BrailleBlaster User Guide

Introduction

BrailleBlaster (BB) is a braille translation program that is designed to work with files that have semantic markup. Semantic markup is information provided in the file that identifies what kind of content a specific piece of text is. This information can help improve and automate the braille translation process. For example, a page number can be identified in the source file (and to software) as a page number, rather than just a number. This markup, created by the publisher, is used to help correctly format the elements of the file before it is even presented to the user.

This process is not perfect. There are standards that publishers follow, but not all publishers apply the standards in the same way. There are also several essential differences between how braille and print format textbooks. To the print world, an exercise is just a nested list. In braille, there are only four heading levels; in print, there are dozens of variations of font and size used to indicate heading levels. These are just two examples of the many differences between print and braille. In creating BrailleBlaster, APH hopes to provide the necessary tools to overcome the obstacles between print and braille translation.

We hope you enjoy working with BrailleBlaster. It is our goal to help you do the work that you love so that people everywhere can get the braille that they need.

File Types Specific to BrailleBlaster

BrailleBlaster has two file types that are specific to this software: BBX and BBZ. These files types were developed for certain explicit purposes within the software.

BBX file type: BrailleBlaster currently works with text files and XML (eXtensible Markup Language) files, such as NIMAS. When a file is opened it is converted to the BBX (BrailleBlaster XML) file type.

BBZ file type: BrailleBlaster can also work with a zipped NIMAS file set. If you save the zip file, it is saved as a BBZ (BrailleBlaster zip) file type, and all of the images in the zipped folder are maintained in the saved file set. This allows certain tools to display each image instead of just the image name.

Menu Bar

BrailleBlaster menu bar with all tabs highlighted with a red box

The user can access all of the functions of BrailleBlaster using the Menu Bar. The User Guide covers each menu in turn.

File

Menu bar with File highlighted with a red box

File drop down menu

New

Shortcut: Ctrl + N

Opens a new tab and allows the creation of an original braille document.

Open

Shortcut: Ctrl + O

Browses file directory for a document and opens selected document.

Besides BBX and BBZ files, only NIMAS files, NIMAS zip files, and Plain text files are shown as available options in the Open menu. When opened, NIMAS files and NIMAS zip files have the best automatic formatting, while Plain text files have basic automatic formatting applied. For full support of all of BrailleBlaster's features, NIMAS zip files are preferred.

To access other sources of content, such as Word documents, PDFs, web pages, and other text, copy and paste the text into BrailleBlaster for basic automatic formatting.

Future versions of BrailleBlaster will have support for more file formats.

Recent Document

Displays a list of recently opened documents for quick access.

Recent Auto Saves

BrailleBlaster will now make an auto save of your work every 5 seconds. This auto save feature is meant to help users recover if BrailleBlaster should stop for any reason other than the user intentionally closing it. Auto saves are temporary and so if an auto save is created and you intentionally close BrailleBlaster without manually saving a copy, the auto save will be deleted. Only ten auto saves are kept at a time.

If your instance of BrailleBlaster should close unexpectedly, a dialog will appear the next time you start the program that will allow you to easily open the last autosave of that file so you can continue working.

Save

Shortcut: Ctrl + S

Saves any changes made to a document.

Save As

Shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + S

Saves working document as a new file, preserving original document.

Save BRF

BRF is an acronym for Braille Ready File, which is a file format that preserves formatting for sharing and embossing the document. The Save BRF tool allows the user to save whole documents and individual volumes in a variety of ways.

No Volume Breaks: If the document has no volume breaks, clicking this button saves the entire document as a single BRF with no further input from the user other than naming the BRF.

With Volume Breaks: If volume breaks have been inserted a dialog is opened displaying each volume and a number of options for how to save them.

Save to BRF dialog showing that Volume Breaks have been inserted

Individual Volumes: Individual volumes may be saved to separate files. To do this, follow the steps below:
  1. Select the volume you would like to save from the list and click the "Save Selected to Folder" button.
  2. Type the name of the BRF in the edit field of the save dialog box.

Multiple Volumes: Multiple volumes may be saved to separate files as well. The file name for each volume is the name of the document followed by the name of the volume. For example, a file called Literature.bbx with two volumes (one preliminary and one normal) automatically has two saved brfs: Literature_preliminary1.brf and Literature_volume1.brf.

To select multiple volumes, follow these steps:
  1. Simultaneously, press the Shift button and select the volumes from the list.
  2. Click the "Save Selected to Folder" button.
  3. Select the destination for the saved volumes from the tree view.

Browse for folder dialog

  1. The file name for each volume is the name of the document followed by the name of the volume. For example, a file called Literature.bbx with two volumes, one preliminary and one normal, would automatically have two saved brfs: One called Literature_preliminary1.brf and the other called Literature_volume1.brf.
  2. Volume types include Preliminary and Supplemental (identified as Preliminary or Supplemental plus the number of the volume) or Normal (which is identified as Volume plus the number of the volume). Volume type is determined when the volume is inserted (see Insert Volume).

Save All to Folder: Utilizing this button will save all volumes to a single folder as individual BRFs using the same naming conventions as "Multiple Volumes".

For more information on inserting, changing, and deleting volumes within the document, see Volume Manager.

Print

Shortcut: Ctrl + P

Sends the file to a printer.

Emboss

Shortcut: Ctrl + E

Opens up a dialog of available embossers, and works just like the Windows dialog for printing a document.

Braille Preview

Shortcut: Alt + Home

The Braille Preview is the display of the file as it appears as a Braille Ready File (BRF). BRF is the file format used to emboss the document. The difference between the two is that the Braille preview conforms to both view Braille or view ASCII settings. By definition, a BRF is always in braille.

The Braille Preview displays in Dual View mode. This mode displays the braille pages in the same sequence as they are embossed, meaning the odd-numbered pages are on the right and the even-numbered pages are on the left. This ensures that the content is on the correct facing pages. Even single-sided materials will be displayed with this layout. If you are working with a single-sided document, ignore the distinction between left and right pages.

Text can be navigated by page number in 3 ways:
  • Print Page Number‒the number inside the page tags in the XML
  • Braille Page Number‒the number assigned to the page by BrailleBlaster based on the formatting of the document (including t-pages and p-pages)
  • Ordinal Page Number‒the braille page number with no regard to formatting

Braille Preview screen showing location of page number and page number navigation options

Ordinal page numbers identify the pages to a printer when individual pages need to be reprinted due to corrections made. How you navigate the document depends on how the document is formatted within BrailleBlaster (how many t-pages, p-pages, etc.).

Example: The second page of the main body of a document could have a print page number of b1, a braille page number of 2, and an ordinal page number of 30. The number displayed is updated as the page number type is changed.

You can also navigate with the Find textbox. The Six Key checkbox enables six key typing in the text box, if unchecked ASCII should be entered to search. The uppercase checkbox only becomes available when a BRF is loaded into BrailleBlaster. When checked, the Uppercase checkbox will take lowercase ASCII that BrailleBlaster produces in the Find textbox and use it to find uppercase ASCII that is in the document. This is important because some BRFs use uppercase ASCII while others use lowercase ASCII to simulate braille. When the search reaches the end of the document it is wrapped back to the beginning.

Braille Preview screen with the find search box highlighted with a red box

You can also emboss a BRF straight from the Braille Preview. Simply go to File > Emboss or use the shortcut Ctrl + E. This will open the emboss dialog that also appears when embossing a BBX or BBZ file. However, you must emboss the entire BRF not just of part of a BRF.

Split

The Split option allows the user to divide the source file into two or more separate files, so that different parts of the book can be transcribed by multiple transcribers at the same time.

File drop down menu with Split highlighted

Choosing this menu option opens a prompt asking the user to confirm the action.

Warning pop-up saying: "This process will divide the book into multiple parts alongside a master document. The original document will not be changed. Please review the relevant documentation before continuing. Would you like to continue?" with Yes and No options below.

Click Yes to continue. This opens the Split Book screen.
  • In the left pane, the divisions of the book can be displayed by clicking the title (or Untitled).
  • The right pane shows the designated part break numbers and locations.
  • BrailleBlaster automatically creates the beginning of the first part at the beginning of the book.

Split book screen showing the default starting point for Part 1

Split Book screen showing the complete book tree on left and parts column on the right, with the default starting location for Part 1 present

The book sections seen in the left-hand pane are automatically provided in the publisher's file.

  • Major sections may be further subdivided depending on the book.
  • This is indicated by a right-pointing arrowhead in the left margin before the section's name.
  • Click on the arrow to expand a list of subsections.
  • The print page number for each heading appears to the right of the arrow and begins with p. and is followed by a colon.

Below the list of sections is a panel labeled Create a New Part containing two buttons: Add Start and Cancel. Add Start will add the beginning of a selected new part to the pane on the right and will serve as the beginning of a new part when you divide. Cancel will cancel dividing the book and all changes done in this session will be cleared.

Bottom of Split Book screen with Add Start, Cancel, Divide Book, and Remove Section buttons

  • This frame is divided into two columns: Part # and Part Starts At.
  • Part numbers are automatically generated, in numerical order, as new sections are added. Part numbers are assigned on the order of the print page numbers of each section. For example, a section for print page 1 will have a lower part number than a part beginning on print page 100.
  • The Part Starts At column indicates where the section begins.

The first part is automatically selected as the beginning of the file. Once the start point of the second part is selected, decide where the third and further parts (if any) begin. Each selected part contains all of the text up to the point where the next part begins. There is no maximum limit to the number of parts that can be designated, but a minimum of two is required.

  1. Decide where the second part begins.
  2. Click on the appropriate section in the list, then click Add Start. This automatically places the selected section in the right-hand frame of the window, under "Parts."

Using the screenshot below as an example, there are three parts selected from the various sections of the book.

  • Part 1 begins at "p. vi: Contributing Authors" and includes all the text up to the start of the section titled "p. 2: PART 1 SETTING EXPECTATIONS"
  • This begins a new part (Part 2), which contains all of the text from PART 1 SETTING EXPECTATIONS to the beginning of the section "p. 754: PART 1 SETTING EXPECTATIONS" which in turn begins a third part.
  • Each of these parts is automatically assigned a number in the order they appear in the file.

Split Book screen showing three parts in the Parts column: p. vi: Contributing Authors, p. 2: PART 1 SETTING EXPECTATIONS, and p. 754: PART 1 SETTING EXPECTATIONS

Remove Section: This button is used to delete parts that are selected under the Parts frame.

Click on the check box of the part or parts to be deleted. Then click the Remove Section button. The selected sections are removed from the list of parts. Note that this action removes the section entirely.

Split Book screen with Part 3 of the four parts checked

Split Book screen showing that Part 3 was removed and the previous Part 4 moved up into the Part 3 location

In the example above, when Part 3 is selected to be removed, Part 4 "moves up" to that spot, and becomes the new starting point for Part 3.

Divide Book: Once the desired number of parts are chosen and designated, the book is ready to be split. Click this button to begin the splitting process.

Bottom of Split Book screen with Divide Book highlighted with a red box

Once clicked, BrailleBlaster takes a few moments to work as it processes the different parts into separate files. When completed, the view returns to the main BrailleBlaster window. Note: This return to the main editing interface is the only indication that the operation is completed. Once this has occurred, you can locate the created files in the folder where the original file was located.

Cancel: Click this button to exit the Split Book window. Performing this action removes all of the part divisions you may have selected.

Bottom of Split Book screen with Cancel button highlighted with a red box

Split Part Files

The split part files are saved into the same directory as the original book file. Each part is saved as a separate BBX file with the original file name plus the part number. These files can then be opened separately in BB, allowing different sections of the same book to be worked on by different transcribers. Do not rename the files after splitting because then it will not be possible to merge them back together. Merging files relies entirely on the names of the files being the same as when they were split.

File folder showing the individual BBX files as created by the split operation

In addition to the split part files, a manifest file is also created automatically as part of the splitting process. This file is named the same as the original file with the addition of "_manifest" at the end. It has the file extension MNF (manifest). This file is necessary for merging split parts back into a single file, and is used in the Merge function, as described below.

File folder with manifest file highlighted with a red box

Remember that if you rename a split file, it will not be merged. Merging files back together relies entirely on the file names being the same as when the files were split! If you want a different file name, rename the file BEFORE splitting.

Merge

To merge files, follow these steps:

  1. Click on File, then Merge.

File menu with Merge highlighted

This opens the following prompt:

Load Master XML pop-up saying: "Load the master XML file generated by the Split Book process" with an OK button

  1. Click OK to continue. This opens a file selection window, which defaults to the location where the original file is saved.
    Note: Because only files with the .mnf can be opened using Merge, only these files are shown in the window. However, in order for the merge to work, all of the BBX part files must also be present in this same folder.

