14th September, 2015

Claro ScanPen

Get it on Google Play

Need to listen to printed text spoken aloud – at school, in a test or exam, at work or at home? Use Claro ScanPen to photo your printed text document, letter, test paper – then select the text with your finger (or stylus), and hear it spoken straight back to you. Instantly! No internet connection required. And now available for Android!

Claro ScanPen advances reading aloud support. It gives access to printed text materials and documents for all, in a wide range of languages. Using your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, simply:

  1. Take a photo of the text or select a photo of the text document from your camera roll.
  2. Highlight with your finger or stylus which section of text you want to hear spoken to you.
  3. Listen as Claro ScanPen instantly reads the text back to you using a human quality voice in a language of your choice.

With your finger (or stylus) you can highlight all of the text, word by word or line by line. Tap anywhere to stop the speech. Claro ScanPen can also be used with the built in iOS VoiceOver accessibility feature, allowing low vision and blind users to access text.

Claro ScanPen has no access to the internet or any reference material, so is perfect to use as a computer reader under exam and test conditions, helping students who cannot read text very well (e.g. students with dyslexia) to listen to the exam test paper questions and information. It can also be used for quickly converting class handout materials, printed presentations, instructions, books – in fact anything containing printed texts. Great for independent access and learning.

Claro ScanPen uses the latest premium Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to convert your picture into text and uses iOS system voices to read the text back to you. The OCR in Claro ScanPen fully supports the recognition of text in the following languages:

  • English
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Norwegian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish

Simply select the voice that matches the language of your text to hear it read back correctly. Higher-quality Nuance Expressive and Acapela voices (including kids voices) are available to purchase in-app. Claro ScanPen is a great addition to the popular Claro Reading and Writing support apps ClaroSpeak and ClaroPDF.

Text can be automatically copied to the clipboard when selected if you enable the advanced setting in iOS Settings.

A share button can also be enabled in advanced settings. This lets you export your image to other apps, email and other destinations.

New with iOS 11 on iPad Claro ScanPen supports drag and drop of the scanned text to apps that support text, such as Notes. Requires iOS 11 and an iPad that supports multi-tasking.

Claro ScanPen does not require internet access to function. Explore using the Apple iOS Guided Access feature to lock the iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone into a single app, for more secure and controlled usage. Tap iOS Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access to set up Guided Access.

System Requirements

  • iOS 9+
  • 2MP camera, which is available on:
    • iPad 3rd generation or newer.
    • iPhone 4 or newer.
    • iPod Touch 4th generation or newer.

App Video

Below is a video showing Claro ScanPen in action:

The following video is a quick overview with the new automatic copy feature:

App Store Links

In-App Store Pricing

Below is a list of how much in-app purchases cost within Claro ScanPen (correct as of September 2017)

  • Add-on Nuance and Acapela voices: £1.99 / $1.99
  • Add-on Acapela kids voices: £3.99 / $3.99

See our voices page for a full list and samples of voices available to download and purchase.

Version History

Read the Claro ScanPen release notes to see what changed in each update.


If you require any product support please email us at support@clarosoftware.com.

Hints and Tips

Improving the quality of the OCR

You may find that Claro ScanPen speaks gibberish after you take a picture and select the text with your finger. This is because the OCR engine has not been able to convert the image into text correctly, and because ScanPen only displays the photograph, you can’t tell this has happened until it attempts to speak it.
The only way to get better results is to improve the quality of the photograph taken. Please read our Tips for taking photos article on how to take the best photograph for OCR using your iPhone or iPad.

Improving the quality of the standard iOS system voices

Read our blog article here on how to improve the quality of the standard iOS system voices in your app.

Locking down the app using Guided Access

Apple have documented how to use the Apple iOS Guided Access feature to lock the iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone into a single app, for more secure and controlled usage.

We’ve also created the following video showing you how to use Claro ScanPen with Guided Access:


ScanPen Video Playlist

Below is a YouTube playlist including our own videos as well as some other users videos of Claro ScanPen.

@ClaroScanPen Tweets

Download on the Apple App Store Get it on Google Play