BrailleBlaster User Manual Version 2

August 23, 2021

Getting Started

Please watch our videos: Introduction to BrailleBlaster and Getting Started with BrailleBlaster!

Modifying the View

BrailleBlaster’s customizable interface allows you to adjust the size and placement of tools to suit your preferences.

Changing Font Size

Font Size can be increased or decreased to your preferred text size. Be aware that increasing or decreasing the font size may change how much text is shown on the screen in the Print and Braille Views.

To change Font Size either go to View > Increase Font Size or Decrease Font Size. You can also use the shortcuts (Ctrl + “+”) to Increase Font Size OR (Ctrl + “-”) to Decrease Font Size.

Modifying Toolbar Icons

The button icons on the toolbar can be displayed or hidden from view. The size of the icons can also be changed by going to View > Icon Size. This gives you the option of having Small, Medium, or Large icons. How much text is shown in the Print and Braille Views of your document is also dependent on Icon Size.

To change how the toolbar buttons are displayed:
  1. Go to View > Toolbar. The buttons that are currently shown on the toolbar have checkmarks beside them.
  2. Check or uncheck which grouping of buttons you would like to have shown or hidden in the toolbar.
    Note: The default for the toolbar buttons is all groupings are shown in the toolbar, except for the View and Math tools.

Toggle Views

You can choose to hide or display text views on your screen allowing you to focus on one view or multiple views.

  1. Go to View > Toggle Views. This shows which views you have open in the main window with check marks beside the following views:

View window with Toggle Views highlighted

Print view icon Print (Alt + P): Shows the Print text
Note: You can only make changes to the text from within the Print View.
Braille view icon Braille: Shows the Braille text
Style view icon Style: Shows which style is applied to the text.

  1. Unchecking an item hides the view from the window.
  2. Whenever a view is hidden and then displayed it moves to the right-hand side of the screen.

Note: At least one view must always be displayed.

Rearrange Views

BrailleBlaster allows you to arrange the print, braille, and style views in the order that works best for you.

To arrange the views:

  1. Go to View > Toggle Views > Rearrange Views
  2. From here, you can select Move Up or Move Down to switch where each view is displayed on the screen.

Views are arraigned vertically, style, print, braille

Note: The views display from left to right starting with the first item in the list.

Changing Simulated Braille to ASCII

By checking or unchecking View Braille in the main View menu, you can choose whether you want the text in the Braille View and Braille Preview to appear as simulated braille or ASCII.

View window with View Braille highlighted

View Braille Checked
Braille view with lots of braille

View Braille Unchecked
Braille view with lots of ASCII text

Previewing Your File as an Embossed Braille Document

The Braille Preview displays how the file appears as an embossed BRF. The braille pages are displayed in 2 Page View mode. This side-by-side view is like looking at an open-bound book, with the even numbered braille pages on the left and the odd numbered braille pages on the right. This allows you to ensure the content is presented correctly in interpoint documents, such as when certain things need to be on facing pages or space needs to be allotted for graphics. When viewing Single-sided materials, 2 Page View can be turned off in Braille Preview by going to View > 2 Page View and unchecking it.

To preview a BRF go to File > Braille Preview OR use the keyboard shortcut (Alt + Home). This opens the Braille Preview window.

Braille Preview window showing braille next to braille
Note: When you open a BRF in BrailleBlaster it appears in this Braille Preview window. You cannot edit the BRF, but it can be embossed by going to File > Emboss within the Braille Preview menu or using the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + E).

Within the Braille Preview, you can navigate through the document by:
  • Print Page Number: The page number normally displayed in the top-right corner of a braille page.

Braille Preview window with Print Page Number radio button selected

  • Braille Page Number: The page number normally displayed in the bottom-right corner of a braille page (including T-Pages and P-Pages).

Braille Preview window with Braille Page Number radio button selected

  • Ordinal Page Number: The page number out of the total number of pages in your document, regardless of how the print and braille page numbers appear.

Braille Preview window with Ordinal Page Number radio button selected

You can also navigate using the Find textbox if you need to find a specific section in the text. Narrow down your search further with these two checkboxes:
  • Six Key: This checkbox allows a Six Key Input option for searching the text. If unchecked, ASCII should be entered to search.
  • Uppercase: The uppercase checkbox only becomes available when a BRF is loaded into BrailleBlaster. When checked, it takes lowercase ASCII that BrailleBlaster produces in the Find textbox and uses it to find uppercase ASCII that is in the document. This is important because some BRFs use uppercase ASCII to simulate braille while others use lowercase ASCII.

Use the Next and Previous buttons to find specific instances of text you are looking for. When a search reaches the end of the document, it restarts at the beginning.

The Braille Preview window also has a status line in the lower left corner that provides navigation help by displaying the page number (based on your navigation selection), line number, and cell number the cursor is currently on. This information is accessible to screen readers.

Basic File Operations

BrailleBlaster makes creating, opening, and saving files easy through the use of keyboard shortcuts.

Creating Files

When creating a new document, go to File > New or use the shortcut (Ctrl + N) to begin working in a new blank tab/page.

Pasting Text

You can copy text from another document and paste it into BrailleBlaster, including special symbols not available on the keyboard. All of the text automatically formats into the Body Text style (3-1 margins). Add additional formatting and print page numbers to your document using Styles the Page tool.

Creating an Original Document

If you are creating a document from scratch, you can type your text directly into BrailleBlaster. Formatting and editing can be applied as you create your document.

Opening Files Open files icon

If you want to open a file in BrailleBlaster or continue working on a file you have already created, go to File > Open or use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + O) to open the file.
BrailleBlaster opens many different types of files. When you select Open in the File menu, a list of the recognized file types is displayed.

Note: LaTeX will be converted into ASCII Math when opened in BrailleBlaster except in NIMAS XML, TXT, BRL, and ZIP file types.

  • BB XML (*.bbx)
  • BB Archive (*.bbz)
  • Braille Ready File (*.brf) *Note:* When BrailleBlaster opens a BRF, it opens in the [[#Previewing Your File as an Embossed Braille Document|Braille Preview]] window and no changes can be made to the file.
  • Braille text (*.brl)
  • Microsoft Word files (*.docx)
  • EPUB e-books (*.epub)
  • HTML files (*.htm or *.html)
  • Markdown files (*.md)
  • Open Document files (*.odt)
  • LaTeX files (*.tex)
  • Text files (*.txt)
  • XHTML files (*.xhtml or *.xhtm or *.xht)
  • NIMAS XML files (*.xml)
  • NIMAS zipped files (*.zip)
Using a NIMAS XML File

Within a NIMAS XML file, some of the print may be automatically formatted to the correct style for the braille document, such as print and braille page numbering, designation of headings, identification of tables, lists, and more. These automatic formats may need to be changed manually to ensure the print formatting correctly matches the braille formatting. For example, the headings may appear bold throughout the print file, but this font attribute is not needed in the braille transcription. For more information about working with NIMAS files go to the Operations Specific To NIMAS Files section.

If your file contains MathML, it is converted to ASCII Math and translated into your chosen math braille code.

Saving Files Save files icon

There are several unique file types that BrailleBlaster uses when saving a file.

BrailleBlaster ZIP File (BBZ): BBZ is the default BrailleBlaster file type. It is a zipped NIMAS file set. When the ZIP file is saved, it saves as a BBZ. This allows images to remain in the file.

BrailleBlaster XML File (BBX): XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language. BBX was the previous file standard for BrailleBlaster. Now it saves everything as a BBZ, see below. However, if you have a BBX document, it should be able to be opened in BrailleBlaster V2. Note that support for this feature is limited and a very complex BBX file may not open in V2.

Braille Ready File (BRF): BrailleBlaster allows files to be saved as a BRF. You can also save your file in the Portable Embosser Format (PEF). These are the file formats that are used to Emboss the document.

Note: You cannot edit a BRF or PEF in BrailleBlaster. Make desired changes before saving as BRF or PEF. You can download BrailleZephyr (a free and simple BRF editor) to edit BRFs.

To save a BRF or PEF, go to File > Save BRF/PEF. Selecting this option saves your entire document as a single BRF or PEF. It opens the Save window and allows you to name your file.

For more information about BRFs within BrailleBlaster, see Previewing Your File as an Embossed Braille Document.

Navigating Files

BrailleBlaster has many tools to help you successfully navigate through your file. If you are using a NIMAS file, the Book Tree is the most useful tool for navigation, but other tools can be used to navigate any file.

Navigating to the Beginning of Your File

Home allows immediate navigation to the beginning of your document.

Go to Navigate > Home or use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + Home). This places the cursor at the very beginning of the document, before the first word on the first page.

Navigating to the End of Your File

End allows immediate navigation to the end of your document.

Go to Navigate > End or use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + End). This places the cursor at the end of the file, after the last word on the last page.

Navigating to a Particular Page

Go to Page allows you to navigate to a specific page in your document. This is helpful for long documents that are difficult to navigate simply by scrolling. Alternatively, you can also use the Find and Replace feature to search your document if you are looking for a specific word or type of formatting in your document.

To navigate to a particular page:
  1. Go to Navigate > Go To Page or use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + G).
  2. Select the type of page you want to use to navigate:

Go To window with Print Page radio button selected

Print Page: The page number normally displayed in the top-right corner of a braille page.
Braille Page: The page number normally displayed in the bottom-right corner of a braille page.
Ordinal Page: The page number out of the total number of pages in your document, regardless of how the print and braille page numbers appear.

Note: If your document has Volume Breaks, you can search for a specific braille page within a single volume rather than the entire file.

Go To window with Volume drop-down highlighted

  1. Type the desired page number in the textbox and select Go To to complete the action.

Note: If you have made changes to the page numbers in your file, you can also quickly navigate to those pages you have changed through the Page Change List in the Page Number Dialog. See Viewing Page Number Changes for more details.

