Using the BANA Braille Template for Word

The DBT BANA Braille Authority of North America Braille template for Word discussed in this section is only available for Microsoft Word 2007 and newer. Note that the template is identified as "BANA" because the formatting it does conforms to BANA guidelines. This does not restrict its use otherwise.

Versions of this template have been available since 2000. The template was developed by Susan Christensen, a well-known North American braille transcriber and trainer.

Although the template was designed for BANA guidelines (Currently Braille Formats: Principles of Print-to-Braille Transcription, 2016), there is no reason why copies of the BANA template cannot be modified for different braille layout standards worldwide.

This topic actually discusses five valuable and labor saving templates, the BANA Braille template for Microsoft Word, and four more for DBT. The Word and DBT templates are in fact closely linked. The BANA Braille template is powerful enough that many users can do all of their preparatory work in Microsoft Word, using DBT for translation and embossing.

The four DBT templates that work co-operatively with this Word template are:

Given the general acceptance of Unified English Braille, the first two templates are likely the ones you will most often use, one for literary work, and one for mathematics and technical work.

A Word document created with the BANA Braille template can be imported into DBT and paired with one of the above templates for smooth, seamless braille production, because the styles in the Word template map directly into the styles defined in the DBT template. The other DBT templates do not share this close correspondence. You must use one of these DBT templates for the files created with BANA Braille template to open, translate, and format as intended.

Template Installation

If Word is already installed on your computer when DBT is installed, one or more “BANA Braille” templates get added to your Word templates list as shown below. (Word templates are generally found under the File, New tab.) Note that it is important to use the latest BANA Braille template to take advantage of the latest features. However, you may keep the earlier templates and use them at your discretion.

Word 2010's Personalised Templates dialog

Microsoft Word should be installed before DBT. Without Word, DBT cannot place the BANA template into the correct folder. A pop-up message when DBT is first started is the step that installs the BANA template. You need to answer yes to, “Would you like to install the BANA template?” (You may check the box that says, “Do not ask this again” to avoid future prompts.)

Install Word Template dialog

If the BANA Braille template was not installed, you may either reinstall DBT, (See DBT 12.7 Installation) or copy the "BANA Braille" file (where "xx" stands for the year of the latest template) into your Word Templates folder. A backup copy of the template can be found in the DBT "Templates" folder: C:\...\Duxbury\DBT 12.7\Templates.

New Features

Click here to see What is new in the latest BANA Braille template.

See Producing Nemeth Code within UEB for information on using the latest Nemeth codes.

SWIFT and the BANA Braille Template

SWIFT is an add-in for Microsoft Word designed to send text material directly to DBT. When used in "BANA mode" it automatically presents to you only the controls and styles that match the desired target DBT template, making it easy for you to select the appropriate options for UEB v. EBAE, with or without Nemeth.

Installing SWIFT adds a Braille tab to the Word ribbon interface. In your initial set-up, open the Options dialog and select the user type BANA (as below). Likewise, make sure the best (usually the latest) BANA Template is selected from the drop-down list.

SWIFT's Options dialog

The Braille ribbon displays only limited options before a target DBT template is selected.

Content of the basic Braille ribbon which appears in Word

Use the Choose Template control to select your target DBT template.

SWIFT ribbon showing the "Choose Template" choices.

Selecting a DBT template populates the Braille tab of the Word ribbon interface with the appropriate styles and commands for that template.

Expanded Braille ribbon - but without Math group

To help you find what you need, the Braille ribbon organizes related formatting styles into groups. There is a group for Paragraph Styles, another for Character and word level mark-up, another for Language switching commands, etc.

This Help provides a separate sub-topic covering the controls in each group. All the groups are listed below, but certain groups (such as UEB and Math) apply only to select templates.

The Braille Ribbon Groups

Setting Up Word

The following settings and options in Word have proven of value to users employing the BANA Braille template. With just a few steps, you can make the styles in use visible. You can enable screen tips to help identify the icons on the ribbon, and you can have the related "shortcut" key combination displayed (to access often-used commands more quickly).

Once we have Word set up, there is similar configuration to be done in DBT, which we present later.

First, the Style Area

Word has the option to display the Style Area on the left side of your document to show the Word paragraph styles in use. Because the intent is to map Word styles to the matching DBT styles, it helps to see them.

The correct rendering in braille depends on the function of each element in the document: heading v. footnote v. body text, etc. Therefore, we want to style each element according to its function. To see styles, go to the View tab and switch to Draft view. If you are using SWIFT, it does this for you automatically.

