accessible OCR Smartphone application), the result of the comparison was that TopOCR Reader with the LSTM OCR classifier had 80% less OCR errors thanks to its advanced image processing and OCR technology! Our Sample Camera Images page shows TopOCR Reader is able to read 7 out of 8 of the sample camera images with no errors, and only minor errors on the remaining eighth.

TAO OCR - Tesseract Accelerated OCR (Windows 10 Only!)

TAO OCR is a very high performance multilingual recognition engine optimized for document cameras. It can read with greater than 99.8% accuracy with a 5.0 MP document camera, even with lower quality images. TAO OCR is not only super-accurate, it's also super-fast, with an average reading speed of under two seconds per page! If you are running on Windows 10, TopOCR Reader will automatically select the TAO OCR recognizer for all supported languages. If you are running on an earlier version of Windows, TopOCR Reader will instead automatically select the standard Tesseract LSTM recognition engine which is multi-platform.

Note: TAO OCR is a derivitive of the same OCR engine used in Microsoft's "Seeing AI" application! However, instead of an Android or iPhone app, it is available as a Windows DeskTop application with OCR processing that executes directly on your PC instead of through a "cloud" interface. As a result, TopOCR Reader is much faster than any of the current mobile versions of Seeing AI, on top of being more accurate than any previous PC-based Accessible OCR application.

Purchasing TopOCR Reader 1.8

You may purchase TopOCR Reader 1.8 through "MyCommerce®", our e-commerce provider, by clicking on the image below.

The cost is only $4.99 plus applicable tax. After you make the purchase, you will receive an email with download instructions. The download file size is 154.6 MB due to the inclusion of the neural net training files for all eleven supported languages. If you have any problems, or questions regarding your order, please don't hesitate to contact us at:

TopOCR Reader's Accessibility Keys and their Functions


TopOCR Reader has 9 Accessibility Keys that are organized as 5 Command Keys, and 3 Setup Keys(language selection, camera selection, capture delay) plus an image magnify and enhance key. Whenever you make a setup key change, the change is permanently stored on your PC until you decide to change it again. Here is a brief functional description of all of the Accessibility Keys:

F1 - Scan an image, OCR the image, and read the OCR Output
F2 - Pause/Resume reading
F3 - Save the OCR text output as MP3 audio and copy it to an MP3 player
F4 - Select Document Camera - Default if only 1 camera is present
F5 - Set Capture Delay for Document Camera - Default is 10 seconds
F6 - Select Language - Default is English
F7 - Magnify and Enhance Image
F8 - Audio Help
F9 - Exit TopOCR Reader

TopOCR Reader's Control Keys

TopOCR Reader also uses 5 top level control keys that are described below:

Control-A - switch between the Accessible User Interface mode and the standard Windows GUI mode - the default is the Accessible User Interface mode.
Note: Switching to the standard Windows GUI mode will allow you to share TopOCR Reader with the rest of your family!

Control-D - turn ON/OFF "Debug Mode" (before OCR text is spoken - announce number of spelling errors) - default is OFF.
Note: "Spelling Errors" is a relative number that is a combination of recognition errors and words that are not present in the dictionary.

Control-W - list all of the installed languages for TAO OCR.
Note: - announce two character language codes for each installed TAO OCR engine, for example: ES, EN, DE.

Control-E - switch between TAO OCR and LSTM OCR for recognition.
Note: - lets you select the best OCR engine for your particular documents (Windows 10 Only)

Control-X - turn ON/OFF Straighten Columns mode, default is OFF.
Note: - lets you use column straightening which can also remove clipped columns and graphics to make reading easier.

TopOCR Reader's Scroll Control Keys

TopOCR Reader also has four keys to allow you to scroll a displayed image.

