Download BrailleBlaster

Sample Nimas File

Nimas Help

Do you need help understanding how the NIMAC works, or getting in touch with NIMAS-related contacts in your state? Please contact the NIMAC for help!

Phone: 877-526-4622

Email: nimac@aph.org

Stable

Version 1.1.7, February 26, 2018

Features

Decimals and fractions in number lines

The Number Line Editor is still in beta but we have now added decimals and fractions. We're working on some translation issues and minor bugs, but the feature is available for the curious. You can find these options under Math in the UEB Number Line Editor. There are three radio buttons: standard number lines, fractions, and decimals. We're also working on Nemeth support.

Centered title pages

Title pages can now be centered in the T-Page Generator. You can find this option by opening Settings in the T-Page Generator's menu. It automatically centers all t1 title pages.

Delete tables

Tables can now be deleted directly in the Table Editor. Previously, you would have to reformat the table and then delete the plain text. Now, you can delete the entire table by selecting Actions and then Delete Table. Currently, there is no warning before the table is deleted, but a warning will be added in the next build.

Open BRL files

BrailleBlaster can now open BRL files. BRL files are typically "dirty" braille that is created by a braille note taker or a program such as Send-to-Braille. These files are basically TXT (text) files, but they contain ASCII braille instead of normal text. When opened in BrailleBlaster, the entire BRL file is direct translated in order to retain the ASCII braille translation. They can then be edited like any other BBX file.

Fixes

  • The List tag is no longer available in the list category of styles. This style is automatically applied whenever a list style is used, so there is no reason for it to remain in the user interface.
  • Page breaks were previously causing top box lines to not remain with the text that followed them. This error has been fixed.
  • Work has been done to help make multiple page number edits to the same braille page number easier and more reliable. You should now be able to change the text for the same braille page number without issue.
  • Fixed a couple bugs where the Six-Key dialog would insert page breaks where they weren't needed.
  • Fixed a bug that could occur if a volume was added to the beginning of a document instead of at the end of the volume as is intended. A warning is now also generated.
  • Fixed a bug where number lines that had been pasted lost the ability to be edited by the Number Line Editor.
  • Added page types to the Embosser Setup dialog to make adding an embosser easier.
  • Fixed a bug with the Line Number Editor where the text boxes would shrink when the dialog was opened on an already inserted number line.
  • Fixed a bug where deleting a number line and then inserting a new number line would cause the second number line to insert at the wrong location.
  • Fixed an issue where NVDA would not read the "Number of copies" field correctly in the Add Embosser dialog.
  • Fixed an issue where the Embosser dialog was validating in the background when small changes were made so that screen reader users heard unnecessary warning messages.
  • Fixed a user-reported exception that could occur when adding an embosser profile.

Version 1.1.6, February 6, 2018

Features

Different intervals in number lines

The Number Line Editor now allows intervals other than 1 between the numbers on the line. We're working on allowing decimals and fractions, but those changes have not yet been completed. To find the feature, open the UEB Number Line Editor under Math; the text box is labeled Interval. There are two options: whole number and decimal. Note: Decimal intervals are still being tested.

Fixes

  • Fixed an issue with t-pages where it was possible for the last line to run over to a second page when there was still room for it on the first page.
  • Fixed an issue involving note separation lines where a blank line could appear in the wrong location.
  • Fixed an issue with Ctrl+Arrow movement where it would move to the wrong location when used with Go To Page.
  • Fixed an issue with Ctrl+Arrow movement where it would move to the wrong location when the cursor was inside emphasis at the beginning or end of an element.
  • Fixed an issue with 6-key entry where it would insert in the wrong location when inserted at the end of an element.
  • Fixed an issue with 6-key entry where it would insert in the wrong location when inserted inside emphasized text.
  • Fixed an issue with 6-key entry where it would insert the text at the beginning of a new line unnecessarily.
  • Fixed an issue where the braille preview could fail after editing braille page numbers.
  • Fixed an issue where the Page Number Editor would not acknowledge page changes until it was closed and reopened.
  • Fixed an issue where the cursor would skip elements when a new section was loaded.

