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MegaDots icon Powerful DOS braille translator with a Windows Installer, designed for the volume transcriber and producer who is working for American or British braille readers.
Installs on 32-bit Windows: XP/Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8, sets up your desktop icons automatically
Imports files from HTML, Word 2003/2007/2010/2013, WordPerfect, Open Office, and other formats.
Powerful automated formatting features
Easy access to documentation
Supports mathematics, BANA 2007 rules, and partial use of contractions

MegaDots 2.5 runs under 32-bit Windows versions: XP, Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8. MegaDots 2.5 will not run on 64-bit systems without the use of a Virtual PC.

Product Features

MegaDots is a mature DOS braille translator with powerful features for the volume transcriber and producer. Its straightforward, style-based system and automated features let you create great braille with only a few keystrokes. Yet it is sophisticated enough to please the fussiest braille producers -- you can control each step MegaDots follows to format, translate and produce braille documents.

MegaDots and Duxbury DBT now work much closer together. Users will be surprised to learn how easy it is to bring DBT files into MegaDots, and how easy it is to bring MegaDots files into DBT.

MegaDots 2.5 New Features

The MegaDots 2.5 importer has been modernized so that MegaDots can now import the file types that DBT 11.1 can import: Word 2003, Word 2007, Word 2010, Excel, Open Office, WordPerfect, and native Duxbury dxp files. This importer is called "DBT assisted import: DBT, Word, WP", and has a numeric code of 1200.
MegaDots 2.5 is designed to import files that use the Word Template (BANA Braille 2010) created by Susan Christensen. While this template was designed to produce files for DBT, it can now be used to make files for MegaDots.
MegaDots 2.5 is designed to export files that use the Susan Christensen Template. This is a good way to move MegaDots files (print or braille) to Duxbury DBT. First export from MegaDots to BANA Template/Word, then import this Word file into DBT. Importing braille files into DBT requires DBT 11.1 SR3 or later.
There is a new importer designed as a variation called "DBT assisted import: OCR to Textfile". This importer helps enrich the format of a Word file, if the Word file is in a "plain vanilla" format as often happens with OCR software. The numeric code for this importer is 5000.
If you own DBT 11.1, you can import math files from MathType, Scientific Notebook, or InftyReader. You can save these math files as Duxbury DXP files. MegaDots 2.5 can import these math DXP files.
When MegaDots imports and translates a file, it converts some ambiguous math-style markup to literary markup.
If you import a file with unambiguous math symbols, MegaDots automatically applies the Nemeth style sheet.
MegaDots can use your copy of Microsoft Word to export inkprint files to Word files from within MegaDots (export to Your Copy of Microsoft Word 2003 or Your Copy of Microsoft Word 2007). If you export to Word 2007/2010, MegaDots adds an "x" to the file extension, so the resulting file name ends in .docx.
MegaDots can also use your copy of Word to export to RTF or PDF file types. Export to PDF requires Word 2007/2010 with the appropriate add-on to allow for this feature.
Exporting a braille file to the Web (html) or Your copy of Word gives good results with the correct braille page divisions.
MegaDots no longer contains file conversion software licensed from other companies.
MegaDots contains two True-Type screen fonts, one with and one without shadow dots (MegaDots window braille has shadow dots, MegaDots cleaner braille does not).
MegaDots 2.5 contains up-to-date Embossit software, so it supports the latest embossers.
MegaDots 2.5 now supports multiple Embossit configurations, making it easier to support multiple embossers with Embossit.
When you are in the MegaDots Editor, the last item in the Help Menu now brings up a new browser window to give complete access to cross-referenced MegaDots documentation.