Setting up Your Document

Before getting started on your transcription, there are some basic settings you might need to adjust in your document, such as which braille code to use, how the page numbers should appear, how many braille lines per page, if you need a running head, and so on.

Setting Braille Translation

Go to Settings > Translation Settings

Settings window; Translation Settings tab

The default translation setting for BrailleBlaster is UEB, but other translation options include: UEB Uncontracted, UEB with Nemeth (Contracted and Uncontracted), Spanish US, and Cherokee Plus Nemeth.

Setting Page Numbering and Interpoint

Go to Settings > Page Numbers

Settings window; Page Numbers tab

There are options for making a document Interpoint (embossed on both sides of braille paper) or Single-Sided.
Depending on your agency, they may have different requirements for Page Numbers. You can choose the placement of both Braille and Print Page numbers, how you want continuation indicators for your print pages, and whether you want continuing pages.

Adjusting Page Properties and Margins

Go to Settings > Page Properties

Settings window; Page Properties tab

From here you can set your Page Size, Lines Per Page, Cells Per Line, and Margins of your document. You can also change whether you want your margins to be represented in inches or by cells or lines.
The Page Size default is set to 11.5” x 11”; Margins defaults are set to top 0.5”, bottom 0.5”, left margin 1.25”, right margin 0.48”.
Once you have chosen your desired settings for the Translation Settings, Page Numbers, and Page Properties, you can select OK or Make Default if you want the changes to be applied to future documents. If you do not wish to save your changes, select Cancel.

Setting a Running Head

The Running Head tool allows you to add a Running Head to your document on all braille pages except for t1 and braille page 1. The default is for no running head, as it is not needed for all transcriptions.

  1. Go to Insert > Running Head. This opens a small window.
  2. The option No Running Head is automatically selected. Select the radio button Enter Title and type the Running Head into the textbox.

Running Head window; Enter Title radio button selected

  1. Select OK to save your changes.

Note: Before entering the Running Head, you should confirm that the running head length fits at the top of the page and works for all print page numbers as required by Braille Formats, 2016.

Printing and Embossing

Note that when BrailleBlaster prints, it prints the Print View. When it embosses, it embosses the braille view. We are working on a way to allow users to print the braille view for quick review.

Setting up a Printer

  1. Go to File > Print or use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + P) to open the Print window.
  2. Under Select Printer any printer connected to your computer should automatically be listed. However, if your printer does not show up, use the Find Printer button.

Print window; Red arrow pointing at Find Printer button

  1. Select the Print button to print the Print View of your document.

Printing a Document Print icon

  1. Go to File > Print or use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + P) to open the Print window.
  2. Select a printer.
  3. Customize your print job with Page Range and Number of copies.

Print window; printer from list selected

  1. Click the Print button to send your file to the printer.

Setting up an Embosser

  1. Go to Settings > Embosser Settings to select a default embosser, or to add or remove an embosser.

Settings window; Embosser tab

  1. Complete the fields in the Edit embosser window to configure your embosser profile.
  2. Click OK to complete your embosser profile set up or click Cancel to close the window without saving any changes.

Edit embosser configuration window

Edit Embosser Fields

Name: The name can be as long as you want to identify the embosser, but BrailleBlaster only displays a limited number of characters.

Embosser Device: Select your embosser of choice from the dropdown list of all available printers and embossers.

Embosser Manufacturer: Select your embosser's manufacturer from the following choices. Listed after each manufacturer are the available models.

  • APH:
    • PixBlaster
    • PageBlaster
  • ViewPlus Technologies:
    • EmBraille
    • Columbia
    • Delta
    • Premier
    • Elite
    • Emprint
    • SpotDot
    • Max
    • Cub
    • Cub JR
  • Generic: Three options are available.
    • Text only: This option is used if your embosser model is not supported by a specific driver. BrailleBlaster assumes that the page size, margins, interpoint, and other settings have been set on the embosser itself.
    • Text with margins: This option is similar to the Text only option, except that extra spaces are added in the braille to create margins.
    • Graphics Embosser: This option is for embosser models that support graphics embossing. This feature is in beta and, therefore, not fully supported across all possible models. It is supported by the ViewPlus family of embossers.
  • IRIE:
    • Braille Buddy
    • Braille Sheet 120
    • Braille Trac 120
  • Index Braille:
    • Basic-D V5
    • Basic-D V4
    • Everest-D V5
    • Everest-D V4
    • BrailleBox V5
    • BrailleBox V4
    • Fanfold V5
  • Enabling Technologies:
    • Phoenix Gold
    • Phoenix Silver
    • Cyclone
    • Trident
    • BookMaker
    • Braille Express
    • Thomas
    • Thomas Pro
    • Juliet Classic
    • Juliet Pro
    • Juliet Pro60
    • ET
    • Romeo Attache
    • Romeo Attache Pro
    • Romeo Pro50
    • Romeo 25
    • Romeo 60
    • Juliet 120
  • Braillo:
    • Braillo 200
    • Braillo 400S
    • Braillo 400SR
    • Braillo 600
    • Braillo 600SR
    • Braillo 270

Note: If you do not know your embosser's manufacturer, it is recommended you select Generic.

Embosser Model: Select from the available Embosser models, listed above. This varies depending on which manufacturer you chose.

Advanced embosser options

The options available on the advanced tab depend upon the model of embosser selected. These advanced options allow working around various issues with specific embossers and normally should be left at their default values. You may be asked to alter the advanced options if you contact support regarding an embosser issue.

Currently advanced options are only available for the generic "Text only" and "Text with margins" embosser models. Below is a list of the advanced options.

  • Add margins (true, false)
  • Pad page (true, false)
  • Form feed on full page (true, false)
  • End of line (open byte string)
  • End of page (open byte string)
  • Header (open byte string)
  • Footer (open byte string)

For the options which accept byte string values, you should enter text representing the bytes to be sent to the embosser for that option. For most ASCII characters you can just type the character itself. However for characters which may not be easy to type there are a few escape sequences which are given in the below list.

  • \\ to enter a backslash.
  • \r to enter carrage return
  • \n to enter new line.
  • \t to enter tab.
  • \f to enter form feed.
  • \x followed by two hexadecimal characters to enter any byte. For example to enter the byte with hexadecimal value 1B (sometimes known as escape) you would enter \x1b into the option.

Embossing a Document Emboss icon

After completing the steps in Setting up an Embosser, you can begin the process of embossing your file.

  1. Go to File > Emboss or use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + E) to open the Emboss window.

emboss menu

Note: If you have not embossed in BrailleBlaster before, you are prompted to set up a profile for your embosser. See Setting up an Embosser.

  1. Select your embosser, the number of copies you wish to emboss, as well as the page range (All or a range between 1 and the final page of the document).

Note: You can change the embosser settings at any time by clicking the Manage Embossers button, which opens Embosser Settings window.

  1. Click OK to emboss or click Cancel to close the window.

Automated Features and Tools

BrailleBlaster is equipped with many innovative and unique features that help speed up the transcription process.

Working with Tables

The Table tool and Table Editor in BrailleBlaster can help you create and reformat braille tables more efficiently than ever before.

Check out our Tables in BrailleBlaster video!

Inserting/Creating an Unformatted Table

There are two ways to create a Table: 1) enter information for your table manually or 2) use the Convert Text to Table tool to change regular text into a Table.
To create a table manually:

  1. Place the cursor where you want the table to begin.
  2. Go to Insert > Table, which opens the Table Editor screen.

table editor window

  1. In the lower right corner of the screen there are two textboxes labeled Rows and Columns. The default is 3 rows and 3 columns, but you can add or remove rows and columns by entering the number of Rows and Columns you want your table to have.
  2. Begin adding the text for each entry.
  3. (Optional step) To add Emphasis or a different Translation, use the dropdown menus from the toolbar.
  • Tools: You can Swap Columns and Rows for better table fit; Add Emphasis to All or Add Math Translation to All to change all entries at once; or Remove All Emphasis from the table if emphasis is not necessary.
  • Emphasis: You can use any of the forms of Emphasis that are found in the Emphasis toolbar in BrailleBlaster’s main window and apply them to text in the table.
  • Translation: You can use Direct Translation, Uncontracted Translation, or Math Translation to change the braille translation to suit your needs.
    • Direct Translation is used when you have or need ASCII, pre-translated braille. An example would be #id for number sign 14. This translation type is used to force the translation type using ASCII braille.
    • Uncontracted Translation is used when you need the braille to appear without any braille contractions. It will still use your currently selected translation table, just without contractions.
    • Math Translation is used when you need to create linear math. For this BrailleBlaster uses ASCII Math.

Note: The keyboard shortcuts for creating Emphasis and making Translation changes are the same in the Table Editor as they are in the Print View of BrailleBlaster.

  1. Check that the Table type in the lower left corner of the window is on Auto and select Save. Your table is automatically formatted into the style type of table BrailleBlaster thinks is the best fit for the amount and length of the information in your table.

Creating Formatted Tables

BrailleBlaster can automatically create many types of tables, which can be selected from the drop-down menu labeled Table type in the lower left corner. These are arranged to match the formatting of tables outlined in Braille Formats 2016.

Make a Simple Table

The Simple table style sets the table to display as a standard braille table with columns and rows and a line separator beneath each column heading.

simple table; print example
simple table; braille example

Make a Listed Table

The Listed table style changes the table format so that the Row fields become Cell 5 Headings while information in the Column Heading fields become the first part of each listed item, followed by a colon, which is inserted automatically. Information in the column fields is added after the colon for each appropriate list item.

listed table; print example
listed table; braille example

Editing Tables

Any changes to the text within a table must occur within the Table Editor, whether it is simply correcting a typo or adding columns and rows, as the text cannot be edited in the Print View. To use the Table Editor, the cursor must be placed inside text designated as a table. Otherwise, BrailleBlaster generates the error message “Cursor is not on table.” Some of the features can be used for any table, while others are specific to each table type.

