Most people understand the basics about braille: that it provides a reading medium for blind people, using cells"made up of raised dots in various patterns instead of the characters used in regular print. But many people do not realise that the cells-for-characters substitutions are not, typically, on a one-for-one basis. The process is especially complicated in languages such as English and French where grade 2 braille is used, involving contractions that are based in part upon pronunciation. Formatting of braille pages also involves issues beyond those affecting print. DBT provides translation and formatting facilities to automate the process of conversion from regular print to braille (and vice versa), and also provides word-processing facilities for working directly in the braille as well as the print. Fonts are used for displaying the braille.
Who uses software for braille?
DBT software is designed for two types of user - those who don't know braille and those who do. Even if all the braille you know was learned from the previous paragraph, the Duxbury Braille Translator (DBT) will allow you to create highly accurate braille for school books and teaching materials, office memos, bus schedules, personal letters, signs and more. Where you need to be sure of perfection, we would certainly recommend that you also make use of proofreading (just as you would proofread print books) by a knowledgeable braillist - who may be using DBT as well. That is because DBT is just as important to professional transcribers, for swift conversion to braille from a wide variety of print sources.
Notable features of DBT
DBT is simple to use--beginners learn in just minutes. Yet its depth, power and accuracy are such that it is used by most of the major braille production centers throughout the world. The current version provides the following features:
- Built-in interline printing (see sample in images) to have ink-braille and print together. This makes an easy proofing and teaching tool.
- Math/Science Code and Computer Braille translation for American, UEB, British, and French braille.
- Intermediate levels (between grade 1 and 2) for American and British braille,
- The ability to include tactile graphics files for mixed text-and-graphic documents,
- Duxbury DBT can import files from the GOODFEEL Music Translation program from Dancing Dots.
- The current translation table menu includes over 130 different languages plus variations, including contracted braille for most jurisdictions where contracted braille is customarily used.
- Duxbury DBT 11.3 SR1 fully supports UEB (Unified English Braille) for the United Kingdom.
- Duxbury DBT can import Microsoft Word 2007/2010/2013 files, as well as Open Office files.
- DBT allows languages other than the principal language to be embedded in the same file and treated as appropriate for the context. (Contact us if you have questions about a specific language.) Now braille for foreign-language texts and language teaching texts is a snap.
- Bidirectional (print-to-braille and braille-to-print) translation for most languages.
- British braille layout according to the Braille Authority of the United Kingdom (BAUK) customs.
- Accurate presentation of both print or braille in either WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) or coded (how-you-get-what-you-want) views in the word-processing screen, with easy switching between views,
- A "translated line" showing the "other" form in either print or braille files,
- Six-key chording for braille and print entry, not timing-based, compatible with most keyboards,
- Help screens throughout the program,
- Over 100 formatting and translation codes for a high level of flexibility.
- A library of user-configurable styles.
- A user-extendable template library for even more flexibility.
- A spell-checker with 300,000 word dictionary.
- A "Quick Find Misspelling" feature for increased speed and ease of use.
- Embossing to all major braille printers; the first page may be a "banner" for job identification by personnel who don't read braille.
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