reading web Braille books on ipad or iphone?

Braille on Apple Products
Hi folks, I am curious if there is a way to read the Web Braille files using my Braille display and ipad/iphone? If this is a possibility then it will sinch my wife getting an ipad. Thanks for any help.



Submitted by Shersey on Saturday, May 26, 2012

You can use WinTrans to translate .brf files into .txt files. Not a perfect solution, but it might be useful. You can do batch conversion with this program. You'll want to use the WinTrans executable, as the NFBTrans executable is a command line program; the WinTrans executible is a GUI program which completes all the same functions as it's command line counterpart. Formatting will be lost, and if this is important, I don't know what to tell you. I don't know of any free programs for Windows or Mac that will translate .brf files into .rtf or .doc files. Anyhow, I hope this helps, as late as it is.

Submitted by Chanelle on Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hi, When wanting to read books on my iPhone, I generally try to get them off of Bookshare, iBooks, websites, and Amazon (which involves a converting process). I have done quite a bit of experimenting with getting WebBraille books to read correctly on my iPhone with my BrailleConnect. Of course, the easiest way is just to go to the WebBraille site, find a book, and read in Safari, which will not save your place. Note: Voiceover users who do not have a Braille display will want to convert the Braille to text. Openbook does this and probably Kurzweil and Duxberry as well. The steps for saving to Epub will be applicable though. Things You Will Need A. A web browser. I use Internet Explorer, but Firefox will also do. B. A WebBraille user name and password from NLS. C. Microsoft Word. (My instructions will be based on 2010). D. A Dropbox account with application installed both on iOS device and computer. iTunes might accomplish the same thing--getting the converted Evub file into iBooks. Dropbox is a free file storage application that allows for transferring an syncing files to a server and computers where the program is installed. 2 GB come with a free account. Go to to learn more and download the computer software. The free iOS app is available from the app store. Adding files to apps with iTunes doesn't always work using screen readers. E. free iBooks application for iPhone or iPad (I haven't tested any other book apps). F. A knowledge of how to browse the Web, operate a screen reader, and how to utilize Dropbox, Word, iPhone, and iBooks. This may seem elementary, but I am not going to describe things such as saving or opening files or manipulating options in Word. Please write to me or others off list if you have questions. Maybe someone else could post instructions for the Mac. G. I am probably making this sound more complicated than it needs to be (it only takes about five minutes), so don't give up yet. Just follow the instructions and watch as we make our technology perform what might be considered an impossible task. :) Smile Note: I make no 100% guarantee that this will work or go smoothly. There may also be an even more efficient method than the one I am describing. Here are the basic instructions for those of you who may already be tired of my long-winded explanation. Afterwards, I will explain my reasoning for some of them. Getting a book 1. Go to the WebBraile site 2. Search the catalogue and download the book(s) that you wish to read. It is best to select the I Agree Best For Notetakers option in order to have a .brf file to download and work with. The file name will be a string of numbers followed by the volume number, so edit the name to something that makes sense (e.g., the book title). Editing and Saving 3. Go to the location of your BRF file. 4. Go to open with and select Microsoft Word. 5. Select all of the text (control a). 6. Go to the font menu, and find the change case option. 7. Select lowercase and press enter. 8. Save the book as a Doc file (Word 2003). Ignore the message about losing formatting and just press enter on yes for saving the file anyway. Converting to Epub 9. Go to the website 10. Locate the browse button and hit enter (unless you prefer to type the path to your converted book). 11. Browse to the file location and press enter. 12. Find the combo box labeled target format and select apple iPad by pressing a or arrowing down through the list. 13. Specifying a title and author in the next two form fields is optional but recommended so that iBooks does not call the book unknown. 14. Find the convert button and press enter. 15. After the page refreshes a few times, a notification bar with download options will come up. Select save as. The file extension should be .epub. Final steps! 16. Open your Dropbox folder in Windows Explorer. 17. Copy and paste the new Epub file that you just created. 18. Open the Dropbox app on your iOS device. 19. Dropbox will display a list of folders. Flick through to the one where the file is located and double tap or else hit back a couple times if you are in a subfolder. 20. Dropbox will not be able to open the file. Locate the export button at the bottom of the screen and double tap. 21. Double tap on iBooks. 22. On your display, turn contractions off and turn 8-dot Braille on. Congratulations, you are finally done! Hopefully, everything went smoothly and you don't feel like throwing your phone or computer out the window. :) Explanations Opening in Word: Microsoft Word is the only program I know of for changing the case of text. Changing the font to lowercase: Although WebBraille books are in contracted Braille, many of the letters are capitalized in print. Because of this, a Braille Display will either show dot 7 or 8 under each capitalized letter. Dot 7 or 8 also appears under many grade 2 contractions. If you don't mind seeing an extra dot, then you may skip this step. There will always be a dot under some Braille contractions though. Saving as doc: The trickiest step in the whole process was finding the correct file format so that certain signs such as wouldn't be stripped by the final conversion process to Epub. To save yourself some needless pain, don't save to Txt, Htm, or PDF. I have not tested Docx. Another strange thing that happens if a Brf file is saved to a format other than Doc is that dashes and contractions beginning with dot 5 are represented as the th or question mark sign in Computer Braille. When Html is converted to epub, stars appear frequently before a line of text. Saving as a Doc file also preserves formatting of the Braille file. Epub conversion tool: I previously utilized Stanza for the conversion process; however, it seemed like no matter what I did, the less than sign was stripped out of my files after loading into iBooks or stars would appear on each line. In addition, Stanza hasn't been updated for a long time, so I thought it best to use a website that may be accessed easily from any computer. I think that there are other conversion utilities on the site as well as several advertisements, but I haven't checked into them. Registering on the site is optional, but I am not sure what additional benefits would result. Reading with iBooks: From my limited experience, iBooks seems to be the most Braille display friendly reader app. There are lots of buttons that one doesn't always need and the pages must be turned manually, but other than that, it's a great app. Dropbox is so convenient for loading files directly into iBooks. Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have found a better way to accomplish the task. Chanelle

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