Adding or Removing Emphasis

Within the Table Editor, any text can be changed to appear with Emphasis. You can add Emphasis by highlighting text in the table then selecting the type form from those listed in the menu.

emphasis window with type list

If all of the text in the table needs emphasis added, you can go to Tools > Add Emphasis To All and choose from those same options. If emphasis needs to be removed from part of the text, select the text and apply the emphasis again. If the entire table is emphasized but should not be, you can remove all the emphasis at once if you go to Tools > Remove All Emphasis.

Changing the Table Translation

You can change the translation of the table by highlighting text in the table then selecting the preferred Translation from the menu: Direct, Uncontracted or Math. If the entire table needs to appear as math, go to Tools > Add Math Translation to All.

Edit a Simple Table

When the Simple table style is applied, a button appears to the right of the drop-down menu labeled Simple Table Options.

  1. Open the Simple Table Options. This opens a window with several tools for customizing your table:
    simple table options window
    • Cells between columns: Choose either 2 cells between each column or 1 cell between each column. The default is 2.
    • Guide dots: Controls whether guide dots appear after material in columns. Choose either Enabled or Disabled. The default is enabled.
    • Row headings: Controls whether information in column 2 and beyond appears on the same line as any runovers in column 1. When enabled, materials in column 2 and beyond begin on the same line as the runover of the heading in column 1. When disabled, material in column 2 and beyond begin on the same line on which the heading starts. The default is enabled.
    • Columns widths: Allows control over the cell width of individual columns. Choose either default or custom. When custom is selected, a set of editable fields appear below the drop-down menu, showing each column in the table. (More about column widths following step 2.)
  2. Click Ok to return to the Table Editor.

About Column Widths: In each field, the number displayed represents the number of braille cells that column takes up. Between each column is a number in parentheses, either a (1) or a (2). This number represents the number of Cells between columns. The fields can be edited to change the width of each column as desired.

The text Total Width: “X” is shown below the fields, where “X” is the total number of cells the columns, and the spaces between them, occupy on the braille page. This number automatically changes as the column widths are changed. This can be useful to ensure custom column widths do not exceed the width of the braille page.

Edit a Listed Table

When the Listed table style is applied, a button appears to the right of the drop-down menu labeled Create Transcriber’s Note Heading.

table editor window; listed table; create transcriber note heading indicated with red arrow

To edit a Listed table:

  1. Select the Create Transcriber Note Heading button. This action adds a text field to the top of the Table Editor allowing you to create a Transcriber’s Note explaining the format of your table.
  2. The 7-5 text field is set to the default text: “Print format is changed. Row headings are blocked in cell 5; column headings begin in cell 1. All headings are repeated for clarity. A colon separates headings from table entries.” This text can be edited to fit your document needs, and appears with 7-5 margins.

table editor window; listed table; TN heading example

  1. Click Ok to return to the Table Editor.

Reformatting Tables

It is possible to reformat your table to another style type. There are two ways to reformat: Reformat Table and Advanced Reformat.

To reformat a table:

  1. Go to Actions > Reformat Table.
  2. A pop-up window opens that reads “Reformatting a table will convert the table formatting to plain text. Are you sure you want to continue?” Click Yes to continue or No to cancel.
  3. When Yes is clicked, a new window opens, displaying a list of styles. Select a style to have all the table text reformatted into that style.
    Select window to reformmat table
  4. Click Ok to confirm the style choice and reformat that table into normal text.

Advanced Reformat functions the same way as Reformat Table, but it allows each field of the table to have a different Style applied to it when the table is reformatted. The text from each cell of the table appears and you designate the styles individually.

Select window for advanced reformmat of tables

If you decide you do not want to present information in a table, you can also remove the table completely. Within the Table Editor, go to Actions > Delete Table. The text of the table is completely removed from the Print View.

Making Math

BrailleBlaster uses ASCII Math to create mathematical equations. If you are unfamiliar with ASCII Math, you can visit http://www.asciimath.org for a better understanding of how it works.

Check out our Basic Math with BrailleBlaster video!

BrailleBlaster provides support for both UEB Technical Material and UEB in Nemeth Contexts. You can select your default math translation table from the Settings > Translation menu.

Document types that are supported by Pandoc and include LaTeX are also supported by BrailleBlaster. LaTeX documents opened in BrailleBlaster maintain formatting, math, and so on from the original document and does not require LaTeX software to be installed on the system.

In some cases there may be packages or specific LaTeX notation not supported by BrailleBlaster. If you encounter this, we suggest that you convert the document to HTML using another application, and then open the HTML file in BrailleBlaster. TeX4HT, is an example of a LaTeX-to-HTML conversion tool. It integrates with the standard LaTeX compiler, thus offering very good LaTeX support.

Note: XHTML files produced by TeX4HT have the .xht file extension. You must change the .xht extension to .xhtml so BrailleBlaster recognizes the file.

To install and use TeX4HT, go to the website Producing HTML and MathML from LaTeX by using tex4ht.

Editing Math

When transcribing Math material, it is helpful to first turn on the Math toolbar icons.

Go to View > Toolbar > Math. When Math is checked, new icon buttons appear to help speed up your transcription.

Change to Math Translation

Whenever you need to designate that text should appear as Math, you can get to the Toggle Math Translation tool in multiple ways and easily make the changes.

To get to the Toggle Math Translation tool:

  1. Select the text you want to designate as Math.
  2. Go to Math > Toggle Math Translation; or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + M; or click the Math Translation button math translation icon; or right click and select Math from the context menu.

Your Math text appears highlighted bright pink in the Print view.

Add Nemeth Indicators

For Nemeth within UEB contexts, you need to insert Nemeth Indicators throughout your document, which you can add either blocked or inline depending on your needs.

  1. Select the text you want to appear between the Nemeth Indicators.
  2. Go to Math > Nemeth Block or Nemeth Inline, or click the Nemeth Block button nemeth block icon or the Nemeth Line button nemeth line icon.

The Nemeth Indicators now appear on the line before and the line after your Nemeth material if you chose Nemeth Block, or they appear before and after the Nemeth material only separated by a space if you chose Nemeth Inline.

Add Numeric Passages

For UEB Technical Material you may need to use a Numeric Passage in your document, which you can add either blocked or inline, depending on your needs.

To add numeric passages:

  1. Select the text you want to appear within the Numeric Passage.
  2. Go to Math > Numeric Passage Block or Numeric Passage Inline, or click the Numeric Block button numeric passage block icon or the Numeric Line button numeric passage line icon.
    • Choosing Numeric Passage Block places the Numeric Passage on the line before and the line after your UEB Technical material.
    • Choosing Numeric Passage Inline places the Numeric Passage before and after the UEB Technical material separated only by a space.
Add Numeric Spaces to a Series of Numbers

You can create a numeric series by using the Numeric Series tool as described:

  1. Highlight the text you want to be a numeric series.
  2. Go to Math > Numeric Series or click the Numeric Series button numeric series icon.

This action places dot 5’s where the spaces previously were. If there are two spaces, there are two Dot 5’s.

Get Math Help

You can also access the Math Help at any time. Go to Math > Math Help or click on the Math Help button math help icon. This action opens a quick list of definitions for the Math tools and the button icons.

math help window

Making Linear Math

The ASCII Math Hub makes it easier to enter or edit unfamiliar math equations in a linear format.

ASCII math hub window

To make a linear equation:

  1. Go to Math > ASCII Math Hub or click on the ASCII Math Hub button ASCII math hub icon.
  2. From here, you can select various types of equations and mathematic symbols, which are organized into tabs. You can show or hide these tabs by using the Show Tabs option in the ASCII Math Hub toolbar and selecting the tabs you want to view. The tabs include:
    • Operation Symbols: A list of mathematical symbols used in an operation (e.g., division sign, multiply, union, etc.).
    • Miscellaneous Symbols: A list of a variety of symbols frequently used in many types of mathematic notation (e.g., absolute value, angle, plus minus, etc.).
    • Relation Symbols: A list of symbols that show the relationship between two parts of an equation (e.g., equals, greater than, proportional to, etc.).
    • Greek Symbols: A list of Greek letters (e.g., alpha, beta, capital delta, etc.).
    • Logical Symbols: A list of symbols commonly used in notations of logical expressions (e.g., true, there exists, if and only if, etc.).
    • Grouping Symbols: A list of symbols used for grouping within mathematical equations (e.g., left and right braces, left and right brackets, left and right curly braces, etc.).
    • Arrows: A list of arrows that can be use in mathematical equations (e.g., double left arrow, down arrow, double right left arrow, etc.).
    • Accents: A list of accents that may appear in mathematical contexts (e.g., combining circumflex, dot x, double dot x, etc.).
    • Functions: A list of function abbreviations used in mathematic equations (e.g., cosine, cotangent, cosecant, etc.).
    • Special: Contains column vectors, complex subscripts, matrices, and script order templates.
    • Examples: A list of common mathematic operations shown in ASCII Math and in an image for user convenience (e.g., complex fraction, exponent, overbar, etc.).
    • Search: Here you can search for an ASCII Math symbol by typing it into the textbox and clicking OK.

  1. Select the Insert button to put your text in BrailleBlaster.
  2. (Optional step) Choose Replace Current Math to replace a previous entry of math that was made with your current entry. Select Previous Math or Next Math to navigate through the math elements in your document.

Note: You can also make the ASCII Math Hub full screen by choosing Full Screen in the Settings drop-down menu.