Open dialog showing the location of the manifest file to be uploaded

  1. Find and click on the manifest file for the split parts to be merged. This file is created automatically during the split volume process (see above) and has the original file name with the addition of "_manifest" at the end.
  2. Click Open to start the merge.

Note: The split part files MUST be in the same folder as the manifest file for this function to work.

BrailleBlaster processes the files for a few moments then opens the new, merged document in the main BrailleBlaster window. This new file is automatically titled the same as the original file with "_merged" added to the end, and has a BBX extension. The new file may now be edited and saved in BrailleBlaster in the usual manner.

File folder showing all the originally saved files and the new merged BBX file highlighted with a red box

Note: As seen above, the merge operation does not remove the separate parts files. These remain in the folder and can be manually deleted as needed.

Close

Shortcut: Ctrl + W

Closes the current document. If more than one document is open it closes the selected document.

Exit

Shortcut: Alt + F4

Closes the BrailleBlaster program.

Edit

Menu bar with Edit highlighted with a red box

Edit drop down menu

Cut

Shortcut: Ctrl + X

Removes selected (highlighted) text and temporarily saves it to the system; only works in the print view.

Copy

Shortcut: Ctrl + C

Copies selected (highlighted) text and saves it to the clipboard; only works in the print view.

Paste

Shortcut: Ctrl + V

Inserts selected cut or copied text; only works in the print view.

Hide

Shortcut: Ctrl + H

There are instances in which text should remain in the XML source file but should not appear in the braille translation. To remove this content from the active file:

  1. Highlight the text
  2. Select the "Hide" option

The content will no longer appear in the Print View, Braille View, Braille Preview, and will not be included in the embossed text or BRF but will remain in the XML file for future use.

Undo

Shortcut: Ctrl + Z

Undoes the most recent action or edit.

Redo

Shortcut: Ctrl + Y

Redoes the most recently undone action or edit.

Edit Page Number

This tool can be used to change print and braille page numbers as needed. It can be easily accessed by right-clicking and selecting "Edit Page Number" which brings up the following dialog box:

Page Number Editor dialog box with the sections: Change Previous Print Page Indicator, Runover Page Numbers, Delete Indicator, Change Print Page Number, Delete Page, and Change Braille Page Number with Add, Ok, and Cancel buttons at the bottom of the dialog

CHANGE PREVIOUS PRINT PAGE INDICATOR

Only appears if there is a print page number already present on the page selected. This textbox displays the current print page number. This number displayed can be replaced with either another number (7, v, IV, etc.) or a combination of two print page numbers. This affects the first page number and all of the runovers. You can also set the print page number to be Direct translated or Uncontracted. Either highlight the portion you would like affected or simply put your cursor inside the text box to affect the entire page number. This allows for a lot more options and user control when adding or editing page numbers.

RUNOVER PAGE NUMBERS

Once a hyphen is inserted into the Change Previous Print Page Indicator textbox, these options become available. These options are based on rules for print page numbers found in Braille Formats Principles of Print-to-Braille Transcription, 2016 (Braille Formats, 2016).

  • Combined: This option causes the print page runovers to appear as hyphenated numbers.

Example: The runovers for print page number 5-6 are a5-6, b5-6, etc.

  • Implied: This option causes the print page runovers to be displayed containing only the second print page number.

Example: The runovers for print page number 1-5 are a5, b5, etc.

DELETE INDICATOR

This button deletes the print page number and indicator entirely. This is useful for omitting an entire print page number and its runovers.

CHANGE PRINT PAGE NUMBER

Note: Requires all numbers be entered in ASCII. For example, print page 5 would be typed as "#e".

  • Continuation Letter: You can use this textbox to change the Continuation Letter from what is shown (i.e., b) to whatever letter is needed (i.e., c). All page number runovers that follow automatically update accordingly. This is useful for blank page requirements for tactile graphics.
  • Page Number: Changes just that instance of the print page number. If a print page was inserted, your page numbering could go 2, a2, 3, b2 or whatever was required.
  • Delete Page: Deletes the specific print page number with continuation letter that is currently highlighted on the textboxes. The page will be removed from the current page but will be applied on the next page. For example, if you deleted c5, the current c5 will have a blank print page number but the page following that will resume its count from print page c5.
CHANGE BRAILLE PAGE NUMBER
  • Page Number: This textbox allows for direct editing of the braille page number, including page number type; only affects the current instance of the braille page number.
  • Volume Location: If Volume Breaks have been added, this dropdown allows you to specify what Volume's page number you want to change.
  • Page Number Type: Changes the page number type for this braille page number until a new page number type is specified by the user.
PAGE CHANGE LIST

The Page Change List shows all of the changes you have made to the page numbers and also allows you to go to those changes to review them or delete them.

Page Change List with a braille page change from p14 to 15

Find and Replace

Shortcut: Ctrl + F

This command opens the Find/Replace dialog box. There are two text boxes: Find Text and Replace with.

Find/Replace dialog showing location of the Find Text and Replace highlighted with red boxes

FIND TEXT

In this box you can type any character(s) you wish to search for. The drop-down arrow on the right of the text field allows you to see recently searched-for text.

Find/Replace dialog showing the word "author" in the Find Text box, and a drop down of recently searched terms

Below the text box are two optional checkboxes: Case sensitive and Whole word.

Find/Replace dialog showing Case sensitive and Whole word options checked and highlighted with red boxes

  • Case sensitive: If this box is checked, BrailleBlaster only searches for the text as you type it in regard to capitalization.
    Example: If you search for "THE" with Case sensitive checked, BrailleBlaster only finds instances of the fully capitalized characters "THE" and ignores any others.
  • Whole word: If this box is checked, BrailleBlaster 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.

Both boxes can be checked simultaneously if, for example, you wanted to search for all capitalized instances of the whole word "THE."

Find/Replace dialog with THE typed in the Find box, with options Case Sensitive and Whole Word checked, a location of the word THE has been highlighted in the Print view

REPLACE WITH

Replace with is used to replace text found throughout the document. You can replace one or as many occurrences as you like. For example, if you wanted to replace an instance of the word even with the word odd, you would type "even" in the Find Text box and "odd" in the Replace with box. Then click Find until you find the instance that needs replacing. If you wanted to replace all instances of the word even with the word odd, you would click Replace All.

Find/Replace dialog with Match case check box highlighted with a red box

  • Match case: Checking this box replaces the found text and maintains the case of the original text.

Example: If you enter "even" in the Find box and "odd" in the replace box with Match case checked, "Even" is replace with "Odd" and "EVEN" with "ODD."

Note: This option only works with lowercase, all uppercase, and initial case but not with camel-capped words (BrailleBlaster) or oddly capped words (BrAiLLeBlASTer).

FIND

Click this button to find the next instance of the text you typed in the Find Text field.

Clicking Find does not change the document. The Find button moves through the document, selecting each instance of the specified text, and allowing you to alter it as needed on a one-by-one basis.

Note: You can have text in the Replace with field when you click Find.

Find/Replace dialog with Find highlighted with a red box

REPLACE/FIND

The Replace/Find button is used to replace the text entered in the Find field with text entered in the Replace with field. After finding the instance you wish to change, click Replace/Find to make the change. This changes only the individual, selected instance of text.

This function is useful if you only need to change a few instances throughout a document rather than all instances at once. Leaving the replace box empty allows you to delete the text found.

Replace/Find button highlighted with a red box

REPLACE ALL

Replaces all instances of the text specified in the Find Text field with the text specified in the Replace with field with one click. This can be useful if you know your document has a consistent, predictable pattern of needed changes.

Caution: When using this option, be sure to specify the exact text you want to replace throughout the document by using the appropriate Case sensitive or Whole word, and by formatting search options so that you only change the content that you want to change.

FORMATTING

Click this button to open the Formatting window. Here you see two columns: Style and Containers and Text Attributes.

Formatting dialog showing Style and Containers and Text Attributes sections

STYLE AND CONTAINERS

There are two radio buttons to choose from: Add and Remove.

  • Add: With Add selected, your search adds the selected format to any instances of the specified text in the Find/Replace dialog.
    Example 1: You can search for an element that is 1-3 by adding 1-3 to the Find box and then change the style of that element to 1-5 by adding 1-5 to the Replace box.
    Example 2: You can leave the Find box blank but add Centered Heading to the Replace box to replace the style of the text found with a Centered Heading style, regardless of what style it had before.
  • Remove: The behavior of Remove is a little more complicated. If you have Remove selected and are adding to the Find box, this adds an instance of NOT that style. So you could search for Not 1-3.
    Note: You cannot remove a style. You must replace the style. Trying to remove a style in the Replace box results in an error dialog telling you that the action is not possible.
Below Style is a list of all of BrailleBlaster's braille formatting styles.
  • The list is in alpha-numeric order, so you can either scroll through the list or press the key on your keyboard of the first letter or number of the style needed to jump to that section of the list.
  • Once you find the style you want, select it, then click the Modify button below the list.
  • This adds the style to the text field at the bottom of the column.

Note: Only one style can be added or removed at a time. Clicking a different style and then the Modify button simply replaces the style selected in the bottom text box.

Formatting screen showing Styles and Containers with 11-9 selected from Style list with the Modify button selected

TEXT ATTRIBUTES

There are two radio buttons to choose from: Add and Remove.

  • Add: With Add selected, your search adds the selected emphasis to any instances of the specified text in the Find/Replace dialog.
    Example: You can search for a word that is bold by adding bold to the Find box and replace it with italics by adding italics to the Replace box.
  • Remove: The behavior of Remove is a little more complicated. If you have Remove selected and are adding to the Find box, this adds an instance of NOT that emphasis.
    Example: You can search for Not Bold. If you have Remove selected and are adding to the Replace box, this removes that type of emphasis from the text found. So you could search for a word or element that is bold by adding bold to the Find box, and then remove that bold by adding Remove Bold to the Replace box.

Below Emphasis is a list of emphasis and text attribute formats used in braille. These include font attributes such as bold, italics, underline, and script, as well as different modes of braille translation, such as direct translation and uncontracted braille.

  1. Select the emphasis attribute you want.
  2. Click the Modify button.

This adds the selected attribute to the field at the bottom of the column. In this column, you can select multiple attributes to find and replace. You must select each one individually, then click Modify. This adds the selection to the list those you have already chosen.

Formatting screen showing 11-9 selected from Style and Containers column and ITALICS and BOLD selected from Text Attributes column

Once you have selected either the style or emphasis attribute you want (or both), click the Done button to return to the Find/Replace dialog. Now, you see the formatting options you selected below the Find Text and Replace with fields.

RESET: FORMATTING

Both Find and Replace have a Reset button next to the Modify button. Clicking this button removes any of the selected items in either the style or emphasis column and also removes any entries from that text box.

Example: Clicking the Reset button on the left side removes any items in the Find box as well as removes selection from both the style and emphasis columns.

Find/Replace dialog showing "even" to be replaced by "odd" with the previous formatting options also selected

RESET: 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.

CLOSE

Click Close to close the Find/Replace dialog.

Shortcut: F3

If Find/Replace has been used at least once, this button repeats the last search that was initiated.

Split Element

Shortcut: Enter

While your cursor is inside an element (piece of text), pressing enter will split that element into two elements. The new, second element will have the same style as the element that was split.

Page Break

Shortcut: Ctrl + Enter

This feature forces everything after the cursor to the next braille page. Using this feature a second time at the same location will again force everything after the cursor to the next braille page which creates a blank braille page. You can then continue using this feature at the same cursor location to create blank braille pages as needed.

Note: You can also use Enter as many times as you need to create new braille pages. These pages will appear with a paragraph mark set in cell 3. You can add more text to the page and delete the paragraph mark, but the page cannot be left completely blank at the end of the document.

Line Break

Shortcut: Shift + Enter

This command inserts a line break at the current location of the cursor, dropping all text following the cursor down to the next braille line while keeping it within the same element and style. The text starts in the runover cell determined by the current element's style. For instance, if the style is Body Text, inserting a line break will start the line on cell 1.

Set Cell Position

This command sets indentation position of the text at the cursor's current position. Clicking the command will open a dialog box where you can type in the desired cell number you wish the current cursor position to start on. If you type in a number lower than the cell the text is currently on, it will drop down to the next line and begin on that cell. This command does not work if the cursor is at the end of a line.

Navigate

Menu bar with Navigate highlighted with a red box

Navigate drop down menu

Go To Page

Shortcut: Ctrl + G

Opens a window that allows you to select navigation to a:
  • print page,
  • braille page, or
  • ordinal page.

The ordinal page is a braille page without regards to formatting. For example, if there was a volume with 3 t-pages, 2 p-pages, and 100 regular pages the first regular page would ordinal page 6.

Go To Page dialog showing text box and the three page type options

Home

Shortcut: Ctrl + Home

Goes to the beginning of the document.

