Introduction to Templates, Styles, and Codes
When you create a new document in DBT, either by starting fresh or by opening a file (such as a Microsoft Word file), you are asked to choose a DBT template. A template is a "skeleton" for the document that provides the structure for translation and formatting. A template can be customized and saved to include your personal or corporate preferences as well. As a DBT document is created, the information from the template is copied into the new file.
A DBT template contains or references the following:
- The DBT braille translation table to use
- DBT Style definitions
- The Word-to-DBT Style Mapping file
- Basic formatting settings, ... and more.
A template contains a few dozen predefined Styles. A style is a set of one or more properties which affect the formatting and/or translation of any passage of text to which it is applied. A style is constructed from DBT codes, which are the simplest elements for modifying format or translation. A DBT Style is a named collection of DBT codes that is designed to achieve a specific purpose.
So, a DBT Style is a part of the hierarchy of formatting elements: templates contain styles, and styles contain codes.
To apply a style to a section of text, you highlight the text, press F8, and select a style from the list of styles in the template. For example, in any of the Basic templates you can select the style italic to have DBT italicize the text. You can select h1. to have DBT format it as a level 1 heading, or select para. to have DBT format it as a paragraph, etc. Again, the names of the styles depend on the template selected.
DBT Codes are the building blocks of DBT Styles, which are the building blocks of Templates, but you can also use them directly in your document. You can freely add DBT codes into a DBT file that uses DBT styles. Moreover, some DBT codes are used frequently enough that they have their own shortcut keys. For example, use Alt-1 and Alt-2 to directly insert the codes for grade 1 (uncontracted) and grade 2 (contracted) braille.
There are over 200 different codes in DBT. The DBT codes fall into natural categories based on their effect on document formatting: Page Layout, Margins, Page Numbering, Headers, Footers, and other categories (see the Layout Menu).
Also, the DBT Codes Quick Reference is an excellent cross-reference on specific codes and their uses.