Note: Any math that you enter using the ASCII Math Hub is highlighted in bright pink in the Print View.

Note: Font Size can be be increased or decreased by pressing the Plus(+) or Minus(-) buttons next to where it says Font Size.

Making Spatial Math

To create or edit spatial math in BrailleBlaster, open the Spatial Math Editor.

Note: You cannot edit spatial math in the Print View. Instead, place your cursor in the spatial math you want to change, open the Spatial Math Editor, and make any changes needed.

Check out our Spatial Math in BrailleBlaster video!

spatial math editor window

To create spatial math:

  1. Go to Math > Spatial Math Editor or select the Spatial Math button spatial math icon.
  2. Select the Container Type, or type of spatial math, you want to create in the menu. The options are:
    • Number Line Editor
    • Matrix
    • Math Templates
    • Regular Text

Set up Spatial Math

Some fields are available no matter what container type you have chosen. Container specific settings appear under the settings menu after you have selected that Container Type. There are general setting options and buttons to review before entering your spatial math.

Settings: These change based on your container type and translation. It allows for Nemeth Passage Indicators, Grade 1 Passage, or Numeric Passage Indicators to be applied inline for the translation it is set on.

spatial math window; row and column example

Row: Allows you to customize the rows needed for your Spatial Math with three buttons:
  • Previous: Allows you move to the previous number in the list
  • Next: Allows you to add more rows or move to the next row number in the list.
  • Delete: Removes a row from list.
Column: Allows you to customize the columns needed for your Spatial Math with three buttons:
  • Previous: Allows you move to the previous number in the list
  • Next: Allows you to add more columns or move to the next column number in the list.
  • Delete: Removes a column from list.

Insert: Places your new Spatial Math into your file where your cursor is placed or updates your previously created Spatial Math according to your edits.

Cancel: Closes the window without saving any changes.

H4. Editing Math Number Lines

Before you enter your Number Line information in the Spatial Editor, review the settings to ensure the best translation.

Settings Specific to Number Lines
  • Reduce Fraction: Automatically reduces the fractions on your number line. If you want the same denominator to appear across the number line, do not use Reduce Fraction.
Example: If your number line is labeled 0 to 1 with an interval of ¼, the Reduce Fraction option would make your number line read: 0, ¼, ½, ¾, and 1, rather than 0, ¼, 2/4, ¾, and 4/4.
  • Beveled Fraction: Sets the fraction lines in your number lines to a Beveled Fraction, which is a diagonal line in print. Beveled Fractions in UEB use the general fraction line; Nemeth uses the diagonal line.

beveled fraction example

  • Add Arrows to Line: Puts arrows on the beginning and end of your number line.
  • Stretch Across Page: Stretches the number line across the entire braille page. By default, BrailleBlaster tries to use the minimum number of cells to fit your number line on the page.
  • Remove Leading Zeros: When your number line has decimals, Remove Leading Zeros omits the zeros that appear before the decimal. For example, 0.5 appears as .5 in braille.
  • Number Line View: Sets whether your number line appears as math or plain text:
    • Math Entry: Allows a sequential number line to be put in according to your needs.
    • User Text: Allows you to enter text instead of math for the labeled tick marks on the number line. This adds the option Line Marker, which allows up to 10 markers along the number line.
  • Interval/Points: Creates either Points along the number line or an Interval along a segment of the number line.
    • Points: Creates points along the number line
    • Interval: Creates a line segment on the number line
    • None: Removes any Intervals or Points from the number line
  • Start Interval Type: Inserts a symbol at the start of your line segment. Your options are:
    • Empty Circle:
      start interval type; empty circle example
    • Full Circle:
      start interval type; full circle example
    • None:
      start interval type; interval none example
  • End Interval Type: Creates a symbol at the end of your line segment. Your options are:
    • Empty Circle:
      end interval type; empty circle example
    • Full Circle:
      end interval type; full circle example
    • None:
      end interval type; interval none example
Create a Number Line

BrailleBlaster calculates your number line automatically as long as the fields are filled in using numbers that make sense mathematically:

  • Count By: The amount you want each number on the number line to increase by.
  • Line Start: The first number of your number line.
  • Line End: The last number of your number line.
  • Interval Start: The first number of your line segment.
  • Interval End: The last number of your line segment.

Once you have filled out these fields, select Insert and the math is put into your file at the location of the cursor.

Editing Matrices

Before you enter your Matrix information in the Spatial Editor, review the settings to ensure the best translation.

Settings Specific to Matrices
  • Translation: Allows you to choose the type of Translation for your Matrix:
    • Uncontracted
    • Direct
    • ASCII Math
    • Literary
  • Add Ellipsis to Blank Cells: Automatically adds ellipses to blank spaces in your Matrix.
  • Grouping Device: Allows you to change which grouping indicator encloses your Matrix cells. The options include:
    • Bracket
    • Parentheses
    • Brace
    • Vertical Bar
    • Big Bracket
    • Big Parentheses
    • Big Brace
    • Big Vertical Bar
  • Wide Overflow Style: Automatically used when you enter large amounts of text in the Matrix cells or there are many Matrix cells. BrailleBlaster detects when a Matrix is too large to fit on one braille page and formats your text based on your overflow style and how you set up your document in Page Properties. You have two overflow options:
    • Block and Blank Line: Makes each cell of the Matrix into a block with the overflow of text appearing vertically in the block
    • Indent Columns: Formats each of the Matrix columns into a block and indents each column by two braille cells.

Note: If you have the Indent Columns option selected, but only one cell is too long for a braille page, BrailleBlaster overrides this with Block and Blank Line formatting in order to fit the Matrix on the page.

  • Row & Column: Customizes the number of rows and columns for each Matrix, up to 9 for each.

Using Math Templates

With Math Templates you can add Identifiers, Operators, and Operands to your equations and customize them to fit your needs.

Settings Specific to Math Templates

Before you enter your Math Template information in the Spatial Editor, review the settings to ensure the best translation.

  • Template Type: Changing your template type changes the layout of the boxes where you enter your text. The three template types are:
    • Simple Template
    • Fraction Template
    • Division Template
  • Operator: Allows you change the operation sign you want to use in your equation. You can also change your operator from the drop-down menu of the text area.
    • Plus
    • Minus
    • Multiply
  • Operands: Customizes the number of operands in your equation, up to 20.
  • Solution: Allows you to enter the solution for the equation to your template.
    • False: No solution is shown
    • True: You can enter the solution, which is shown

Making Grids with Regular Text

You can make a grid out of any text and can customize the position of that grid.

Settings for Regular Text

Before you enter your grid information in the Spatial Editor, review the settings to ensure the best translation.

Vertical Alignment: Aligns your grid entries vertically with options:
  • Top
  • Center
  • Bottom
Horizontal Alignment: Aligns your grid entries horizontally with options:
  • Right
  • Center
  • Left
  • Trim

Working with Tactile Graphics

Creating Blank Space for a Tactile Graphic

The Image Placeholder allows you to insert blank lines to leave the required amount of space for a graphic within the text.

  1. Place your cursor where you want to insert the blank lines.

Note: The blank lines will be inserted into the document before the cursor.

  1. Go to Insert > Image Placeholder. This action will bring up a window.
  2. In the window, a textbox is shown with the label: Number of lines (
  3. Once you have typed the number you need, select Submit to add in the lines or Cancel to go back to the document without making any changes.

See also the sections on Creating Facing Pages and Adding Blank Pages, as these are important for adding tactile graphics to interpoint documents.

Attaching Images to Image Placeholders

Blank lines can be associated with an image now.

Go to Insert > Image Placeholder and insert the number of blank lines in the dialog box to account for the graphic.

Use the Insert Image Location button to choose a file from your computer to associate with that set of blank lines. When the association is made, the braille and graphics can be embossed together to a supported embosser. Currently, only ViewPlus graphics embossers are supported; however, more are planned for the future.

Creating a Blank Page on the Reverse of a Tactile Graphic

To create the blank page which should be on the reverse of the tactile graphic use the page break tools as follows:

  1. Move the cursor to the location where the blank page needs to be inserted.
  2. From the edit menu select "Page Break, hide page numbers" or use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + Shift + Enter).
  3. Immediately after the page break inserted in the previous step go to the edit menu and select "Page Break" or use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + Enter).

You should now find a blank Braille page has been inserted and page numbering will be correctly handled.

Other Editing Tools and Features

Formatting Styles

Styles are an integral part of the transcription process. Giving text elements different styles distinguishes how the print is formatted, providing clarity for the braille reader.

Applying Styles

BrailleBlaster's formatting is contextual, and the Styles conform to the rules laid out in Braille Formats 2016. How each style functions in BrailleBlaster is detailed in the Style Appendix.

To apply a style:

  1. Place your cursor in an element OR highlight a section of text where you want to apply a style.
  2. Go to Styles and select the style you want the element to have OR select the desired style from the toolbar buttons.
  3. Once selected, that style is applied to the text.
Repeating the Last Used Style

The Repeat Last Style tool is used to continuously apply the last used style to new text elements.

To repeat the last style:

  1. Place your cursor in an element OR highlight a section of text where you want to apply a style.
  2. Go to Styles > Repeat Last Style or use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + R).
  3. The style last applied to the previous element is now applied to the current element.

Note: If no style has been applied, and this feature is used, a pop-up opens letting you know there is no style to repeat.

Removing a Style

In BrailleBlaster, you can replace any style with another style from the Style toolbar, but there is a tool that allows you to remove certain styles from a text element in one simple step. Unwrap Element allows you to remove certain styles, including List, Poetic Stanza, Box, Full Box, and Prose.