Version 1.1.5, January 9, 2018

Features

  • New Embosser Profiles

BrailleBlaster now uses embosser profiles to better support the various models of embossers available. At least one embosser profile is required. Users may select "Embosser Settings" from the "Settings" menu to add, edit, or remove an embosser profile. The first time one selects "File/Emboss," an embosser profile dialog appears. Once done that becomes the default embosser until additional profiles are added. Users also may select a different profile as the default profile. We have not tested this on every embosser make and model so anyone who can provide us with feedback regarding what embosser they use and how BrailleBlaster works with it, or doesn't, would be greatly appreciated.

  • UEB Number Line Editor*

In our continued quest to make translating math easier, we have added a UEB Number Line Editor to BrailleBlaster. It's a very specialized tool. It makes number lines and segments in UEB. These can be difficult to make manually in braille though so we hope that the tool will prove useful. You can find it by going to Math > Number Line. The number lines that it makes are read-only and must be edited from within the dialog. To edit a number line that has been added, simply ensure that your cursor is on or in the number line and then open the UEB Number Line Editor. You can also delete an added number line from within the Editor. Additionally, number lines have a unique style that ensures they appear in the correct cell and with the right automatic blank lines. Please try it out and let us know what you think! We have more changes planned like allowing decimals and fractions and allowing the increments between numbers to be set by the user.

Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where Ctrl+Up and Down Arrow would not move on to the next section if there was a table across the section boundary.
  • Fixed an issue with the Page Number Dialog where some changes were not possible.
  • Fixed a user-reported exception with Line Numbered Prose.
  • Fixed a translation issue with math where the character ` could not be translated as math.
  • Fixed an issue with the Page Number Dialog where Go To page did not work with certain braille page changes.

Version 1.1.4, December 21, 2017

Features

32-bit Error Resolved

The JAVA 32-bit error is fixed in this release. This is not really a feature but it is an important enough fix that we needed to share it at the top. We're very sorry about the difficulty that those with 32-bit Windows have been having using BrailleBlaster. The error was caused by a recent LibLouis merge. We have had to take that merge out of this release which cost us a couple of minor translation fixes but we hope to have LibLouis back up to date by the next release.

Math Toolbar

Math now has a toolbar! It is not enabled by default. To enable it, go to Window > Toolbar > Math. It contains a button for Math Translation Toggle (which also now has the hotkey ctrl+M), Numeric Series, the ASCII Math Hub, and Math Help. This should make it easier to do tasks requiring math in the future.

Math Table Tools

Math can be added to tables and to make that process easier, we have added a tool that adds the math aspect to all text in all cells. To access this feature, in the Table Editor, go to Tools > Add Math Translation to All or use the hotkey ctrl+alt+M. Note that this will add the math translation aspect to ALL text in ALL cells and remember that it might be faster to use this feature and then manually remove any instances that don't require this translation aspect. You can also use the Math Translation Toggle (ctrl+M) inside the Table Editor to toggle math translation on and off.

Beveled Fractions Examples

As promised, examples for beveled fractions have been added to the ASCII Math Editor.

Fixes

  • Six-key Fixed several issues with six-key entry. The Six-Key Dialog now uses the current document's Cells Per Line and the text will appear as the user intended it within their document. Should make things much easier for those that prefer six-key entry. Also fixed a crash that could occur when a blank line was added to the first line of the Six-Key Dialog.
  • Image Describer Very similar changes to what was done with six-key entry. The Image Describer's font size was increased and the text will now appear as the user intended with their document.
  • Fixed an issue where Direct Translation of accented letters would cause them to appear as unknown Unicode characters. This was reported by a user. Now the accented letters will ignore the Direct Translation aspect.
  • Fixed an issue that caused page numbers and other read-only elements to not appear correctly when the size of the font was increased.
  • Print page numbers made inside of an element will now split the element. Previously, the print page numbers would remain a part of the element (though they would appear separate from the element), which led to strange behavior if the element they were a part of was edited or removed.
  • Fixed an issue where line breaks inside of certain elements could not be deleted.
  • Fixed an issue that we discovered because of user-reported exceptions (thanks so much for sharing those with us!). The issue was BB allowing illegal XML characters to be pasted inside BB, leading to exceptions and crashes. Those illegal XML characters will now be ignored when pasted inside BB.
  • Added the new contraction for "unresaid".
  • Fixed some issues with Go To Page inside the Braille Preview.
  • Fixed an issue where Cell-5 and Cell-7 Headings added by the TOC Builder could be split between pages.
  • Fixed an issue where Recent Save files could get corrupted.
  • Fixed an issue where BB would attempt to open any ZIP file, regardless of whether the contents of the ZIP were supported. BB will now inform the user that the file type is not supported. It will still open supported ZIP files appropriately.
  • Fixed an issue where the Page Change List inside the Page Number Dialog would not update until the user closed the dialog.
  • Fixed an issue where closing the last document tab could cause an exception.
  • Fixed an issue where Print Page Indicators without page numbers could disappear when a volume was inserted nearby.

