Braille Formats
Principles of Print to Braille Transcription
1997


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  • Rule 14
  • Rule 15
  • Rule 16
  • Rule 17
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  • Rule 16

    Codes and Puzzles

    1. Number, letter, and other codes
      NOTE: When the text shows a code containing signs or characters for which there are no braille equivalents, do not attempt to devise braille symbols for the print signs. Insert a transcriber's note similar to the following.

      Print code is not reproduced

      1. Keys for codes

          (1) Listed key format. When the text shows a list of numbers, letters, or other print characters with their code equivalents, this key must be transcribed as follows.

            (a) Start each keyed item in cell 1 with runovers in cell 3.

            (b) In the key list, the appropriate number and/or letter indicators must be used. Ignore print capitalization of letters.

            (c) A braille dash must be substituted for the print blank space, equal sign, or other sign used in the text to connect a number, letter, or other character with its code equivalent.

          (2) Linear key format. If letters are printed above or below the line(s) of code characters, follow print copy using two consecutive braille lines. These lines must be preceded and followed by a blank line.

            (a) The letter indicator is not required before single letters in the linear code key, and the print capitalization of letters must be ignored.

            (b) Each braille letter must be placed directly above or below its corresponding code character.

              [1] When a single letter appears above or below a two-digit number, the braille letter must be placed above or below the first digit of the number.

              [2] If a print letter is shown centered above or below its code equivalent, this must be ignored in braille. Place the braille letter directly above or below the first braille cell of the code character.

      2. Number codes

          (1) When numbers are substituted for letters, the numbers within each word must be connected by braille hyphens.

          (2) Words may be divided at the ends of braille lines after any hyphen whether or not the hyphen falls after a syllable.

          (3) The number indicator is required only at the beginning of each word or at the beginning of the second braille line when a word is divided after a hyphen.

      3. Letter codes

          (1) Uncontracted braille must be used, and words must not be divided at the ends of braille lines.

          (2) Braille the letters of each word unspaced, leaving one blank cell between the words.

      4. Morse code

          (1) When dots and dashes are shown in print, represent the print dot by dot 1 and the print dash by dots 14. Include these symbols in the special symbols list in accordance with Rule 2, Section 5.

            (a) A braille hyphen must be inserted between individual code symbols for the letters in a word, and a blank cell must be left between words.

            (b) Words may be divided at the ends of braille lines after any hyphen whether or not it falls after a syllable.

            (2) When the words dit and dah or some other words that represent the Morse code sounds are used in the text instead of dots and dashes, follow the print copy.

              (a) The braille hyphen must be used to connect the sounds that comprise a single letter, and the braille dash must be used to separate letters within a word.

              (b) If the text shows commas separating words, omit the commas and leave a blank cell instead.

              (c) Words may be divided at the ends of braille lines after any dash whether or not the dash falls after a syllable.

    2. Crossword puzzles. Braille formats for several types of crossword puzzles are given below. Although the size and complexity of a print puzzle will determine the braille format to be used, the format given in Section 2b below is recommended for transcribing simple crossword puzzles that are shown in elementary grade textbooks.

      1. General directives

          (1) Descriptive transcriber's notes that identify the specific braille symbols and formats used for crossword puzzles are provided in Sections 2b(4) and 2c(4) below. These notes must be placed in the braille edition, as follows.

            (a) Insert the note before a single puzzle in a braille volume. When a volume contains a number of similar puzzles, place the note on the Transcriber's Notes page.

            (b) When the descriptive note is placed on the Transcriber's Notes page, an additional transcriber's note must be inserted before each puzzle in the volume, such as the following.

            For braille crossword puzzle format, see page p____.

          (2) The puzzle heading, if any, must be followed by a blank line. If the puzzle is shown in a box, this must be ignored in the braille edition.

          (3) Part of a puzzle grid may appear on the first or the last line of the braille page, providing that at least three blank cells are left before the print and braille page numbers.

          (4) If a puzzle requires more than one braille page, insert the word (continued) enclosed by transcriber's note symbols, but starting in cell 1 on the last line of the first page of the puzzle.

          (5) After completing the puzzle grid, leave one blank line before inserting the two lists of clues. When the last line of a puzzle grid falls on or below the fifth line from the bottom of the page, begin the lists of clues on a new braille page.

          (6) Lists of Across and Down clues must be brailled according to Rule 7, Section 2d(2). If there is space, columns of short clues may be preceded by Across and Down as braille column headings and placed side by side on the page according to Rule 7, Section 1e(2).

          (7) As an aid to the reader, the number of letters required for the answer may be enclosed in parentheses following each clue. Explain this usage in a transcriber's note as follows.

          Numbers in parentheses show the number of letters in the puzzle word.

          When appropriate, include this information in the transcriber's notes that are provided in Sections 2b(4) and 2c(4) below.

      2. Small puzzles with no squares filled in with letter (Maximum width of 14 squares for 41-cell line, 13 squares for 40- or 38-cell line)

          (1) All squares of the grid must be two cells wide and they must be separated from each other by one blank cell. (2) Squares must be represented by the following braille symbols.

          dots 1-2-3-4-5-6dots 1-2-3-4-5-6 solid or shaded squares
          dots 3-6dots 3-6 unnumbered or open squares
          (3) Numbers shown in squares of the grid must be brailled without the number indicator. The numerals 1-9 must be followed by an unspaced braille hyphen to complete the square.

