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.   Abbreviations used in print should be used in braille, and may be written with or without the period or capital, in accordance with the print copy. Abbreviations consisting of letters should be written unspaced on one line. Contractions may be used in familiar abbreviations, even though their use is not permitted in the whole words for which they stand. Ex:

      e.g.    e4g4         viz.   viz4         M.A.   ,m4,a4

      Mr.    ,mr4        Mr     ,mr        prof.    pr(4

      ed. (as for editor, edition) $4

      1.   An abbreviation written in full capitals without periods should be preceded by the double capital sign. In such fully capitalized abbreviations, where each letter represents a word, neither the letter sign nor contractions should be used. Where periods are employed in print in such abbreviations, each letter must be preceded by a capital sign and followed by a period, and the entire abbreviation should be written on one line without a space between the separate letters. When an uncapitalized word is a part of an abbreviation employing periods, the entire abbreviation should be written unspaced, and contractions should be used in the uncapitalized word or words. Ex:

        SEATO ,,seato           U.S.A. ,u4,s4,a4

        S.H.A.P.E. ,s4,h4,a4,p4,e4

        DDT ,,ddt           LL.D. ,,ll4,d4

        A.F. of L. ,a4,f4(,l4


        • (1)
          In such combinations as "ATandT" and "NYUers," only the uncapitalized letters of the abbreviations should be contracted. Ex:

        AFofL ,,af(,l         ATandT ,,at&,t

        A&P ,a&,p         NYUers ,,nyu]s

        • (2)
          In an acronym, capitalized or uncapitalized, consisting of combinations of abbreviations of two or more words, contractions should be used when the letters of a contraction fall into one syllable. Ex:

        FORTRAN ,,=tran

        MEDICO ,,m$ico

        radar rad>

      2.   Abbreviations consisting of a sequence of portions of words should be spaced in accordance with the print copy. When such abbreviations are written unspaced in print, they may not be divided at the end of a line. Ex:

        B.Sc. ,b4,sc4         Ed.D. ,$4,d4

        Ph.D ,ph4,d4         D.Litt. ,d4,litt4

        W. Va. ,w4 ,va4

        Lt. J. G. ,lt4 ,j4 ,g4

        Phys. Ed. Dept. ,phys4 ,$4 ,dept4

      3.   The initials of a person's name should ordinarily be written with a space between them and may be separated at the end of a line. However, if personal initials are written together in print, they should also be written unspaced on one line in braille. Ex:

        G.B.S. ,g4,b4,s4         A.B. ,a4,b4

        F. E. Smith ,f4 ,e4 ,smi?

      4.   The components of postal districts are to be written unspaced from one another, and may not be divided at the end of a line. Ex:

        S.W.1 ,s4,w4#a         SW2 ,,sw#b

        Note: It was decided by agreement at an international conference on English braille that the brailling of postal codes, in order to reflect print practice, may require a different spacing than shown above. These postal codes may not be divided at the end of a line. Ex:

        W1Y 9LF ,w#a;,y #i;,,lf

        M4G 3E8 ,m#d;,g #c;,e#h

      5.    When a date is written as a series of numbers separated by slashes or hyphens, follow print for the order of the numbers and the use of either slashes or hyphens as separators. For all other separators, including spaces, substitute braille hyphens for the separators used in print. Ex:

        8/9/36, or 8-9-36, or 8.9.36, or 9.VIII.36 #h-i-cf

        Note: The print practice for indicating dates does not always follow the sequence of month, day, year. For an accurate representation of the date, the numbers may require a different order than shown above. Ex:

        25/6/94 #be-f-id

        94/06/25 #id-jf-be

      6.   Telephone numbers consisting of letters and figures should be written without contractions. Ex:

        CH 6-1234 ,,ch#f-abcd

        393-INFO #cic-;,,info

        1-800-424-8567 #a-hjj-dbd-hefg

        (202)707-5100 7#bjb7#gjg-eajj