End

Shortcut: Ctrl + End

Goes to the end of the document.

Book Tree

Shortcut: Alt + End

The Book Tree navigation menu displays all of the headings in the file arranged according to hierarchy. This hierarchy is based on a combination of the Section tags and the braille headings applied by the publisher.

When first opened, only the document title is displayed, and you must click the caret to the left of the text to go to the next level.

Book Tree shown with non-expanded sections showing a right-facing angle bracket and expanded sections showing a downward angle bracket with Navigate and Close buttons at the bottom of the dialog

View

Menu Bar with View highlighted with a red box

View drop down menu

View Braille

Toggling this option allows you to switch between viewing braille to viewing the ASCII equivalent of braille in the Braille View.

Refresh Translation

Shortcut: F5

Refreshes the translation of the entire text. Can be used to force BrailleBlaster to update in order to clear out a rendering error.

Increase Font Size

Shortcut: Ctrl + "+"

Increases the size of the text in all views, including the Braille Preview window.

Decrease Font Size

Shortcut: Ctrl + "-"

Decreases the size of the text in all views, including the Braille Preview window.

Show Breadcrumbs

Close-up of breadcrumbs with five levels

Since the Style Pane only shows the style associated with the element, the breadcrumb viewer shows the different levels that are associated with that style. These include any containers like boxes or poetic stanzas and also section tags that were added by the publisher. Clicking on any of these buttons will select everything within that container.

Note: When using a screen reader while Breadcrumbs is active, the screen reader will read whenever there is a change in Breadcrumbs. If you do not want them to be read, deactivate Breadcrumbs through View > Show Breadcrumbs.

Tools

Menu bar with Tools highlighted with a red box

Tools drop down menu

Production Note Manager

Production Note Viewer dialog

The Production Note Manager is a tool that was designed to manage production notes which are typically notes added by the publisher that are meant to assist with the physical production of the text. Usually they are concerned with information such as "Image spans to next page." and are not found in the actual print book. Since they are not usually in the print book, you will usually not want to include them in the braille version. This tool assists with their removal by displaying all of them in a list followed by three radio buttons. The three radio buttons are:

  1. Keep: While production notes are not usually found in the actual print book, there is a chance that the text will have been improperly labeled or contain a useful picture description and so will actually be in the print book and you will need to keep it. Select the Keep option to keep the production note in the braille.
  2. Hide: Selected by default for all production notes, Hide will remove them from the braille translation but keep them in the file so they can be referenced in future versions of this file that might not be meant for braille.
  3. Remove: Removes production notes entirely by deleting them from the file. Not recommended as they will not be recoverable after this action is taken.

At the top of the dialog there is a section titled Global Options with three radio buttons: Keep All, Hide All, and Remove All. These allow the same action to be taken for all production notes at once. Click Apply to apply your chosen option to the entire document, or Cancel to leave the dialog.

Spell Check

Shortcut: F7

Checks for misspelled words in the text being translated into braille.

Spell check can replace a single instance of an incorrectly spelled word, replace all instances of that word, skip that instance, ignore all instances, or add the word to the dictionary.

Spell Check dialog showing text box with potential incorrect spelling and suggested change

T-Page Generator

In BrailleBlaster, transcriber-generated pages are created using the T-Page Generator. This tool allows you to insert necessary information and copy it to subsequent volumes. It also puts each volume's t-pages at the beginning of each volume by using the divisions created by the user.

Note: The T-Page Generator is most useful when volume divisions have already been added to the document.

T-Page Generator dialog showing the four tabs across the top: Title Page 1, Title Page 2, Special Symbols, and Transcriber's Notes with the Title Page 1 tab selected

Note: The following buttons are located at the bottom of the T-Page generator dialog and are present in each of the four tabs in the dialog.

Bottom of T-Page Generator dialog showing Previous Volume, Next Volume, Copy Current Volume, Ok, and Cancel buttons

VOLUME NAVIGATION: PREVIOUS VOLUME AND NEXT VOLUME

These options allow the user to move between created volumes to review, add, or edit content in the transcriber-generated pages. While a single volume's information can be copied to all volumes at once, individual changes or edits must be done one volume at a time.

COPY CURRENT VOLUME
This option copies the current volume information to all other existing volumes. The information copied includes:
  • the title page,
  • the second title page,
  • the Special Symbols page, and
  • the Transcriber's Notes page.

The Confirm Copy pop-up which reads "The current volume's t-page will be copied for each other volume. Any unsaved changes in other volumes will be lost. Continue?" with Yes and No buttons

After selecting this option, a dialog box pops up asking the user if they want to confirm these changes. The changes occur when the user clicks Yes, or if they do not want to confirm these changes, they can select No.

OK

This feature inserts the information from the transcriber-generated pages into the document and closes the window.

Note: Once the information has been inserted into the volume, it should only be edited via this window.

CANCEL
This option closes the current window without saving changes you have made to the t-pages.
  • Only use this option if you do not want to save the data you have entered.
  • Be sure to click Ok when you want to save the changes.
TITLE PAGE 1

Each element of the braille title page is labeled by the name used in Braille Formats, 2016.

Enter the text for each element into the appropriate text box. BrailleBlaster automatically adds blank lines as needed between the sections so that the title page is formatted according to Braille Formats, 2016.

Sections that need to be filled out:

T-Pages Generator showing the Title Page 1 tab with the textboxes: Title, Author(s), Publisher, Transcription, and Volumes

Emphasis: This drop down allows you to add font attributes to material in the title page text boxes and throughout the T-pages Generator.

  1. Highlight the text you want to edit.
  2. Select Emphasis.
  3. Select the font attribute(s) you want.

T-Pages dialog showing location of Emphasis drop down menu

Translation: This drop down menu has two choices: Uncontracted or Direct. These options allow you to set a portion of text to be in uncontracted braille, or to translate direct ASCII braille, respectively.

  1. Highlight the text you want to edit.
  2. Select Translation.
  3. Select which style you want.

The style of braille is applied to the selected text. A magenta highlight around the text indicates Uncontracted, while a dark red highlight indicates Direct.

T-Page Generator dialog showing location of Translation drop down menu

Margins: This option allows you to set your own margins on Title Page 1. The default margins are set to 1-3.

  1. Place your cursor next to the text you want to change.
  2. Select Margins.
  3. Select the margin you want.

T-Page Generator dialog showing the location of Margins with 1-5 and 3-5 margins applied to text

TITLE PAGE 2

Use this text box to insert a secondary title page, which may be required based on the braille format or the publishing house standards for which the braille is being created.

T-Page Generator dialog showing Title Page 2 tab selected

SPECIAL SYMBOLS

Use this window to add symbols for the Special Symbols page. The Special Symbols heading is added automatically if symbols are inserted on this page.

T-Page Generator dialog with Special Symbols tab selected and showing columns for Symbol and Description

Add: Add opens a dialog box with addition options to select: Type, ASCII Symbol, Description, and Pick From List.

  • Type: An entry on the Special Symbols page can either be a symbol or a heading. The type is changed using this drop-down menu. Under UEB (Unified English Braille), most entries are symbols, as headings are no longer necessary.

Add New Special Symbol dialog with Type drop down menu shown and Symbol selected

  • ASCII Symbol: Type in the ASCII print letters of the symbol that should appear on the Special Symbols page, and it is translated directly into the braille.

Add Special Symbol dialog with Symbol selected as the Type and "_4" entered in ASCII Symbol textbox

  • Description: Type in the description of the symbol, as it is required, and it is translated according to the braille tables selected.

Add Special Symbol dialog with Symbol selected as Type, "_4" entered for ASCII Symbol, and "Bullet" entered for Description

  • Pick from list...: Click this button to open a dialog box with a list of common braille special symbols. With this option, you can quickly add a single symbol as needed. The symbols are shown in ASCII characters in the left column, with their associated description in the right column.
  1. Select the symbol you want.
  2. Click Ok. This returns you to the Add New Special Symbol dialog and places the symbol you chose in the dialog fields of the box.
  3. Click Ok to insert the chosen symbol into the list.

Select dialog showing a list of common symbols which can be added

Edit: Use this option to edit a previously entered symbol.

Special Symbols dialog showing Bullet highlighted and location of Edit button at bottom left of dialogue

Edit symbol dialog

Delete: Deletes the selected symbol.

Special Symbols dialog showing Bullet selected and location of Delete button in bottom center of dialogue

Move Up/Move Down: Allows the user to manually rearrange the symbols based on the necessary braille format rules.

Special Symbols dialog showing a symbol selected and the Move Up button highlighted at bottom right of dialogue

Special Symbols dialog showing a symbol selected and the Move Down button highlighted at bottom far right of dialogue

Rearrange: Automatically rearranges the symbols in order of braille dot complexity, in accordance with UEB rules .

Special Symbols dialog showing location of Rearrange button at bottom left of dialogue

System pop-up reads: "The table will be arranged by cell complexity according to Braille Formats 2016. Continue?" with Yes and No buttons

Special Symbols dialog showing the new, rearranged order

Insert Prefix...: Click this button to open a dialog box that allows you to add a prefix symbol to all symbols in your list. This is useful when transcribing material in UEB, which requires the "dot locator for mention" symbol to appear before each symbol on the special symbols page.

The text box defaults to showing the ASCII characters for the dot locator symbol (.=).

Prefix dialog showing .= entered into the textbox

  • Include prefix in list: Check this box to add the prefix symbol itself into the list of special symbols. This is useful for transcriptions in UEB which require the dot locator for mention symbol to be listed on the special symbols page. By default, this option is unchecked.

Prefix dialog showing Include prefix in list box checked and a Description entered

Special Symbols dialog showing newly added prefix symbol at the top of the list

  • Symbol/Description: This text box becomes editable when you have checked the Include prefix in list box. Here, you can edit the symbol's description if needed. It defaults to "Dot locator for mention" unless changed.
  • Make Default: Click this button to save any changes you have made in the dialog to appear by default in all future BrailleBlaster files.
  • Ok: Click Ok to confirm changes and add the prefix symbol to each special symbol in your list and to the list itself, if you have checked the associated box.

Autofill: Clicking this button opens a new window with two radio buttons labeled Volume X only and All volumes, with X being the volume the cursor is currently in.

The All volumes button is selected by default.

Autofill dialog with All Volumes radio button selected

  1. Select the radio button appropriate to your needs.
  2. Click Begin.
    • With All volumes selected, BrailleBlaster detects all special symbols throughout all the volumes of the book.
    • With Volume X only selected, BrailleBlaster detects all special symbols in that volume of the book.
  3. BrailleBlaster searches for and processes the symbols found in the selected volume(s).
    • When it has finished, the final line reads "Completed special symbol search."

    Autofill dialog showing the list of found symbols

  1. Click Continue. This opens up a Summary screen that shows all of the special symbols BrailleBlaster found, shown in ASCII (left column) and with their descriptions (right column).

Complete list of special symbols found with Finish and Cancel buttons at the bottom of the dialog

  1. Click Finish to close this window and return to the Special Symbols tab of the T-page generator.

The symbols BrailleBlaster found are now added to the list in order of braille dot complexity.

Special Symbols tab of T-Page generator with symbols shown

Auto Fill Options...: Clicking this button opens up a window that displays all the current special symbols in the list (shown in ASCII). There are six buttons below the list: Add, Edit, Delete, Save, Cancel, and Restore Default.

Special Symbols dialog showing list of symbols and action buttons

  • Add: Clicking this opens up a dialog box with two blank fields: Symbol and Description. Here you can add your own special symbol (in ASCII) and its description. This is useful if you are using an unusual or original symbol (such as a transcriber-defined symbol) or if BrailleBlaster failed to detect a symbol in Autofill.

Add special symbol dialog box showing text box for adding symbol and description

  • Edit Rules: This button opens up a window with three buttons: Add new rule, Ok, and Cancel.

Pop-up for Add new rule showing Add New Rule, Ok, and Cancel buttons

  1. Click Add new rule. This displays a drop-down menu containing 12 conditional phrases:
  • Whole Word: This means that the symbol needs to have a space before and after it, standing on its own, for it to be listed on the special symbols page.
  • Not Whole Word: Only if it is not standing on its own, or is partially connect to another symbol, is it to be considered a special symbol.
  • Beginning of Word: Only if it appears at the beginning of a word, is it to be considered a special symbol.
  • Not Beginning of Word: If it appears anywhere except at the beginning of a word, is it to be considered a special symbol.
  • End of Word: Only if it appears at the beginning of a word, is it to be considered a special symbol.
  • Not End of Word: If it appears anywhere except at the end of a word, is it to be considered a special symbol.
  • Direct Translated: Only when the symbol is Direct translated, is it considered to be a special symbol.
  • Not Direct Translated: Only when the symbol is not Direct translated, is it considered to be a special symbol.
  • Followed By: Only if this word is followed by whatever is in the Option box, is it considered to be a special symbol.
  • Not Followed By: Only considered a special symbol if it is not followed by whatever is in the Option box.
  • Preceded By: Only if this word is preceded by whatever is in the Option box, is it considered to be a special symbol.
  • Not Preceded By: Only considered a special symbol if it is not preceded by whatever is in the Option box.

