Blind, Braille and Embossing Technologies

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How to print in braille

You find yourself in need of printing a braille text and do not know how to do it. You are a teacher, you have opened Google and are looking for a solution that will give you a quality result quickly.

Stop for a moment, you have arrived, your search has been fruitful.

To print braille you need two tools, one software and one hardware:

- Biblos: the software, a word processor with the ability to print braille

- Braille printer: a special peripheral that punches braille characters onto paper

The cost of a braille printer is high, but follow me and perhaps we will solve the problem together, very elegantly.

Braille printers allow any text to be printed in braille code. Although the operation is similar to that of a regular ink printer, thanks to Biblos, which makes the steps to print braille similar, these devices use special punches driven by solenoids that imprint braille dots on paper.

Braille printers can also be used to produce shapes and graphics, which can be used directly or serve as the basis for creating other educational materials.

The various models of braille printers on the market differ mainly in printing speed and in the ability to print in graphics mode, in which the distance of the raised dots is less than in braille. There are peripherals that allow printing on single sheets or on continuous forms.

To print, a braille printer receives characters already encoded by Biblos. The software's job is to easily and transparently transcribe common text into braille characters useful to the printer.

Specifically, what Biblos does is to convert the text and typographic elements of a normal electronic document by applying certain transformation rules. It takes care, for example, of inserting the symbol needed to indicate capital letters (the so-called case marker) and the symbol needed to mark numbers (the number marker). Biblos additionally considers and encodes all the typographical elements of a document, for example, common bold and italic styles, or structural elements such as headings, notes, tables, bulleted and numbered lists, etc..

The format of braille lines and pages is independent of that of the source text and is automatically produced by Biblos, in accordance with the characteristics of the braille printer used. For example, between an A4 page of an ink text and braille printing there is no 1-to-1 correspondence, since about three braille pages are required for each page.

To obtain a braille document therefore, a printer suitable for the purpose is essential. The costs of these peripherals are not exactly affordable for everyone. However, one can use Biblos to prepare one's own documents for braille printing, and outsource the actual printing of the documents to a third party. Biblos today is used extensively throughout Italy, by individuals, associations and print shops. It is absolutely free software. If you have the need to print braille and do not have a printer, you can ask for the availability of someone in your area who can offer this service.