          (4) Transcriber's note. The descriptive transcriber's note given below must be placed in accordance with Section 2a(1) above

          In the following puzzle, solid squares are indicated by two cells of dots 123456 and open squares by two cells of dots 36. Numbers of squares are brailled without the number indicator. The numerals 1-9 are followed by a hyphen.

          (5) If the grid numbers exceed 99, begin the numbering again substituting 00 for 100, -1 for 101, -2 for 102, and so on. Include this information in the descriptive transcriber's note, as follows.

          Numbers exceeding 99 are brailled as 00,-1,-2, etc.

          (6) When print numbers are shown outside open squares, in braille the numbers must be inserted in the proper open squares in accordance with (3) above.

          (7) If all solid squares are omitted in print, thus leaving an irregularly shaped diagram, the grid must be squared off in braille by inserting the symbol dots 123456, 123456 for each missing solid square.

      3. Large puzzles and those showing filled-in squares (Maximum width of 20 squares)

          (1) Each line of squares in the puzzle grid must begin in cell 2. All squares of the grid must be one cell wide, and one blank cell must be left between squares.

          (2) Squares must be represented by the following braille symbols.

          dots 1-2-3-4-5-6 solid or shaded squares
          dots 1-4-5-6 numbered or open squares

          (3) Numbers shown in squares of the grid must be brailled without the number indicator and placed as follows.

            (a) Only the units digit of any square number must be placed one cell to the right on the line above the symbol of the square to which it applies.

            (b) The tens digit of a two-digit number must be placed in cell 1 of the line on which it first appears. Thus, 1 must be placed at the left margin of the line on which 10 appears, 2 must be placed at the left margin on the line on which 20 appears, and so on.

            (c) Each number line and its accompanying grid line must appear on the same braille page.

          (4) Transcriber's note. The descriptive transcriber's note given below must be placed in accordance with Section 2a(1) above.

          In the following puzzle, solid squares are indicated by dots 123456 and open squares by dots 146. Numbers of squares are brailled without the number indicator. Only the units digits of the square numbers appear once cell to the right on the line above the squares to which they apply. The tens digit of a two-digit square number appears in cell 1 of the line on which it first appears. Thus, 1 is at the margin of the line on which 10 appears, 2 on the line on which 20 appears, etc.

          (5) If the grid numbers exceed 99, begin the numbering again by placing 0 at the left margin of the line on which 100 appears. Include this information in the descriptive transcriber's note, as follows.

          When numbers exceed 99, 0 appears at the left margin of the line on which 100 appears.

          (6) A blank line must be left before any line of the grid in which no numbered squares appear. (7) When solid squares are omitted in print, thus leaving an irregularly shaped diagram, the grid must be squared off in braille by inserting the symbol for a solid square, dots 123456, or each missing solid square.

          (8) Filled-in squares When a puzzle shows some squares filled in with letters, braille these letters (without the letter indicator) in the appropriate squares of the grid, and add this information to the transcriber's note as follows.

               In the following puzzle, print shows the word ____ in the squares on line ____ .

          or
               In the following puzzle, print shows the word ____ as the answer to ____ .

      4. Puzzles wider than 20 squares. Make no attempt to reproduce the print grid shown for very large crossword puzzles. Transcribe the list of clues as follows. After each clue, insert either the appropriate number of hyphens to indicate the number of letters in the puzzle word or the appropriate numeral enclosed in parentheses. Insert a transcriber's note before the puzzle to explain the omission of the grid and the addition of hyphens or numerals to represent the correct number of letters in each puzzle word.

    3. Word puzzles and letter grids. Although it is not possible to provide specific formats for all such materials, the following general directives must be observed.

      1. If a heading is shown for the puzzle or grid, it must be preceded and followed by a blank line.

      2. Generally, letters shown in grids should be brailled without the letter indicator and with no blank cells between letters. Do not leave blank lines between the grid lines.

      3. To present irregularly shaped letter grids follow the print copy.

      4. When a puzzle or letter grid requires more than one braille page, insert the word (continued) enclosed by transcriber's note symbols, but beginning in cell 1 on the last line of the first page of the puzzle.

      5. Transcriber's notes
          (1) Transcriber's notes explaining the braille format used for these puzzles or grids must be placed as follows: before a single word puzzle or grid in a braille volume, or on the Transcriber's Notes page when a volume contains a number of similar puzzles or grids. (2) When the explanation of a puzzle or grid format is placed on the Transcriber's Notes page, an additional transcriber's note must be inserted before each puzzle or grid, as follows.

          For braille word puzzle or word grid format, see page p____ .

          (3) As an aid to the reader, the number of letters required for the answer word may be enclosed in parentheses following each puzzle or grid. Explain this usage in a transcriber's note as follows.

          Numbers in parentheses show the number of letters in the puzzle word or grid.

          When appropriate, include this information in the transcriber's notes placed according to (1) above.



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