Braille Formats
Principles of Print-to-Braille
Transcription, 2016

Developed Under the Sponsorship of the
Braille Authority of North America

Published by
The Braille Authority of North America

©2016 by The Braille Authority of North America
All rights reserved.

This material may be duplicated, but not altered or sold.

ISBN: 978-0-9859473-8-5 (Print)
ISBN: 978-0-9859473-9-2 (Braille)

Printed by the American Printing House for the Blind. Copies may be purchased from:

American Printing House for the Blind
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-3148
502-895-2405 • 800-223-1839
www.aph.org
info@aph.org
Catalog Number: 7-09653-00

The mission and purpose of the Braille Authority of North America are to assure literacy for tactile readers through the standardization of braille and/or tactile graphics. BANA promotes and facilitates the use, teaching, and production of braille. It publishes rules, interprets, and renders opinions pertaining to braille in all existing codes. It deals with codes now in existence or to be developed in the future, in collaboration with other countries using English braille. In exercising its function and authority, BANA considers the effects of its decisions on other existing braille codes and formats; the ease of production by various methods; and acceptability to readers.

For more information and resources, visit www.brailleauthority.org/.

Braille Authority of North America (BANA Members)

  • Alternate Text Production Center of the California Community Colleges (ATPC)
  • American Council of the Blind
  • American Foundation for the Blind
  • American Printing House for the Blind
  • Associated Services for the Blind
  • Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • California Transcribers and Educators for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind)
  • Council of Schools and Services for the Blind (COSB)
  • Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • Horizons for the BlindNational Braille Association
  • National Braille Press
  • National Federation of the Blind
  • National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
  • Perkins School for the Blind

Associate Members

  • Braille Institute of America
  • Crawford Technologies
  • T-Base Communications