To remove a style:

  1. Have Breadcrumbs displayed in the toolbar. See Viewing Applied Styles for instructions on how this done.
  2. Place your cursor on the text you want to Unwrap.
  3. Select the container button for the element in Breadcrumbs. The text is now highlighted.
  4. Go to Tools > Unwrap Element.

Note: In some cases, Unwrap Element may be grayed out or unavailable to select. If this occurs, you must apply another style instead of using this tool.

  1. After selecting Unwrap Element, the text is formatted as Body Text, the default style in BrailleBlaster, which presents text as indented paragraphs with margins of 3-1.
Adjusting the Number of Style Levels:

You can adjust the number of Style Levels that appear for each style with multiple levels. The default number of levels displayed is five, but you might find you need fewer or more levels. BrailleBlaster can show up to eight.

To adjust the number of styles:

  1. Go to Styles > Configure > Style Levels.
  2. Select the number of levels that you wish to view in the dropdown menus in the Styles toolbar.

Configuring Style Shortcuts

Style Shortcuts are divided into sets, called loadouts, to make the transcription process faster since there are not enough keys on the keyboard to make a shortcut key for every style. Each loadout has ten styles configured to the hotkeys Ctrl plus numbers 0 through 9.

Under Styles > Shortcuts the following menu options are Manage shortcuts, Body Text (Ctrl+1), Blocked Text (Ctrl+2), Heading 1 (Ctrl+3) , Heading 2 (Ctrl+4), Heading 3 (Ctrl+5), List 1 (Ctrl+6), List 2a (Ctrl+7), List 2b (Ctrl+8), Centered Text (Ctrl+9), Transcriber Note (Ctrl+0) and Select Loadout.

Styles Shortcut window

Under Styles > Shortcuts > Manage Shortcuts, this is where the ten different loadouts can be configured. The first configured loadout is Loadout 1. It is configured with the 10 common styles.

The styles in the configuration are, Body Text, Blocked Text, Heading 1, Heading 2a, Heading 2b, List 1, List 2a, List 2b, Centered Text and Transcriber Note. Configuring loadouts is where you are able to adjust which style is assigned to a specific Ctrl plus a number (0 through 9).

Loadout 1 Viewed

In Manage Shortcuts window there is a dropdown menu at Configure loadout to choose which loadout (Loadout 1 through Loadout 10) to configure.
Loadouts 1 through 10

After a loadout is chosen, each of the 10 styles can be changed with a list of styles to choose from.
List of Styles Viewed

Once the loadouts are configured, you have the ability to switch between the sets of shortcuts created in each loadout.

Under Styles>Shortcuts>Select Loadout to get to the menu options to chose one of the loadouts in the menu (Loadouts 1 through Loadout 10).
Loadouts with Alt plus a number

Remember that each style in a named loadout uses a Ctrl plus a number. Switch between loadouts uses a Alt plus a number.

Note: Be sure to use the number keys on your main keyboard and not the number keys on the numeric pad.

Using Style Options

Sometimes it is necessary for a braille document to have additional style rules on certain parts of the text. Style Options allows you to add various style rules to the text.

Setting Your Own Margin

There are times when you have text that doesn’t conform to BrailleBlaster’s existing style options. There are many oddities when formatting braille and they can’t all be covered by a predetermined style. For these situations, you can use Set Cell Position, which allows you to set the indentation for the line of text at the cursor’s position.

To set your own margin:

  1. Place your cursor before the element you wish to indent.
  2. Go to Edit > Set Cell Position, which causes a textbox to open.
  3. Type the cell number where you want your text to start into the textbox.
  4. Click OK. The text element is pushed over into the cell number you entered.

Note: If you type in a number lower than the cell the text is currently on, it drops down to the next line and begins on that cell. This command does not work if the cursor is at the end of a line. It is only applied to one line at a time.

Keeping Text on the Same Line

Hitting Enter moves the text down to the next line, but it treats it is as a new element, like a new paragraph in Body Text or a new item in a List. When you don’t want a new element, but need text to stay together, you can insert a Line Break. This inserts a break at the location of the cursor, dropping all text following the cursor down to the next braille line.

To keep text on the same line:

  1. Place your cursor where you want your line break to be.
  2. Go to Edit > Line Break OR use the keyboard shortcut (Shift + Enter).
  3. The text moves down to the next line and starts at the appropriate runover.

Note: The text starts in the runover cell determined by the current element's style. For instance, if the style is Body Text (which has 3-1 margins), inserting a line break starts the new line on cell 1.

Keeping Text on the Same Page

Don’t Split is the only style option that wraps elements of different styles. It is used to keep the selected elements together on the same braille page.

To keep text on the same page:

  1. Highlight the elements that need to be kept together.
  2. Go to Styles > Options > Don’t Split and apply the style option.

Note: If the selected elements do not fit on a single braille page, any text longer than one braille page continues on to the next braille page.

Keep With Next

Selecting Keep With Next causes that element to stay with whichever element follows it.

To keep an element with the next one:

  1. Select the desired element by highlighting it.
  2. Go to Styles > Options > Keep With Next and apply the style option.

Note: If the second element moves to a new braille page because of changes to formatting, the element that has the Keep With Next style applied also moves to that braille page.

Adding Blank Lines

The style options Lines Before and Lines After allow you to set the number of blank lines either before or after. Every style that begins on a new line automatically has a value of 1 for Lines Before and Lines After. If you want that element to have a blank line before or after it, set the value as 2. Some styles already have blank lines by default, such as Centered Headings, which have a value of 2 for Lines Before and a value of 2 for Lines After. To add an extra blank line before a Centered Heading, set the Lines Before value as 3.

To add blank lines:

  1. Select the desired element(s) by highlight it.
  2. Go to Styles > Options.
  3. Click on the Lines Before or Lines After style option.
  4. In the window, enter the value (number of lines) in the textbox.
Adding Double Lines

The style option Double Spaced allows you to apply double-line spacing to highlighted text.

To apply double-line spacing:

  1. Highlight the desired elements to select.
  2. Go to Styles > Options > Double Spaced and apply the style option.
Removing Text From Lines with Page Numbers

The style option Skip Number Lines determines whether the element should skip lines that contain page numbers.

To remove text from lines with page numbers:

  1. Go to Styles > Options > Skip Number Lines.
  2. Choose one of the following options:
    • Top: Prevents the element from appearing on the top line of the braille page
    • Bottom: Prevents the element from appearing on the bottom line of the braille page
    • Both: Causes the element to skip both the top and bottom lines of the braille page
    • None: Removes other Skip Number Line options if they are no longer needed

Once the style has been selected, it is immediately applied.

Note: Keep in mind that even if None is selected, when you have a Running Head or Guide Words, those lines are automatically skipped because they are applied to those elements.

Creating Facing Pages

Page Side is used to set which side of a page certain text needs to be on within interpoint documents. This is useful when you have graphics or material that needs to appear on facing pages, such as tables or question and answer choices. When formatting decisions cause an element to move, the selected material continues to appear on the type of page selected. If the page side isn’t significant, and you just need a blank page added, see Adding Blank Pages.

To create facing pages:

  1. Go to Styles > Options > Page Side.
  2. There are two options to choose from: left or right.
    • Page Side Left: Applying this to an element causes that element to appear only on the left-hand side, which is an even page.
    • Page Side Right: Applying this causes that element to appear only on the right-hand side, which is an odd page.
  3. If the text is on the type of page you have selected, it remains on that page; but if it is not, it moves to the type of page you selected.
Adding Blank Pages

The style options New Pages Before and New Pages After are used to insert a blank braille page before or after the selected element. This ensures that formatting decisions made before this point in the document do not remove a blank page that the transcriber deems necessary. If the blank page is needed in order for material to appear on facing pages, see Creating Facing Pages, as that style option ensures your material stays facing.

To add a blank page:

  1. Go to Styles > Options.
  2. Click on the New Pages Before or New Pages After style option.

A blank page is created either before or after the element you highlighted.

Working with Page Numbers

BrailleBlaster has many tools for numbering braille and print pages efficiently.

Adding Page Numbers

Adding Print Page Numbers

If Print page numbers have not automatically been added to your document, you can add them manually.

To add print pages:

  1. Place your cursor at the point in the document where you need the print page number.
  2. Use F4 or go to Edit > Edit print page numbers > Insert page number.

Page numbers will automatically begin with 1 and each add will follow sequentially.

If the number is in the middle of a braille page, a print page change indicator appears across the page with the print page number at the right margin.

Any Print Page Number that has been added can be changed.

To change a Print Page Number:

  1. Place your cursor at the point next to the print page number needing to be changed.
  2. Go to Edit > Edit print page number > Change page number.
  3. A Page Number Window appears with the number highlighted or has the cursor next to it can be changed.
  4. Change the number in the field to the number desired and press OK.

Page Number Window

Setting Page Counter and Renumbering Page Numbers

Setting the Page Counter will change the number of the next Print Page that is inserted.

To Set Page Counter:

  1. Go to Edit > Edit Print Page Number > Click on Set Page Counter.
  2. The Page Counter Window will appear. There is a field to change the number of the Page Counter
  3. Change the number with the cursor and press the OK button.
  4. Place cursor where you want the Print Page Number and press F4 or go to Edit > Edit Print Page Numbers > Insert Page Number.

Page Counter Window

From that Page Number in the Page Counter each add will follow sequentially.

By using the Change Number Window and the Page Counter Window along with the Renumber Page Numbers Tab, you can change the Page Number sequence to any number of pages.

Adding Braille Page Numbers

Braille page numbers are added automatically with BrailleBlaster. You can also add more braille pages (if needed) by using Page Break.

Note: There must be text present after the cursor to use Page Break.

To add braille page numbers:

  1. Place your cursor where you want the Page Break to appear.
  2. Go to Edit > Page Break OR use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + Enter).