Edit Special Symbols Rules dialog showing drop down menu of rule options

  1. Select your Option. To the right of the drop-down menu is a dialog labeled Option. This box is unselectable for most of the options in the drop-down menu, except the following: Followed By, Not Followed By, Preceded By, and Not Preceded By.
  2. When any of these options are selected, you can type in the Option box.
  3. You can use this to tell BrailleBlaster to look for certain ASCII symbols preceding or following the symbol to help define it from surrounding text.
    Example: If you have a symbol that uses the symbols 77 in ASCII, you can add the rule Not_Followed_By 7 (ASCII symbol) to prevent BrailleBlaster from interpreting braille box lines as the symbol you are defining.
  4. You can check the Always box to instruct BrailleBlaster to always interpret the symbol with the selected rule.

Edit Special Symbols Rules dialog with Not Preceded By selected and 77 entered in Option textbox

  1. When you are satisfied with the rule you've selected, click Add. This returns you to the previous window.
Edit Special Symbols Rules dialog showing previously entered rule with Delete, Add new rule, Ok, and Cancel buttons
  • Edit: This feature allows you to select a symbol in ASCII and change the description.
  • Click on a symbol in the list.
  • Click the Edit button. This opens a dialog box that allows you to change the symbol you selected manually in ASCII and change the description.

    Special Symbols dialog with Edit button highlighted

    Edit symbol dialog showing symbol and description text boxes filled

  • You may also click Edit Rules to change the rules in which the symbol is detected by BrailleBlaster (as explained under Add above).

Edit Special Symbols Rule pop-up showing Add new rule, Ok, and Cancel buttons

Click Save to save changes, or click Cancel to close the window without saving.

  • Delete: Select a symbol from the list, then click this button to delete it.

Special Symbols dialog showing an item selected and the Delete button highlighted

  • Save: Click Save to close the special symbols list, saving any changes you have made (such as adding new symbols, adding or changing rules for specific symbols, deleting symbols, or editing symbols/descriptions). This returns you to the Special Symbols tab of the T-page generator, with all your symbols displayed in the list.
  • Cancel: Click Cancel to close the Symbols window and return to the Special Symbols tab of the T-page generator without saving any changes.
  • Restore Default: Clicking this button opens a Confirmation window informing you that this action deletes all custom special symbols, and asks you to click yes or no.

System confirmation pop-up that reads: "This will delete all custom special symbols. Are you sure?" with Yes and No buttons

Clicking Yes removes all symbols you have added or edited through any of the functions described above. All default symbols (detected and created by BrailleBlaster) remain. Click No to cancel and return to the Special Symbols List window.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES

Click on the Transcriber's Notes tab to open the transcriber's notes section of the T-page generator. This window is very similar to the Title Page 2 tab of the T-page generator, in that it has a single, editable text field with a menus for Emphasis and Translation. It also has the drop-down menu Heading which allows the user to add a centered heading to the transcriber's notes page.

The text "TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES" is automatically placed in the text box as a heading (this default text appears as a centered heading in the Braille and Print views, but is left-aligned in this window). You can type or copy/paste any necessary transcriber's notes for the volume(s) here.

Each new paragraph after the heading defaults to body text style (3-1 indent/runover).

T-Page Generator dialog showing the Transcriber's Notes tab selected

HOW TO ADD T-PAGES TO VOLUMES USING THE T-PAGE GENERATOR

Before beginning, it is best to have volume divisions already created so that you can easily copy the t-page information from one volume to the next. The T-Page Generator works with a single-volume file, but if the file will eventually be split into multiple volumes, it is best to insert those volume breaks before using the T-Page Generator so work is not repeated.

  1. Open the T-Page generator from the Tools menu.
    • There are four tabs, Title Page 1, Title Page 2, Special Symbols, and Transcriber's Notes.
    • Under the first tab, Title Page 1, there are five editable fields: Title, Author(s), Publisher, Transcription, and Volumes.
    • Beginning with the Title field, insert the appropriate information for the book.
      • This can either by typed by hand in the field itself, or it can be copied and pasted from another file (such as a NIMAS file or Word document).
        Note: You cannot select text in BrailleBlaster while the T-page generator dialog is open. If any emphasis is required, you can edit these from the drop-down menu by selecting the one you want. You can do the same with the Translation drop down for changing your text to uncontracted braille or direct ASCII braille.
      • Proceed through each field, inserting the appropriate information in each.
  2. Click on the Title Page 2 tab.
    • Insert any information here as required by the book or by your agency.
    • You can also alter Emphasis and Translation settings just as you could in the Title Page 1 tab.
      Note: Many braille books do not contain a secondary title page. If your book does not, you can simply leave the field blank and move on to step 3.
  3. Skip the Special Symbols tab for now. Once all other information is entered you are copying this info to all other volumes, and this step does not apply to the Special Symbols tab since each volume's special symbols are usually unique.
  4. Click on the Transcriber's Notes tab in the T-page generator dialog.
    • You see an editable field with the words TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES at the top.
    • Anything in this field is editable, including the TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES heading.
      Note: The TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES heading is defaulted to centered even though it doesn't appear to be in the field. Also, each new paragraph after the heading automatically begins in body text (cell 3 with runovers in cell 1).
    • Use this field to insert any transcriber's notes for the volume.
    • Once completed, move on to step 5.
  5. If you are satisfied with all changes to your t-pages (all but the Special Symbols tab), click Copy Current Volume. This tells BrailleBlaster to add all the information you've compiled in the T-page generator to all volumes of the book. Alternatively, if you only wish to add t-pages to a single volume, skip this step.
  6. Click on the Special Symbols tab. If you are not transcribing in UEB, you can skip steps a through d unless your agency requires special prefixes on the special symbols page.
    • Click on the Insert Prefix button before adding any symbols to the list. This opens up a dialog box. This box lets you control what, if any, prefix symbol comes before each symbol on the Special Symbols page. This is especially useful for transcriptions in UEB which requires the "dot locator for mention" symbol to precede each symbol on the list. The dialog box defaults to this symbol (.= in ASCII) in the Prefix field.
    • Check the Include prefix in list box to automatically add this symbol to the list of special symbols (required in UEB).
    • Under the Symbol Description field, you can change the definition of the symbol. The default is set to "Dot locator for mention."
    • Once you are satisfied with the options you've selected, click OK. This returns you to the T-page generator Special Symbols tab. The dot locator for mention symbol is now added to the list of symbols.
    • Click the Auto Fill button. This opens a dialog box with two radio buttons, Volume [x] only and All Volumes.
      • The All Volumes button is selected by default. The "x" in the Volume [x] Only button shows the volume number you currently have selected in the T-page generator dialog.
      • Use the Volume [x] Only button if you need to apply symbol(s) to a specific volume only, without making any changes in other volumes. This is useful if, after generating your special symbols pages across all volumes, you had to create a transcriber-defined symbol that came up in the text in a single volume, but didn't want to add it to all your volumes.
    • After selecting which option you want, click Begin. BrailleBlaster searches the document and finds all symbols it recognizes as special symbols in braille.
      • Once complete, you see a line at the bottom of the dialog list that reads "Completed special symbol search."
      • Click Continue. A new dialog appears that reads "The following special symbols were found:" and lists the symbols BrailleBlaster has detected, broken down by volume.
      • Click Finish to close this dialog and return to the Special Symbols tab of the T-page generator.
    • A list of all the symbols you have added is displayed, in order of least complex symbol to most complex. You may edit any of these symbols using the Edit button, add your own using the Add button, delete any with the Delete button, and move a symbol up or down in the list using the Move Up and Move Down buttons. Once you are satisfied with the order and arrangement of your symbols list, move on to step 7.
  7. Click OK. This closes the t-page generator dialog, and BrailleBlaster processes the new pages you've created. When complete, you see the new pages inserted at the top of the volume. If you need to edit any information in the t-pages, open the T-page generator and use it to make any needed changes.
    Note: Do not edit t-pages directly in the Print view.

Correct Braille Translation

Shortcut: Ctrl + T

BrailleBlaster was created with the goal of continuously expanding and improving the software by allowing users to correct braille translations that it has translated incorrectly.

  • To find out more, check out the LibLouis website.
  • The most often needed corrections are for Unicode characters (i.e., Unicode: U + 25B6), proper nouns, and non-English words, though you may find an actual mistake on occasion.
  • When you encounter an undefined Unicode character in the translation, the Unicode image appears in the Print view, but the Unicode name, enclosed in Transcriber's Notes, appears in the Braille view.
  • This ensures quick and easy recognition of undefined characters.

To define the character:

  1. Highlight the character in the Print view.
  2. Select Correct Braille Translation from the menu or use the hotkey Ctrl + T. This brings up both a menu that displays the print word in a textbox entitled Print and a braille textbox for entering the correct translation of the character.
    There are also three option buttons at the top of the window: Define New Character, Correct Character, and Correct Word.
  3. For a new character, select the Define New Character option.
    To correct a character, select the Correct Character option.
    To correct a proper noun or foreign word, select the Correct Word option.
    Note: The braille textbox also allows for either traditional six-key or ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) input.
  4. Click Save Translation Locally to save to a locally designated file on your computer; or
  5. Click Save Translation Globally, to save to your local file and submit the correction to APH. APH reviews the change for the future BrailleBlaster releases and to share with others who use LibLouis.
    This process of continuing improvement of the translation tables helps braille readers around the world receive timely, accurate braille.

Correct Braille Translation dialog showing Choose correct word or define character radio buttons, and Print textbox, and Choose entry method for braille with Six Key and ASCII radio buttons, and text box to enter Braille

VIEW YOUR CORRECTIONS

Clicking this button opens a view of your corrections listed in alphabetic order. Corrections can then be edited or deleted as needed.

Note: the corrections in the screenshot below are incorrect for UEB and are just examples.

Corrected Translations dialog showing four corrected terms

Six Key Input

Shortcut: F6

This tool opens a separate window where you may type braille directly using FDS and JKL as the 6 dots of braille.

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

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.

Six Key Input dialog showing textbox with the braille: "Braille is fun!"

After the braille is typed, you have two options for inserting your text into your document:

  • Insert Inline: This option will insert the text wherever your cursor is located; and format it the same as the text element it is located in.
  • Insert as Block: This option will make the keyed braille appear as its own text element; automatically formatted as Body Text.

Sample ASCII translated text: ",brl is fun6"

This ASCII is then directly translated into braille as what you typed in the text box.

Braille equivalent display of entered ASCII terms

Line Number Tools

This tool adds a set of options to the toolbar that allows you to add line numbers to the document.

This tool is primarily used for line numbered prose. It can be used for poetry as well, but poetry line numbering is typically interpreted automatically by BrailleBlaster. See Poetry for more information.

After selecting Line Number Tools, several fields and buttons appear on the toolbar. The first is the Wrap Prose button (shortcut: Ctrl + F2).

Wrap Prose button with Line Number and Increment by textboxes and Edit Line Number shown

WRAP PROSE

Shortcut: Ctrl + F2

In order for BrailleBlaster to recognize the line numbers, the text in which they appear must first be wrapped in a Prose tag.

Note: This must be done in order for line numbers to show up in the Print and Braille views.

  1. In the style pane, click the tags of the text where you want the line numbers displayed. This could be a section tag or a single paragraph. Additionally, you can highlight your selection in the print view.
  2. Click the Wrap Prose button.
    • This wraps the selected text in a Prose tag.
    • This tag has no other effect on the text beyond allowing it to display line numbers.
  3. Once the text is wrapped, insert the line numbers as described below.

Note: You can also remove the Prose tag from an element the same way that it is applied, by highlighting the text and selecting the Wrap Prose button.

Wrap Prose button

LINE NUMBER

This editable text field allows you to set the initial line number you wish to appear in the text. Line numbers cannot have greater than 10 digits. The default is 1.

Line Number textbox with 1 entered

INCREMENT BY

This editable text field allows you to set the increment by which all lines are numbered after the first line is numbered. The default is 1.

Example: With the Increment by field set to 5, each time you insert a line number after the first, the number increases by 5 (5 for the second line number, 10 for the third line number, 15 for the fourth line number and so on).

Increment by textbox with 1 entered

INSERT

Shortcut: F2

Use this button to quickly insert line numbers in their appropriate places according to the text.