MegaDots Product Overview

New version MegaDots 2.5 is shipped on CD-ROM for easy installation. All the documentation is available from a simple menu on your browser.
MegaDots 2.5 runs under 32-bit Windows versions: XP, Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8. MegaDots 2.5 will not run on 64-bit systems without the use of a Virtual PC. MegaDots 2.5 automatically installs your Windows icons.
MegaDots 2.5 includes improved script files for JAWS for Windows
MegaDots 2.5 now imports Word 2003/2007/2010 files.
Since MegaDots recognizes many file formats, you can bring in virtually any document and set it up for braille. MegaDots supports all commercial braille embossers and all modern inkprint printers (except for a small group of inkprint printers that are Windows-only).
Whenever you want to see how the braille looks, press the Translate key. Suddenly you're looking at the same words, but in braille! You can jump around, edit or enter more braille. Braille entry can be done using a six-key technique, or as "Inkprint in braille", where the words you type become braille as you type them. When you are done in braille, press the Translate key once more and you return to print.
Users of voice and refreshable braille displays will appreciate interacting with software tailored for blind access. Screens are simple and free of clutter, and you don't have to fuss around to know where you are in the software. When you move into a new area, the name of the screen is spoken, such as "Editor", "Main menu" or "Save file help".
For large print users, MegaDots supports popular screen enlargement programs, as well as a built-in large text mode. You'll never have to scroll around looking for text or information that's off the screen. All you need to see is right there in front of you.
For sighted users, MegaDots has a familiar look and feel. Pull-down menus, point and click mouse interaction and colorful screens make working fun. The braille itself can be viewed in a variety of forms, depending on what is most readable for you.
MegaDots gives you the features you expect from a modern word processor, such as macros, bookmarks, and find and replace. 

Features in MegaDots 2.5

Optically scanned documents are automatically recognized and cleaned up - before you even edit your document!
MegaDots knows that optical scanners make visual mistakes and has a system for changing nonsense back into the right words. And now, optically scanned documents are automatically recognized and cleaned up - before you even edit your document! Just import your optically scanned document, and obviously misspelled text is corrected, i.e., "farnily" is changed to "family". Other common format errors are also fixed, such as split paragraphs and misnumbered list items.
Here's how it works. First, the scanned document's format is cleaned up. For example, optical scanners often break up paragraphs inappropriately or misnumber lists of items. MegaDots correctly formats these areas. It can even remove the garble that results from scanning pictures or graphics within the text. The text itself is then cleaned up, one word at a time. MegaDots will find and correct any obviously misspelled words before you even view your imported document. Running headers, footers and page numbers that occur on each page are removed and used for print page indicators in the document.
Improved Spell Checker
We've added over 20,000 words to the dictionary. The Spell Checker now recognizes over 110,000 words.
Large Print Features!
Create beautiful large print up to five times as tall and wide as standard fonts (up to 64 point).
MegaDots supports your printer's scalable fonts for the most attractive possible large print.
With new large print page indicators, you'll be able to follow page numbers from the original text.
Advanced Inkprint Printing Capabilities
We're proud to present these useful features designed specifically to make learning and proofreading braille easier. And while we were at it, we threw in quite a bit for users who need high quality, customizable inkprint, too.
MegaDots now supports all modern inkprint printers, except for a small group that are Windows-only).
Choose from ten different kinds of inkprint braille.
Make inkprint braille and text on the same page in three different formats: side by side, word by word, and line by line.
Side by Side displays the braille page next to the print page on one sheet.
Word by Word puts the print word directly over each braille word.
Line by Line mode puts the print line above each braille line.
Adjustable vertical and horizontal spacing makes inkprint layout to your most exacting specifications.
Get a detailed document overview with the Interpret Format feature.
New Interpret Format screen shows you what's in your document: how many and which styles it uses; whether there are tabs, running headers, or print page indicators; and other useful information. This overview helps you check the "big picture" of your document.
Make global changes to your document. For example, change all Poetry paragraphs to Body text.
Within the overview, you can ask for greater detail. For example, you can view just the poetry in your document, or all of the print page indicators.
Within one of these views, you can jump straight to that place in the text. Or, stay within the view, and make changes there.
Use Interpret Format to adjust the importation of a document. When used right after import, you can adjust MegaDots' document cleanup, how MegaDots selects styles and what import features or styles to use while importing.
Easy Table Formatting!
We have worked with the pickiest braille transcribers to revamp our table formatting.
MegaDots follows all of the new BANA and British table rules.
MegaDots will automatically squeeze the table to fit on the braille page.
If you braille table is too wide for the braille page, MegaDots can put it on two facing pages.
Column Blocking lets you cut and paste entire columns.
Format your word list in columns with Make Clipboard Columns. This feature now lets you choose the number of columns you want to generate.
MegaDots now handles diacritics.
MegaDots now supports all of the diacritical marks shown in the textbook format codebook. This speeds up another laborious aspect of making braille.

Does MegaDots Do Windows?

Yes, even though MegaDots 2.5 is still an MS-DOS application. MegaDots works with 32-bit Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8.

If a blind person uses mainly Windows applications on their computer, can they use MegaDots with voice or refreshable Braille access? Yes. JAWS works in DOS applications. We have included a set of MegaDots script files.
Can MegaDots print through Windows? We have greatly simplified the process of printing braille from MegaDots through Windows.
Please check out our support page for questions and concerns about MegaDots

How Do People Use MegaDots?