Example page with style area shown at the left margin

SWIFT changes to the Draft view and displays the Style Area whenever a BANA Braille template is attached. In some versions of Word (2007 and 2010) Draft view “sticks” when the file is closed, and the file reopens in that view. Unfortunately, this behavior is no longer automatic for Word 2013/2016 users, but Draft view can always be activated by pressing Alt+Ctrl+n, or by going to the View tab and selecting Draft.

Word's View Options

To close the Style Area and return to the regular Print view, press Alt+Ctrl+p, or go to the View tab and switch from Draft to Print Layout. Depending on the version of Word, the Document View options are also on the Status Bar. (Draft view is not on the Status Bar for Word 2013/2016.)

Second, ScreenTips & Shortcuts

As long as Word is configured to enable them, a ScreenTip can appear to identify each user interface control. The Braille ribbon has a large number of icons and terse abbreviations. With screen tips enabled, the title or a brief description of each one appears when the cursor hovers over them.

Likewise, the shortcut key combination for each command can be displayed along with the Screen Tip.

If screen tips are not turned on, take the following steps.

For Word 2007: got to the Office Button, Word Options, Popular, and find the section "Top options for working with Word". Find ScreenTip style and set, “Show feature description in ScreenTips”.

Word 2007 Word Options, Popular dialog showing ScreenTip style set for "show feature descriptions in ScreenTips."

To see the "shortcut" along with the Screen Tip, to go the Office Button, Word Options, Advanced. Find the Display section and check the box, "Show shortcut keys in ScreenTips".

Word 2007 Word Options, Advanced, Display dialog showing "Show shortcut keys in ScreenTips" checked

In Word 2010/2013/2016: The navigation to these items is different from Word 2007, but the options to be selected are the same. For Screen Tips, go to File, Options, General, User Interface options, and set ScreenTip style: “Show feature description in ScreenTips”.

For shortcuts, go to File, Options, Advanced, Display, and set "Show shortcut keys in ScreenTips".

A List of Shortcut Keys for Styles

Some styles have shortcut keystrokes already assigned. For example, the shortcut keystroke for Heading 1 is Alt+Ctrl+1. Here is a list for your reference.

Key Tips

Whereas "shortcuts" execute a command without opening the menu, Key Tips allow you to open the menu and select a command from it by using your keyboard.

In Word 2007/2010/2013/2016: You can use Key Tips to access the BANA Braille menu and its styles. Press Alt and follow up by pressing the keys as displayed.

Word 2007/2010/2013 keytips activated by pressing Alt

Setting DBT Options to Use the BANA Braille Template

Two Reminders: First, when you launch DBT DBT Win 12.7 the first time, make sure you accept installing the BANA Braille template for Word.

Second, you must use one of the BANA templates in DBT for the BANA Braille files from Word to open, translate, and format correctly. They are:


Presumably you have already done the basic set-up tasks for your DBT installation. (These are mostly tasks in the DBT Global menu.) In particular, it is important that you have your embosser attached and configured. If you have not yet done that task, take the time to set up your embosser through “Global: Embosser Setup.”

Then you have one small task, also in the Global menu. It is very important to set the Word Importer so it works correctly with the BANA template. This requires turning off the automatic interpretation of any text in the Courier font as computer braille, turning off the treatment of braille and simbraille fonts as braille, and turning on recognition of DBT codes embedded in the Word document, as shown below.

DBT's Global: Word Importer Dialog

Those settings are all you need. However, for convenience you can select one of the BANA templates as the default to make importing your Word files or creating a new file quicker. The most likely template to pick as a default would be "English (UEB) – BANA". (The choice is, of course, up to you.)

As an example, if you open File, New, the dialog below appears. Scroll to your preferred template and select it. Then select the button “Mark template as default” and click OK. This template will now be selected automatically whenever you import a file or create a new file (though you can always override the default template by selecting a different one).

File: New... dialog

Matching Word Styles to DBT Styles (and Codes)

In the first column, this table lists the styles contained in the current BANA Braille template. The second column shows where to find that style in the SWIFT Braille Ribbon interface. The third column names the DBT style (or code) that replaces the Word style when the file is imported into DBT.

Wherever the number sign (#) appears in the table, it can be replaced by any digit in the range: 1-6, unless otherwise noted.

