Since 1975, Duxbury Systems has produced the world’s leading software for producing braille, the Duxbury Braille Translator.

  • Duxbury DBT Win 12.3 supports over 140 different languages
  • Duxbury DBT imports (opens) Microsoft Word documents, translates into braille and sends the braille to your braille embosser or braille device
  • Duxbury DBT can read Word 2007/2010/2013/2016 documents, Open Office documents, Excel files, and many other modern file formats.
  • Duxbury DBT Win 12.3 fully supports UEB (Unified English Braille) for the United States.
  • Duxbury DBT supports all commercial embossers, from very old models to quite recent models.
  • Duxbury DBT can produce mathematics and science text in braille.

Presenting Duxbury DBT

Sample output from Duxbury

Whether you are blind or sighted, our software comes up as a standard modern application, fully accessible AND fully in tune with the latest advances in operating systems and sister applications.

What does software for braille do?

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 realize 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.

Who uses software for braille?

Our software is designed for two types–those who don’t know braille and those who do. Even if all the braille you know comes from reading the previous paragraph, the Duxbury Braille Translator (DBT) allows you to create highly accurate braille for school books, teaching materials, office memos, bus schedules, personal letters, signs compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 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.

Interline Printing

Sample Output from Duxbury with inline print

Notable Features of DBT

DBT is simple to use–beginners learn it quickly. 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:

Choices for File Import in DBT:

  • Duxbury DBT can import Microsoft Word 2007/2010/2013/2016 files and Open Office files.
  • Duxbury DBT can import html files or textfiles (and many other file types).
  • Duxbury DBT can import files from the GOODFEEL Music Translation program from Dancing Dots.
  • Duxbury DBT can import many types of braille files.
  • Files prepared prior to English UEB can be converted into UEB braille.

DBT User Interface Features:

  • 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 software for braille and print entry, compatible with many keyboards.
  • Help screens throughout the program whenever you press the F1 key.
  • Over 100 formatting & 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 a 300,000-word dictionary and a “Quick Find Misspelling” feature for increased speed and ease of use.

DBT Braille Choices:

  • Math/Science translation for UEB, Nemeth in UEB, Nemeth, and French Braille.
  • Intermediate levels (between grade 1 and 2) for American and British braille
  • Duxbury DBT can include tactile graphics files to produce mixed text-and-graphics documents.
  • The current translation table menu includes over 140 different languages plus variations, including contracted braille for almost all of the places where contracted braille is customarily used.
  • 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.
  • Duxbury DBT can be used to prepare textbooks to teach foreign languages.
  • Advanced language students use specialized features of DBT, such as support for IPA notation, and support for ancient languages to enhance their language studies.
  • American textbook layout according to Braille Authority of North America (BANA) standards

DBT Output Choices:

  • Built-in interline printing (see sample above) to have ink-braille and print together. This makes an easy proofing and teaching tool. Great for the braille-impaired too!
  • Emboss to all commericially available braille printers
  • The first page of an embossing job may be a “banner” page for job identification by personnel who don’t read braille.