Version 1.1.3, December 5, 2017

Features

Ctrl+Up Arrow and Ctrl+Down Arrow move from element to element

This was a request from a user and should improve the overall accessibility of BrailleBlaster. Without this kind of movement, it can be difficulty for a user that is blind to know when they have left one element and entered another. This kind of movement will give users another tool to help them realize the layout of their document. Ctrl+Up Arrow moves to the previous element and Ctrl+Down Arrow moves to the next element.

Six-Key Input and Image Describer

Work is continuing on these dialogs but preliminary work has been completed. Currently the space character that is used is the same size as a braille character, that way when spaces are used braille characters will line up properly within the dialog. Additionally, what is inserted is now much closer to how the braille appeared within the dialog. There is still a bug with blank spaces at the beginning of the line but that will be fixed in the next update.

Math Tables

This feature is still in beta, especially since math as a whole is still largely in beta. However, math can now be added to tables. Currently, you would need to know what ASCII math to add to the table as the ASCII Math Editor does not work with the Table Editor or you could use the ASCII Math Editor and then use the option to Convert Text to Table.

Beveled fractions now available in ASCII Math

Since Nemeth makes a distinction between beveled (diagonal) fractions and horizontal fractions, ASCII Math needed to as well. That is why we have added the option to ASCII Math. To make a beveled fraction, you type bfrac and then the numbers with a space where the slash would go. Examples are going to be added to the ASCII Math Editor as well in the next release. Please let us know about any ASCII Math or general math additions you would like to see in future updates. We are continuing to work on the user interface for math and on translation issues.

Ctrl+M now translates math instead of opening ASCII Math Editor

Ctrl+M will now translate the selected text as math instead of opening the ASCII Math Editor. It will also remove the math translation.

Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where the page numbers on the first page could not be edited.
  • Fixed an issue where letters in page number did not properly appear in print view.
  • Fixed issues that arose when manually creating line numbered poetry.
  • Fixed a translation issue where one mixed fraction causes all fractions in equation to translate as mixed regardless of content.
  • Fixed an issue where ctrl+home and ctrl+end did not work in style or braille views.
  • Fixed an issue where letters in page numbers could cause BRF to not save and for Braille Preview to be unavailable.
  • Fixed an issue where the parallel symbol was not properly translating.
  • Fixed an issue where Page Up and Page Down would not load the next section.
  • Fixed an issue with embossing when document contained tab characters.
  • Fixed an issue that occurred when inserting a table immediately after another table.
  • Fixed the translation of several abbreviations that require the grade 1 indicator.
  • Fixed an issue where wrong information was being added when dispersing a TOC.
  • Fixed an issue where the program would fail to start if reset while the user was accessing files in user directory for program.
  • Fixed issue with cut and copy of math nodes.
  • Fixed issue where line-lettered or line-numbered poetry would automatically skip the first line of document whether it needed to or not.
  • Fixed an issue where the poetry style name was being removed from the style panel when line letters or numbers were added.
  • Fixed an issue where the Find and Replace button was not working.
  • Fixed an issue with Identify Guide Words where it would put a space after the term and before the comma that followed the term.
  • Fixed the order of the buttons on Braille Preview.
  • Fixed an issue where errors wouldn't be dismissed with the OK button if the user had opted not to send error reports to APH.
  • Fixed an issue where blank lines would be removed when cut and paste.
  • Fixed an issue where BrailleBlaster could make autosaves that were in a failure state so that the program crashed upon opening them.
  • Fixed Go To Page not working in the Page Change List of the Page Number Dialog.
  • Fixed an issue where the program could become unresponsive if the user chose the option to Print to PDF or Print to File.

Version 1.1.2-stable, November 14, 2017

Features

Line Lettered Poetry

Began work on Line Lettered Poetry. There is still more to do with this feature but what we have works well. There can be issues adding letters out of order, like if you add a letter to line 1 and line 3 and then add a letter to line 2 but we are working on fixing that issue.

