Duxbury Braille Translation Software

What is New in Duxbury DBT

Why Update? One major reason is that DBT 12.1 SR1 can read Word 2007 – 2016 documents.
DBT 12.1 handles tabular format, Excel files, and can deal with many more languages.

Primary Improvements

  • In all UEB templates as well as those derived from UEB, the computer braille styles are updated to render accurate word breaking. Only those templates specifically for older (pre-UEB) documents still enforce the Pre-UEB word breaking rules.
  • The four DBT BANA templates (both UEB and Pre-UEB) are once again updated to the most recent versions. This corrects some formatting errors in the 12.1 BANA templates and includes BB-BoxBegin and H1-HeadingCentered.
  • In the English/American (pre-UEB) print-to-braille tables, the output of underline symbols is restored.
  • In the English/Unified (UEB) print-to-braille table certain contractions that follow an apostrophe have been improved.
  • The Afrikaans print-to-braille table and Sotho print-to-braille table have been updated with contraction changes received recently from South Africa.
  • Refinements in the Welsh print-to-braille table restrict shortform usage within large words to the officially approved list and ensure that strings of letters that could be read as extended shortforms are appropriately marked with grade 1 indicators. Other improvements include automated generation of hyphenation points within long technical expressions such as URLs.
  • For Myanmar text, DBT now handles some additional, critical Burmese characters for translating Burmese text to braille.

This service release also features the following JAWS script improvements:

  1. The script files for DBT 12.1 changed the technique for SayWord to insure the whole word was gathered and spoken. This change compromised making a selection. The latest script insures that if a selection is in progress, all the words in the selection are retained.
  2. When using a braille display with JAWS 17, the script files manage the JAWS braille translation settings better (turning off input translation) to ensure that output translation is off when you are viewing a braille document.
  3. The save and restore of a Speech Profile is now limited to JAWS version17 and higher to prevent “unknown function” errors in earlier versions of JAWS.
  4. Repetitious announcements of “computer braille” when the window focus is shifted are now suppressed.

Major New Features

  • DBT has always been at the forefront in implementing Unified English Braille. 12.1 contains further enhancements. DBT now has a UEB Learning Series for the UK (these are a series of translators that allow learning of contractions in graduated steps).
  • You can now use variable width fonts on the “print side” of DBT. For many languages, this is a substantial improvement.
  • Easier support for the new BANA 2011 Formats (used in the United States)
  • New SWIFT 4.0 gives greater power and flexibility from Microsoft Word
  • Nemeth Code, Braille to Print support added. (see below)
  • Export from DBT to Microsoft Word via HTML.
  • DBT has new software to handle installation and activation issues (see below)
  • DBT now contains a Czech and a Chinese User Interface (see Global Menu, Internationalization).
  • Formatted Braille Files with non-US encodings can now be imported by DBT (requires *.bff extension and the use of another encoding in the Global, Internationalization Menu).
  • Smart Phone Integration with DBT.
  • More languages and better support of existing languages (see very end of this page).
  • Better Embosser support (see below)
  • Math file importation and braille math translation have been improved substantially.
  • Numerous Miscellaneous Changes (see below)

Installation, Activation, De-activation, and Network Installation

  • DBT now contains an Activation Wizard to guide a user through the activation process.
  • The Activation Wizard contains a diagnostic screen to help the user understand the activation status on a given computer.
  • The Activation Wizard is very aware of subtle traps made by some versions of Microsoft: the Wizard knows about variations in UAC controls and only requests elevated credentials when they are truly needed.
  • It is now possible to fix many activation problems without having to uninstall DBT (and then re-install DBT).
  • The software to manage a network installation is available as a separate download. This program is helpful in situation where another product uses a similar activation system.
  • The Network installation no longer requires writing text files.


Numerous additions to math functionality; here are the highlights:

  • Many more unusual mathematics characters are now handled
  • Spacing and control of spacing around function names in UEB math and French math have been improved
  • Better importing of aligned structures
  • Better handling of the Unicode minus sign
  • Nemeth translation has been updated to use dot 6 for the comma when outside of “technical notation” but still in “Nemeth mode.” This means that in the English (UEB) – BANA with Nemeth template, a comma in the style math-TextInMath is brailled as dot 6, rather than dots 456,2 following Nemeth rules.

UEB Updates

  • When translating material into UEB, the translator is more selective about switching to a grade one passage for technical notation
  • Improved auto-hyphenation, including grouping of braille numbers 16 cells or less in length
  • Symbols that are not hyphens nor dashes, but contain dots 36, are no longer allowed as potential line break points
  • The translation of certain unusual names has been fixed
  • The translation of mixed alpha-numerics, such as AA.12, has been adjusted to be easier to read in braille
  • Mid-line ellipsis (U+22EF), double or triple dots over a variable name, and other uncommon math symbols, are now treated correctly
  • The Latin letter schwa (U+0259) and primary and secondary stress symbols, when entered as U+02C8 and U+02CC respectively, are now supported
  • Braille-to-print support for Old/Middle English letters: yogh, thorn, eth and wynn
  • Plus many other changes to improve the production of UEB braille


  • New Embossers supported:
    • ViewPlus Columbia
    • Enabling Juliet 120
    • Enabling Romeo 60
    • Index V5 embossers
  • Embosser fixes:
    • TactileView improved graphics support
    • Nippon Telesoft Gemini Super2 has been renamed as the Nippon Telesoft DOG-Pro
    • Nippon Telesoft DOG-Pro carriage width calculations are more accurate

Misc Features

  • Improved read only text controls and their acceptance of keyboard focus
  • Improved identification and differentiation of single and double quotes

Language Highlights

Better Font Support for most languages. For many languages of the world, the DBT print screen is readable, and editing is possible.

New User Interfaces: now supporting a Czech and a Chinese User interface.

New Languages: Bengali for Bangladesh (supporting the braille rules of Feb. 1996), Croatian contracted braille supported, Montenegrin, Tatar, and Udmurt. Contracted Turkish braille and Taiwan braille supported with a supplemental download from Duxbury Systems.

New Braille-to-print for existing languages: Amharic, Mandarin Chinese, Hausa, Somali, Swahili, and Yoruba.

We have added a new feature to the Serbian braille-to-print: while this usually uses the Cyrillic alphabet, the use of a variation code [vrn~ar] changes the braille-to-print translator to use the Roman alphabet. Another variation code [vrn~ac] reverts back to using the Cyrillic alphabet. These codes also work on other languages closely tied to Serbian.

Modest adjustments have been made in the handling of punctuation in the translators for the following European languages: Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Luxembourgian, Maltese, Portuguese, Serbian, and Turkish.

Modest adjustments have been made in the handling of punctuation in the translators for Georgian and Mandarin Chinese as well.

Arabic and Hebrew are still not supported by the DBT editor. While the display may be improved, DBT is still not able to entirely figure out what is right-to-left, and what is left-to-right, so editing a line is absolutely not recommended until this issue is resolved.

Inspired by new braille entry devices, Duxbury Systems has made an effort to improve braille-to-print in almost every language. We welcome your suggestions on how we can further make progress in this area. The languages of India, plus Lao, Thai, Hebrew, Vietnamese, have been especially improved.