  1. Select the point in the text where you wish to insert the line number.
  2. Press F2.

This places a line number tag in the Style view which automatically adjusts based on the settings you specified in the Line Number and Increment by fields.

Example: On the default setting (line number 1 and increment by 1), the first time you press F2, line number 1 is inserted. The second time you press F2, line number 2 is inserted, and so on.

Insert button

LINE NUMBERED POETRY

BrailleBlaster is usually able to automatically insert line numbers for poetry based on the structure of the publisher's file. However, when needed, these numbers can be entered.

  1. Select the section of poetry you wish to display line numbers, just as you would select the section of prose as described above.
  2. Click the Poetry button on the toolbar to open the Poetry menu.
  3. Click Poetic Stanza. This command wraps the selected text with the poetic stanza tag, which has the same effect on poetry as the prose tag does on prose text.
  4. Add line numbers as needed using the Insert button (or F2) on the Line Number Tool toolbar.
EDIT LINE NUMBER

Shortcut: F4

Edit Line Number button

BrailleBlaster allows you to edit or even remove line numbers from text as needed.

  1. Click on the line of text that contains the line number you wish to edit.
  2. Click Edit Line Number (or press F4). This opens the Edit Line Number window.
  3. In the editable text field, type the number you wish to edit the line number to (or delete it if removing the line number completely), and then click Apply. This applies the change to the line number.
  4. Click Previous or Next to cycle through the other line numbers in the wrapped section of text and edit as needed as described above. Clicking these buttons will also apply any change you have made to the line number.
  5. If BrailleBlaster cannot find any more line numbers, the Edit Line Number window will automatically close.
  6. When finished with all edits in the section, click DONE exit the Edit Line Number window and return to BrailleBlaster.

Volume Manager

The volume manager tool allows you to set where volume breaks occur in the document and to control what kinds of volumes they are.

Selecting Insert inserts a volume break into the document, either Normal, Preliminary, or Supplemental. The cursor must be placed in the document at the point where the break is to occur.

  • The volume break is inserted directly before the cursor.
  • If the volume break is desired after a particular element, place your cursor at the beginning of the element that follows; this inserts the volume break between the two elements.
  • Everything before the cursor is then defined as that volume and everything after is defined as a separate volume.

The ideal cursor location for a volume break is on a print page indicator, as this inserts the volume break before the indicator.

  • If no print page indicator exists because the print page starts at the beginning of a braille page, put your cursor at the beginning of the first element on that braille page; this inserts the volume break on the previous braille page.

In addition to defining the text as belonging to specific volumes, selecting this option also inserts the END OF VOLUME statement and allows for some additional options. These include:

  • copying t-pages and TOC entries into new volumes
  • saving individual volumes to BRF

There are three different kinds of volumes that can be inserted. The main difference between them is the END OF VOLUME statement. Each agency has different rules about different types of volumes. Refer to your agency's guidelines for the appropriate use.

  • Preliminary: END OF PRELIMINARY VOLUME [number]
  • Normal: END OF VOLUME [number]
  • Supplementary: END OF SUPPLEMENTARY VOLUME [number]

Using the Change Volume Type tool, you can change the selected volume's type from one type to another. This will affect the end-of-volume statement for that volume. The cursor must be placed somewhere in the volume you wish to change.

The Delete Current Volume command allows you to delete the volume break for the currently selected volume (e.g. the volume in which the cursor is located). This command only functions if a volume break has already been inserted into the document.

Table Editor

When a table is selected, this option opens the Table Editor window as detailed in the Table section. Information in the Table fields appears automatically according to the tagged text, and can be edited, formatted, and altered as described in the Table section.

Note: To use this tool, the cursor must be placed inside text tagged as a table. Otherwise, BrailleBlaster will generate the error pop-up "Cursor is not on table."

Convert Text to Table

This feature converts any set of elements into a table. Simply highlight the elements that you want to turn into a table, then go to Tools > Convert Text to Table. A dialog will appear asking how many columns your table should have. After you have set your desired number of columns, the Table Editor opens with your text and can be edited just like a normal table.

Change Translation

This menu item offers two translation options for a selection of text: Uncontracted and Direct. Right-clicking on a selection of text adds this item to the Context menu.
  • Uncontracted: Does not use contractions and follows grade 1 rules.
  • Direct: Presents the literal ASCII translation of the selected text.
    • Direct translation is sometimes necessary when you need to force the translation to appear a certain way but BB does not allow it otherwise.

TOC Builder

The TOC Builder improves the creation of the Table of Contents (TOC) by speeding up and simplifying the process. It makes available a set of tools that not only apply the necessary margins and guide dots of a TOC but also automates the process of dividing the TOC between volumes. It is located in the Tools menu and when used opens a new set of tools on the toolbar.

TOC Tools toolbar

AUTOMATIC DIVISION OF TOC
This process is detailed more in the Disperse to Volumes section of this document, but it is an important distinction to note:
  • Each of the TOC styles, including both TOC Entries and Headings, are repeated in both Volume 1 and in the volume to which that TOC element pertains. For example, all elements with TOC styles that appear after the Volume 2 division appear in both Volume 1 and Volume 2, according to the rules of Braille Formats, 2016.
TOC ENTRY (F4)
This feature formats the element where the cursor is located in the Print view as a TOC Entry.
  • Margins, blank lines, and if present, the page number are all formatted as a TOC entry according to the rules of Braille Formats, 2016.
  • The margins are determined by the numbers inserted in the two text boxes to the right and the page number is identified automatically.
OVERRIDE MARGIN

You can create runovers in your table of contents by checking the box next to Override Margin. The two textboxes that follow are to place the number of the indent and the runover of a TOC entry that you are inputting.

Override Margin box checked. Runover textboxes shown with Indent as 1 and Runover as 3

Indent: Insert a number into this text box to determine the first line indent of the element. Entering an invalid number results in a warning "Invalid indent" and the style is not applied.
Runover: Insert a number into this text box to determine the runover of the element, (i.e., the margin of every line after the first line). Entering an invalid number results in a warning "Invalid runover" and the style is not applied.

TOC HEADINGS

A TOC Heading differs from a normal heading in that it is repeated in its appropriate volume.

CENTERED HEADING

This button applies a TOC Centered Heading to the element where the cursor is placed. This heading has a blank line before and after.

CENTERED HEADING NB

This button applies a TOC Centered Heading that doesn't have a blank line before or after.

FIND PAGE

When checked, this checkbox causes numbers at the end of a TOC Entry to have guide dots added before them and moves the number to the right margin. If a number at the end of a TOC Entry should not be considered a page number, uncheck this box and guide dots will not be added.

PAGE PREFIX
The TOC Builder automatically locates page numbers that are numbers or roman numerals. However, it is not able to automatically identify page numbers that include numbers and letters (e.g., C13, IN32, G5, etc.).
  • In order to find this kind of number, check the Find Page checkbox and enter the appropriate letter in the Prefix text box.
  • The TOC Builder then finds both normal page numbers and page numbers preceded by the prefix letter.

Find Page checkbox and Page Prefix textbox

VOLUME SPLIT
This button inserts volume divisions into the TOC.
  • These volume divisions are titled "TOC Volume split Placeholder" when inserted, and are used both to insert the appropriate text (Volume 1, Volume 2, etc) and also to identify which portions of the TOC correspond to which volume in the larger document (see Disperse to Volumes below).
    Note: These volume divisions are different from the volume divisions inserted throughout the document.

Volume Split button

PAGE NUMBER

This button makes a highlighted portion of text a page number in the TOC regardless of whether it is a number or word. You can also take the Page Number off of an element that has been incorrectly misinterpreted as a page number by highlighting that element and selecting Page Number. This causes the guide dots to be removed and moves the number or word back next to the other text.

Page Number button

DISPERSE TO VOLUMES

Once all volume divisions have been inserted in both the document as a whole (using Insert Volume Break) and in the TOC (using Volume Split), this button splits and repeats the volume divisions according to the rules of Braille Formats, 2016:

  • Volume 1 contains the entirety of the TOC.
  • Each subsequent volume only contains the entries and headings that are contained in the particular volume.

In order to be considered "contained" and also to be repeated, Volume Splits must be inserted; only TOC styles can be used. If a normal, non-TOC style is used, that element appears only in Volume 1 and not in subsequent volumes.

Disperse to Volumes button

Note: It is advisable to complete the following work before opening the TOC Builder:
  • Remove emphasis as necessary
  • Delete bullets as necessary
  • Format non-TOC elements that occur within the TOC (sidebars and extraneous information)
  • Insert volumes in the rest of the document using Insert Volume Break
BUILD A TOC USING THE TOC BUILDER
  1. Set Page Prefix
    • First set the page prefix, if applicable.
    • In the event that the document has two or more page prefixes, set the prefix that occurs first and remember to switch as needed.
  2. Set and Apply TOC Margins
    • Set the runover of the entire TOC by deciding how many levels you think the TOC should be.
    • Type the appropriate runover into the text box.
      Example: A TOC with four levels has a runover of 9. This value does not need to be changed.
    • The indent changes, however. Recommendation: Set a specific indent, perhaps the most prevalent, and then format those elements first before changing the indent and formatting the rest.
      Example: In a TOC with two levels:
      • Set the runover as 5.
      • Set the indent as 1.
      • Format all of the entries that are level 1.
      • Set the indent as 3.
      • Format the rest of the entries.
    • Format entries by putting your cursor on the element you wish to format and clicking the TOC Entry (F4) button or by using the hotkey F4 with TOC Builder tools open.
      • The TOC Builder then applies the margins from the text box and also identifies the page number and applies the TOC Page Number style.
      • This pushes the page number to the right margin and applies guide dots according to the rules of Braille Formats, 2016.
  3. Insert TOC Volumes
    • Put your cursor at the end of the element that occurs before the first element of the next volume.
    • Press the Volume Split button
  4. Disperse to Volumes
    This button should be used last, only after volume divisions have been applied to the document as a whole and to the TOC itself, and after all TOC entries and headings have been applied. Clicking this button:
    • copies the portions of the TOC relevant to all volumes after volume 1 and
    • puts them after the t-pages in each volume.

Unwrap Element

This command is used to remove container tags, such as the List Tag, Poetic Stanza, and Boxes, reverting them to normal styles. Select the section of tagged text you want to change, then in Breadcrumbs click Container List, then go to Tools and select Unwrap Element. This will remove the container from the text.

Note that Unwrap Element cannot be selected unless the selected element is a container. The container types are List Tag, Poetic Stanza, Box, Full Box, and Prose. Additionally, both kinds of boxes can also be removed by selecting the entire box and reapplying the same kind of box.

Image Describer

If your NIMAS file has images that are attached with the print, then this tool can be used to give captions to images more easily since it allows for the viewing of the image within the program.

There are two ways to go about labelling the images in your document:
  1. Open the Image Describer and flip through the images until you get to the one you want to caption.
    OR
  2. Find the image in the Style view by looking for styled text that has an asterisk next the style name. Highlight the text, then go to Tools > Image Describer.
  1. Type the text that should replace the image, making sure to apply any changes to the translation or emphasis that is necessary.
  2. Click Apply to this for that one instance or Apply to all X instances for all instances of that same image.

Image describer dialog showing image file path of a construction worker and the text box with a picture description to be added

Alphabetic Reference

There are many special rules for alphabetic references in braille that cause it to appear differently than it will in print. This makes it rather unique among print elements. For this reason there are several tools under this category. They are Add Uncontracted Glossary Items, Identify Guide Words, Adjust Term/Definition Spacing and Edit Guide Word.

ADD OR REMOVE UNCONTRACTED GLOSSARY ITEMS

This tool is provided for cases in which uncontracted glossary terms are required by Braille Formats, 2016.

  1. Locate the glossary with the Style view or Breadcrumbs.
  2. Click the Section tag nearest the first or last glossary item. This should select the entire glossary.
  3. Scroll through to ensure the correct Section tag has been selected and that only the elements that require the uncontracted form have been selected.
  4. Click the Add/Remove Uncontracted Glossary Items button.

The uncontracted glossary term is inserted according to the rules of Braille Formats, 2016. To remove the uncontracted words, simply follow the same steps and it will remove the uncontracted glossary terms from the document.

IDENTIFY GUIDE WORDS

Adds guide words to an element in an index or glossary. This can also be used to add guide words to an entire alphabetic reference or a single item in an alphabetic reference. Select a section of text you want to apply guide words to and select Identify Guide Words from the Alphabetic Reference drop-down and this will create guide words in your document. See Selecting the Entire Glossary or Index for more information.

This function has no effect on styles outside of the list, index, or glossary categories.