Copy and Paste Math

Math can now be copied and pasted. This refers to the math that has been translated as math, a menu option that can be accessed by going to Math > Translate as Math. This option can also be found in the context menu. If you have translated something as math, that text can now be copied and pasted. Normal text, of course, could always be copied and pasted but with math we had to temporarily disable it. Now it is working again.

Documentation included with BrailleBlaster will be updated more regularly

When a new version of BB is uploaded, the documentation will also be updated. We have streamlined the process for updating the documentation to ensure that the latest version of BrailleBlaster always has the latest version of the documentation available at the time that version of BB is created. Documentation is always available offline to help accommodate transcribers in prison braille programs and rural areas that may not have internet access.

Fixes

  • Fixed an embossing issue where the braille margins for the first line of the page were not being used.
  • Fixed an issue where tables could get unnecessary blank line when placed inside a box and then the box had a page break before it.
  • Fixed a translation issue with the word "Bethesda". It was not using the "be" contraction and it should be.
  • Fixed an issue where if t-pages were added to the document first and then text was added, that text could be treated as part of the t-pages. To the point that if the user reopened the T-Page Generator, it would delete all of the text that they had added. Very scary. Now not a problem.
  • Fixed an issue with the website where the Report Issues form was throwing an error when submitted. The irony was not lost on us.
  • Fixed an issue where putting a box on any table other than a simple table would throw an exception.
  • Fixed an issue where using the Enter key on the numpad would not give the same result as using the Enter key on the main part of the keyboard when filling out the text boxes in the T-Page Generator.
  • Fixed an issue using cut, copy, and paste with nested styles.
  • More updates to Spanish braille's translation tables.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when clicking on the style pane in a new document.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when applying the Poetic Stanza tag to specific kinds of poetry leveling.
  • Fixed an issue with numbers translated as Nemeth not always getting the correct number sign.
  • Fixed an issue with the print page indicator adding an extra blank line in specific situations.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when pasting info at the top of the braille page after adding a page break.
  • Fixed an issue where clicking OK in the Page Number Editor would not work most of the time.
  • Fixed an issue where a second uncontracted term could be added if the emphasis was changed on the glossary term.
  • Fixed issues that could occur when adding uncontracted glossary terms to a new file.
  • Fixed an issue with the Image Describer not respecting newline characters in the braille view. Also, the Image Describer will no longer default to the caption style.
    h2. Version 1.1.1-stable, October 20, 2017

We have gotten so much feedback since releasing BrailleBlaster and we appreciate all of it! Thank you so much for downloading BrailleBlaster, using it, and letting us know what issues you've faced. It has been very helpful in making this product what it needs to be to get more braille into the hands of people that need it. Because of all of the feedback, we are releasing a small but critical update to fix some of the most pressing issues. Here are the fixes:

Fixes

  • Having the margins set in Page Properties being used by default was causing problems for a lot of people and so that option is now not checked by default.
  • Had an issue with autosaving using the same methods as normal save, thereby a user could Save for the first time and not go through Save As. This error would then cause them to save over the original file and keep it in the original format.
  • Had an issue where BRFs were not using the proper line endings and so would not appear correctly when opened by other programs.
  • Had an issue where the style panel wasn't scrolling with the other views and this issue could also lead to a potential crash of the program.
  • Had an issue where line breaks were not being treated as spaces and so the characters after the line break would translate as though they were still connected to the characters before the line break.
  • Had another issue with line breaks where putting one inside a word with contractions could cause an error.
  • Fixed the infamous "dish" and "disc" translation errors.

Version 1.1.0-stable, October 11, 2017

Features

New BrailleBlaster mailing list

Since BrailleBlaster is officially released we have created a new mailing list to discuss it. Our plan is to keep both a stable and a beta branch with releases occurring more frequently on the beta branch. After the initial release, the beta branch will be temporarily disabled as everyone will have the same version but a beta release will come out soon and will be optional. Find our mailing list info here.

Braille Zephyr

While not directly related to BrailleBlaster, Braille Zephyr is a free program that edits BRFs and creates them. It has no styles or automatic formatting. It is meant for six-keying braille manually and, as it has no automation, it is approved for use with getting your NLS Certification. Download BrailleZephyr here.