Table of Contents

  • Preface to 2016 Format
  • Preface to 2011 Formats
  • Acknowledgements
  • Section 1 Basic Principles and General Formats
    • 1.1      Fundamentals
    • 1.2      Technical and Specialized Materials
    • 1.3      Partially Technical Works
    • 1.4      Definitions, Format, and Terminolog
    • 1.5      Formatting for Magazines or Newsletters in Noninstructional Material
    • 1.6      Volume Information.
    • 1.7      Page Size, Line Length, and Line Spacing
    • 1.8      Titles and Running Heads
    • 1.9      Paragraph Format
    • 1.10    Word Division
    • 1.11    Print Page Numbers
    • 1.12    Material Printed Across Facing Pages
    • 1.13    Letter/Number or Number/Number Combinations
    • 1.14    Numeric and Alphabetic Print Page Numbers
    • 1.15    Braille Page Numbers.
    • 1.16    Foreign Material in English Context
    • 1.17    Volume Labels
    • 1.18    Samples
  • Section 2 Transcriber-Generated Pages and Front Matter
    • 2.1      Fundamentals
    • 2.2      Transcriber-Generated Page Basics
    • 2.3      Title Pages
    • 2.4      Second and Subsequent Title Pages
    • 2.5      Special Symbols Page
    • 2.6      Transcriber's Notes Page
    • 2.7      Front Matter Basics.
    • 2.8      Book Covers and Jackets
    • 2.9      Dedications and Acknowledgements
    • 2.10    Table of Contents
    • 2.11    Other Front Matter
    • 2.12    Body Matter
    • 2.13    Samples
  • Section 3 Transcriber's Notes
    • 3.1      Fundamentals
    • 3.2      Format
    • 3.3      Placement of Transcriber's Notes
    • 3.4      Technical Codes
    • 3.5      Sample
  • Section 4 Headings
    • 4.1      Fundamentals
    • 4.2      Heading Hierarchy.
    • 4.3      General Provisions for Centered, Cell-5, and Cell-7 Headings
    • 4.4      Centered Headings.
    • 4.5      Cell-5 Headings
    • 4.6      Cell-7 Headings
    • 4.7      Marginal Headings.
    • 4.8      Paragraph Headings.
    • 4.9      Icons and Headings.
    • 4.10    Lengthy Series of Headings
    • 4.11    Reference Marks and Notes to Headings
    • 4.12    Samples
  • Section 5 Typeforms
    • 5.1      Fundamentals
    • 5.2      Distinctive Typefaces and Font Attributes
    • 5.3      When Print Font Attributes May Be Ignored
    • 5.4      Retaining Font Attributes
    • 5.5      Color, Highlighting, and Other Print Fonts
    • 5.6      Font Emphasis for One or More Paragraphs
    • 5.7      Emphasized Letters within a Word
    • 5.8      Multiple Emphasis in Exercise Material
    • 5.9      Words Enclosed in Shapes
    • 5.10    Samples
  • Section 6 Illustrative Materials
    • 6.1      Fundamentals
    • 6.2      Format
    • 6.3      Descriptions
    • 6.4      Omitted Illustrations
    • 6.5      Concept Maps, Graphic Organizers, Idea Webs
    • 6.6      Flowcharts
    • 6.7      Forms
    • 6.8      Genealogical and Ancestral Charts
    • 6.9      Organizational Charts
    • 6.10    Timelines
    • 6.11    When a Tactile Graphic Is Not Produced
    • 6.12    Screenshots
    • 6.13    Slide Presentations.
    • 6.14    Samples
  • Section 7 Boxed Material
    • 7.1      Fundamentals
    • 7.2      Blank Lines
    • 7.3      Boxes
    • 7.4      The Relationship Between Text and Boxes on Facing Print Pages
    • 7.5      Different Colored Boxes
    • 7.6      Boxes within Boxes.
    • 7.7      Samples
  • Section 8 Lists
    • 8.1      Fundamentals
    • 8.2      Simple Embedded Lists
    • 8.3      Simple Vertical Lists
    • 8.4      Simple Lists in Columns
    • 8.5      Nested Lists
    • 8.6      Bulleted Lists
    • 8.7      Lists with Only Some Items Bulleted
    • 8.8      Outlines
    • 8.9      Annotated Lists
    • 8.10    Samples
  • Section 9 Displayed Material, Attributions, and Source Information.
    • 9.1      Fundamentals
    • 9.2      Format for Displayed Material
    • 9.3      Epigraphs
    • 9.4      Attributions
    • 9.5      Source Citations and Permission to Copy
    • 9.6      Cross-References and Incidental Notes
    • 9.7      Correspondence and Diary Entries
    • 9.8      Samples
  • Section 10 Exercise Material
    • 10.1    Fundamentals
    • 10.2    Blank Lines
    • 10.3    Directions
    • 10.4    Exercise Questions
    • 10.5    Write-on-Lines Before or After Questions
    • 10.6    Write-on-Lines within Sentences
    • 10.7    Displayed Text in Exercise Material
    • 10.8    Exercise Examples, Sample Questions with Answers
    • 10.9    Matching
    • 10.10  True/False Exercises
    • 10.11  Formats for Pictures in Exercise Material
    • 10.12  Samples
  • Section 11 Tables and Related Columns
    • 11.1    Fundamentals
    • 11.2    Table Basics
    • 11.3    Table Headings
    • 11.4    Column Headings
    • 11.5    Row Headings
    • 11.6    Column Entries
    • 11.7    Techniques for Shortening Column Width
