Braille Embossers

A Braille embosser is a printer connected to a computer, that changes text into Braille. Some machines require Braille translation software in order to translate computer text and graphics to Braille.

Braille embossers offer the option of embossing in 8-dot in addition to 6-dot Braille; some products can emboss graphics as well. Many machines have the ability to vary page size and line length. Most embossers use continuous fan-fold paper but a few allow the use of single sheet paper, thin card and plastic sheet. Paper densities vary and the option of adjusting the printer pressure is a useful feature as are the ability to Braille on both sides of the page or sideways on a page.

Blind and partially sighted users are guided by speech conformation of the keys pressed, together with the ink and Braille labels on the keypad which is located on the front panel. The speech feedback feature is available in a number of languages.

Braille EmbosserRomeo 25 braille embosserThe Basic D Braille Embosser

How a Brailler works

Publishing a Braille Document (Source:

Adding two things to your existing computer system makes you ready to publish Braille in just a few minutes. Because Braille has its own rules for spelling, punctuation and formatting, you need translation software to change your computer's WordPerfect, Microsoft Word or just plain text files into new, separate Braille files. The translation process takes place in your computer's memory in less time than your favorite spellchecker would spend on the same document and is generally even easier to do. Then you connect a Braille embosser to one of your computer's printer ports, "print" the new translated files--and you've got Braille.

Here are a few basic concepts to help you choose Braille equipment:

1: Braille is big.

Braille shortens many words and letter combinations using systems of rules called "grades." In grade 2 Braille (the most common), one page of most printed material equals two to three Braille pages. For example, once the phrase, "dark and stormy night" is translated, every word will have a space-saving contraction in it.
Image: The words dark and stormy night in text and Braille
This is why Braille paper is so large (11 by 11.5 inches) and why Braille formatting makes such sparing use of "white space." A standard Braille paragraph indent is only two spaces, and generally, lines are not skipped between paragraphs.
The most popular Braille settings (40 characters across by 25 lines down the left margin with American English Braille) equal about 1,000 Braille characters on a page.
Conserving paper--and space--is why interpoint (double-sided) embossers have become so popular. "Interpoint" means that Braille is embossed on both sides of every sheet of paper at the same time, automatically aligned so that both front and back are readable.

2: Braille copies emboss one at a time.

There are no photocopy machines for Braille (in most places, anyway). Thus, Braille embossers are very ruggedly built, especially when compared to more conventional office equipment. They have to be, since they're designed to punch thousands of perfect dots per sheet into heavy paper.
As a general rule, if you find you are using your embosser regularly more than five hours a day, you may find it prudent to consider a larger one. Even the most faithful embossers do come home to Florida for occasional maintenance, so two smaller machines are another good strategy to insure continuity.

3: Braille is useful on materials other than paper.

Even though standard Braille paper is very heavy (about like manila folders), it's perfectly possible to Braille on ordinary computer paper. Just turn down the embosser's punching power with the impact control, standard on many of our embossers. The Braille will not be as durable on regular paper as on Braille paper, but that might not always be important.
Braille on cassette and diskette labels has become commonplace today, and usually an embosser put it there. Our Single Sheet Tractors help you Braille the labels found in any office supply store, which is also a good source for other supplies to bind your finished Braille pages. A regular or heavy-duty stapler works well for shorter documents. Bigger documents (or ones with a long anticipated life) do better with the durable plastic spiral comb binding systems originally intended for print documents.
However you publish your Braille documents, your blind customers, students, employees, and friends are likely to be impressed at your thoughtfulness. Producing Braille materials for them shows the same level of respect for their intelligence and judgment that you feel when someone presents you with a well-designed book that you anticipate reading with pleasure or a clear and accurate map that guides you safely on a trip. Having information you can refer to when you want to, at your choice of speed and pacing (and in a format you can also write yourself) makes any of us feel much more at home in the world.

Braille Resources

More pages