Last updated: May 18, 2016

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Web-Braille is a data file format that can be read on a Braille display or transmitted to a Braille embosser. Web-Braille files have the extension .brf. The Braille codes in Braille-ready files allow blind people to read electronic documents from computer disks or from the Internet.

Web-Braille files contain 25 lines per page. Each line holds up to 39 characters. A single printed page translates into several Braille pages; the exact ratio depends on the nature of the document. Mathematical expressions and symbols, as well as graphics, can be converted into words before being translated into Braille-ready files. Complex mathematical documents have the highest Braille-to-text page conversion ratios.

Several thousand Web-Braille books are available for downloading from the National Library Service (NLS) in the U.S. About 40 new books are published online in this format every month. The NLS Web-Braille material is available only to citizens or residents of the United States, or to qualified institutions.

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Web-Braille definition

Related terms: Braille display
Braille Display

There are several Braille computer codes in the U.S. See Computer Braille Code from the Braille Authority of North America.

A universal Braille computer code for technical documents was introduced in 1991: "A Universal Computer Braille Code For Literary And Scientific Texts", by Durre, Karl P.; Tuttle, Dean W. and Durre, Ingeborg.

U.S. National Library Service (NLS) Factsheets: Web-Braille.

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Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication. STC member since June 1979. Director at Large, Washington, DC - Baltimore chapter and webmaster. Past chapter president of the Washington, DC chapter (1998-1999 and 2000-2001). Past webmaster of the STC Accessibility SIG (2001-2016).