Page Number Dialog

The Page Number Dialog is now separated into multiple tabs and has some new features. Previously the Page Number Dialog was just a single tab with all of the tools in that one tab. For ease of use, the functions of the dialog (from print page number editing to more precise edits like combining print page numbers to deleting indicators) are all separated into multiple tabs. This makes it easier to make changes and for the software to understand what changes are being made. Additionally there is a new tab which tracks your changes and allows you to quickly "Go To" them. This tab is called Page Change List.

Title Page Styles

You can now apply styles to your title page. The default style is 1-3 but you can apply any other numeric style to text on the title page in the T-Page Generator. Styles are found under the menu item Margins and are arranged around their first indent.

Fixes

  • Translation issues Fixed mixed fractions being incorrectly identified. Fixed the mathematical "therefore" symbol returning as an unknown character. Fixed the inverted exclamation mark. Fixed the translation of the word "dish" using the "dis" contraction- it does not. Added several Unicode arrows to the translation tables for UEB.
  • Fixed bugs related to Page Number Dialog changes.
  • Fixed major translation issues with Nemeth.
  • Updated Correct Braille Translation dialog to make it clear that it would not work with math. We're still working on getting it to work with math.
  • Fixed an issue with splitting a direct translated or uncontracted element.
  • Fixed an issue with replacing text with a non-breaking space.
  • Fixed an issue where Transcriber's Notes returned as unknown characters when translated as math.
  • Fixed an issue where Add Uncontracted Glossary Terms did not first check to ensure a word had an uncontracted form (such as a word that already had no contractions).
  • Fixed an issue where TOC Builder and Line Number Tools would throw an exception if used in a new document or when BB was closed.
  • Fixed a specific issue with certain books where the TN emphasis could have errors.
  • Fixed a regression that caused text added to certain location could cause a crash.
  • Fixed an issue where two tools used the same hotkey. Edit Line Numbers now uses Ctrl+Shift+F2.
  • Fixed an issue where splitting a book could fail if the user didn't have permission to write to a certain directory.
  • Fixed an issue with deleting guide dots added by the TOC Builder.
  • Fixed an issue where the margins used for embossing were appearing in the Braille Preview.
  • Fixed an issue where using interpoint could affect normal page numbering.
  • Fixed an issue where spaces were being counted when centering a heading.
  • Fixed an issue that occurred when checking for updates.
  • Fixed an issue where saving a single volume BRF with the same name as an already existing BRF offered no warning.
  • Fixed an exception that occurred when deleting empty print page indicators at the top of a file.
  • Fixed an issue where information in the About dialog was editable.
  • Fixed an issue with adding rules to a symbol in the Special Symbols Finder.
  • Changed an exception warning to a normal warning when the user tries to Regenerate their TOC without having volumes inserted.
  • Limited the number of open tabs. Was infinite, is now ten.
  • Fixed an issue where the style panel's cursor position was not being used when returning to the print view (it would return you to the previous cursor position in that view).
  • Fixed an issue when editing text inside a container such as a list.
  • Fixed a formatting issue with the top box line getting a blank line after when it shouldn't.
  • Fixed an issue with more than one line break at a single cursor position throwing an error. It still will only allow you to add a single line break to any particular cursor position but the error is no longer thrown.
  • Fixed an issue with using the Book Tree for navigation in a split file.
  • Fixed an issue with the Braille Preview where ordinal pages were off by 1.
  • Fixed an issue where the Braille Preview would no longer function and saving a BRF was impossible.
  • Fixed an issue with adding uncontracted glossary terms to a new file with identified guide words.
  • Fixed an issue where tab characters copied and pasted from other sources would be lost.
  • Fixed an issue where text vanished when splitting an element with enter.
  • Fixed an issue where adding a line break to the end of the first line of a document threw an error.
  • Fixed an issue with adding a line break to a series of underscores.
  • Fixed an issue where Set Cell Position disabled TN Emphasis.
  • Fixed an issue where if BB was closed or minimized before it finished opening, it would crash.
  • Fixed an issue where deleting a TOC entry could cause an error.
  • Fixed BrailleBlaster so that focus will always be in the print view when it is first opened.
  • Fixed an issue where lists were not being reliably pasted.
  • Fixed an issue where implied page numbers were not appearing correctly.
  • Fixed an issue where moving between text elements required two arrow presses instead of one.
  • Fixed an issue where selection was disappearing.
  • Fixed an issue with Find and Replace jumbling text when that text was inside a container like a List.
  • Fixed an issue where closing a document with highlighted text could cause an exception.