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TypeInBraille Help

TypeInBraille is a mobile application that allows visually impaired users to type using Braille symbols. To use TypeInBraille turn VoiceOver on.

How to Enter a character

In Braille, each cell consists of three rows. On each row there are two dots, in one of these combinations: one raised dot on the left, one raised dot on the right, two raised dots, no raised dot.
Four gestures are available to insert each row. You insert a Braille character row by row. The iPhone touchscreen is vertically split into two rectangles, one on the left, one on the right. The gestures are listed below.

  • One finger tap on the left rectangle: one raised dot on the left;
  • One finger tap on the right rectangle: one raised dot on the right;
  • Two finger tap: two dots;
  • Three finger tap: no dot.

Whenever you insert three gestures, each one corresponding to a row of the Braille cell, the character is entered.

Example 1

Use the following gestures to enter the letter “a”:

  1. one finger tap on the left rectangle;
  2. three finger tap;
  3. three finger tap.

Since some characters contain dots on the first and/or second row only, there is one additional gesture to speed up typing: with the “one finger right flick” you can specify that the character terminates. For example, you can also enter the letter “a” as follows, using two gestures only:

  1. one finger tap on the left rectangle;
  2. one finger right flick.

Example 2

Let’s see another example with the letter “f”. Use the following gestures to insert the letter “f”:

  1. two finger tap;
  2. one finger tap on the left rectangle;
  3. three finger tap.

You can also insert the letter “f”  as follows:

  1. two finger tap;
  2. one finger tap on the left rectangle;
  3. one finger right flick.

Note that you can tap with two fingers wherever on the touchscreen. You are not required to tap with one finger on the left rectangle and the other finger on the right rectangle.

Example 3

Use the following gestures to insert the letter “l”:
one finger left tap;
one finger left tap;
one finger left tap.
Note that you can tap three times on the same position to save time.

How To: Insert a Blank Space or a New Line

Since a blank space is a Braille cell without any dot, you can insert it by repeating three times the three finger tap. Alternatively, and much faster, you can make the one finger right flick gesture.

To enter a new line, use this gesture: one finger down flick.

List of Braille characters

In the following we report the combination of gestures needed to enter the characters.

  • a | one finger left tap, one finger right flick
  • b | one finger left tap, one finger left tap, one finger right flick
  • c | two finger tap, one finger right flick
  • d | two finger tap, one finger right tap, one finger right flick
  • e | one finger left tap, one finger right tap, one finger right flick
  • f | two finger tap, one finger left tap, one finger right flick
  • g | two finger tap, two finger tap, one finger right flick
  • h | one finger left tap, two finger tap, one finger right flick
  • i | one finger right tap, one finger left tap, one finger right flick
  • j | one finger right tap, two finger tap, one finger right flick
  • k | one finger left tap, three finger tap, one finger left tap
  • l | one finger left tap, one finger left tap, one finger left tap
  • m | two finger tap, three finger tap, one finger left tap
  • n | two finger tap, one finger right tap, one finger left tap
  • o | one finger left tap, one finger right tap, one finger left tap
  • p | two finger tap, one finger left tap, one finger left tap
  • q | two finger tap, two finger tap, one finger left tap
  • r | one finger left tap, two finger tap, one finger left tap
  • s | one finger right tap, one finger left tap, one finger left tap
  • t | one finger right tap, two finger tap, one finger left tap
  • u | one finger left tap, three finger tap, two finger tap
  • v | one finger left tap, one finger left tap, two finger tap
  • w | one finger right tap, two finger tap, one finger right tap
  • x | two finger tap, three finger tap, two finger tap
  • y | two finger tap, one finger right tap, two finger tap
  • z | one finger left tap, one finger right tap, two finger tap
  • . | three finger tap, two finger tap, one finger right tap
  • , | three finger tap, one finger left tap, three finger tap
  • ? | three finger tap, one finger left tap, one finger right tap
  • ‘ | three finger tap, three finger tap, one finger left tap
  • : | three finger tap, two finger tap, three finger tap
  • ; | three finger tap, one finger left tap, one finger left tap
  • ” | one finger right tap, three finger tap, three finger tap
  • # | one finger right tap, one finger right tap, two finger tap
  • $ | one finger right tap, three finger tap, one finger right tap
  • @ | three finger tap, one finger right tap, three finger tap;
  • - | three finger tap, three finger tap, two finger tap.