ADJUST TERM/DEFINITION SPACING

Adjusts the space between a term and definition in a glossary. To use, first select an element that was either marked by the publisher as a term and definition or has its guide words identified by the Identify Guide Words tool and then activate this tool from the menu. A dialog box will appear with two radio buttons, one marked One and the other marked Two. Select One for one space between the term and definition and select Two for two spaces between the term and definition. It is most useful to select the entire alphabetic reference that needs to be edited rather than selecting each element one at a time.

EDIT GUIDE WORD

When a guide word has been automatically added by BrailleBlaster, it is based on the term identified by the publisher as the "Glossary Term." This glossary term might be "The Democratic Republic of Congo," which likely does not fit as a guide word.

To edit the Guide Word:

  1. Highlight the term within the text that needs to be changed.
  2. Either right click and select this tool from the Context menu or select it from the Tools menu under Alphabetic Reference.
  3. In the textbox dialog, type the replacement for the guide word. Using the example of "The Democratic Republic of Congo," you could type DRC, and then DRC would be the guide word for that entry.

Edit guide word dialog box

Note: If you use Edit Guide Word on a glossary term that is not at the top or bottom of a braille page, and therefore does not appear as a guide word; it still changes the guide word for that term, but there is no visible change at the bottom of the page.

Note: The Edit Guide Word tool is only available if the term selected could potentially have a guide word. If you highlight a word outside of a glossary, for instance, this tool is greyed out.

For more information about formatting a glossary see Working with Alphabetic References.

Math

Dropdown menu for Math section of the Tools dropdown

HOW TO EDIT MATH IN BRAILLEBLASTER

The following text appears in a dialog box when this option is opened in BrailleBlaster, explaining how the ASCII Math Editor functions:

ASCII Math: We have chosen to represent math in the text view using ASCII Math. It is fully editable using just your keyboard. If you are unfamiliar with ASCII Math, please visit asciimath.org. We have provided you with the ASCII Math editor so that you will not have to leave BrailleBlaster to look up how to represent unfamiliar math equations. There are tabs for each category of symbols. You can cycle through them using the arrow keys. Tab to enter the table, and then you can use the arrow keys to find your symbol. We have provided some examples in the Special and Examples tabs to show you how to insert math with special formatting and common calculus formulas. An image of your ASCII Math will appear in the bottom box.

Math Editor Examples Tab

Image Describer: You can also choose to six key your math through the Image Describer if you have a zipped file that contains images, or through the six key dialog (F6) if you have no images. Be aware that text that is six-keyed or direct translated will not update when you change translation tables.

Image describer dialog showing image file path of the fraction 2/3 and the text box with the same fraction six keyed in UEB math

Changing braille codes: Math inserted from the ASCII Editor will automatically be marked as math and will use your default math translation table (Nemeth or UEB Math) that you have selected from the main settings menu. This allows you to use the same transcribed document to create documents in multiple braille codes. You will know that you have successfully marked text as math because the text will be highlighted in pink in the print view.

Copy and Paste of Math: Due to the internal syntax of MathML, you can only copy math nodes as whole equations.

ASCII MATH EDITOR

Math Editor Dialog

You can choose to only display the most commonly used tabs via the Show Tabs menu option.

Math Editor Show Tabs drop down menu

Use these tabs to find math symbols to use in your equation or type it out. As you place math symbols in the text box, those symbols will appear as they appear in print in the box below.

You can also change your settings for the ASCII Math Editor via the Settings menu option.

Math Editor Settings drop down menu

From here you can make the ASCII Math Editor Full Screen or choose to View Image with MathJax, which shows your text as an image within the ASCII Math Editor. This image appears below the textbox in the space that reads, "As you type, your Image will appear here". This is to ensure the most accurate transcription of math by showing the user what the math equation would look like in the print view.

ASCII Math in Text and Image View

There are four buttons at the bottom of the dialog box:
  • Insert: Places the mathematical equation into the BrailleBlaster document
  • Replace Current Math: After making changes to an already inserted equation, this button replaces that math equation. Otherwise, the edited equation would be inserted next to the equation you originally inserted.
  • Previous Math: Navigates to the previous ASCII math equation in the document without returning to the print view.
  • Next Math: Navigates to the next ASCII math equation in the document without returning to the print view.
TRANSLATE USING CURRENT MATH TABLE

Shortcut: Ctrl + M

This tool allows for a highlighted section of text to be translated through the ASCII Math Editor.

REMOVE THE MATH TRANSLATION FROM THIS NODE

This tool will remove the ASCII Math Editor's translation of the highlighted section of text.

DELETE THIS MATH NODE

This option will delete the highlighted ASCII Math Editor's translated text from the file.

TOGGLE NUMERIC SERIES

You can also make a numeric series using the Toggle Numeric Series tool in the Math drop-down menu. This tool places dot 5's where the spaces were in the highlighted text. If there are two spaces, there are two dot 5's.

Settings

Menu bar with Settings highlighted with a red box

Settings drop down menu

There are action buttons that are present regardless of the tab in Settings that has been selected. These three buttons at the bottom of the dialog are Ok, Make Default, and Cancel.

  • Ok ‒ Applies the settings to the current document only
  • Make Default ‒ Applies settings to the current document and all future new documents
  • Cancel ‒ Exits dialog without saving changes

Page Properties

The options under the Page Properties tab adjust the page size or margins of the entire document.

Settings dialog showing Page Properties tab selected with Page Size and Margins options

Changing the page size alters both the size of the paper of the embossed braille and the braille margins on that page. Adjusting the page margins changes the margins around the braille on that page. It only affects the braille margins if there is not enough space to accommodate both the braille and page margins that have been selected.

Translation Settings

Settings dialog showing Translation Settings tab selected with Standards and Selected Standard Settings options

  • Use this tab to select your braille translation code.
  • BrailleBlaster supports EBAE, EBAE Uncontracted, UEB, UEB Uncontracted, UEB with Nemeth, UEB with Nemeth Uncontracted, Spanish, Spanish US, UEB Uncontracted Spanish, and Cherokee Plus Nemeth.
  • Braille cell standards also may be adjusted from NLS (used in the U.S.) to Small English (used in the UK).
  • Changing the translation code used automatically updates the translation tables that are pulled from LibLouis.
  • The different tables are displayed and can be used as a reference when reporting translation issues to APH.

Page Numbers

Settings dialog showing the Page Numbers tab selected with Braille, Print, Continue, and Guide Words settings

Braille:
  • Interpoint: This setting allows the user to change the location of the braille page number and select interpoint printing if necessary.
  • Location settings: The location of braille page numbers is set separately for the odd and even braille pages. The options are top-left, top-right, bottom-left, bottom-right, and none.
Print:
  • Location settings: Choose this setting to change the location of the print page number.
    • The location of print page numbers is set separately for the odd and even print pages.
    • The options are top-left, top-right, bottom-left, bottom-right, and none.
  • Continuation Symbols for Print Pages: This option sets whether continuation letters are used for print pages.
    • Continuation letters are used when the print page is longer than the braille page.
    • When that occurs, a letter is added to the beginning of the print page number. For example, print page 21 becomes print page a21, b21, and so on.

Continuation Symbol For Print Pages: Automatically set for Yes, this option sets whether or not a continuation letter appears before print page numbers when they continue past one braille page in length.

Continuation Grade 1 Indicator: Turning on this option causes a Grade 1 Indicator to appear between the continuation letter and the print page number if the print page number begins with a letter.

Note: This is not a rule in Braille Formats, 2016, but it is a convention. Therefore, it can be toggled on or off as the customer or printing house demands.

Continue Pages: This option sets whether braille page numbers continue from one volume to the next or if they reset.

Example: If this option is set to yes, and Volume 1 ends on braille page 119, then Volume 2 begins on braille page 121. If set for no, Volume 2 begins on braille page 1.

Guide Words: If Guide Words is set to "Yes," guide words are automatically added to the translation whenever the Glossary style is used.

If the Glossary style is not used in the document, changing this setting has no effect. Set Guide Words to "No" if the Glossary style is used but guide words are not needed.

Error Handling

Error handling tab in Settings dialog with Notifications, Error Recovery, Tell APH about this error so they can fix it

Notifications: Allows you to select how you would like errors to display. You can choose from three different options on how you would like errors to appear:

  • Display error information: This option shows you have encountered an error in addition to showing additional information which is helpful in discovering why the error has occurred.

BrailleBlaster error dialog window that shows an error has occurred with additional informational text

  • Notify an error occurred: A window will appear that notifies the user that BrailleBlaster has encountered an error.

BrailleBlaster error dialog window that shows an error has occurred

  • Display in status bar: Allows errors to be displayed in the status bar where line number and cell position are located.

"BrailleBlaster has attempted to recover from an error. Your last change may have been lost. Use Help > View Logs for more details." appears in red text where cell position and line number are normally shown at the bottom of the screen

Error Recovery: Allows you to decide if you want BrailleBlaster to try to recover after it encounters an error or not.

Tell APH about this error so they can fix it: Allows you to decided whether or not to report errors to APH with yes or no buttons.

Emphasis

Menu bar with Emphasis highlighted with a red box

Emphasis drop down menu

In BrailleBlaster, emphasis can only be applied to text that has already been created. Therefore, you must:

  • find or type the text,
  • highlight it, then
  • apply the emphasis desired using the menu item, hotkey, or toolbar button.

Each emphasis type is detailed in Rules of Unified English Braille, except for Transcriber Note Symbols (TN Symbols).

TN Symbols is a special emphasis that adds a TN symbol at the beginning and end of the text to which it is applied. Adding this emphasis to three elements, for example, puts one TN symbol at the beginning of the first element and one TN symbol at the end of the last element. TN symbols and the text between them are highlighted in gold in the braille view so they are easier to locate.

Remove Emphasis from Selection

Shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + R

If text is highlighted, this feature removes all emphasis from that highlighted selection. This works for whatever amount of text is selected: a few words, a few paragraphs, or several pages.

Remove All Emphasis from Headings

Headings do not usually need to be emphasized in braille. Using this option BrailleBlaster automatically removes all emphasis from headings in the document.

As with removing emphasis from lists items, the transcriber can either manually remove emphasis for each heading, or use this tool to remove all emphasis and add it back in where it is appropriate.

Note: It is advisable to save your work before using this feature.

Remove All Emphasis from List Prefixes

In print documents, the numbers or letters at the beginning of list items can appear in bold. This emphasis is usually considered unnecessary in braille and as such is removed in braille documents.

By selecting this option, BB searches the document and removes the emphasis from numbers and letters at the beginning of lists.

Examples (where emphasis would be removed):

1. List Item
2. List Item
3. List Item

OR

A. List Item
B. List Item
C. List Item

This operation is not foolproof, and it is possible that numbers or letters in list items other than those intended could be affected as well.
The two approaches are:

  1. Manually remove the emphasis for each appropriate number and/or letter; or
  2. Use the Remove Emphasis option and then add emphasis back to any numbers or letters where it was incorrectly removed.

It is up to the transcriber to decide which approach requires the least effort.

Note: It is advisable to save your work before using this feature.

Styles

Menu bar with Styles highlighted with a red box

Styles drop down menu

Repeat Last Style

Repeat Last Search button from the toolbar

Shortcut: Ctrl + R

This action repeats the last style that was applied. If no style has been applied, and this feature is used, a popup appears letting you know there is no style to repeat.

Configure

LOADOUTS

Style loadouts are designed to make the transcription process faster and to offset the fact that there are not enough keys on the keyboard to make a hotkey for every style. Therefore, a loadout refers to either a section of styles or subsection of styles.

Please refer to the list of shortcut keys in Appendix A for a complete list of all loadouts and their hotkeys.

Example of List Loadouts:
The List category has subsections because this is a nested style. Pressing Ctrl + Shift + L brings up a menu with the different levels of nesting. For example, choosing List 3 Levels sets all of the list styles in that subsection to a press of the Alt key and a number. So, for this loadout, Alt + 1 is L1-7, Alt + 2 is L3-7, and Alt + 3 is L5-7.

Style Loadouts dialog showing Lists as the selected Style and options for levels of nesting, with List 3 Levels selected

STYLE LEVELS

Styles menu Configure option with Style Levels and 5 selected

This adjusts the number of style levels that appear in each drop-down that contains styles with multiple levels. The styles with multiple levels are the nested styles; lists, glossary, exercise, contents, and so on. The default number of levels is eight but some users might find they do not need that many levels.

Options

Styles menu with Options selected and sub menu shown

Style options allow the user to change the rules of a specific instance of a style.

DON'T SPLIT
This is the only style option that wraps other elements. It is used to keep the affected elements together on the same braille page.
  • Highlight the elements that need to be kept together and apply the style option through the menu.
  • If the selected elements do not fit on a single braille page, then the group moves to a new braille page; however, any text longer than that one braille page continues on to the next braille page.
KEEP WITH NEXT

Applying this style option to an element causes that element to stay with whichever element follows it. If the second element moves to a new braille page because of changes to formatting, the element that has Keep With Next applied to it also moves to that braille page.

