Braille Formats
Principles of Print to Braille Transcription
1997


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  • Rule 8

    Tables

    1. General provisions. For the purposes of this Code rule, a table is considered to be any systematic arrangement of items for reference within vertical columns and horizontal rows, where information that is given in the row headings (usually the first column) is necessary for an understanding of material in each of the other columns. The provisions of this rule are not applicable when columned materials that do not fit the description given above are labeled or otherwise identified in the print text as tables.

      Specific formats for transcribing certain kinds of tables are provided in other Code rules, as follows.

      Conjugation and declension tables, Rule 15, Section 2a
      Tables of contents, Rule 2, Section 7
      Tables of pronunciation, Rule 18, Section 1d

      1. Whenever the continuity of narrative text is interrupted by a full print page or more of tabular material that is to be included at the same location in the braille edition, see Rule 1, Section 7a(4) for transcriber's notes that are required to indicate text interruption and continuation.

      2. If a table is immediately preceded and/or followed by narrative text on the same braille page, a blank line must precede and follow the table except when it is shown in a box or is set off by horizontal print lines.

    2. Placement of tables

      1. Tables requiring one braille page or less

          (1) Allowing for a running head, if used, when the body of a table requires one braille page or less it must be placed on a single braille page. The table must not be divided between pages even though this results in considerable blank space being left on the braille page preceding the table.

          (2) If it is necessary to separate a table from the preceding text by starting it on a new braille page, always stop at a suitable point in the text. Do not interrupt a sentence for the insertion of a table. Resume the regular text after completion of the table.

      2. Tables requiring more than one braille page. Whenever possible, lengthy tables should be started on the braille page where the tabular material follows narrative text in normal context. Divide long tables between braille pages at the most appropriate places, taking into consideration clarity for the reader and best use of available space.

      3. Relocated table. When a table must be moved from its location in the print text, a transcriber's note must be inserted at the original position, such as the following.

        Table moved to page ____.

        A second transcriber's note must be inserted before the transcription of the table at its new location, as follows.

        Table moved from page _____.

      4. Table printed across facing pages. A table that is printed across facing pages so that it is read as if it were on a single page must be brailled using the technique provided in Rule 6, Section 3f for boxed material printed across facing pages.

    3. Table lines. When a table is shown in a box or is set off by horizontal lines in the print text, these print lines must be represented by a series of unspaced braille symbols, as follows.

      dots 2-3-5-6 top table line
      dots 1-2-4-5 bottom table line
      dots 2-5 horizontal line within table
      dots 4-5-6 vertical line within table

      EXCEPTION: When a table that is shown in a box or set off by horizontal lines is printed inside a larger box with other material, substitute lines of the full braille cell (123456) for the top and/or bottom table lines.

      1. If table lines are not shown in print do not insert them in braille.

      2. Top and bottom table lines

          (1) When a table occupies an entire print page, top and bottom table lines are not required.

          (2) Table lines should extend across the full width of the braille page except when placed as provided in (3) below.

          (3) If no running head is used, the top table line may be placed on the first braille line with three blank cells left before the print page number. Any horizontal line within a table, as well as the bottom table line, may be placed on the last braille line with three blank cells left before the braille page number.

          (4) No blank line is required preceding a top table line or following a bottom table line. EXCEPTION: In tables transcribed according to Section 4b below, nothing may be placed between the bottom table line and the table title or table label that is centered on the last braille line.

      3. Blank lines in a table. As a general rule, follow print copy when blank lines are used to show groupings of certain rows or to set off rows of column totals.

      4. Horizontal lines in a table. Horizontal lines shown in a table usually should be omitted in braille. When these lines are considered necessary use the line symbol provided in the list above. No blank lines must be left between a horizontal line and the material shown preceding or following it. It is often more effective to substitute blank lines for horizontal print lines.