How To: Enter a Capital Letter

To write a capital letter, enter the “capital letter sign” ($) followed by the letter.

Example

Enter capital “A”.
First enter the gestures for the capital letter sign:

  1. one finger right tap;
  2. three finger tap;
  3. one finger right tap.

Then, enter the gestures for “a”:

  1. one finger left tap;
  2. one finger right flick.

When you enter a capital letter, the following letter will be lower case. For example, if you type the capital letter symbol followed by “a” and “b”, the result is an capital “a” followed by a lower case “b”.

How To: Enter a Number

To write a number, enter the “number sign” (#) followed by the sequence of lowercase letters from “a” to “j” which correspond to the digits (“a”=1, “b”=2, … “j”=0).

Example

Enter the number 12.
First enter the gestures for the “number sign”:

  1. one finger right tap;
  2. one finger right tap;
  3. two finger tap.

Then, enter the gestures for the letter “a” corresponding to digit “1″ followed by “b” corresponding to digit “2″:

  1. one finger left tap;
  2. one finger right flick;
  3. one finger left tap;
  4. one finger left tap;
  5. one finger right flick.

Observe that you do not need to re-enter the “number sign” for each digit: as long as you type a letter from ‘a’ to ‘j’ a comma or period you remain in the “numeric mode” and digits will be inserted. When you type any other character (a blank space, for example) you will return in the “letter mode” and can insert letters again.

How To: Delete or Cancel

There is a single gesture that can be used to delete the previous character entered and to cancel the character that is currently being entered. This gesture is the one finger left flick. If you are in the process of inserting a character, this gesture cancels the character being entered. If you did not start inserting a character, this gesture deletes the last inserted character.

Example

I want to enter the letter “h”. The right sequence of gestures is:

  1. one finger left tap;
  2. two finger tap;
  3. three finger tap.

I start making the following gestures:

  1. one finger left tap;
  2. one finger left tap;

I realize the mistake. I should have entered a two finger tap gesture.
I cancel all the gestures entered for the current symbol by making a one finger left flick gesture.
I start again to enter the letter “h”.

How To: Navigate the Text

Use the rotor gesture to enter “navigation mode”. In “navigation mode” you can use left and right flicks to move the focus in the text as follows:

  • One finger left or right flicks move the cursor, character by character, on the left or on the right, respectively.
  • Two finger left or right flicks move the cursor, word by word, on the left or on the right, respectively.
  • Three finger left flick moves to the beginning of the text, while the three finger right flick moves the cursor to the end of the text.

How To: Select Text

Use the rotor gesture to enter in the “selection mode”. In “selection mode” you move the cursor and select the text that is between the original position of the cursor (i.e., before you entered in the “selection mode”) and the current position of the cursor. The gestures that move the cursor are the same as the gestures used in the “navigation mode”:

  • One finger left or right flicks select the character on the left or on the right of the cursor, respectively.
  • Two finger left or right flicks select the word on the left or on the right of the cursor, respectively.
  • Three finger left flick selects text from the beginning to cursor, while the three finger right flick selects text from the cursor to the end of the text.

How To: Use the Menu (Copy, Cut and Paste, Send Text)

Open the menu with the one finger up flick. From the menu, choose the copy, cut and paste commands. Observe that the copy and cut commands require that some text is selected. When you paste some text, it will be inserted in the current position of the cursor.

From the menu, you can also choose to send the text to the clipboard, via e-mail or via text message. If you send the text to the clipboard you can paste it in another iPhone application (e.g. Notes). Note that, when you send text via e-mail or text message, you can choose the message recipient either from the Contacts or by writing the destination address through the iPhone QWERTY keyboard, not through the TypeInBraille text-entry system.

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