This chart is preliminary and does not include every style in the BANA Braille template and every mapping done by the Word importer. Please contact us regarding questions or errors at

Style Table
Word Style
BANA Braille (current)
Group: Menu DBT Style (BANA template)
Acronym acronym
AlphabeticDivision Paragraph Styles: Glossary, also Index AlphabeticDivision
Attribution Paragraph Styles: Misc Attribution.
Body Text Paragraph Styles: Body B-BodyText.
BoxBegin (AutoText) Paragraph Styles: Misc BB-BoxBegin.
BoxDouble (AutoText) Paragraph Styles: Misc BD-BoxDouble
BoxEnd (AutoText) Paragraph Styles: Misc BE-BoxEnd
BoxBottomText (Nemeth and AutoText) Paragraph Styles: Misc. (BANA UEB with Nemeth template only) BoxBottomText
BoxTopText (variation for color and AutoText) Paragraph Styles: Misc. (BANA UEB templates only) BoxTopText
BoxTopText (Nemeth and AutoText) Paragraph Styles: Misc (BANA UEB with Nemeth template only) BoxTopText
brlinline - brlinline
Caption Paragraph Styles: Misc C-Caption.
CBC-Display Paragraph Styles: Misc CD-CBCDisplay.
CBC-Inline Character (BANA EBAE templates only) CI-CBCInline
Centered Paragraph Styles: Contents, Headings, Index Centered.
CenteredWithGuideDots Paragraph Styles: Contents CG-CenteredWithGuideDots.
CenteredFullLine Paragraph Styles: Headings CF-CenteredFullLine.
CrossReference Paragraph Styles: Misc CR-CrossReference.
Directions Paragraph Styles: Exercise Directions.
DirectionsNemeth Paragraph Styles: Exercise (Nemeth templates only) DirectionsNemeth.
Embedded Reference PageNumber Page Number RefPageNumberEmbed
Exercise # Styles: Exercise E-Exercise. [hl#]
ExactTranslation Character ExactTranslation.


(# = 1 or 2)

Paragraph Styles: Exercise (Nemeth templates only) E-ExerciseNemeth. [hl#]
Footnote Paragraph Styles: Notes Footnote.
French Language french
German Language german
Glossary # Paragraph Styles: Glossary G-Glossary. [hl#]
GuideDots Character GuideDots
Guide Word Character GW-GuideWord
Heading 1 Paragraph Styles: Headings H1-HeadingCentered.
Heading 2 Paragraph Styles: Headings H2-HeadingCell5.
Heading 3 Paragraph Styles: Headings H3-HeadingCell7.
Index # Paragraph Styles: Index I1-Index. [hl#]
IPA Character IPA
Italian Language italian
Latin Language latin
LeftFlush Paragraph Styles: Body LeftFlush.
LinearMath Math (Nemeth templates only) LinearMath
LineNums Character LineNums
List # Paragraph Styles: List L-List. [hl#]
LitBold Math Emphasis (Nemeth templates only) LitBold
Literary Math (Nemeth templates only) Literary
LitItalics Math Emphasis (Nemeth templates only) LitItalics
Main Body Interpoint (style and AutoText) Paragraph Styles: Page Setups MainBody.
Main Body Single (style and AutoText) Paragraph Styles: Page Setups MainBodySingle.
NoteSeparationLine (Style and AutoText) Paragraph Styles: Note NoteSeparationLine.
OneWordBridge Math (BANA UEB with Nemeth template only) OneWordBridge
Poetry # Paragraph Styles: Poetry P-Poetry. [hl#]
PrelimPageNumber (style and AutoText) Paragraph Styles: Page Setups PrelimPageNumber.
PrelimPageNumberSingle (style and AutoText) Paragraph Styles: Page Setups PrelimPageNumberSingle.
ProsePlay Paragraph Styles: Plays PP-ProsePlay.
ProseStage Paragraph Styles: Plays PS-ProseStage.
Quote Paragraph Styles: Body Quote.
RefPageNemeth Page Number (Nemeth templates only) RefPageNemeth.
RefPageNemethEmbed Page Number (Nemeth templates only) RefPageNemethEmbed
RightFlush Paragraph Styles: Body RF-RightFlush.
RunningHead Paragraph Styles: Headings RunningHead.
Soft Return (AutoText only) Paragraph Styles: DBT Codes SoftReturn
Spanish Language spanish
TechnicalNotation Math (Nemeth templates only) math
TG-Key Paragraph Styles: Misc. TG-Key.
TN-Embed Character TN-Embed
TN-Nemeth Math: (Nemeth templates only) TN-Nemeth
TOC # Paragraph Styles: Contents C-Contents. [hl#]
Textbook Reference PageNumber Page Number RefPageNumber.
TranscriberGeneratedPageNumber Paragraph Styles: Page Setups TranscriberGeneratedPageNumber
TranscriberNote Paragraph Styles: Misc TranscriberNote.
Uncontracted Character Uncontracted
VersePlay1 Paragraph Styles: Plays VP-VersePlay.
VersePlay2 Paragraph Styles: Plays VP-VersePlay. [hl2]
VerseStage Paragraph Styles: Plays VS-VerseStage.