LINES BEFORE & LINES AFTER

These style options, when applied to an element, cause that specific instance of the style to have the set number of lines either before or after. To apply this style, follow these steps:

  1. Select the desired element(s) by highlighting it.
  2. Click on the Lines Before or Lines After style option.
  3. In the pop-up window, enter the value (number of lines) before or after in the textbox.

Every style that begins on a new line already has a value of 1 for lines before and after. If you want that element to have a blank line before or after it, set the value as 2.

Styles that already have blank lines by default, such as Centered Headings, 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.

PAGE SIDE
This style has two options: left or right.
  • Page Side Left: Applying this to an element causes that element to appear only on the left-hand side.
  • Page Side Right: Applying this causes that element to appear only on the right-hand side.

This is useful for setting graphics or material that needs to appear on facing pages. When formatting decisions cause an element or elements to move, they continue to appear where needed.

SKIP NUMBER LINES
This style determines whether the element should skip lines that contain page numbers. Options include:
  • 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

Keep in mind that even if None is selected, when you have a running head or guide words, that element still skips those lines because they are reserved for those elements.

NEW PAGES BEFORE & NEW PAGES AFTER

These style options 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.

GUIDE WORDS

This style option is used to turn guide words on or off for a single element or several elements but does not affect guide words elsewhere in the text. This is useful when guide words appear in a section where your printing house does not usually put them, but it is not feasible to turn off guide words in the Setting menu, because they are still needed in other areas of the document.

Style Options

Styles menu with Style Options displayed and highlighted with a red box

Styles options menu buttons on the toolbar

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

Margins are presented as a hyphenated number with the indent listed first and the runover second. For example, a list item (which would be 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.

Formatting is presented as though the style was inserted with no context. A lot of BrailleBlaster's formatting is contextual, and the styles conform to the rules laid out in Braille Formats, 2016. If you discover an instance where BrailleBlaster has incorrectly applied a style from Braille Formats, 2016, please notify us by email at brailleblaster.org.

Basic

Basic styles button and menu options

BLOCKED TEXT

A simple, left justified paragraph.

  • Margins: 1-1
BODY TEXT

A simple indented paragraph.

  • Margins: 3-1
CENTERED TEXT

Centered text with no automatic blank lines before or after.

  • Margins: Variable (centered)
DISPLAYED 3-5

Used to display element that are normally 1-3.

  • Margins: 3-5
  • Format: Blank lines before and after
DISPLAYED BLOCKED TEXT

A displayed, left justified paragraph.

  • Margins: 3-3
  • Format: Blank lines before and after
DISPLAYED BODY TEXT

A displayed indented paragraph.

  • Margins: 5-3
  • Format: Blank lines before and after

Captions

Captions styles button and menu options

CAPTION

Used to style captions. Still needs transcriber's notes symbols added if appropriate.

  • Margins: 7-5
DESCRIPTION

Used to style picture descriptions. Still needs transcriber's notes symbols added.

  • Margins: 7-5

Heading

Heading styles button and menu options

CELL 5 HEADING
  • Margins: 5-5
  • Format: Blank line before
  • Special: Must be followed by other non-heading text (Keep With Next)
CELL 7 HEADING
  • Margins: 7-7
  • Format: Blank line before
  • Special: Must be followed by other non-heading text (Keep With Next)
CENTERED HEADING
  • Margins: Variable (centered)
  • Format: Blank lines before and after
  • Special: Must be followed by other non-heading text (Keep With Next)

Lists

List styles button and menu options

List Tag: Used to wrap list styles in a list container

  • Margins: Variable
  • Format: Blank lines before and after

The List styles are a nested style. So each style functions the same, in terms of formatting; the only difference being the margins.

  • Each List style is identified first with the letter L and then with the margins that are used for that instance of the style (L1-3, L1-5, L3-5, etc.).
  • They are organized by level, with each level indicating the number of styles available.

Level also affects the runover and formatting. For example, all Level 2s have a runover of 5 and do not have a blank line between them, but there is a blank line between Level 2s and Level 3s.

  • Margins: Variable
  • Format: Blank lines before and after

Poetry

Poetry styles button and menu options

Poetic Stanza: Used to wrap poetry styles; forces a blank line between Poetry styles of the same level.

  • Margins: Not applicable
  • Format: Blank line before and after

The Poetry styles are a nested style. So each style functions the same in terms of formatting; the only difference being the margins.

  • Each Poetry style is identified first with the letter P and then with the margins that are used for that instance of the style (P1-3, P1-5, P3-5, etc.).
  • They are organized by level, with each level indicating the number of styles available.

Level also affects the runover and formatting. For example, all Level 2s have a runover of 5 and do not have a blank line between them, but there is a blank line between Level 2s and Level 3s.

  • Margins: Variable
  • Format: Blank lines before and after

Glossary

Glossary styles button and menu options

The Glossary styles are a nested style. So each style functions the same in terms of formatting; the only difference being the margins.

  • Each Glossary style is identified first with the letter G and then with the margins that are used for that instance of the style (G1-3, G1-5, G3-5, etc.).
  • They are organized by level, with each level indicating the number of styles available.

Level also affects the runover and formatting. For example, all Level 2s have a runover of 5 and do not have a blank line between them, but there is a blank line between Level 2s and Level 3s.

  • Margins: Variable
  • Format: Blank lines before and after
  • Special: Typically, the publisher has identified the term and the definition and so the term can be used automatically as a Guide Word. See Guide Words.

Exercise

Exercise styles button and menu options

DIRECTIONS

Used for the first paragraph of directions.

  • Margins: 5-5
  • Format: Blank line before
DIRECTIONS 7-5

Used for the second paragraph of directions.

  • Margins: 7-5
  • Format: Blank line before, unless preceded by Directions.

The Exercise styles are a nested style. So each style functions the same in terms of formatting; the only difference being the margins.

  • Each Exercise style is identified first with the letter E and then with the margins that are used for that instance of the style (E1-3, E1-5, E3-5, etc.).
  • They are organized by level with each level indicating the number of styles available.

Level also affects the runover and formatting. For example, all Level 2s have a runover of 5 and do not have a blank line between them, but there is a blank line between Level 2s and Level 3s.

  • Margins: Variable
  • Format: Blank lines before and after

Index

Index styles button and menu options

The Index styles are a nested style. So each style functions the same in terms of formatting; the only difference being the margins.

  • Each Index style is identified first with the letter I and then with the margins that are used for that instance of the style (I1-3, I1-5, I3-5, etc.).
  • They are organized by level, with each level indicating the number of styles available.

Level also affects the runover and formatting. For example, all Level 2s have a runover of 5 and do not have a blank line between them, but there is a blank line between Level 2s and Level 3s.

  • Margins: Variable
  • Format: Blank lines before and after

Numeric

Numeric styles button and menu options

The Numeric styles are a nested style. So each style functions the same in terms of formatting; the only difference being the margins.

  • Each Numeric style is identified only with the margins that are used for that instance of the style (1-3, 1-5, 3-5, etc.).
  • They are organized by indent with each indent level indicating the indent of the styles available.
  • Margins: Variable
  • Format: No automatic blank lines

Notes

Notes styles button and menu options

INCIDENTAL NOTE WITH HEADING

Used to make a incidental note that has a heading.

  • Margins: 5-5
  • Format: Blank lines before and after
INCIDENTAL NOTE WITHOUT HEADING

Used to make a incidental note that does not have a heading.

  • Margins: 7-5
  • Format: Blank lines before and after
FOOTNOTE

Used for notes at the bottom of a print page.

  • Margins: 1-3

Plays

Plays styles button and menu options

PROSE PLAY

Prose Play 1-3: Used for the first paragraph of a speaker in a prose play.

  • Margins: 1-3
  • Format: Blank line before

Prose Play 5-3: Used for every paragraph after the first for a speaker in a prose play.

  • Margins: 5-3
  • Format: Blank line before
STAGE DIRECTIONS

Stage Directions 7-7: Used for the first paragraph of stage directions.

  • Margins: 7-7
  • Format: Blank line before

Stage Directions Verse 9-7: Used for every paragraph after the first stage direction.

  • Margins: 9-7
  • Format: Blank line before
VERSE PLAY

Verse Play 1-5: Used for the first line of a speaker in a verse play.

  • Margins: 1-5
  • Format: Blank line before

Verse Play 3-5: Used for every line after the first of a speaker in a verse play.

  • Margins: 3-5
  • Format: Blank line before

Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous styles button and menu options

ALPHABETIC DIVISION

Can be applied to the first alphabetic division in a glossary.

  • Margins: Centered
  • Format: Blank line before
ATTRIBUTION

This style can be used for an attribution when the previous element's last line is in cell 1.

  • Margins: 5-5
  • Format: Blank line after
CITATION

Used for a source citation or permission to copy.

  • Margins: 7-5
  • Format: Blank line after
GUIDE WORD

Used to add a guide word for the word or series of words to which it is applied to the last line of the braille page.

  • Margins: Centered
  • Format: Appears on last line of the braille page.
PAGE

Makes highlighted text the print page number; creating a print page break if in the middle of a braille page.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE

Used to apply the Transcriber's Note style and symbols to text that is already written.

  • Margins: 7-5
  • Format: No blank line before or after
  • Special: Applies the Transcriber's Note symbols to the element as well as the margins. Because of the need for symbols, the entire element must be highlighted before this style can be applied.
BOXES

Box: Puts a box line before and after the element or elements it is applied to. A top box line consists of the braille cell (2356) going across the width of the page. A bottom box line consists of the braille cell (1245) going across the width of the page.

  • Margins: N/A
  • Format: Blank before top line, blank after bottom line
Color Box: Functions the same way a box does, but when this option is selected, a dialog box appears. Type the color you want the box to be and select OK. This will place the color name in Transcriber's Notes before beginning the top box line.
  • Margins: N/A
  • Format: Blank before top line, blank after bottom line

Full Box: Puts a full celled box line before and after the element or elements it is applied to. A full top and bottom box line consist of the full braille cell (123456) going across the width of the page.

  • Margins: N/A
  • Format: Blank before top line, blank after bottom line

Color Full Box: Functions the same way a full box does, but when this option is selected, a dialog box appears. Type the color you want the box to be and select OK. This will place the color name in Transcriber's Notes before beginning the top box line.

  • Margins: N/A
  • Format: Blank before top line, blank after bottom line

Insert

Menu bar with Insert highlighted with a red box

Insert drop down menu

Note Separation Line

This option inserts the Note Separation Line found in Braille Formats, 2016. Similar to the Insert Volume option, the Insert Note Separation Line option is inserted directly before the cursor. It automatically:

  • inserts the appropriate ASCII text
  • direct translates it
  • applies the Note Separation Line tag in the style view

Image Placeholder

Inserts a set number of blank lines. Once you use this tool, a dialog opens.

  • Type the number of blank lines needed using only numbers.
  • That number of blank lines is inserted into the document after the cursor.

Insert Image Placeholder dialog showing textbox to enter the number of lines

Table

To insert a table in the text, place the cursor in the spot you want the table to begin, then click Insert > Table to open the Table Editor screen.

Table Editor dialog showing 3 rows and 3 columns of textboxes for entering information

This screen shows editable fields for headings, rows, and columns. The user can type in each cell or paste in content.

The number of rows and columns can be edited in the bottom right of the screen. By default, the Table Editor generates 3 rows and 3 columns. The user can add or remove columns and rows as by entering the the desired numbers in the textboxes. The Editor then automatically displays a table template with the new row and column numbers.

Table Editor dialog showing textboxes to select number of Rows and Columns highlighted with a red box with 4 entered for Rows and 5 entered for Columns

In the lower-right corner is a drop-down menu called Table type. This menu provides several options for how to display the table in braille. It is set to auto by default.

Table Editor dialog showing drop down options for Table type with Auto selected

Auto: BrailleBlaster formats the table automatically for you. Currently, it can only create automatic tables as simple and listed tables.

Simple: Sets the table to display as a standard braille table with columns and rows and a separator line beneath each column heading. A button appears to the right of the drop-down menu labeled Simple Table Options. Click this to open the Simple Table Options screen.

Simple Table Options dialog showing options for Cells between columns, Guide dots, Row headings, and Column widths

Here, several specific options can be changed.

  • Cells between columns: Choose either 2 cells between each column or 1 cell between each column. Default is 2.
  • Guide dots: Controls whether guide dots appear after material in columns. Choose either Enabled or Disabled. 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, material 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. Default is enabled.
  • Column 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.

Simple Table Options dialog displaying Column widths information entered and total width

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 each column. 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.

When satisfied with any changes to these options, click Ok to return to the Table Editor.

