Producing Nemeth Code Math within UEB

Working in Word and using the MathType add-on from Wiris for technical notation (mathematical expressions, etc.) is one efficient means to produce braille math. Another good option is creating a LaTeX file. In either case, you must choose the correct DBT template to produce Nemeth Code mathematics.

To import your document, choose your DBT template according to the desired braille math code. If you create a Word document or LaTeX file and choose the DBT template "English (UEB) - BANA with Nemeth", DBT produces Unified English Braille with Nemeth Code math. If you take the same Word document or LaTeX file, and choose the DBT template "English (UEB) - BANA", DBT produces Unified English Braille with UEB math.

BANA Guidelines

For Nemeth material within UEB, the Duxbury Braille Translator and the style definitions in the DBT template for Nemeth math closely follow the BANA guidelines. The Guidance for Transcription Using the Nemeth Code within UEB Contexts can be found at:

You are invited to use the above link to get the full background, but here is the guiding principle as laid out circa 2016 when BANA adopted UEB:

This method of switching between the Nemeth Code and Unified English Braille has been developed to ensure the continued viability of the use of the Nemeth Code for mathematics. The necessity for this adaptation, which is similar to the pre-UEB use of switching to computer braille code for email addresses and the like, stems from two basic issues:

The guidance goes on to point out (1) that the alternative to a system of switching between UEB and Nemeth context would be to force users to learn the old Pre-UEB (EBAE) code to have access to Nemeth math, which is not desirable or practical, and (2) that given the now widespread need to translate both from print to braille and braille to print:

An unambiguous switching method eliminates code conflicts and makes possible accurate translation in either direction, so that mathematics can be communicated between print users and braille users using Nemeth Code.

The One-Word Switch and Math Problem Labels

Duxbury carefully adheres to item 4 in the section "Basic Guidance" regarding when to switch:

To avoid use of switch indicators when a single word standing alone occurs between two math expressions, a one-word switch indicator (6, 3) may be used in Nemeth mode to indicate that the following word is in UEB. Contractions may be used in that word. The one-word switch indicator should precede the word whether or not it contains contractions. Otherwise, no contractions are used in Nemeth mode. ...

Likewise, Duxbury made sure to support item 4 in the "Additional Guidelines" section on how to handle the labels for math problems:

In a numbered or lettered series of math problems that are in Nemeth code, leave Nemeth mode in effect for the identifiers to avoid excessive switching, even though these identifiers are not technically part of the math.

The Basics

The DBT translation and formatting template, "English (UEB) - BANA with Nemeth" is intended for producing UEB text that uses Nemeth Code for technical notation. Whether you are working in Word with MathType or some other mathematics editor, or directly in DBT, this is the DBT template to use for Nemeth Code in UEB.

A few styles in this DBT template are especially important for producing Nemeth Code within UEB. They are:

Use the style math to start and end a technical passage. The style math inserts the Start Nemeth indicator: dots 456, 146, followed by space, and switches into Nemeth Code translation. At the end of the passage it inserts the End Nemeth indicator: a space followed by dots 456, 156, and it switches back to UEB translation.

The styles math-separation, OneWordBridge, and math-NLE are found only in the English (UEB) - BANA with Nemeth template, as they are designed specifically for the needs of producing Nemeth Code within UEB. Both the math-separation and OneWordBridge styles are meant to be utilized within a math style passage, to avoid excessive switching in and out of Nemeth Code.

The style math-separation should be applied to words and problem identifiers which are in a Nemeth context and are between segments of math notation. Note that before DBT 12.5, the style math-TextInMath was used for this purpose.

Now the math-TextInMath style (which appears in other templates as well) is used only for text which occurs as an intrinsic part of a math expression. An example is units of measure within the expression, such as "m" or "sec." For these examples, the correct translation for "m" would include an English letter indicator, and the correct translation for "sec." would use just dots 256 for the period, with no extra punctuation indicator. In the math-TextInMath style, single letters get the English letter indicator and the punctuation indicator is not used.

The style OneWordBridge inserts dots 6, 3, switches the translation to UEB, and then switches translation back to Nemeth Code after that word is translated. This style is literally used when one word of text occurs between two segments of technical notation. It implements the "one-word switch" described in the Guidelines referenced above.

The math-NLE style is just like the math style, but with one difference. In the math-NLE style, the end Nemeth indicator is placed on a new line at the left margin. This is important for placing the Nemeth switch indicators around a Nemeth Code table or spatial math material. Note that earlier versions of this Help mentioned lining up the closing switch indicator with the problem labels. However, we learned that the Nemeth Code rules do not permit that. Both the MathType and LaTeX importers look for a math style that ends at the start of a line and replace it with the math-NLE style.

Problem Sets that Consist Entirely of Technical Notation & Problem Labels

One important use for the style math-separation is for problem labels in a list of problems that consist entirely of technical notation. As specified in the Additional Guideline #4, problem labels should be brailled in Nemeth Code, to avoid the need for indicators to switch out of Nemeth Code and then back again. If problem labels were done in the math style, the period would be brailled as dots 46 and letters would not get the letter sign. On the other hand, when using the style math-separation for problem labels, the period is brailled as dots 456, 256, and single letters get the English letter indicator as desired.

