DBT Tutorial Importing Documents

How to Import a Microsoft Word Document
What Happens When You Import a Document?
How will This Apply to My Everyday Work?

How to Import a Microsoft Word Document

First, we need a Microsoft Word document. This portion of the tutorial uses Microsoft Word. If you don't have Microsoft Word, please disregard this section for your own use. However, if you are receiving MS Word documents from another person for you to translate into braille, you might want to show them this section of the tutorial so that their documents will be easier for you to translate.

Create a Microsoft Word Document

  1. Close any open documents and exit DBT.
  2. Start Microsoft Word.
  3. Choose "New" from the "File" menu
  4. Select blank document or "Normal" if you are prompted to select a template.
  5. Select "Style" From the "Format" menu
  6. Be sure "All Styles" is selected from the "List:" option (See Fig. 16)
  7. Select "Heading 1"
  8. Click "Apply"
  9. Type "Title"
  10. Type the Return key
  11. Select "Style" from the "Format" menu
  12. Select "Heading 2."
  13. Click "Apply"
  14. Type "Chapter 1"
  15. Type the enter key twice.
  16. Type "This text was centered using tabs and spaces."
  17. Placing the cursor at the beginning of the line, center the text as best you can by typing the tab key a few times, and then the space key a few times. (See Fig. 17)
  18. Save the Microsoft Word document in the \dbtdocs directory as "Styles.doc"
  19. Close the document, and exit Word.

Open the document in DBT

  1. Select Open from the file menu OR: Type CTRL-O
  2. Open "Styles.doc"

OBSERVE: DBT recognizes the word document (See Fig. 18)

  1. Select "OK" or type the enter key

OBSERVE: DBT applied its own styles to the first two lines. The corresponding styles are listed in the status bar. DBT removed the skipped line directly following the second line. The appearance of a skipped line remains, however, due to the formatting of the "h" style, which skips a line at the end of the paragraph. The style "para." was applied to the paragraph, and the sentence may or may not appear centered.

In order to see what really happened, view codes by typing ALT-F3 or selecting "Codes" from the "View" menu. DBT has applied styles ("es~para." and "ee~para." mean "start normal paragraph style" and "end normal paragraph style"), and kept the spaces and tabs.

  1. Translate the document to braille. It will look very similarly formatted as compared with the print version, but no braille document will ever look exactly the same as a print document. This is because of differences in formatting conventions and because braille simply takes up more room than a print document. Always check your braille document for formatting accuracy rather than assuming that the braille will look like the print does. Just because your print document looks a certain way doesn't mean your braille document should look the same!

What Happens When You Import A Document

DBT can open most documents created by it or by another word processor simply by using the "File: Open" command. However, if you open a document that wasn't created by DBT, then DBT will have to go through extra steps to make the document meaningful to you. We call this additional process "Importing." This may help you to understand why, when you open a document which was created in DBT, it looks the same way it looked the last time you saved it in DBT. However, a document created in MS Word or WordPerfect will never look exactly the same when it's opened in DBT as the last time you saw it in Word or WordPerfect. You will have the same text, but the text won't look the same. This is because different applications have different features, and different purposes. MS Word and WordPerfect are intended to create visually pleasing and easy to format print documents. DBT is intended to easily create correct braille. The importer is intended to read in the text, and to format it in a manner that is appropriate to braille. This is why the print looks different in DBT than in Word and WordPerfect.
Remember: just because you indented or skipped a line in the print version of your document doesn't mean that the formatting will be correct for Braille.
When you apply a style in Word, DBT interprets that style and tries to mimic its purpose. Therefore, if you apply a heading style to a paragraph in MS Word, DBT will apply a heading style when it imports the text.

Formatting a document without styles is extremely unreliable. Print documents contain different fonts, fonts which often are a variable width (an "i" takes up less room than an "m"), and you can fit an awful lot more print characters than braille characters onto a page. If you try to make your document work visually without using styles, the document may not work in braille, which will require a lot of extra work on your part when you bring it into DBT.

When you import a WordPerfect document, DBT uses many of the same codes WordPerfect does. For this reason, you may not get an appropriately formatted braille document if you created it in WordPerfect. Using Word with styles is more accurate.



Q. I centered a paragraph in MS Word, but now the paragraph is left or right justified in DBT. What happened?
A. Did you apply a style, or did you click the "Center" button? If you don't apply a style, DBT might not be able to recognize how Word formatted the document.

Q. Why don't Word and WordPerfect documents import the same way?
A. Because Word and WordPerfect are two different applications, and DBT has to do different things to make them import properly.

Q. I used to turn Word documents into WordPerfect documents before importing them into DBT. Do I still need to do that?
A. No. And, because each time you import a document into a new word processing program you lose a little of what makes it format properly, we recommend opening documents directly in DBT. It's the most reliable way to handle documents that weren't written in DBT.

Q. Can I use automatically numbered or bulleted lists?
A. Yes! DBT now imports lists.

Q. Can I import tables?
A. Yes! DBT imports MS Word tables in the outline (or "step") form for braille tables.

Q. What about other types of documents?
A. You can import HTML, email, and many other types of text files. If you have trouble importing a file, try saving it as a Word or WordPerfect file.

Q. Can I use DBT to create my print documents?
A. YES! DBT is a word processor, so if you don't need to do things like add graphics and change font size within the document, by all means use DBT to create your print document! This is, quite simply, the most reliable and easiest way to be sure that your print and braille documents will match.

How will this apply to my everyday work?

Most businesses, and many individuals, use MS Word or WordPerfect to create their print documents. While it is possible to create a print document using DBT, most sighted users prefer to use another word processing program. If you ever work with documents created in another word processing program, this section will be helpful in understanding how to easily make those documents work for you when translating them to braille. You should now be able to:

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Copyright Duxbury Systems, Inc. Thursday, February 07, 2013

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