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Announcing SWIFT 5.5
SWIFT 5.5 is a Free Product which enhances
your copy of Word and DBT.
This version release updates the Dot NET platform requirement to work more seamlessly with newer versions of Windows.
- SWIFT 5.5 is free.
- SWIFT 5.5 works with DBT 12.2 sr1 and newer versions.
- You do need a copy of DBT 12.2 sr1 or newer and a copy of MS Word (2007 or above) to use SWIFT 5.5. All SWIFT users with DBT DBT 12.2 sr1 or newer are urged to upgrade. Be sure to remove the existing SWIFT installation before installing the update.
- Click here for more information and a download link. (Earlier versions of SWIFT are still available if you have an older version of DBT.)
NimPro 2.0 Release
We are very happy to announce the release of NimPro 2.0 in July 2020. This release has many improvements for handling of NIMAS (DAISY) files.
More information about NimPro, with downloads links for Windows and macOS, is posted here.
Perky Duck and QuickTac Releases
We are very happy to announce new Perky Duck and QuickTac releases in July 2020. These are both free products.
Perky Duck is a simple braille editor, often used in braille classroom settings. Information about Perky Duck, with downloads links for Windows and macOS, is posted here.
QuickTac is a tactile graphics composition program. Information about QuickTac, with download links for Windows and macOS, is posted here.
Announcing Duxbury DBT Win 12.4 sr1
DBT 12.4 sr1
Primarily, this service release resolves issues reported with respect to specific embossers.
- For Columbia embossers, this release realigns the front to back registration, restoring the correct spacing.
- For the Interpoint Elekul 55 (Belgium), output has been fully updated to restore all functionality. (A Reminder: It is important that the path to PRINT55.EXE be properly set in the Device Settings tab of the Global Embosser Setup. A newly created embosser setup will have this set correctly by default.)
- The TranSend SE embosser has a restored font list.
- We have modified DBT's .bru importer w.r.t. importing notetaker .brl files. (These braille files are typically formatted with each paragraph as one long line.) If you begin your .brl file with the four characters "_%_:", the DBT importer treats the file as Nemeth Code in UEB context, causing it to automatically assign the styles math and math-TextInMath where appropriate. This handling matches the .brf file importer handling for .brf files starting with those four characters.
- - We have revised and updated the DBT Help files, focusing on the topics that describe the different braille translators. We hope that customers gain a better understanding of the Duxbury DBT translators through our efforts to improve our documentation.
The core of Duxbury DBT and its translators has not changed.
- For lengthy file imports, DBT now displays a progress bar.
- DBT opens files faster, with quicker performance in general operations.
- In UEB templates, there is a new chemistry style. For any technical notation within the chemistry style, there is no use of word or passage capital indicators, as each capital letter is capitalized separately.
- The NEW Bristol Braille Canute Mk13 Braille eReader is supported as an embosser.
- Graphic images in centered headings are now well handled.
- The BANA Listed Tables format is restored.
- The insertion of [hl] codes is no longer restricted when importing DAISY or XML files, as it is for Word files.
- The biggest additions in languages are starter tables for the Arabic, German, Russian, and Spanish math (technical notation) braille systems. These braille math codes may impact braille production in over 80 countries.
- Templates for these four languages all have a math style. For example, if you use the math style in a German template, you get German math braille. For ease of use, the math style is inserted automatically when you import a LaTeX file.
- The Russian math translator affects technical braille for many languages: Armenian (Eastern), Azerbaijani, Belorussian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Chuvash, Croatian, Czech, Estonian, Georgian, Hungarian, Ingush, Kazakh, Kirghiz, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Slovakian, Tajik, Tatar, Turkmen, Udmurt, Ukrainian, Uzbek.
- The Arabic language and unified Arabic braille rules are used in over 25 countries.
- The Spanish language and unified Spanish braille rules are used in about 20 countries.
- You are invited to test the math braille translators and send suggested improvements to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sample files for over a hundred languages are incorporated into the DBT Help so that you can quickly test DBT in an unfamiliar language.
- UTF-8 conversion is now built into our LaTeX importer. This allows non-ASCII characters in the text: unusual accented letters, non-Roman scripts such as Cyrillic, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Hindi, etc., to be imported directly into DBT as combined text and math in a single step.
- The LaTeX importer now treats the code $$, when adjacent to a tab character, as the start or end of displayed math.
- The LaTeX importer no longer generates a space in cases where a LaTeX or MathType passage includes a "thin space". These extra spaces caused unneeded braille indicators in some math translators.
- The LaTeX importer no longer ignores some absolute value signs.
- The LaTeX importer now handles Greek letter variant forms, the so-called blackboard characters, and some additional special characters.
- Handling of reference page indicators in UEB with Nemeth is improved.
- The ending codes for the math style have been refined. We have moved the [i] code to the end, which prevents the insertion of the grade 1 indicator before certain punctuation marks, such as the question mark.