Working with Word files using MathType

We have two general recommendations whenever you are working in Word to prepare a document for DBT. First, we recommend using the "BANA Braille 20xx" Word template provided with DBT. The latest version is "2017".

Second, we recommend installing SWIFT 5.5 (or later), which is an add-in to MS Word for Windows. SWIFT facilitates transfers of text to DBT. It adds a Braille tab to the Word ribbon interface that allows you to take advantage of built-in Duxbury commands and styles for preparing your text. (Note: the "hot keys" combinations below assume your copy of Word has SWIFT installed.) Help regarding SWIFT can be found in the SWIFT topics.

Automatic Conversions

When you use Word with MathType, all of the MathType objects are automatically brought into DBT as technical notation, each one marked separately with the math style. Any text entered in MathType using MathType's text style is automatically brought into DBT marked up with the math-TextInMath style.

If you follow the instructions in the next paragraph, other elements are also brought into DBT with the desired styling.

Manual Interventions in Word

Assume that you want to set up a section consisting of several MathType objects, including problem labels and some one-word text connectors. Informally, we call this a "pass-through in math section." At the start and end of this section you need to insert signals for the DBT importer to start and end the pass-through in math section. These signals are the text [[*idle~ptims*]] and [[*idle~ptime*]]. But don't worry, you don't need to type those in manually. If you are working with the BANA Braille template in Word, you will find buttons for inserting these signals as hidden text.

To find these buttons, under the Add-Ins tab, look for the Nemeth Codes menu (you can use the hotkeys: Alt followed by X, Y, Y, N). These buttons are called Technical Chain Start (Alt, X, Y, Y, N, T) and Technical Chain End (Alt, X, Y, Y, N, L). In these signals, "ptims" stands for "pass-through in math start," and "ptime" stands for "pass-through in math end." It is helpful to make these signals visible in Word, even though they are characterized as "hidden text." To set that up, go to Word Options menu, select the Display tab, and check the box for Hidden Text.

In the Nemeth menu, which is also in the Add-Ins tab, you will find a control for applying the style OneWordBridge (Alt, X, Y, Y, M, O).

When you open the Word document in DBT, the entire "pass-through in math" section is marked with the math style to put the start and end Nemeth indicators around the whole section, not around individual items within it. Within the mathematical material, all of the problem labels are marked with the style math-separation. Any Word that you marked with the OneWordBridge style in Word is marked automatically with the OneWordBridge style in DBT.

Working in Word Without MathType


If you are working in Word without MathType, the general recommendations are quite similar. We recommend using SWIFT 5.5 (or later) and the latest "BANA Braille" Word template provided with DBT.

Without MathType, you need a different way to specify where the technical notation begins and ends. To do so, insert the text [[*ts*]], which acts as a "technical notation start" code for the DBT importer, and the text [[*te*]], which is a "technical notation end" code for the DBT importer.

Again, when working with the BANA Braille template in Word, you will find buttons for inserting these codes under the Add-Ins tab. Then look for the Nemeth Codes menu (hotkeys: Alt, X, Y, Y, N). Use the buttons called Technical Notation Start (Alt, X, Y, Y, N, N) and Technical Notation End (Alt, X, Y, Y, N, O). These buttons insert the codes [[*ts*]] and [[*te*]] as hidden text in Word.

To create a pass through in math section, insert the text [[*idle~ptims*]] and [[*idle~ptime*]] at the start and end. As mentioned above, there are buttons for inserting these codes. The buttons, called Technical Chain Start (Alt, X, Y, Y, N, T) and Technical Chain End (Alt, X, Y, Y, N, L), are in the Nemeth Codes menu in the Add-Ins tab.

When preparing UEB braille, either with Nemeth Code math or with UEB math, there is no reason to use the buttons Technical Context Start and Technical Context End in the Nemeth Codes menu. These are useful only when preparing pre-UEB Nemeth Code (and hence are marked EBAE only).

Working in LaTeX

Starting with version 12.2 of DBT, when you use a tool to create a LaTeX file to open in DBT, the DBT LaTeX importer determines on its own where to create a "pass-through in math" section for Nemeth Code in UEB context. It assigns the DBT styles math, math-TextInMath and OneWordBridge where they are needed.

Working Directly in DBT

When working directly in DBT, for a section consisting entirely of technical notation and problem labels, and up to one word at a time of text within technical notation, highlight the entire section, press F8 to apply a style, and select math for the style. Within this section, highlight any problem label and apply the style math-separation. Still within this section, for any single word of text between two math expressions, highlight the word and apply the style OneWordBridge. Finally, for any text actually within a math expression, apply the style math-TextInMath.

DBT Templates

Any DBT template with a name that contains the word Nemeth supports Nemeth code. If the template name does not contain the word Nemeth, then it does not support Nemeth code.