Edit Menu with Page Break

The break is inserted after the cursor, forcing all text after the cursor to the next braille page. You can continue to use this feature to create more braille pages as needed.

Creating Pages Without Print Page Numbers

Should you want to create a page without print page numbers then use the special "Page Break, hide page numbers" option in the edit menu or the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + Shift + Enter). This will remove the page number on the current page. Then insert a page break by choosing "Page Break" from the Edit menu or by using the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + Enter). This special page break creates a new Braille page where there will be no page numbers. Additionally the print page number's continuation letter will not be incremented for this page.

Note: Like the normal page break, there must be text present after the cursor to use Page Break.

Changing Braille Page Numbers

Sometimes you may need to change the type of braille page number you want for your document. This can be accomplished through the use of Page Type Indicators.

To change the type of braille page number:

  1. Place your cursor at the beginning of where you want to change the page type and go to Insert > Page Type Indicator and choose one of the following three options:
    • P-page: The braille page number that starts with the letter “p” for preliminary pages
    • T-page: The braille page number starts with the letter “t” for transcriber-generated pages.
    • Normal: The braille page number that shows the ordinal number.
      Note: Once you change the braille page type, the braille page numbers continue to appear as that type until a new page type indicator is selected.
  2. The page type indicator will be added, but is set to appear invisible by default in BrailleBlaster. If you want to view these indicators, go to Insert > Page Type Indicators > Show Page Type Indicator and they will appear with the pilcrow symbol (¶) next to the letter of the page type (P, T, or N).

Insert with Page Type Indicator

Deleting Page Numbers

Deleting Print Page Numbers

To delete a print page:

  1. Place your cursor so that it follows the print page number you want to delete.
  2. Go to Edit > Edit Print Page Numbers > Delete Page Number.
  3. This will delete the specific print page number.

Working with Emphasis

There are many forms of Emphasis in braille that allow the text to be prominent. Also known as font attributes or typeforms, these range from common forms of print emphasis to those unique to braille. Each type of emphasis is explained in Section 9 of the Rules of Unified English Braille, and when to use or ignore font attributes is detailed in Braille Formats, 2016, Section 5: Typeforms.

Adding Emphasis

In BrailleBlaster, emphasis can only be applied to text that has already been created. Highlight a selection of text and add the desired emphasis using the appropriate keyboard shortcut or toolbar button, or go to the Emphasis menu.

  • Bold (Ctrl + B): Adds Bold to a symbol, word, or passage.
  • Italics (Ctrl + I): Adds Italics to a symbol, word, or passage.
  • Underline (Ctrl + U): Adds an Underline to a symbol, word, or passage.
  • Script (Ctrl + Alt + S): Add Script indicators to a symbol, word, or passage that mimics handwriting in print. The selected text appears light pink in the print view.
  • Transcriber Note Symbols: Although Transcriber’s Note (TN) indicators are not a print typeform, they add a special emphasis for the braille reader. TN indicators are added at the beginning and end of the selected text. Adding this emphasis across three elements, for example, puts an opening TN indicator at the beginning of the first element and a closing TN indicator at the end of the last element.
  • Transcriber-Defined Typeforms: There are some types of emphasis in print with no braille equivalent such as highlighting, colored font, or double underlining. Transcriber-Defined Typeforms allow this emphasis to be represented with a braille symbol that is defined on the Transcriber’s Notes Page of the document. These indicators and how to use them are described in Section 9.5 of the Rules of Unified English Braille.
    • Transcriber-Defined 1 (Shift + Alt + 1)
    • Transcriber-Defined 2 (Shift + Alt + 2)
    • Transcriber-Defined 3 (Shift + Alt + 3)
    • Transcriber-Defined 4 (Shift + Alt + 4)
    • Transcriber-Defined 5 (Shift + Alt + 5)

Modifying the Braille Translation

BrailleBlaster works with a program called LibLouis to give transcribers the most accurate translation possible, but sometimes the translation is inaccurate and needs be changed. BrailleBlaster has several tools for correcting braille text in your current document and applying it to future documents.

Entering Braille Directly into a Document

Six Key Mode allows six key transcription within BrailleBlaster. When this tool is activated, you can type braille directly into the Print View by pressing combinations of the keyboard keys FDS and JKL to create the six dots of a braille cell.

Letter Dot Number
F 1
D 2
S 3
J 4
K 5
L 6

Note: If you find this feature doesn’t work for you, it is most likely your keyboard. Not all keyboards allow more than one letter to be pressed at a time.

To use Six Key Mode:

  1. Go to Tools > Six Key Mode or use the keyboard shortcut (Alt + X).
  2. Use the keyboard keys FDS and JKL as the six dots of braille to enter text into the Print View. The text that is created from six key entry is not translated by BrailleBlaster so what appears in the Print View will also appear in the Braille View.
  3. To exit out of Six Key Mode and return to regular keyboard entry, go back to Tools > Six Key Mode or use the keyboard shortcut (Alt + X) again.

Changing the Text Translation

Even after you’ve designated your translation settings, you can change how part of the text is translated, ranging from a word to multiple pages. Change Translation offers two translation options for a selection of text: Uncontracted and Direct.

To change text translation:

  1. Highlight the section of text to change.
  2. Go to Tools > Change Translation OR use the Change Translation toolbar button change translation icon OR right-click and Select Change Translation.
  3. Select the appropriate translation for your document:
  • Uncontracted (Ctrl + Shift + T): Presents the selected text in grade 1 braille, without the use of contractions. The text is highlighted in green in the braille view.
  • Direct (Ctrl + D): Presents the literal ASCII translation of the selected text. The text is highlighted in purple in the print view.

Note: Direct translation is sometimes necessary when you need to force the translation to appear a certain way, but BrailleBlaster does not allow it otherwise.

Correcting the Braille Translation

Correct Braille Translation allows you to submit translation corrections for the program LibLouis. This ensures quick and easy recognition of undefined print characters. The most common corrections are for Unicode characters (i.e., Unicode: U + 25B6 for a black right-pointing triangle), proper nouns, and non-English words, though you may find a translation mistake on occasion.
When you encounter an undefined Unicode character in the translation, the Unicode image appears in the Print View, while the Unicode name, enclosed in Transcriber’s Notes, appears in the Braille View.

correct translation example showing print and braille views

Making a Braille Translation Correction

To make a braille translation correction:

  1. In the Print View, highlight the character or word that is not translating correctly.
  2. Go to Tools > Correct Braille Translation OR use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + T). In the Correct Translation window the highlighted print word is shown in the Print textbox. There is also a Braille textbox for entering the correct translation of the character or word.

correct translation window with print and braille example

  1. Choose one of three options appropriate to the correction of the text:
  • Define New Character: Creates a new character.
  • Correct Character: Corrects an improperly translated character.
  • Correct Word: Corrects a proper noun or foreign word.
  1. Select your entry method for typing the correct braille: Six Key or ASCII.
  2. Type the corrected braille into the Braille textbox.
  3. Select one of two options for saving your translation correction or Cancel to leave without making changes:
  • Save Translation Locally: Allows you to save to a locally designated file on your computer. This option is for personal translation options.
  • Save Translation Globally: Saves to a local file on your computer and submits the correction to APH. APH reviews the change for future BrailleBlaster releases and to share with others who use LibLouis. This process of continuous improvement to the translation tables helps braille readers around the world receive timely, accurate braille.
Viewing Past Braille Translation Corrections

To view past braille translation corrections:

  1. Select the View Corrections button at the bottom of the Correct Translation window. This action opens another window where your corrections to translations can be viewed.

corrected translations window

  1. Select the Edit Translation button to make edits to translations you have previously entered OR select a translation from the list and click the Delete Entry button to delete translations that are no longer needed.
  2. Select Cancel to return to the Correct Braille Translation window without making any changes.

Finding and Replacing Text and Styles

The Find and Replace tool allows you to find and edit text and formatting easily.

Finding Text

To find text in your document:

  1. Go to Edit > Find and Replace OR use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + F).
  2. Type the text you want to search for into the Find Text textbox.

find and replace window with examplefind button selected

  1. (Optional step) Select one or both options to narrow down the search:
  • Match Case: Only searches for the text as you type it in regard to capitalization.
    Example: If you search for “THE” with Match Case checked, BrailleBlaster only finds instances of the fully capitalized characters “THE” and ignores any others, like “The” or “the.”
  • Whole word: Only searches for instances of the text that are preceded and followed by a space, rather than instances of the characters within a longer word.
    Example: If you search for “the” with Whole word checked, BrailleBlaster only finds instances of “the” where it stands alone as a word, and ignores results like “theater,” “them,” “bathe,” and so on.

  1. Select the Find button to search for an instance of the text. The text is highlighted in the Print View of your document for further instances of the text.
  2. (Optional step) Continue using the Find button to cycle through the document. You can also cycle through the document forwards or backwards by selecting one of those options.
  3. Select Close when finished.

Replacing Text

To replace text in your document:

  1. Go to Edit > Find and Replace OR use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + F).
  2. Type the text you want to replace into the Find textbox.
  3. (Optional step) If appropriate, check the Match Case or Whole Word checkboxes.
  • Match Case: Only searches for the text as you type it in regard to capitalization.
    (Optional step) Check the Match case checkbox to maintain the capitalization of the original text.
    Example: If you enter “even” in the Find Text box and “odd” in the Replace with box with Match case checked, “even” is replaced with “odd,” “Even” is replaced with “Odd,” and “EVEN” with “ODD.”
    Note: Match case only works with lowercase, all uppercase, and initial case but not with camel-capped words or oddly capped words (e.g., BrailleBlaster or BrAiLLeBlASTer).
  • Whole Word: Only searches for instances of the text that are preceded and followed by a space, rather than instances of the characters within a longer word.
    Example: If you search for “the” with Whole Word checked, BrailleBlaster only finds instances of “the” where it stands alone as a word, and ignores results like “theater,” “them,” “bathe,” and so on.