    • 11.8    Keying Long Entries.
    • 11.9    Skeleton and Partially Filled-In Tables
    • 11.10  Omitted Portion of Print Table
    • 11.11  Graphics with Identified Values
    • 11.12  Wide Tables
    • 11.13  Wide Tables: Facing Pages
    • 11.14  Wide Tables: Vertical Division
    • 11.15  Wide Tables: Interchanged Columns and Rows
    • 11.16  Wide Tables: Listed Table Format
    • 11.17  Wide Tables: Linear Table Format
    • 11.18  Wide Tables: Stairstep Table Format
    • 11.19  Samples
  • Section 12 Sidebars
    • 12.1    Fundamentals
    • 12.2    Identifying Sidebars.
    • 12.3    Formatting Sidebars.
    • 12.4    Samples
  • Section 13 Poetry and Song Lyrics
    • 13.1    Fundamentals
    • 13.2    Poetry within Narrative Text
    • 13.3    Poetry in Stanza or Verse Form
    • 13.4    Separation of Stanzas.
    • 13.5    Shape Poetry
    • 13.6    Poems with Irregular Lines of Poetry
    • 13.7    Prose Poetry
    • 13.8    Reference Marks and Notes in Poetry
    • 13.9    Scansion, Accent, and Meter
    • 13.10  Hymnals and Songbooks.
    • 13.11  Titles, Hymn or Song Numbers
    • 13.12  Samples
  • Section 14 Plays, Cartoons, and Graphic Novels
    • 14.1    Fundamentals
    • 14.2    Cast of Characters
    • 14.3    Scene Settings
    • 14.4    Stage Directions
    • 14.5    Prose Plays
    • 14.6    Verse Plays
    • 14.7    Mixed Prose and Verse Plays
    • 14.8    Conclusion of Play
    • 14.9    Interviews
    • 14.10  Cartoons
    • 14.11  Graphic Novels
    • 14.12  Samples
  • Section 15 Line-Numbered and Line-Lettered Text
    • 15.1    Fundamentals
    • 15.2    Margin-Numbered Paragraphs
    • 15.3    General Provisions for Line-Numbered Text
    • 15.4    Line-Numbered Prose.
    • 15.5    Line-Numbered Poetry.
    • 15.6    Interspersed Line-Numbered Prose and Verse
    • 15.7    Poetic Rhyme Scheme.
    • 15.8    Counted Words
    • 15.9    Verse-Numbered Texts in Religious Material
    • 15.10  Samples
  • Section 16 Notes.
    • 16.1    Fundamentals
    • 16.2    Print Reference Marks.
    • 16.3    Emphasis Used to Identify Reference Marks
    • 16.4    Notes without a Reference Mark
    • 16.5    Notes
    • 16.6    Gloss Notes in Foreign Language Texts
    • 16.7    Miscellaneous Notes Issues
    • 16.8    Notes in Tables and Columned Material
    • 16.9    Endnotes
    • 16.10  Heavily Annotated Materials
    • 16.11  Keying Technique for Marginal Labels
    • 16.12  Samples
  • Section 17 Spelling Lists and Activities
    • 17.1    Fundamentals
    • 17.2    Spelling Word Lists
    • 17.3    Word Lists Used with Activities
    • 17.4    Word Lists with Partial Emphasis
    • 17.5    Marked Words in a List
    • 17.6    Definition Lists
    • 17.7    Word Lists in Foreign Language Texts
    • 17.8    Syllabified Words
    • 17.9    Blanks and Omissions
    • 17.10  Intentional Errors
    • 17.11  Crossed-Out Letters
    • 17.12  Insertions
    • 17.13  Nonalphabetical Signs
    • 17.14  Samples
  • Section 18 Grammar
    • 18.1    Fundamentals
    • 18.2    Emphasized Capital Letters
    • 18.3    Punctuation
    • 18.4    Nonalphabetical Signs
    • 18.5    Words or Abbreviations Printed above Sentences
    • 18.6    Proofreading Marks and Edited Copy
    • 18.7    Linear Sentence Diagramming
    • 18.8    Spatial Sentence Diagrams with Arrows
    • 18.9    Spatial Sentence Diagramming
    • 18.10  Samples
  • Section 19 Codes and Puzzles
    • 19.1    Fundamentals
    • 19.2    Number, Letter, and Other Puzzle Codes
    • 19.3    Words in Code
    • 19.4    Morse Code
    • 19.5    Crossword Puzzles
    • 19.6    Word Puzzles and Letter Searches
    • 19.7    Sudoku
    • 19.8    Samples
  • Section 20 Pronunciation
    • 20.1    Fundamentals
    • 20.2    Pronunciation Basics
    • 20.3    Simple Pronunciation
    • 20.4    Diacritic Pronunciation
    • 20.5    Instructional Content
    • 20.6    Reference Sections with Syllabification and/or Pronunciations
    • 20.7    Pronunciation and Summary Keys
    • 20.8    Samples
  • Section 21 Alphabetic References
    • 21.1    Fundamentals
    • 21.2    General Format for Alphabetic References
    • 21.3    Guide Words
    • 21.4    Indexes
    • 21.5    References without Syllabification or Pronunciation
    • 21.6    Glossaries
    • 21.7    Thesauruses
    • 21.8    Dictionaries and Facsimiles
    • 21.9    Alphabetic References in Foreign Language Materials
    • 21.10  Samples
  • Section 22 Bibliographies
    • 22.1    Fundamentals
    • 22.2    Bibliography Format
    • 22.3    Annotated Bibliographies
  • Appendix A Changes and Amendments
  • Appendix B Agency Decisions
  • Appendix C Blank Lines
  • Appendix D Foreign Language Symbols
  • Appendix E Interpoint Guidelines
  • Appendix F Glossary for Transcribers
  • Appendix G Symbols and Indicators
  • Index