      5. Vertical lines in a table. As a general rule, vertical lines within a table should be omitted in braille. When these lines are considered to be necessary them must be preceded and followed by a blank cell. If horizontal and vertical braille lines of a table intersect, substitute the symbol dots 2456 for dots 25 at the point of intersection.

      6. Diagonal lines in a table. Braille symbols must not be used to reproduce any lines that are printed diagonally in tabular material. If such lines are shown in column headings, see Section 6i below. When diagonal lines are used in a text to indicate excerpts from a large table or fragments of table facsimiles, observe the following. Before the table, place a transcriber's similar to the one shown below. Insert an ellipsis at the margin on the line below the transcription of the incomplete tabular material.

        A braille ellipsis shows where the print text indicates incomplete or omitted tabular material.

    4. Table titles and labels. When a table is identified by a number in addition to a heading, e.g., Table 9.5 Smoking Among Americans by Age and Sex, the number, Table 9.5, should be considered as the table label and the heading that accompanies is the table title. The braille decimal point (46) must be used to represent a period or dot shown in sequentially numbered table labels.

      1. General format for table titles and labels

          (1) If a table is not shown in a box or set off by table lines, a blank line must precede and follow a title or label printed above the table. If both a title and a label are shown, center the table label and title on consecutive braille lines. The label or title may appear on the first line of a braille page with at least three blank cells left before the print page number.

          (2) When a title or label is shown above the top table or box line it must be preceded but not followed by a blank line.

          (3) If a title or label is shown below the top table or box line, no blank line must precede it.

          (4) When a table must be continued on one or more braille pages, repeat the title at the top of each succeeding page, condensed or abbreviated as necessary and followed by (cont.). No blank line is required before or after a repeated table title or label. If both a label and a title are shown in print, omit the title and repeat the label followed by (cont.) on succeeding pages. EXCEPTION: Do not repeat the title or label when a table in stairstep format is continued on succeeding braille pages.

      2. Title or label format for full-page or sequentially numbered tables. Use the format below in transcribing tables that occupy an entire print page and/or sequentially numbered tables in technical works other than those that require music notation.

          (1) When the continuity of narrative text is interrupted by a full print page or more of tabular material that is to be included at the same location in the braille edition, see Rule 1, Section 7a(4) for transcriber's notes that are required to indicate text interruption and continuation.

          (2) On the first page of the table, transcribe the complete table title and/or label in accordance with Sections 4a(1)-(3) above. Additionally, the title or sequentially numbered label must be centered on the last line of the page. When both a label and a title are shown, omit the title and use only the table label. No blank line is required between tabular material and the label on the last line of the braille page.

          (3) When a table must be continued on one or more braille pages, do not repeat the table title or label at the top of these pages. After the first braille page, the table title or label at the bottom of the page may be condensed or abbreviated as necessary, and it must be followed by (cont.).

          (4) No narrative text may be placed between any portion of the table and the centered table title or label on the last line of the page. However reference notes may be placed following each section of a log table as provided in Section 10a(3) below.

          (5) On the last page of a table, nothing may be placed between the end of the table and the centered title or label except source citations and/or reference notes that must be shown following the table.

    5. Table captions. If a caption that gives descriptive or supplementary information is shown with a table title or label, it must be transcribed before the body of the table using the format provided in Rule 17, Section 2.

    6. Table columns and column headings

      1. Two blank cells must be left between the columns of a table. Where space saving is a factor it is permissible to leave just one blank cell between columns that contain only numerals with no reference marks. However, when the column headings consist of words, two blank cells must be left between adjacent columns.

      2. In the braille edition, table column headings must immediately precede their respective columns regardless of the placement shown in print. The headings may be condensed or abbreviated as necessary. A transcriber's note must precede the table to identify abbreviations used in column headings that are not easily identifiable within the context of the surrounding text.

