Direct Entry of Mathematics Braille

Many users produce math equations using a program such as MathType. This help page is for expert transcribers who wish to enter their math directly into the DBT Editor.


  1. Go to the help page List of Math Operators, and print out this list. You will need the special codes on this page.
  2. Go to the help page List of Greek characters. Print out this list. You will need the first portion of the list (U+0391-U+03C9, which includes the Greek characters upper case alpha through lower case omega).
  3. Identify which DBT template you will use for math production. The correct template depends on your geographic location and your choice of braille math codes.
  4. There are two DBT commands you will use repeatedly:
    • Control-[ -- to enter a DBT code.
    • Control-] -- to enter a DUSCI character.

Entering Math

Math Operators and Greek Letters

Take the list of characters, and find the character you want. Each row gives you the character, its Unicode, its DUSCI code, and the character name. For example, one row shows:
∃ - U+2203 - D+F033 - THERE EXISTS.
To enter this symbol, you type control-]. You will see a box in DBT with the heading Enter DUSCI code number. The DUSCI code number for There Exists is F033. You type F033 <Enter> (that is a zero not a letter 'o'). Also try entering a Greek letter (pick your favorite).

math and math-TextInMath DBT Styles

The math and math-TextInMath styles are contained in your DBT template. You can also customize to add your own styles. If you have done a custom math style, substitute your new style name in these instructions.

Mathematical material in DBT should be enclosed within the math style.

Text which occurs entirely within the bounds of math material can be marked as math-TextInMath. The start and end of math-TextInMath should always be within material marked as the math style. Use the same method shown above to use this style.


Fractions are easy. You just need to know these codes:

Explanation of Fractions Codes
Code Meaning
fs fraction start
fl fraction line
fe fraction end

to write the fraction x+y divided by 17, enter:
Control-[ fs <Enter> x+y Control-[ fl <Enter> 17 Control-[ fe <Enter>

Press Alt-F3 to toggle on "coded view" to show you have indeed inserted the three DBT codes that make up a fraction.

Fractions and Nemeth Code

For Nemeth Code only, there are additional codes (or variations) for mixed numbers and complex fractions.

Table of Fractions and Nemeth Code
Code Meaning
fs0 mixed number, fraction start
fl fraction line (same code either way)
fe0 mixed number, fraction end

to write the mixed number 7 and a half, enter:
7 Control-[ fs0 <Enter> 1 Control-[ fl <Enter> 2 Control-[ fe0 <Enter>

Nemeth Code uses a dot 6 to show a complex fraction (the outer fraction), and a double dot 6 to show a hyper-complex fraction (the outer-outer fraction).

Nemeth dots 6 advanced code table
Code Meaning
fs1 complex fraction start
fl1 complex fraction line
fe1 complex fraction end
fs2 hyper-complex fraction start
fl2 hyper-complex fraction line
fe2 hyper-complex fraction end

to write the complex fraction of x+y divided by a third, enter:
Control-[ fs1 <Enter> x+y Control-[ fl1 Control-[ fs <Enter> 1 Control-[ fl <Enter> 3 Control-[ fe <Enter> Control-[ fe1 <Enter>

Superscripts and Subscripts

Superscripts and Subscripts are easy. You just need to know these codes:

Table of Superscript and Subscript Codes
Code Meaning
ps superscript start
pe superscript end
bs subscript start
be subscript end

To write x squared, enter:
x Control-[ ps <Enter> 2 Control-[ pe <Enter>

To write x sub n, enter:
x Control-[ bs <Enter> n Control-[ pe <Enter>

Square Roots and Radicals

Square Roots and Radicals are easy. You just need to know these codes:

Table of Square Root and Radical Codes
Code Meaning
sqrts square root start
sqrte square root end
ixrts index of radical start
ixrtd index of radical end, start of radical
ixrte end of radical

To write the square root of x+12, enter:
Control-[ sqrts <Enter> x+12 Control-[ sqrte <Enter>

To write the cube root of x+12, enter:
Control-[ ixrts <Enter> 3 Control-[ ixrtd <Enter> x+12 Control-[ ixrte <Enter>