Preface to 2016 Formats

This updated edition of Braille Formats: Principles of Print-to-Braille Transcription, 2011 has been created to bring Braille Formats into line with Unified English Braille (UEB).

With the implementation of UEB, some of the guidelines set forth in Braille Formats, 2011 no longer applied and some just needed to be tweaked a bit. As you read through and apply these guidelines, you will find that you agree with some of the decisions made and you will not agree with others. This document was a study in compromise for the committee. We did our best to provide clear, concise guidelines that will allow readers to most accurately receive the information provided in a braille transcription.

As you use this document, please note that sample transcriber's notes are just that—samples. They are intended to be used as a guide when writing notes in transcriptions. The exact wording shown in the samples may or may not need to be adjusted to apply to the specific document you are transcribing. Please carefully consider what the note says before including it in any text.

I'd like to thank the committee members for their input and help.

  • Cindi Laurent, Chair (2014–2016)
  • Marilyn Breedlove (2015–2016)
  • Randy Davis (2015–2016)
  • Dena Garrett (2003–2015)
  • Tina S. Herzberg, Ph.D. (2014–2016)
  • Norma MacDonald (2014–2016)
  • Susan Spicknall (2015–2016)
  • Dorothy Worthington (2007–2016)
  • Constance Risjord, Consultant (2014–2016)
  • Saul Garza, BANA Board Liaison (2015–2016)

Preface to 2011 Formats

This new edition of Braille Formats: Principles of Print-to-Braille Transcription, 2011 is more than a revision of the 1997 edition. Extensive changes have been made, and this book now supersedes all previous editions and updates. A partial list of the changes may be found in Appendix A.

The original intent of this revision was that English Braille American Edition would be revised at the same time and that all of the formatting decisions for both literary and technical materials would be covered in this document. As EBAE is not yet complete there will be a period during which they overlap. Where there are conflicts follow Braille Formats: Principles of Print-to-Braille Transcription, 2011.
Another guideline which is nearing completion is the revised Foreign Language Guidelines for Braille Transcription. Again, during the overlapping period, where there are conflicts follow Braille Formats: Principles of Print-to-Braille Transcription, 2011.

The basic philosophy behind the changes in Braille Formats: Principles of Print-to-Braille Transcription, 2011 is simplicity. Decisions were based on readability and comprehension for braille readers. It is expected that these guidelines will be applied unless a situation is not covered. Making the guidelines straightforward allows transcribers to make decisions when confronted with material not specifically addressed within these sections. BANA made the decision that this document is to serve as a set of guidelines. The choice of the word Section as a heading has its roots in the idea that this document is a set of guidelines, and there is not a hard and fast rule for everything encountered in print. The committee tried to make Braille Formats as simple to follow as possible, to eliminate exceptions, and to minimize cross references. Repetition of some material keeps cross references to a minimum.

We have asked the braille readers on the committee to add a rationale at the beginning of most of the sections to explain why we have made the changes. It is called the Braille Reader's Perspective.

The changes in the layout to Braille Formats: Principles of Print-to-Braille Transcription, 2011 are obvious immediately.

Presentation of Guidelines. Each section is complete, with few references to other sections. A hierarchy of information is used to present basic material first, followed by more detailed concepts.

Decimal Numbering. The change in numbering connects all elements of the sections and subsections.

Examples. Short examples are embedded within the guidelines and longer examples at the end of each section. This allows the reader to see how the guidelines are intended to be used and eliminates the need to hunt through full-page examples for a few lines.

Sectional Page Numbering. This new page numbering provides a way for updates to be added to Braille Formats more easily.

Appendices. There are several appendices covering blank lines, foreign language symbols, interpoint guidelines, agency decisions, and a glossary

There are four major format changes from the 1997 edition.

Braille Page Numbering. A distinction is made between transcriber inserted pages and print pages, which allows us to retain front matter print page order.

Headings. A new heading level accommodates the need for additional distinction in today's textbooks.

Nested Lists. All multilevel lists are formatted the same and the principles apply for all situations. Each level is indented two cells, with all runovers in the same cell. Readers report that as soon as they get to the first runover line they know how many levels they are reading. This avoids confusion with clashing indent and runovers in the same cell.

Footnotes. Most footnotes are now at the end of the print page. This enables the flow of thought to be preserved. There is a new generic footnote indicator which will be used with all types of footnotes.

  • Lynnette Taylor, Chair (1998-2011)
  • Deborah Brown (1998-2011)
  • Susan Christensen (2001-2011)
  • Dena Garrett (2003-2011)
  • Debbie Gillespie (1998-2011)
  • Ann Kelt (1999-2011)
  • Sandy Smith (2000-2011)
  • Dorothy Worthington (2007-2011)

Acknowledgements

As chair of the Braille Formats Technical Committee of BANA I would like to thank the committee members, consultants, and BANA reviewers for their help in getting this document completed. Special recognition goes to Constance Risjord for her help with grammar and wording issues. I learned a lot through this process, not the least of which is that it takes a village to produce a document of this size!

Cindi Laurent