The golden rule is that for most of your general literary work, you can define the layout of your braille document through DBT's menus and/or using DBT styles.

However, there are occasions when you need to do something really special.

Codes can be broadly categorized as formatting codes and translation codes. Formatting codes are supported in all DBT documents. The effect of translation codes can vary by translation table. See Language Translation Tables for documentation about translation tables and the codes each supports.

This can be a rather technical section, so enter it with caution.

NOTE: Codes used in these topics are displayed in the Courier New font, and appear in red, contained within square brackets. However, it should be noted that codes are inserted into your document, not as text, but in a special way described in the Manually Inserting and Amending Codes topics.


The codes in DBT basically affect the final layout of the braille document, the key word being "layout". Just as corporations and companies have their own corporate designs for their documents, so braille follows layout conventions recommended by the braille authority for individual countries. Similarly major braille producers may even have a "corporate style" which determines the way they lay out braille documents.

In the main, DBT will do an excellent job of formatting braille documents, but you should always try to follow the local recommendations.

Codes - What do they do?

All Word Processors use some form of mark-up codes, which may or may not be visible to the user, to determine how something is displayed. An obvious example is where we want to make a word appear bold.

The following line shows what is actually hidden behind the word "bold" in the previous paragraph.

<span style="font-weight: bold>bold</span>

DBT is no exception, except that its codes relate to how the Braille is formatted.

For example, if we were to write, "In English Braille the letter k is a Word-sign for knowledge.", we would not want the word "knowledge" to be translated to "k".

We would therefore use the code [g1] to tell DBT not to translate the word, and [g2] to continue in Grade 2 Braille.

In English Braille the letter k is a Word-sign for [g1]knowledge[g2]."

Code Basics

A code is a special character (or group of characters) in a document that will not appear in the final output. Instead, the effects of the codes will appear. Codes are added to your document whenever you use the Layout Menu to produce a translation or formatting effect.

In DBT, you can opt to see the codes by going to the View Menu and selecting Codes. (Or alternatively the shortcut, Alt + F3)

Codes appear surrounded by square brackets. For example, in a coded view, you might have:


which would cause the output to appear as follows:




Viewing codes can help track down formatting or translation errors. Without codes showing, your view is WYSIWYG and the effects of the codes are usually apparent. For further help with the syntax of the codes, see Help: Codes Quick Reference.

Viewing Codes in DBT

To view Codes in DBT, hold down the Alt key and press F3. This is what is called a "Toggle" command. Pressing Alt + F3 again will turn Coded View off.