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.
Whenever you insert three gestures, each one corresponding to a row of the Braille cell, the character is entered.
Use the following gestures to enter the letter “a”:
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:
Let’s see another example with the letter “f”. Use the following gestures to insert the letter “f”:
You can also insert the letter “f” as follows:
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.
Use the following gestures to insert the letter “l”:
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.
How To: Enter a Capital Letter
To write a capital letter, enter the “capital letter sign” ($) followed by the letter.
Enter capital “A”.
Then, enter the gestures for “a”:
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).
Enter the number 12.
Then, enter the gestures for the letter “a” corresponding to digit “1” followed by “b” corresponding to digit “2”:
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.
I want to enter the letter “h”. The right sequence of gestures is:
I start making the following gestures:
I realize the mistake. I should have entered a two finger tap gesture.
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:
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”:
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.