English Braille
American Edition



Definition of Braille

Rules of Braille
  1. Punctuation Signs
  2. Special Composition Signs
  3. Format
  4. Asterisk, Footnotes, References
  5. Accent Sign, Diphthongs, Foreign Languages
  6. Abbreviations
  7. Numbers and Roman Numerals
  8. Coinage, Weights, and Other Special Symbols
  9. Poetry, Scansion, and Stress
  10. General Use of Contractions
  11. One-cell whole-word contractions
  12. One-cell part-word contractions
  13. Lower Signs
  14. Initial-letter contractions
  15. Final-letter contractions
  16. Short-form words

  • Index
    Typical and Problem Words

  • Index
    BRL Courses
  • Intro to Braille
  • Braille Transcribers
  • Specialized Codes


    1.   In so far as possible, the arrangement and format of the braille copy should follow the practice used in the print text. (For special formats, see App. A. For textbooks, see Code of Braille Textbook Formats and Techniques, most recent edition.)

    2. Title Pages, Contents, Dedications, Introductions, Volume Endings, etc.:

      1. Title Pages: Title pages should include title, sub-title, author, publisher, copyright, number of volumes, volume number followed by inclusive braille pages in volume, transcriber's or braille publisher's name, and year of embossing. In addition, other items should be included in accordance with standard procedures authorized by publishers, libraries, or transcribing groups.

      2. Contents Pages: Each braille volume should include a contents page covering the materials contained in that volume, unless there is no print contents. The contents page should follow the title page unless there is a special symbols page, transcriber's notes page, dedication or acknowledgment. On the third line of a new page the word CONTENTS should be written at the left-hand margin and the word VOLUME (followed by the appropriate capitalized Roman numeral) at the right-hand margin, with a series of guide dots (dot 5) " between them. Following a blank line, the word Chapter should be placed at the left-hand margin, and the word Page at the right-hand margin, with no guide dots between. After another blank line, begin the contents. The chapter numbers and/or headings should start at the left-hand margin and the braille page numbers should be placed at the right-hand margin. A series of dot 5 should be used for the guide lines, and a space should be left both after the chapter heading and before the page number. Unless there is space for two or more guide dots between the end of the chapter heading and the page number, the guide dots should be omitted, but there must be at least one space between the end of the heading and the number sign of the page number. When a long heading requires two or more lines, leave at least six spaces between the last word of each line of the heading (except the last one) and the right-hand margin. All continuations of chapter headings should begin in the third cell of the line. (See also §19.)

      3. Dedications, Acknowledgments, etc., should each be centered on a separate page.

      4. Prefaces, Forewords, Introductions, etc., should each begin a new braille page, with their headings centered on the third line separated by a blank line from the first paragraph of context.

      5. Volume Endings: The words END OF VOLUME (followed by the corresponding volume number in capitalized Roman numerals) should be centered on the second line below (if possible) the last line of braille on the last braille page of each volume. The words THE END should be centered on the second line below (if possible) the last line of braille on the last braille page of the book.

    3. Page Numbering: In each volume, the title page should be counted as Roman numeral i but should not carry a braille number. Following the title page, all succeeding pages in each volume prior to beginning the actual text (such as dedications, contents, prefaces, forewords, introductions) should be numbered consecutively in uncapitalized Roman numerals. The first page of the actual text of Volume I should be numbered Arabic 1, and pages of text should be numbered consecutively throughout all volumes.

    4. Centered and Cell 5 Headings: Print capitalization should be followed for centered and cell 5 headings whether large and/or small capitals are employed. The heading should be accompanied by at least one braille line of text on the braille page.

      1. Cell 5 Headings: A heading beginning in cell 5 should only be used for a subheading within a text section introduced by a centered heading. Within the braille page, one blank line should be left before, but not after, a cell 5 heading. Carryover lines of the heading should be blocked in cell 5.

    5. Paragraphs:

      1. Paragraph Headings: When a paragraph heading is written in all capitals in print, it should be italicized in braille; and text should follow on the same braille line if possible.

    6. Omissions of Copy; Editing: When illustrations, diagrams, etc. cannot be reproduced in braille, references to them in the text generally should be avoided. A description in words may be included in a transcriber's note. If items listed on the print contents page are omitted from the braille edition, a statement to that effect should appear at the end of the contents listing. Other omissions, such as illustrations and diagrams, should be noted on the transcriber's notes page. (See also App. A. 10.)

    7. Blank Lines in Print: When one or more blank lines are used in print to denote change in thought, scene, poetic stanza, or to set off quoted matter, telegrams, letters, etc., only one blank line should be left in braille. If the break would occur following the last line of the braille page, a blank line should be left at the top of the new braille page. If such material appears in italics in print, the italics should be retained. (See §10.g.; also App. A. 3.)