Listed: This sets the table to a listed table format. Information in 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 (inserted automatically). Information in the column fields is added after the colon for each appropriate list item.

Table Editor dialog showing 3 columns and 4 rows and headings entered in the first row of columns 1 through 3

Print view of a listed table

Braille view of a listed table

Stairstep: Select this option to set the table to Stairstep format. A button appears to the right of the drop-down menu labeled Create Transcriber Note Heading. Click this button to open the Create Transcriber's Note Heading window.

Create Transcriber's Note Heading dialog

This window configures the Stairstep table. Several fields appear in the window, equal to the number of columns in the table. The column headings are automatically included in the appropriate field if they have already been inserted in the Table Editor.

The first field is for the transcriber's note that precedes the table, informing the reader of the Stairstep format. The text defaults to "Table changes as follows:" but may be edited as needed. It is set on a 7-5 runover.

The next fields proceed in the standard Stairstep format, with the first column entry starting on cell 1, the second on cell 3, the third on cell 5, and so on. Each of these fields can be edited as needed.

All fields in this window can have font attributes applied to them. To apply the font attribute(s):

  1. Select the text.
  2. Select the appropriate font attribute(s) from the drop-down list above each field.
  3. Click the Apply button.

The translation of each field's entry can also be modified. Click the Translation button to open the Change translation drop-down menu.

Change translation dialog showing Uncontracted selected

Here you can choose between Uncontracted and Direct.

When satisfied with changes to the Stairstep table options, click Ok to return to the Table Editor.

Linear: When selected, a button labeled Create Transcriber Note Heading appears next to the drop-down menu. Click this button to open the Create Transcriber Note Heading window.

This window is similar to the one utilized in the Stairstep table option.

  • There are two fields: one for the transcriber's note informing the reader that the table's format is changed (set to a 7-5 line/runover), and one for the explanation of the column heading order (set to a 1-3 line/runover).
  • By default, material placed in the column headings is automatically placed here in order, from left to right, with a colon following the first column heading and a semicolon following each additional heading.

Table Editor dialog showing linear table and row headings and content entered for all cells

Create Transcriber's Note Heading dialog showing information entered for 7-5 and 1-3

As in the Stairstep table options, font attributes and uncontracted/direct translation styles can be applied to text in these fields.

When satisfied with these fields, click Ok to return to the Table Editor screen.

Text view of a linear table

Braille view of a linear table

At the top of the Table Editor are three menus: Tools, Emphasis, and Translation.

Tools:

  • Swap Columns and Rows: Click this to interchange the rows and columns of the table. Click it again to switch them back. A transcriber's note explaining an interchange of rows and columns has to be inserted manually, if required.
  • Add Emphasis to All: This opens an extended menu with numerous types of font attributes, as well as uncontracted and direct translation options. Select the option desired, and it is applied to all the text in the table.
  • Remove All Emphasis: This option removes all font attribute and contraction changes that have been applied to the table.

Emphasis: This menu allows font attributes to be applied to individual parts of the table text where required and includes bold, italics, underline, and more.

Translation:

  • Direct Translation: Translates the selected ASCII text directly into braille.
  • Uncontracted Translation: Sets the selected text to be uncontracted braille.

At the bottom-left corner of the Table Editor window are two buttons: Reformat Table and Advanced Reformat.

Reformat Table and Advanced Reformat buttons

Reformat Table: This button is used to change the table into normal text. This feature removes the table tags from the XML and is useful if the print book has content formatted as a table that should not be formatted as a table in the braille, such as columned lists.

When clicked, this button shows a prompt warning that the process cannot be reversed. Click Yes to continue or No to cancel.

Reformat table confirmation pop-up notifying the user that "Reformatting a table will convert the table formatting to plain text. This process is irreversible. Are you sure you want to continue?" with Yes and No buttons

If you clicked Yes, a new window opens, displaying a list of styles.

Select Style dialog showing list of available styles which the user can apply to the table cells

  1. Select a style to have all the table text reformatted into this style. This is useful if a table is converted to a list and all entries need to be on 1-3, for instance.
  2. Click Ok to confirm the style choice and reformat the table into normal text.

Advanced Reformat: This button does the same thing as the Reformat Table button except that it allows each field of the table to have a different style applied to it when the table is reformatted. For example, column 1 could be set to Cell 5 heading while rows 2, 3, 4, etc., could be set to 1-3. Once all fields have a style selected, the table is reformatted into normal text with the styles applied appropriately.

Running Head

This tool allows you add a Running Head to your document on all of the pages except for t1 and braille page 1. Choose one of the following:

  • No running head
  • Enter title

Note: BrailleBlaster does not check the inserted running head against every page number in the document. If a running head is too long, part of it will be cut off so that it will fit on one line. Therefore, the user should confirm that the running head is the proper length to fit all page number types and sizes as no user prompt will be given from BrailleBlaster about the length of the running head.

Blank Print Page Indicator

This tool allows you to add a Print Page Indicator with no Print page number to the text as is required by Braille Formats, 2016 for print pages without numbers.

Window

Menu bar with Window highlighted with a red box

Window drop down menu

Toggle Views

Each of the three views (Print, Braille, and Style) can be toggled via this menu. Currently, when a view is disabled and then enabled, it moves to the right-hand side.

Window drop down menu with Toggle Views highlighted showing Print, Braille, and Style as checked options

REARRANGE VIEWS

This opens a dialog that allows you to rearrange the views. The view at the top of this list appears the furthest to the left, and the view at the bottom appears furthest to the right. Only the views that are visible are available to rearrange in the dialog.

  • Use the Move Up and Move Down buttons to move the selected view in that respective direction.
  • Press Ok to confirm selection and rearrange the views or Cancel to disregard the changes.

Rearrange Views dialog showing Style, Print, and Braille, and buttons for Move Up, Move Down, Ok, and Cancel

Toolbar

Each of the toolbar icons is arranged according to group, and each group can be hidden if not needed. Hiding some or all icons increases the space available for the views.

Window drop down menu with Toolbar highlighted showing File, Document, Style, Tools, and Emphasis as checked options with View unchecked

Icon Size

Window menu showing Icon Size selected and sub menu of options Small, Medium, and Large with Large selected

These options adjust the size of the toolbar icons. Making them smaller increases the space available for the views.

Help

Menu bar with Help highlighted with a red box

Help drop down menu

BrailleBlaster Website

Opens the BrailleBlaster website in your default browser.

BrailleBlaster User Guide

Shortcut: F1

Opens a local copy of this user guide.

About BrailleBlaster

Opens a pop-up with information about the current build of BrailleBlaster you are using. This is useful for reporting bugs.

Check for Updates

Checks for new versions of BrailleBlaster.

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 technical support staff to assist them in troubleshooting.

Reset BB

If BrailleBlaster worked fine yesterday and after updating it does not open any documents, the likely cause is a conflict in updating the program. To resolve this issue, use this feature.

Caution: This feature deletes all user data, which includes changes to the translation, page settings, and font size. It is not recommended that you use this feature unless instructed to do so by an APH employee.

Working with Alphabetic References

There are many tools in BrailleBlaster to help you create braille alphabetic references, such as glossaries and indexes. While each tool is covered at various points of this document, this section shows how they all work together.

Selecting the Entire Glossary or Index

A lot of Alphabetic Reference tools work best if you select the entire alphabetic reference.

  1. Find the alphabetic reference in the Print view, and put your cursor on the print page indicator that precedes it. That should open the entire alphabetic reference in the Style view.
  2. Find a Glossary tag (i.e. G1-3, G3-5, etc.) in the Style view. Place the cursor inside of an element with the Glossary tag.
  3. With Breadcrumbs, Select "Container List" which comes before the Glossary style in the Breadcrumbs view. This selects the entire alphabetic reference.

Adding Guide Words

You may not immediately see guide words in your document, even when a glossary is correctly marked by the publisher.

  1. Check your settings under Page Numbers to see if Guide Words is set to Yes or No. If set to Yes, any properly marked glossary automatically has guide words added. If set to No, guide words do not appear and some guide word tools do not work properly. Be sure to change the setting to "Yes."

Settings dialog showing the Page Numbers tab selected and Guide Words set to Yes highlighted with a red box

  1. Check the style options of your glossary. To do this, select the entire glossary (see Selecting the Entire Glossary or Index. In the menu go to Styles > Options > Guide Words > Yes. This ensures that each glossary item is set to have guide words included.

If you need guide words to appear in one alphabetic reference but not another, you can set Guide Words to No for a particular section, even if the publisher has marked both sections to have guide words by default.

Styles menu showing location of Options, with sub menu showing Guide Words with Yes and No options when this item is selected

Finally, if you still do not have guide words, it means that this particular glossary was not coded as a glossary in the source file. However, you can still identify guide words manually. To do this:

  1. Select the entire glossary
  2. Go to Tools > Alphabetic References > Identify Guide Words

Note: You may need to edit the added guide words. (See Editing Guide Words)

Note: Indexes do not have guide words by default. If guide words are needed, see Identify Guide Words.

Editing Guide Words

Once Guide Words have been added, right-clicking on the word in the list calls up a dialog box that allows you to edit that guide word. Right-click on the word in the list, not the guide word at the bottom of the braille page.

Edit Guide Word dialog showing the word "vague" entered in textbox

Glossaries With Pronunciation

BANA recommends special rules for glossaries with pronunciations in Braille Formats, 2016. The tools in BrailleBlaster accommodate these rules.

ADD UNCONTRACTED

This tool adds the uncontracted form to glossaries that have pronunciation that require the uncontracted form. It works as a toggle so it can also remove the uncontracted terms if you have added them and later decided that they are not needed. It is found under Tools > Alphabetic Reference > Add/Remove Uncontracted Glossary Items. To best use this tool, make sure to select the entire glossary. More information about selecting the entire glossary can be found in Selecting the Entire Glossary or Index.

Tools menu showing location of Add/Remove Uncontracted Glossary Terms under Alphabetic Reference

REPLACE IMAGE WITH TEXT

Occasionally publishers use images for complex diacritics. The Image Describer replaces these images with text.

  1. Find the image in the Style view by putting put your cursor on the word or pronunciation with missing text in the Print view.
  2. Look in the Style view for the image tags which are represented as asterisks (*) next to the style name.
  3. Go to Tools > Image Describer.
  4. Type the text that should replace the image, making sure to apply any changes to the translation or emphasis that is necessary.
  5. Click Apply to this for that one instance or Apply to all X instances for all instances of that image.

References

  • Simpson, C. (Ed.). (2013). The rules of unified english braille (2nd ed.). International Council on English Braille. Retrieved from http://www.iceb.org/ueb.html.

Appendix A: 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
ALT + END Open Book Tree
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 + H Hide the selected elements
CTRL + F Open the find/replace pane
F3 Repeat the last search
ENTER Split Element
SHIFT + ENTER Insert Line Break
CTRL + ENTER Insert Page Break
F7 Spell check
F5 Refresh translation
CTRL + + Increase font size 1 point
CTRL + - Decrease font size 1 point
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
F6 Six-Key Input
CTRL + F2 Wrap Text
NAVIGATION
ALT + P Toggle Print View
CTRL + G Open the page selection dialog
CTRL + HOME Go to the first page of the current document
CTRL + END Go to the last page of the current document
TAB Set Cell Position
TYPEFORMS
CTRL + B Bold
CTRL + I Italic
CTRL + U Underline
ALT + SHIFT + S Script
ALT + SHIFT + 1 Transcriber-Defined Typeform 1
ALT + SHIFT + 2 Transcriber-Defined Typeform 2
ALT + SHIFT + 3 Transcriber-Defined Typeform 3
ALT + SHIFT + 4 Transcriber-Defined Typeform 4
ALT + SHIFT + 5 Transcriber-Defined Typeform 5
CTRL + SHIFT + R Remove Emphasis from Selection
SHIFT + F10 Open sub-menu
LOADOUTS
CTRL + SHIFT + M Set Miscellaneous style loadout
CTRL + SHIFT + B Set Basic style loadout
CTRL + SHIFT + C Set Caption style loadout
CTRL + SHIFT + H Set Heading style loadout
CTRL + SHIFT + L Set Lists style loadout
CTRL + SHIFT + P Set Poetry style loadout
CTRL + SHIFT + A Set Plays style loadout
CTRL + SHIFT + G Set Glossary style loadout
CTRL + SHIFT + E Set Exercise Material style loadout
CTRL + SHIFT + I Set Index style loadout
CTRL + SHIFT + U Set Numeric style loadout
CTRL + SHIFT + N Set Notes style loadout
ALT + NUMBER 1-8 Apply the style corresponding to that index number in the list of styles of the current loadout
MISCELLANEOUS
F1 Open Braille Blaster User Guide
CTRL + M Open Math Tools

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