  1. Type the replacement text in the Replace With textbox.
  2. Select the Find button to search for instances of the text.
  3. Select the Replace button to replace that instance of text in the Find box.

find and replace window with example

  1. Pressing Replace again moves you to the next instance of the word in the Find box and pressing it once more replaces the text. You can continue that way, OR you can select Replace All, changing ALL of the instances at once without clicking through each one.
  2. Select Close when you are finished.

Finding Formatted Text

In addition to changing text through the Find and Replace function, the formatting on text can also be located using the Formatting button in the Find and Replace window.

To find formatted text:

  1. Go to Edit > Find and Replace OR use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + F).
  2. Click Format Find to open the Formatting window.
The two types of formatting that can be changed are:
  • Styles and Containers: Focuses on Styles of text and margins.
  • Text Attributes: Focuses on Emphasis and Translation of text.

formatting window

Both options have a drop-down menu to indicate what can be added or removed.
  • Add: Only finds the text you typed if it has the selected formatting.
    Example: If you add “Centered Heading” to the Find box by pressing the Add button next to the drop-down menu, your search only finds the word “The” if it appears within the Centered Heading style and ignores all other instances.
  • Remove: The behavior of Remove is a little more complicated. It finds all instances of the text unless it has the selected formatting.
    Example: If you remove “Centered Heading” to the Find box, you can change it in the drop-down menu to “Not Centered Heading,” and search for all instances of “The” that are not within Centered Headings.

formatting window with not centered heading highlighted

  1. Both Styles and Containers and Text Attributes have the drop-down menu of options. Select whatever Formatting is appropriate.
  2. Press the Add button to add Styles and Containers or Text Attributes to the Find box.

    This action adds the selected item to the textbox under Find. If you decide you do not want an item included in your Formatting, select Reset to clear the Find box.

Note: More than one style can be added or removed at a time. Clicking a different style and pressing the Add button adds the style selected in the text box under Find.

  1. Select Done to return to the Find and Replace window.

    The Formatting you have selected now appears in a text box under Find Text.

  2. Select the Find button to search for those instances of the text
  3. When finished, click Close to exit the Find and Replace window.

Replacing Formatted Text

To replace formatted text:

  1. Go to Edit > Find and Replace OR use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + F).
  2. Click on the Format Find button.
    After the button is pressed there are two options of formatting that can be changed:
  • Styles and Containers: Focuses on Styles of text and margins.
  • Text Attributes: Focuses on Emphasis and Translation of text.

Find and Replace window

The Format Find Button and the Format Replace button function the same way.

  1. For Find: choose the Styles and Containers and the Text Attribute from the drop-down menu and press the Add button for each to appear under the text.

    *Example:* If you add “Body Text” to the Find box, your search will find the formatting of every instance of “Chapter” to be within a Body Text.

  2. Press Done when completed with the criteria for Find.
  3. In the Find and Replace window press the Format Replace button.
  4. For Replace With: choose the Styles and Containers and the Text Attributes again from the drop-down menu and press the Add button for each to appear under the text.

    *Example:* If you add "Centered Heading" and "Bold" to the Replace With box, your search will replace the formatting of every instance of "Chapter" with Centered Heading and it will be in Bold.

  1. If you decide you do not want an item included in your formatting, select Reset to clear the Replace box and it takes you to the Find and Replace window to start fresh.

    Note: Only one style can be added or removed at a time. Having more than one Style under the text will cause an error window to pop up when Replace or Replace All button is pressed. You can add more than one Text Attribute.

  2. Select Done to return to the Find and Replace window.

    The Formatting you have selected now appears in a text box under Replace With.

  3. Press Replace All to make the changes to the instances that are in the text.
  4. When finished, click Close to exit the Find and Replace window.

Resetting Find and Replace

Click Reset to clear all selected formatting options and checkboxes. The most recently searched text remains in the Find Text and Replace with fields.

Repeating the Last Search

Repeat Last Search lets you repeat what you have searched for even after closing Find and Replace.

To repeat the last search, Go to Edit > Repeat Last Search OR use the keyboard shortcut (F3).

This action searches the document for the last searched item from Find and Replace and highlights it in the Print View. It does not open the Find and Replace window or make any changes.

Note: Continuing to use Repeat Last Search cycles you through the document. If your last search also included Replace information, your text is replaced when you move to the next item.

Operations Specific To NIMAS Files

Since BrailleBlaster is intended to work hand in hand with XML and NIMAS files, there are some tools in BrailleBlaster that are designed to work with this file type only.

Glossary

ASCII: Stands for the American Standard Code for Information Interchange but it is simplest to think of it as the print symbols that can be created by a keyboard.

Close (Ctrl + W): Closes the current document, but BrailleBlaster (and any other documents) remains open. Clicking the X in the tab above the print view where the file name appears (or New Document if you haven’t saved it with a new name yet) has the same result—closing only that document.

Container: BrailleBlaster automatically views some styles as being kept in a container, including List, Poetry, and Boxes. The word CONTAINER appears before the style name in the breadcrumbs, and when clicked, selects all of the elements with that particular style contained in the container. Once selected, you can select Unwrap Element from the tools menu to remove that style from the highlighted text, returning it to body text (3-1 margins). You can also search for particular containers in Find and Replace.

Element: Each section of text with a style applied to it is considered an element in BrailleBlaster. For example, every individual paragraph of Body Text or every individual line of a Poem is considered an element. You can navigate through each element, as described in Navigating Through Text Elements to review the formatting.

Exit (Alt + F4): Closes the BrailleBlaster application, including any open documents but giving an opportunity to save if changes have been made.

Loadouts: Loadouts allow you to create shortcut keys for styles. There are not enough shortcut key combinations available for every style in BrailleBlaster. As an alternative, you can configure the loadout to a particular style type and designate the style levels (as appropriate) to quickly change the formatting of your text, using shortcut keys rather than clicking with the mouse. See Configuring Style Loadouts for more information.

Set Cell Position: Sets the indentation position of the text at your chosen curser position. A dialog box opens in which you can type the cell number where the text at the cursor should start. If you type in a number lower than the cell the text is currently on, it moves to the next line and begins in that cell. It does not work if the cursor is at the end of a line.

Styles: Styles impact the margins of the braille and the use of blank lines in your document. BrailleBlaster uses many different “styles” to convey to the braille reader how the print is formatted. The default layout of BrailleBlaster shows the style view on the left, so that the name of the style is in line with the corresponding print to the right. The complete detailed list of styles are found in the Appendix A: Formatting Styles.
Note: An asterisk next to a style name in the Style view represents an image in that element. More details are in the Describing Images with the Image Describer section.

Help

Like any new software program, it is possible to run across some problems in BrailleBlaster from time to time. There are many tools in the program for reporting these errors as well as instructions on how to use the program more effectively.

Using the Help Menu

The Help menu in BrailleBlaster covers several areas. Some things you can use Help for include:

  • Access a local copy of the BrailleBlaster User Guide OR use the keyboard shortcut (F1).
  • Check for Updates, for the most up-to-date version of the program.
  • Find which version of BrailleBlaster you are using, which is helpful for reporting errors to APH staff.
  • Open the BrailleBlaster website to find additional information.
  • Report errors with View Log or Reset BB.

Reporting BrailleBlaster Issues

Sometimes, BrailleBlaster has exceptions that appear when specific strings of actions are performed that the program cannot render, resulting in an error. If an exception occurs, the most effective way to solve it is to revert to your most recent save and try making the changes again.

One of the most important things to do if an exception happens is to report it with the Exception Reporting Service. Please help improve BrailleBlaster for other users by taking advantage of this feature. When an exception pop-up appears, send the exception to APH with the Tell APH About This Error So They Can Fix It button, or click OK to close the exception. We encourage you to report these exceptions rather than dismiss them so BrailleBlaster continues to improve.

View Log and Reset BB are both tools that can be found in the Help menu to report other potential BrailleBlaster errors. View Log provides the ability to view or save a software error log in the event that BrailleBlaster encounters an unexpected problem. This log can be provided to the technical support staff at APH to assist them in troubleshooting.
Reset BB is included with early releases because of potential conflicts that can occur when updating the program. If documents do not open after updating, but the previous version of BrailleBlaster worked fine, it is likely the cause of one of these conflicts.

CAUTION: The Reset BB feature deletes all user data, which includes changes to the translation, page settings, and font size. It is not recommended to use this feature unless first instructed to do so by an APH employee.

Appendix A: Formatting Styles

Style menu items are found both in the Styles menu and as buttons on the toolbar.

styles drop-down menu

styles toolbar

There are many Style options BrailleBlaster supports that are accessed from the buttons on the toolbar or from the Styles menu. Refer to Braille Formats, 2016 for further instruction on when to use each style.

Margins are presented as a hyphenated number with the indent listed first and the runover second. For example, a list item (which is in 1-3) has an indent of 1 and a runover of 3. In other words, the first symbol of the element with this style appears in cell 1, and if a second line is needed, that line and all subsequent lines begin in cell 3.