- DBT can now generate interline print for Gemini embossers.
- DBT supports the ViewPlus "Tiger" registry key and enforces a 0.5 inch minimum top margin for the Columbia embosser.
- The Columbia model, with a top margin setting of 0 now has an effective 0.5" top margin. A top margin setting of 1 has an effective 0.65" top margin. For higher top margin settings in DBT, the effective margin is 0.4" times the number entered in DBT.
- For dual ink and braille embossers, DBT eliminates most inappropriate gaps in the inkprint text.
- DBT codes no longer appear in the interline print of embosser output.
- For entries in the printer queue, DBT no longer adds "(Ink)" to the document name when not appropriate.
- DBT now prints TactileView (TV) Images to the Columbia embosser - and presumably other ViewPlus embossers - at the intended size. Note that the image size is not set directly from DBT, but DBT ensures that the size should be the same in the output as on screen. (Note: the size is determined by the image height, and images that are too wide for the page are likely to be clipped. For such images, direct output from TV may be the appropriate approach.)
More Language Updates
According to the 2013 UNESCO document World Braille Usage, Arabic Pre-2002 is the official Arabic translator for Bahrain, Iran, Malaysia, and Indonesia. DBT now has a template for the Pre-2002 Arabic translator.
To assist those studying ancient languages, a new template and translator for the transcription of Semitic Languages has been added.
The English UEB translation table was changed to allow the functionality of the chemistry style, and also to refine the contraction use in a series of uncommon words.
|Arabic: adds a math-only print-to-braille translator invoked by using the math style. (Note: preliminary.)|
|Dhivehi: newly added language, spoken in the Maldive Islands.|
|Estonian: the template now reserves the bottom line of each page for braille page numbers with no preceding text.|
|German: adds a math-only print-to-braille translator invoked by using the math style. (Note: preliminary.) Also, German has improvements in both the print-to-braille and the braille-to-print translators, especially as regards the "ung" contraction.|
|Hindi: braille-to-print improves handling of single and double quote marks.|
|Portuguese: some improvements in the handling of punctuation.|
|Russian: adds a math-only print-to-braille translator invoked by using the math style. (Note: preliminary.) The braille-to-print translator improves the translation of certain letter/number combinations.|
|Slovenian: the template now reserves the bottom line of each page for braille page numbers with no preceding text.|
|Spanish: adds a math-only print-to-braille translator invoked by using the math style. (Note: preliminary.)|
|Ukrainian: the template now shows the capital letter sign in braille.|
|Uzbek: the translators reflect a minor change in the braille translation rules that removes an ambiguity about the braille 'e'.|
|Vietnamese: better handling of letter d and letter d with a stroke, (đ) U+0111.|
George Bell 2019 Calendar Files
Braille 2019 Calendar files available for DBT users. (zip file for download)
Thanks to George Bell of Techno-Vision Systems Ltd. for creating these and making them available!
The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) Launches a Guide for the Production of Braille Books in India
Duxbury Systems is proud that this guide centers around the use of DBT. We also note that the advice in this guide can be applied to almost every country in the world.
The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) is pleased to launch a Guide for the production of Braille books in India using digital content. The Guide, produced by the DAISY Consortium with the generous funding of the United Nations and Skoll Foundations, explains how digital files can be used to create Braille books in India. India was the first country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty, and it has legislation allowing for the production of accessible format works – such as Braille, audio and large print – without the need to request prior authorization from the copyright owner.
The full press release is available at this location at the ABC website.
Announcing NEW DBT for Mac
DBT for Mac is no longer in beta!
This version is free for purchasers of DBT for Mac 12.1 beta!
To use DBT for Mac, we recommend running Mac OSX El Capitan (10.11), Sierra (10.12), High Sierra (10.13), or higher.
Pricing is the same as for DBT Win: $695 for a single-user license.
DBT MAC print and braille files are compatible with DBT WIN.
Contact your local dealer or Duxbury Systems directly!
SWIFT Works From Inside Your Copy of Microsoft Word
- SWIFT is an application which works within your copy of Word. Using SWIFT, you can send the current document (or a highlighted portion of a document) to Duxbury DBT, without having to manually start DBT and use the DBT File Open dialogue to load the document.
- You can also make multiple, non-contiguous selections in Word and only open those in DBT. Great if you only wish certain parts of a document in braille!
- SWIFT can send the current Word Document, translated by DBT, directly to the Braille embosser with no user intervention required using DBT's default settings.
- SWIFT can send the current document, translated by DBT, to an ink printer using the Braille or SimBraille font.
- SWIFT contains a "Style Mapper" so that you can customize the way DBT translates user defined Word Styles.
- SWIFT can now save your selected DBT Template name within your Word file.