Down Arrow - Scroll the currently displayed image downward
Up Arrow - Scroll the currently displayed image upward
Left Arrow - Scroll the currently displayed image to the left
Right Arrow - Scroll the currently displayed image to the right

TopOCR Reader's Five Command Keys

The basic operation of TopOCR Reader's Accessible User Interface is fairly straightforward and is implemented with just the following five keys:

F1 - Scan an image, OCR the image, and read the OCR Output
F2 - Pause/Resume reading
F3 - Save the OCR text output as MP3 audio and copy it to an MP3 player
F8 - Audio Help
F9 - Exit TopOCR Reader

All of the Accessibility Keys provide audio feedback when pressed as well as any necessary feedback regarding their operation in the selected language. You will also receive audio feedback in the form of a ticking clock during the two steps of the image capture and recognition process that are the most time consuming. The first step is the camera image capture step, and the second is the OCR processing step.

TopOCR Reader's Image Magnification and Enhancement Key

Users with low vision have the option of using the F7 magnification key to enhance the image by making a magnifed, enhanced contrast image.

F7 - Magnify Image

TopOCR Reader's Three Setup Keys

TopOCR Reader has three setup keys, one is used to select a particular webcam or document camera to use for scanning, another to select a language for OCR recognition and Text To Speech output, and a third allows you to set a capture delay for image capture. If needed, the capture delay for image capture can be increased to allow you to have enough time to use your hands to press around the edges of a book to help flatten the image for better OCR accuracy.

F4 - Select Document Camera - (only needed if you have more than one webcam/document camera plugged-in)
F5 - Set Capture Delay for Document Camera - Default is 10 seconds
F6 - Select Language - Default is English

TopOCR Reader Installation

After you double-click on the TopOCRReader installation file there are 3 steps to complete the installation:

  1. Select "Yes" to allow User Account Control to install the program
  2. Press "Enter" to begin installation
  3. Press "Enter" to finish installation

TopOCR Reader Configuration

Once you've installed TopOCR Reader on your PC then you're ready to configure it for use with your document camera. This generally only needs to be done once and takes just a few seconds to complete.

1. Plug your document camera into a USB 2.0 port on your PC.
2. Launch the TopOCR Reader application by typing Ctrl+Alt+Q.
3. TopOCR Reader's default language is English, if you want to use the Accessibile User Interface with another language, then use the F6 key to select another language.
4. If you have a PC with more than one webcam/document camera, use the F4 key to select the correct document camera.

TopOCR Reader's configuration, like its operation is 100% Accessible, there are no on screen dialogs, menus, or buttons that would require the use of an external screen reader. All functions are handled through the keyboard.

Please note that if you're using Windows 7 then you'll also need to download and install the Text To Speech Engine and required Voices. If you're using Windows 8 or Windows 10 on non-US English versions of Windows you will also need to download the appropriate voices as they may not be included on your platform.

TopOCR Reader and the Clipboard

After OCR, TopOCR Reader automatically places the recognized text in the clipboard, and it also allows you to paste images with "Control-V" into the clipboard and have them automatically read to you.

TopOCR Reader's Global Illumination Check

Whenever you press the F1 key to OCR a document, TopOCR Reader will measure the total amount of available light on the scanned image and assign it a value from 0 to 255. If this value falls below 40% or 100, then TopOCR Reader will give you a text to speech warning and will also provide you with the global illumination value. If this number is very low, below 10 for instance, it means that there is basically no illumination. Please note that if you have a dark background and a small text image, it can give a lower than expected value, and as a result may generate a false warning.

TopOCR Reader's Keyboard Shortcut

When you install TopOCR Reader it automatically creates a keyboard shortcut. Pressing the Ctrl+Alt+Q key combination will launch TopOCR Reader from the DeskTop. If you want to change the TopOCR Reader keyboard shortcut key to another letter, you can by using the following procedure:

1. Right-click on the DeskTop TopOCR Reader shortcut, and then click Properties
2. In the Shortcut Properties dialog box, click the Shortcut tab
3. Click in the Shortcut key box, press the key on your keyboard that you want to use in combination with Ctrl+Alt, for instance "G" and then click OK.

After this step has been performed, pressing Ctrl+Alt+G key combination will launch TopOCR Reader from the DeskTop.

Platform Requirements

OS: Windows 10 32/64 bit
RAM: 2 GB Minimum