      3. The keying technique provided in Section 9c below also may be used to present long column headings.

      4. Table column headings and their runovers, if any, must be left-adjusted above their respective columns.

      5. Table column separation lines. Whether or not it is shown in print, a horizontal line must be used to separate each column heading from the material below. The separation line must begin with dot 5 at the left margin of each column, followed by an unspaced series of dots 25 extending across the full width of the column.

      6. In a table that shows column headings of different lengths, all column headings must end on the same braille line.

      7. Repeated table column headings. If a table must be continued on one or more braille pages, all column headings and subcolumn headings (with accompanying separation lines) must be repeated at the top of each succeeding page just as the y appear on the first page of the table. A blank line is not required between repeated column headings and the repeated table title and/or a running head. EXCEPTION: In stairstep format, do not repeat column headings placed according to Section 9e(1)(c) below.

      8. Table column headings followed by subcolumn headings

          (1) The main column heading must be left-adjusted over the full width of its following subcolumns.

          (2) On the next braille line, insert a separation line as provided in Section 6e above, starting at the left margin of the first subcolumn and ending at the right margin of the last subcolumn.

          (3) Place the subcolumn headings on the braille line, flush left above their respective columns and spaced as provided in Section 6a above. When the headings are of different lengths, all must end on the same braille line.

          (4) Whether or not it is shown in print, below each subcolumn heading insert a separation line as provided in Section 6e above.

      9. Diagonal lines in column headings. Braille symbols must not be used to reproduce any diagonal lines printed in column headings.

          (1) Alternative headings. If a diagonal line is shown within a column heading to indicate alternative headings, this must be explained in a transcriber's note inserted before the table.

          (2) Inclusive headings. When a diagonal line indicates inclusive row and column headings, observe the following. Material to the left and below the diagonal line must be treated as a column heading to the row headings. Material to the right and above the diagonal line must be treated as an inclusive heading to two or more of the following columns.

    7. Table row headings

      1. Regardless of print placement, in the braille edition, row headings, i.e., a vertical listing of numerals, words, or phrases about which information is given in the other columns, must begin in cell 1. If there are no subheadings, runovers must begin in cell 3.

      2. When there are subheadings, begin in the row headings in cell 1, the subheadings in cell 3, and all runovers in cell 5.

      3. Long row headings. In a table that shows long row headings, items in other columns of the table must begin on the same braille line on which the row headings end. Guide dots may be used after runovers of the row headings as provided in Section 8g below.

          (1) Row headings may be condensed or abbreviated as necessary. A transcriber's note must precede the table to identify abbreviations that are not easily recognizable within the context of the surrounding text. If a key is used as provided in (2) below, include unfamiliar abbreviations and/or condensations in the key listing.

          (2) Additionally, the keying technique given in Section 9c below is applicable in transcribing long row headings.

      4. Repeated row headings. If a wide table is divided vertically into sections, the row headings must be repeated for each section of the table.

      5. Implied row headings. Blank spaces in the first column that are used to indicate repetition of row headings that apply but are not actually shown in print, must not be confused with ordinary blank spaces. When a table must be continued on one or more braille pages, implied row headings should be replaced by the actual headings, condensed or abbreviated as necessary.

    8. Items in the columns of a table

      1. Alignment of items. Items within the columns of a table must be left-adjusted even though the print text shows column items centered or right-adjusted. However, numerals that are aligned by place value in print general should be brailled as shown, i.e., placed to align digits, decimals or commas.

      2. Runovers in columns of a table

          (1) When two or more braille lines are required to present a single item within a column, indent such runovers two cells to the right of the left-hand margin of the column. Parallel items in each of the columns that follow the row headings must begin on the same braille line even though items in some columns require additional lines.

          (2) Usually numbers should not be divided between braille lines. However, when it is necessary, a number requiring more than seven cells (including commas and decimal points) may be divided after a comma or before a decimal point.

          (3) If saving space is necessary in order to present a table across the width of the braille line or on a single braille page, each entry may be left-adjusted in the column to which it belongs and top-justified in the row to which it applies. In this format, left-adjust all runovers within the column and insert a blank line to separate successive table rows.

