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Web Braille

Books and Magazines on WebBraille
About WebBraille
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for WebBraille Users
Please read the New Limitations on the Use of WebBraille
Login into BARD (requires a username and password)
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WebBraille - Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Is there an easy way to download .brf files with Internet Explorer?
Q2. Are all the WebBraille titles located in the same place?
Q3. How can I search for WebBraille titles?
Q4. What is the easiest way to emboss WebBraille files?
Q5. Are all braille books produced by NLS available on WebBraille?
Q6. What kind of equipment is needed to use WebBraille materials?
Q7. How can I find out if the latest issue of my favorite magazine has been posted to WebBraille?

Q1. Is there an easy way to download WebBraille (.brf) files with Internet Explorer?

A1. If your Internet Explorer opens .brf files and you would prefer to have the option of downloading these files without opening them first, one way to do this is to create a registered file type for .brf file extensions.

For all versions of Windows:
1. Open My Computer or Windows Explorer.
2. Do an an alt-t to open the Tools menu.
3. Select "options" or "folder options".
4. You will be presented with a tabbed dialog box. Press the tab key until you reach the tab controls and right arrow twice to reach the "file types" tab.
5. Tab until you reach "new..." or "new type..." and press enter.
6. Tab through the fields and fill in the following:
A. For "file extension" type "brf".
B. tab to "advanced" and press enter. You will be in the "file type associations" combo box.
C. Start typing the word "application" fairly quickly and when you reach appl, you should land on it. Tab to ok and press enter.

For all versions of Windows:
Once you have created a file type for .brf files, if you want to be able to view the file online, you will need to specify an action. If you don't wish to specify an action at this time, tab to "close" and press enter.

For Windows 95 and 98:
7. Keep tabbing until you reach "action" and then tab once more to "new...".
For Windows ME, 2000, and XP:
7. Tab until you reach the registered files type list view and be sure the brf file type is highlighted.
8. Tab until you reach "Change..." and press enter. You will be in a treeview of "Programs". Press the first letter of the program you want, such as "n" for "Notepad" or "w" for "Wordpad".
9. Tab to ok and press enter.
10. Tab to close and press enter. You are back in the options dialog box.
Now when you select a .brf file while in Internet Explorer, you will be prompted to either "save this file to disk" or "open this file in its current location". You can also designate the directory where you would like the file saved.

Q2. Are all the WebBraille titles located in the same place?

A2. All the WebBraille books can be reached from the BARD main page. They can be located in three ways:
1. Online Catalog: Links to WebBraille booksare included in the NLS online catalog. (See also Q3. How can I search for Web-Braille titles?)

2. Braille Book Review: The HTML version of each issue of Braille Book Review published since July-August 1999 contains links to all new braille books available on WebBraille. You can access the online version of Braille Book Review from the main Web-Braille page or from www.loc.gov/nls/bbr.

3. BARD search: The BARD site can be searched by any of the methods listed on the main page: Keyword, by the first letter or the author's last name, by the first letter in the title, or by subject categories. After conducting the search, the audio files will be listed first. However, there will be a link near the top of the search results that will lead to the top of the list of Braille titles available.

Q3. How can I search for WebBraille titles?

A3. WebBraille books can be searched in the NLS online catalog. To retrieve Web-Braille titles only, put the words "web braille" (as two words with no hyphen) in the "keyword" field. The results list will contain a link to each volume of a Web-Braille title. When a Web-Braille volume is selected, you will be prompted for your BARD username and password.

Q4. What is the easiest way to emboss WebBraille files?

A4. WebBraille files can be embossed in several ways.

Embossing with Braille Translation software. Web-Braille files can be imported into software packages such as the Duxbury Braille Translator or Megadots. It is important to be sure that the .brf file parameters are specified correctly. Web-Braille files are in the format: 25 lines per page, and 38 or 39 cells per line. If there is a blank cell at the beginning of each line in the file, then use 39, otherwise use 38.

Embossing from a Command Prompt. In most cases, it is possible to emboss Web-Braille files from an MS-DOS command prompt. From the Windows start menu, select Programs, and MS-DOS Prompt. Switch into the directory where the .brf file is located and enter a command similar to the following:

copy filename.brf com1

where com1 is the port where your embosser is connected. This may be com2, lpt1, or something else. The disadvantage to this method is that you must emboss an entire volume at one time.

If books are coming out double-spaced, there is a good chance that the file was not downloaded properly. To solve this problem, see Q1. Is there an easy way to download .brf files with Internet Explorer?

Q5. Are all braille books produced by NLS available on WebBraille?

A5. WebBraille contains files for almost all braille books produced by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped since the early 1990s. They begin with BR8825 but are somewhat intermittent until approximately BR9000. Print/braille, grade 1 braille, and foreign-language books are not included.

Q6. What kind of equipment is needed to use WebBraille materials?

A6. WebBraille files may be read online or may be downloaded for offline viewing or embossing with a Braille display, Braille-Aware notetaker, or Braille embosser.

Q7. How can I find out if the latest issue of my favorite magazine has been posted to WebBraille?

A7. The first link on the BARD main page is "Recently added books and magazines" that shows which items have been added in the last 30 days. There is also a link in the Find Magazines and Other Materials Section that lists the most recent issues that were posted on BARD.