Basic Styles

These styles include some of the simple styles common to transcription.

basic styles menu

Basic Styles Specification Table

Style Name Description Margins Blank Line
Blocked Text Left justified paragraph 1-1 Before
Body Text Indented paragraph (default) 3-1 None
Centered Text Text centered on the page Variable None
Displayed 3-5 Multiple displayed sentences following blocked text (1-1) or body text (3-1) 3-5 Before and After
Displayed Blocked Text Displayed blocked paragraph following blocked text (1-1) 3-3 Before and After
Displayed Body Text Displayed indented paragraph following body text (3-1) 5-3 Before and After

Numeric Styles

Numeric styles apply the margins selected based the indentation of the first cell of text and the runover position used with no additional formatting. They are arranged in submenus based on the indentation, ranging from 1 to 11.

numeric styles menu

Numeric Styles Specification Table

Style Name Description Margins Blank Line
1-1 Text begins in cell 1 with runovers in cell 1 1-1 None
1-3 Text begins in cell 1 with runovers in cell 3 1-3 None
11-9 Text begins in cell 11 with runovers in cell 9 11-9 None
11-11 Text begins in cell 11 with runovers in cell 11 11-11 None

Heading Styles

These styles follow the hierarchy of headings according to Braille Formats, 2016. For details on inserting a Running Head, see Setting a Running Head.

heading styles menu

Heading Styles Specification Table

Style Name Description Margins Blank Line
Cell 5 Heading Subheading (Second level) 5-5 Before
Cell 7 Heading Subheading (Third level) 7-7 Before, unless immediately following a Cell 5 Heading
Centered Heading Main heading (First level) Variable Before & After

List Styles

List styles are arranged in submenus based on the number of levels within the list, ranging from 1 to 5. Each style begins with the letter L followed by the margins for each level within the list. BrailleBlaster automatically moves entries within a list to immediately follow one another, and includes a blank before the first list entry and after the last entry.

list styles menu

List Styles Specification Table

Style Name Description Margins Blank Line
L1-3 List with 1 level 1-3 Before & After all 1 level list entries
L1-5 First level in a list with 2 levels 1-5 Before & After all 2 level list entries
L3-5 Second level in a list with 2 levels 3-5 Before & After all 2 level list entries
L7-11 Fourth level in a list with 5 levels 7-11 Before & After all 5 level list entries
L9-11 Fifth level in a list with 5 levels 9-11 Before & After all 5 level list entries

Miscellaneous Styles

This selection of style elements include those that do not fit into other categories.

It includes the Transcriber's Notes styles and Box styles. Note that these styles are special and require the user to select the entire set of text to which they will be applied first. Since the transcriber's note style adds the transcriber's note symbols and the box styles add box lines, the program must know where the user wants those to appear and it learns this through the selection made by the user.

Miscellaneous Styles Specification Table

Style Name Description Margins Blank Line
Transcriber’s Note Each paragraph of selected text is enclosed in transcriber’s note indicators 7-5 None

Boxes Options Specification Table

Within the Miscellaneous Styles are several options for Boxes.

Style Name Description Blank Line
Box Selected text appears within a top and bottom box line Before the top box line & After the bottom box line
Color Box Selected text appears within a top and bottom box line, and the color you type in the pop-up appears within
transcriber’s notes on the top box line
Before the top box line & After the bottom box line
Full Box Selected text appears within a top and bottom full box line
(the exterior borders for a set of nested boxes)
Before the top box line & After the bottom box line
Full Color Box Selected text appears within a top and bottom full box line (the exterior borders for a set of nested boxes),
and the color you type in the pop up window appears within transcriber’s notes on the top full box line
Before the top box line & After the bottom box line

Appendix B: Shortcut Key Combinations

Key Combination Description
FILE OPERATIONS
CTRL + N Create a new document
CTRL + O Open a document
CTRL + W Close a document
ALT + F4 Quit BrailleBlaster
CTRL + S Save the document
CTRL+SHIFT+S Save the document in a custom location
CTRL + P Print a document
CTRL + E Emboss a document
ALT + HOME Open the Braille Preview
SHIFT + F10 Open the context menu (same action as when you right click)
CTRL + + Increase font size 1 point
CTRL + - Decrease font size 1 point
EDITING
CTRL + Z Undo the last action
CTRL + Y Redo the last action
CTRL + X Cut the selected text
CTRL + C Copy the selected text
CTRL + V Paste copied text
CTRL + F Open the find/replace pane
F3 Repeat the last search
SHIFT + ENTER Insert Line Break
CTRL + ENTER Insert Page Break
CTRL + SPACE Insert non-breaking space (represented as a white rectangle with a black outline in the print view)
CTRL + R Repeat last style applied
CTRL + T Correct Braille translation
ALT + X Six-Key Mode
CTRL + M Math Translation Toggle
CTRL + D Direct Translation
CTRL + SHIFT + T Uncontracted Translation
NAVIGATION
ALT + P Toggle Print View
CTRL + G Open the page selection options
CTRL + HOME Go to the first page of the current document
CTRL + END Go to the last page of the current document
CTRL + Down Go to the Next Element
CTRL + Up Go to the Previous Element
Page Up Next Page
Page Down Previous Page
TYPEFORMS
CTRL + B Bold
CTRL + I Italic
CTRL + U Underline
CTRL + ALT + S Script
SHIFT + ALT + 1 Transcriber-Defined Typeform 1
SHIFT + ALT + 2 Transcriber-Defined Typeform 2
SHIFT + ALT + 3 Transcriber-Defined Typeform 3
SHIFT + ALT + 4 Transcriber-Defined Typeform 4
SHIFT + ALT + 5 Transcriber-Defined Typeform 5
SHORTCUTS
CTRL + 1 Body Text
CTRL + 2 Block Text
CTRL + 3 Heading 1
CTRL + 4 Heading 2
CTRL + 5 Heading 3
CTRL + 6 List 1
CTRL + 7 List 2a
CTRL + 8 List 2b
CTRL + 9 Centered Text
CTRL + 10 Transcriber's Note
SELECT LOADOUT
ALT + 1 Loadout 1
ALT + 2 Loadout 2
ALT + 3 Loadout 3
ALT + 4 Loadout 4
ALT + 5 Loadout 5
ALT + 6 Loadout 6
ALT + 7 Loadout 7
ALT + 8 Loadout 8
ALT + 9 Loadout 9
ALT + 0 Loadout 10
MISCELLANEOUS
F1 Open Braille Blaster User Guide

Appendix C: Troubleshooting Embosser Issues

If you encounter issues with the embossed output when embossing a document, please follow the below steps.

Confirm Correct Embosser Configuration

In your embosser configuration in BrailleBlaster check that the manufacturer and model settings exactly match the embosser you are using. Embossers with similar model names may interact with BrailleBlaster in very different ways, so it is important that you select the exact model.

Try Using Generic Text Embosser Support

If your embosser model is not listed in BrailleBlaster, or embossing does not work correctly when you select your specific embosser model, then try the generic text embossing support. Go to Settings > Embosser settings, select your embosser configuration and press the edit button. In your embosser configuration in BrailleBlaster select "Generic" for the manufacturer and "Text only" for model.

When changing to generic text embosser support, it is important you correctly configure your embosser's internal settings for the paper size and margins for the document you want to emboss. This will be done by using software provided by your embosser's manufacturer or by using the buttons on the embosser itself. For details on how to alter your embosser's internal settings, please refer to the user guide for your embosser.

Tweak Advanced Embosser Options

If generic text embosser support has not resolved your embossing issue, then it is possible to adjust how generic text embossing support works
by altering the advanced embosser options. The values to be used depends upon the embosser being used, below is some information about the different options and some recommended values for some embosser models.

Advanced embosser options

  • Add margins: Whether BrailleBlaster should insert spaces and new lines in the embossed output to emulate the margins. If you set this to true, then your embosser should expect the lines to be longer than the Braille and the number of lines per page to be greater to account for the margins. It is recommended to set this to false and configure margins in your embosser's internal settings.
  • Pad page: When set to true, for pages which do not have all lines used by Braille, BrailleBlaster will insert new line characters for each empty line at the end of the page. This option is most useful for embossers which do not use form feed characters to identify new pages and instead rely on counting number of lines. For most embossers you should set this to false.
  • Form feed on full page: Whether BrailleBlaster should insert the form feed sequence at the end of a full page. For most embossers this should be set to false.
  • End of line: The byte sequence for the end of the line. For most embossers set this to \r\n but for some embossers \n may be required. See the below list of embossers for embosser specific recommendations.
  • End of page: The byte sequence for the end of a page. For many embossers this should be set to \f however some models may need a different value, see the below embosser specific recommendations.
  • Header: A byte sequence which will be sent to the embosser before the Braille. This may be useful if your embosser needs a sequence of bytes to configure a mode/setting or simply state the start of an emboss job. In most cases it is recommended to keep this empty.
  • Footer: A byte sequence to be sent at the end of a emboss job. For most embossers this should be left blank, however some embossers do require a value, see the below embosser specific list for details.

Embosser specific recommended values

Enabling Technologies
Model End of line End of page Footer
Phoenix Gold \r\n \r\n\f \x1a
Phoenix silver \r\n \\r\n\f \x1a
Cyclone \r\n \r\n\f \x1a
Trident \r\n \r\n\f \x1a
Book Maker \r\n \r\n\f
Braille Express \r\n \r\n\f
Thomas \r\n \r\n\f
Thomas Pro \r\n \r\n\f
ET \r\n \r\n\f
Juliet Pro60 \r\n \r\n\f
Juliet Pro \r\n \r\n\f
Juliet Classic \r\n \r\n\f
Romeo 25 \r\n \r\n\f
Romeo Pro50 \r\n \r\n\f
Romeo Attache \n \n\f
Romeo Attache Pro \n \n\f
Romeo 60 \r\n \f \x1a
Juliet 120 \r\n \f \x1a
Index Braille
Model End of line End of page Footer
Basic-D V5 \r\n \f \x1a
Basic-D V4 \r\n \f \x1a
Everest-D V5 \r\n \f \x1a
Everest-D V4 \r\n \f \x1a
BrailleBox V5 \r\n \f \x1a
BrailleBox V4 \r\n \f \x1a
Fanfold V5 \r\n \f \x1a