      3. Print signs and abbreviations

          (1) The braille symbols for non-varying print signs or abbreviations shown with all the entries in a column of numbers, e.g., %, $, km, and B.T.U., may be included in the column headings and omitted within the body of the table. This usage does not require explanation in a transcriber's note.

          (2) To conserve space, units of measure shown within the body of a table may be abbreviated as necessary. A transcriber's note must precede the table to identify abbreviations that are not easily identifiable from the context of the surrounding text.

      4. Dittos. Dittos shown in a print table are usually represented by the braille ditto symbol (5,2) left-adjusted in the appropriate column. The ditto symbol must not appear at the top of a braille page when a table is continued on one or more pages. In this case the item or term represented by the ditto must be repeated. When used, the ditto symbol must be included in the special symbols list in accordance with Rule 2, Section 5.

      5. Blanks or omissions in columns of a table

          (1) When the blank or omission is indicated by a print dash or an ellipsis, follow print copy and use a dash (36,36) or an ellipsis (3,3,3) left-adjusted in the appropriate column.

          (2) To represent a blank space other than an implied row heading that is shown in a print table, insert a series of unspaced dot 5s within the column. Explain this usage as follows.

          A series of dot 5s across the width of a column indicates a blank space in print.

          EXCEPTION: This provision is not applicable unless the blank column occupies three or more braille cells.

      6. Segmented numbers. When numbers in a print table are shown segmented by the use of blank spaces, the appropriate braille symbol, e.g., a comma, decimal point, hyphen, etc., must be substituted for the print space and this usage must be explained in a transcriber's note.
        NOTE: The transcription of segmented numbers in technical works and in foreign language texts must be in accordance with the applicable braille code or supplement.

      7. Guide dots in columns of a table. When four or more blank cells are left after a short item in a column that is followed on the same braille line by entries in other columns, leave one blank cell before inserting a series of the unspaced guide dot symbol (5) within the column.
        NOTE: Guide dots may be inserted following runovers of row headings, but must not be inserted following any column runover. See Section 8b(1) above.

      8. Column totals. To indicate the line printed between a column of numbers and the total, use the separation line as provided in Section 6e above. It is often more effective to use a blank line to set off a row of column totals.

    9. Formats for wide tables.Clarity for the reader, intended use, and the information contained in a table must all be considered when choosing the most appropriate braille format for presenting a wide table that cannot be contained across the width of the braille line. However, as a general rule, transcription preference should follow the order in which the formats are given below.

      1. Interchanged table columns and rows. Sometimes it is possible to fit a wide table across the braille page by interchanging the columns and rows of the print table. This should be done only if it preserves the clarity of the table. When this technique is used, a transcriber's note must be inserted before the table, as follows.

        Columns and rows and the print table are interchanged in braille.

      2. Vertical division. A wide table may be divided at appropriate places into vertical sections that can be contained in the width of the braille line. When this is done, a transcriber's note similar to that shown below must be inserted before the table to explain the division. The row headings must be repeated for each section on the succeeding pages of the table.

        Print table is divided vertically into ___ sections in braille.

      3. Keying technique. The keying technique provided below is applicable whenever it is necessary to condense long column headings and/or row headings. NOTE: The choice of keys, their components and placement are subject to the specific requirements of the official braille code in use for transcribing items within the table.

          (1) Assigning letter and number keys. Sequences of letters and/or numbers, each requiring no more than three braille cells, should be assigned to represent column heading and/or row headings in the print table.

            (a) Any combination of letters, letters and braille contractions, or letters and numbers that is logically related to the print column and row headings may be used as keys of no more than three cells whether or not these keys correspond to short-form words.

            (b) When the directive given in (a) is not appropriate, assign single-letter and/or number keys as follows: alphabetically or numerically from left to right for column headings, alphabetically or numerically from top to bottom for row headings.