- In the Options Menu (see screen shot below), select BANA if you are using the BANA Word Template (developed by Susan Christensen). Select Standard if you are making use of the Style Mapper. Selecting All Controls is normally only advised for expert users, but doing so does allow access to all aspects of SWIFT.
- In SWIFT's own dialog boxes, such as Options and Style Map, you can press F1 when focus is on a field within the dialog and be taken directly to that point in the Help file.
New Graph Paper Files Available for Embossing
Thank you, to one of our skilled users for providing us with these useful files which are used on a regular basis in schools. One of the largest supplier of tactile graph paper is discontinuing the product line. As a replacement, we have a series of "do-it-yourself" files to allow one to produce your own. Follow this link for the details.
MegaDots Sales Discontinued
After much consideration, Duxbury Systems confirms that MegaDots will not be made UEB capable. MegaDots sales will be discontinued immediately.
It is with much sadness that we have come to the point where we must say goodbye to MegaDots. Thank you to all the loyal users, contributors, programmers and supporters over the years.
We will be contacting those who have purchased MegaDots since January 1, 2015 for a special offer. All registered MegaDots 2.4 customers will be able to upgrade to the current version 2.5 at no charge. We will continue MegaDots technical support until July 4th, 2016.
Thank you all for your past, present and future love of braille and literacy as keys to individual determination and freedom.
We, at Duxbury Systems, are very proud to have carried on the heritage of literacy for the blind that was shared by Raised Dot Computing & Braille Planet. We will honor and continue that tradition with the current and future editions of the Duxbury Braille Translator and future developments.
We look forward to an exciting future as Duxbury Systems moves into its 40th year of working with braille
Duxbury Welcomes BANA'S Decision to Adopt UEB
On November 2, 2012, the Braille Authority of North America voted to adopt Unified English Braille, while also retaining the Nemeth Code for Math and Science, following a carefully designed transitional process as announced in BANA's press release at: http://www.brailleauthority.org/pressreleases/pr-2012november.html
With this announcement, UEB has now been adopted by all the members of the International Council on English Braille. Because some other ICEB countries have been using UEB for several years, our Duxbury Braille Translator (DBT) already supports UEB and, by virtue of the table-switching facility, it is also already possible to use Nemeth Code in the context of UEB. We are working to make that kind of transcription even easier in future releases.
Our president, Joe Sullivan, has been deeply involved in the development of UEB, having chaired the basic code design subcommittee from the beginning of the UEB development project in 1991 until acceptance of the code by ICEB in 2004, and having served since 2004 on ICEB's committees for maintenance of the code. By virtue of that involvement, he is naturally pleased to see UEB's gradual acceptance as a robust universal code for English-based text including math and other kinds of technical notation, but he is also aware of many issues that will need to be worked out over time and determined to support BANA's decisions fully.
Duxbury Systems acknowledges that it needs to make changes in DBT so that US users can more easily select Nemeth Code for math in conjunction with UEB (or any other braille code) within DBT.
Duxbury Systems is introducing a new product, NimPro, to read NIMAS files. This product automates many of the common transcriber steps which may be very time consuming. These files can then be exported to DBT (version 11.1 or higher) or to MegaDots (version 2.4 or 2.5).
NimPro is currently available for $295 for licensed DBT 11.1 and MegaDots 2.4/2.5 users only.
- NimPro directly reads NIMAS/Daisy files. Often NIMAS files are huge, and loaded with graphics. You can start the preparation of these files for braille using NimPro.
- NimPro exports to files for DBT and MegaDots, ready for braille production.
- Nimpro exports to Microsoft Word documents with BANA Styles (Braille-ready styles) included as an interim format to present to DBT or MegaDots.
- Nimpro contains automated "wizards" to convert inconvenient and inappropriate text styles into styles that facilitate correct Braille, applied at the user's direction to the pages or sections the user selects.
- Nimpro has several ways of handling images. One approach is to render images from the original text into tactile graphics using QuickTac, available free from Duxbury Systems. Another approach is to replace graphic images from the original text with either text or direct Braille. Both approaches are illustrated in the screen shots shown below.
- NimPro lets you divide the document into manageable segments for Braille production.
- NimPro converts all unrecognized text styles into styles understood by DBT and MegaDots.
- NimPro offers easy controls to adjust multiple heading levels to match the needs of Braille output.
- NimPro has controls to adjust automatic list numbering, bold face, and italics.
- NimPro has automatic addition of guide dots on tables of contents.
- NimPro has automatic conversion of the complex mark-up of tables into the correct format for DBT, MegaDots, or MS Word. This includes handling of lists and multiple paragraphs within tables and complexities such as tables nested inside other tables.
- NimPro offers control over the output of page number references.
For more information about NimPro, click here.
Duxbury Systems offers Two Important Document Collections
Duxbury Systems created two important web pages
Those who study the history of the blind and the history of braille should find this material useful.
Copyright Duxbury Systems, Inc. Thursday, August 6, 2020