Symbol Graphics

Software that "Works like Signmakers Think"

More about Braille-Art

Symbol Graphics has a long-standing interest in ADA compliance and Braille without error. For the last decade, Letter-Art users have been able to produce Braille signage for various applications.  

We have found that users experience two major difficulties in the document-planning phase:
  • Braille does not have a one to one character correspondence with visual text and the space requirements for tactile text cannot be foreseen by using a non-Braille font.
  • Most sighted readers and computer users have little or no Braille experience.  Spelling errors are difficult if not impossible to find by those who have little incentive to learn the dotted characters, much less the abbreviated wording.
Symbol Graphics helps resolve these issues.  A unique set of visual and embossing fonts have been developed, allowing the user to think and place text in visual/readable English.  When these fonts are used, they interact with the Braille translator and the text is automatically condensed or extended on the screen to occupy the space of the respective embossing font.  There are no cut/paste or other user steps to remember (or forget), thus, any editing and spell checking of the visual text results in the needed space planning for the translated Braille.

Symbol Graphics tactile fonts help automate Braille document production.  There are two different levels of translation of text into Braille:  
  1. Grade 2 is the widely accepted translation. It requires advance knowledge of Braille because it abbreviates many words and phrases.
  2. Grade 1 is practically English with Braille letters.  It is usually appropriate for international conventions, grade schools, etc.  where little English Braille experience is involved.
When Braille graphics and text are mixed, space planning is difficult without knowing the results of text conversion and the application of the embossing fonts.  The ease of use of these visual fonts opens a door to many new Braille applications.  Historically, only horizontal Braille could be produced and graphics were limited in size.  Larger graphic formats were difficult and extremely expensive.  The Braille-Art visual fonts make space planning easy and Braille Grade 1 or 2 conversion is automatic.  Large format documents with intermixed text and graphics can be paneled to any dimension compatible with the output device.

Braille-Art can import pictures and graphics from many programs such as CorelDraw, Excel, PowerPoint and AutoCad.  Hand drawn sketches, scanned drawings and .PCX bitmap files are also acceptable and quickly converted to scaleable graphics.  Text placement is exact and easy to do in an x, y coordinate page layout which can be produced in continuous form or panel pieces of any size.  

Coloring books, textbooks, hand drawings, chart generators, etc. are all excellent graphic resources.  Braille-Art scales artwork to any appropriate size and will generate single width dot pattern line work.  Adding text is simple and Braille may be placed vertically or horizontally.  
When using the visual fonts, text displays as typed in visual letters of the Western European languages.  Visual text is compressed or extended to the length of the Braille conversion so that document space planning is very intuitive.  The visual fonts, automatically invokes the embossing fonts at production time.  The embossing (and Braille text conversion) fonts can also be selected to preview text in the dotted form.  The visual fonts can also be used to preprint documents before embossing so that the same documents can service both the blind and sighted reader.

See examples below.
 File before output
 File after output
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