            (c) For clarity, each single-letter key must be followed by a braille period. Do not use the letter indicator before letter keys even when a key letter combination corresponds to a braille short-form word.

            (d) The number indicator must precede each number key which must be brailled without a period.

          (2) Placement of transcriber's note and key. Insert a transcriber's note containing the key below the table title or top table line. When neither of these is shown, place the note before the body of the table.

            (a) A blank line must be left before a note and key that follow a table title. No blank line should be left before a note and key following a top table line. Leave a blank line after completion of the key before beginning the body of the table.

            (b) Whenever possible, the key must appear on the same braille page with the table.

            (c) If a table is preceded by a reference not and a key, or by a transcriber's note containing a key plus additional information, the key must always be the last item presented before transcribing the table.

          (3) Key listing. Items in the key must be listed as follows: letter keys in alphabetical order, number keys in numerical order.

            (a) When a key contains only symbols for column headings or only symbols for row headings, a blank line must precede and follow the listed symbols.

            (b) In a key that contains both column and row headings, first list the column headings preceded by the cell-5 heading Column Headings. After a blank line, list the row headings preceded by the cell-5 heading Row Headings.

            (c) Each key number or letter must begin in cell 1, followed after one blank cell by the appropriate column or row heading. All runovers of listed items must begin in cell 3.

            (d) The closing transcriber's note symbol must be placed after the last item in the key listing.

          (4) Key numbers and letters in the body of a table. In the body of the table, all key numbers and letters must be left-adjusted above their respective columns or within their respective rows.
          NOTE:When only one blank cell is left between the columns of a table that consists entirely of numerals, as provided in Section 6a above, the use of key letters or letter combinations for column headings does not affect this spacing.

      4. Vertical division and keying technique. It is possible to transcribe extensive print tables by using vertical division in combination with the keying technique. See Sections 9b and 9c above.

      5. Stairstep format for tables. The line-by-line relationship between items in the rows and columns of a wide table may be presented by using the stairstep format given below.

          (1) General provisions for tables in stairstep format

            (a) If the table is shown in a box or is set off by horizontal print lines, use the line symbols provided in Section 3 above. When the table occupies a full print page, see also Sections 1a, 2b, and 4b above.

            (b) For the placement of a table title and/or label, follow the directives given in Section 4a above. If the table must be continued on one or more braille pages, do not repeat the title or label at the top of these pages. For sequentially labeled tables in technical works, see Section 4b above.

            (c) Below the table title or label and a top table line, if one is shown, insert a transcriber's note to indicate the format change. Column headings used in the print text must be inserted and the appropriate places in the note as shown below. Begin the heading of the first column in cell 5 and indent two cells for the beginning of each succeeding heading. The closing transcriber's note symbol must be placed after the last column heading.

                 Print column form changed as follows:
            Heading of first column
                  Heading of second column
                      Heading of third column, etc.

            (d) After one blank line, present items in the rows of the table on separate and consecutive lines, as follows: begin each row heading in cell 1, each item in the second column in cell 3, each item in the third column in cell 5, and so on.

            (e) Runovers must be left aligned, i.e., started in the same cell as the beginning of items in that particular column.

            (f) Items that are shown on the same row of the print table should be placed on the same braille page whenever possible.

            (g) Do not repeat column headings when the table must be continued on succeeding braille pages.

            (h) Leave one blank line before resuming the regular text after completion of a table that is not enclosed in a box or table lines.

          (2) Implied row headings, blanks, or omissions in tables in stairstep format

            (a) Implied row headings. When a table in stairstep format must be continued on one or more braille pages, the implied row heading, i.e., blank spaces in the first column used to indicate repetition of row headings that apply but are not actually shown in print, should be replaced by the actual headings, condensed or abbreviated when necessary and followed by (cont.).

            (b) To represent a blank space in print other than an implied row heading, insert a series of three unspaced dot 5s appropriately indented. Explain this usage as follows.

