Productivity on the MacBook Pro

macOS & Mac Apps

Hi Apple Vis! I'm new here and have been here a few times. I looked on here earlier today and saw that Microsoft isn't accessible on the Mack. I have pages but it's not working. I also have a BrilleNote Apex and if any of you have one you know that it can only read DOC formats on it. It can also read powerpoint presentations. So what should I do? Luckally I have a windows desktop at school so I am fortinute for that. But what if I need to write an essay and am not at school? What is the best thing to do?
Thank you



Submitted by mehgcap on Sunday, July 20, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

When you say Pages is not working, what do you mean exactly? The latest Pages is fully accessible with VoiceOver, if a bit confusing when you first start out. What version of OS X are you running, and how new are you to the Mac overall?

For simple text entry, such as if an essay does not need special margins, Text Edit is a great solution. Many other text editors exist, of course, but Text Edit is already built into the Mac, and it is easy to use, rather like Notepad on Windows but with more formatting options and support for rich text.

Hi. When I say that pages isn't working I mean when I export a document to my flash drive I can't open it on my braille note . Do you have one? If you do then how can I get to read them? Alls I have to do is open the document. It won't let me. By the way in text edit is there a way to export documents as Microsoft word? And I have the latest version of OS X 10.9.4 I think. I think the latest version of pages as well.
Thank you

Submitted by mehgcap on Sunday, July 20, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Regarding exporting, are you exporting as Word 2007? If so, then you'll need Keysoft 9.3 (or maybe 9.4, I don't quite remember) to read the file. Exporting as RTF might be easier all around, if you don't need advanced formatting or for other people to be able to see said formatting.

As for Text Edit, you can save files as either plain text or RTF. Again, RTF is probably your best bet for viewing on a notetaker. While Text Edit is open, simply press command-shift-t to cycle between plain and rich text, then save once you have the selection you want.

Have you considered just using the Apex as a braille display, and relying more on the Mac to handle your documents? Speech can give you a lot of information, and when you supplement that with braille, you can get quite a good experience. This avoids the problems of constantly exporting, translating, and manually moving your files around, and lets you leave them in one place so you can access them more easily. For instance, you could let your files all live in Dropbox, and thereby have them sync between your Macbook and the school's Windows computers.

Submitted by Becca on Sunday, July 20, 2014

I just downloaded a couple of apps for the Mack as well as the iPad. When I'm on the BrailleNote I read files for tests as well as other things. Maybe if I used Google Docx it would work?

Submitted by mehgcap on Sunday, July 20, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Google Docs should work on iOS, but I don't know about on the Mac. It will not work at all on the Apex, though. A service like Dropbox or similar is your best bet for syncing files, if Google Docs fails. There again, though, the Apex doesn't really support that sort of thing.

Submitted by Becca on Friday, July 25, 2014

Hi. Thank you. Sorry for the late reply. I am going to use my Ipad with Pages with My BrailleNote. I'm going to call about it not reading documents on my apex or on the mack if I export them.
Thank you
Have a nice day

Submitted by Rocco on Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hi Becca,

Just so you know, if you save a file in Text Edit, it will save as a .doc file. You just have to save as a word 1997 2003 document. Also, Pages will do the same thing. Are you saying that when you export from Pages as a DOC file that the apex will not open it? That means you need to update your keysoft. :-) Please feel free to email me at and I'd be happy to help with this or anything else you need. :-) Have a great day!

Submitted by Becca on Friday, August 1, 2014

Thank you. The latest keysoft update is installed on the apex. I'll have to try saving files as doc in text edit. It works with text edit on the apex. Thank you.
Have a nice day.