            A series of three dot 5s indicates a blank space in print.

            (c) Follow the print copy using a braille dash (36,36) or an ellipsis (3,3,3) appropriately indented to represent a blank or omission that is indicated by a print dash or ellipsis.

          (3) Combined column headings and items for tables in stairstep format. It may be advantageous in certain tables to conserve space by placing the items shown in adjacent columns together on the same braille line. The combined headings as well as the column items should be separated by a semicolon and indented according to Section 9e(1)(c) above. This arrangement must be indicated in the transcriber's note as shown below.

               Print column form changed as follows:
          Heading of first column; Heading of second column
               Heading of third column
                    Heading of forth column, etc.

          (4) Subheads shown for row headings of tables in stairstep format. If it is necessary to indicate that a subheading is shown preceding a group of items in the first column of a table (the row headings), the subheading must be inserted as a cell-5 heading before presenting the first item of the group of row headings. Explain this usage in a transcriber's note that precedes the table, as follows.

          Subheadings in the column of row headings are placed as cell-5 braille headings.

          (5) Table section headings in stairstep format. When headings that are set apart by horizontal print lines or blank lines are used to identify consecutive sections of a table, place these headings as centered braille headings. This usage must be explained in the transcriber's note that precedes the table, as follows.

          Consecutive sections of the print table are preceded by centered braille headings.

    10. Reference marks and notes in tables.Reference marks must be transcribed as directed in Rule 12, Section 1. The format of notes must be in accordance with Rule 12, Section 3b.

      1. Notes to tables in tabular format

          (1) Follow the print copy for placement of the appropriate reference indicator before or after a column heading, a row heading , or an item within the body of the table.

          (2) Immediately after completion of the table or below the bottom table line place the note (or the first note) preceded by the appropriate reference indicator starting in cell 7, with runovers in cell 5. Follow the order shown in print for a series of notes. No blank lines must be left between notes in a series.

          (3) When a long table that is transcribed in consecutive sections contains numerous notes or several kinds of notes, place the notes immediately below the specific section to which they apply.

          (4) Special typefaces and abbreviations shown in the following notes must be brailled in accordance with Rule 1, Section 15c.

            (a) Source citations or attributes must be transcribed as directed in Rule 1, Section 18b(2)(e).

            (b) Permission to copy notices or footnotes printed with or without reference markers must be transcribed according to Rule 12, Sections 1-3.

          (5) Occasionally, information contained in a note or notes is essential for an understanding of the table before starting to read it. In this case, insert a transcriber's note before beginning the transcription of the table, such as the following.

          Note(s) shown in the table below.

          Place the note (or the first note) on the next line, preceded by the appropriate reference indicator (if required) starting in cell 7 with runovers in cell 5. When more than one note is shown, no blank lines must be left between the notes.

      2. Notes to tables using keying technique

          (1) Notes to keyed column or row headings

            (a) When the same note is shown with a column or row heading throughout all sections of the table, use the following format. In the key listing, insert the appropriate braille reference indicator after the keyed column or row heading. The accompanying note, preceded by the same indicator, must be placed on the next line with the indicator starting in cell 7 and runovers of the note starting in cell 5. No blank lines must be left before or after the notes.

            (b) If different notes are shown with the column or row headings in several sections of the table, follow the format given in Section 10a above.

          (2) Notes within the body of a keyed table. Notes shown with items in the rows of a keyed table must be transcribed according to Section 10a above.

      3. Notes to tables in stairstep format. When placing notes to tables that are brailled in stairstep format, the transcriber must take into account the needs of the reader as well as the nature of the tabular material.

          (1) Usually the general provisions given in Section 10a above are applicable for these notes.

          (2) Sometimes information in the note(s) is needed by the reader at specific points within the stairstep. In this case, optimum note placement is in cell 7 on the braille line immediately below the point of reference, with runovers in cell 5.



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