Large braille production services use MegaDots to produce braille textbooks efficiently for blind students. The program's speed lets them move through a great amount of material in a short time.
Elementary school students as young as third grade are using MegaDots to make braille and to learn about computers.
Teachers find MegaDots helpful in quickly getting braille to their blind students. There are exercise and directions styles for making exams and worksheets in MegaDots.
MegaDots is used by several deaf-blind persons as their main reading and writing tool.
Blind computer programmers use MegaDots to make computer program listings in braille.
Volunteer transcriber groups use MegaDots in a variety of ways--both for translation and for 6-key direct entry of braille.
Schools and transcribers use MegaDots to make grade one braille in Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese.

MegaMath Translator now built into MegaDots 2.5

Megamath helps you produce math braille quickly and easily. Teachers, students and transcribers will love the entry shortcuts and menu items which instantly transform entries into math notation. When you translate your math, they turn into Nemeth braille. The mathematics translator can then back translate into the original notation so you can make changes in inkprint or braille. Our braille mathematics add-on uses MegaDots' automatic translation to produce any math, from simple arithmetic problems to advanced calculus. You can enter fractions, geometry symbols and shapes, algebra, and integrals -- even if you don't know Nemeth Code.

You choose from several overlapping entry methods to customize your work. Menus let you choose a number of notations, but there are many shortcuts provided for common math symbols. Or create your own shortcuts to further automate math entry.

Math entry is intuitive, made to resemble the notation you need, and translation is instantaneous. For example, "the fraction of x squared plus y squared all over the sum alpha minus beta" is entered as: [x^2+y^2//Alt-G a-Alt-G b]

In this case [xxx//yyy] work as data entry shortcuts for the fraction. The caret is a data entry shortcut for a superscript. Alt-G brings up a menu of Greek letters, and a or b select "alpha" or "beta". As you type the expression the shortcuts are expanded to form a readable version of the expression. F5 translates the expression into braille: ?x^2+y^2"/.a-.b# (which is correct Nemeth Code).

The Math Translator also understands and correctly interprets the different rules for math contexts and literary contexts. The expression: "speed= the fraction distance over time end fraction; where distance, time, and speed are all measurable quantities." is entered as speed=[distance//time]; where distance, time, and speed are all measurable quantities. Again, F5 translates the expression as: ,speed .k ?distance/time#_2 ": 4t.e1 "t1 & spe$ >e all m1sura# quantities4

In this last example, notice the use of grade one rules next to the equals sign and inside the fraction. Also notice the use of the punctuation indicator in a math context, and the non-use if the punctuation indicator in a literary context. This is true Nemeth Code, not a simplified version of math braille.

Can I Use This Product to Work Out My Homework?

You calculate, we'll translate! Right now, the MegaDots Mathematics Translator add-on translates your entered notations into correct Nemeth braille. But no, the MegaDots Editor cannot calculate for you. If you are blind, we recommend the use of paper braille (slate or Perkins) with appropriate aids (i.e., talking calculator and various reference works) as the best way for you to work out your math. The Math Translation software will then turn your entries into Nemeth braille.

MegaDots On-Line Reference

There are two forms of on-line help about Nemeth Code that are available from within the MegaMath module. Press F10 H N to learn more about topics in Nemeth Code. For example, if you want to know about "fractions", "repeated decimal digits", "square roots" or "spatial format", use this on-line help. This resource explains the topic and how to do the data entry.

When using the Control-I list, press F1 for help on any specific symbol.
For some symbols, there is a description of what the symbol looks like so you can be sure you are picking the right symbol.

There is a file in the MegaDots program directory called FNEMREAD.MEG which is designed to explain Nemeth Code braille to a blind reader. You can braille this file out if you desire.

Beginner Braille now built into MegaDots 2.5

Beginner Braille adds a Grade Two braille teaching aid to your MegaDots. With Beginner Braille's comprehensive menu of contractions, you choose the level of braille most appropriate for each student. You can tailor the level of contractions in any kind of document, from history and science texts to song lyrics and poetry. If you are using the APH Patterns Series or Braille Too, you simply tell Beginner Braille which level in the series to use for translating your document. Or if you are using your own customized teaching sequence toward Grade 2 Braille, it's a snap to choose the allowable contractions from a menu, and add new ones as your student progresses.

Beginner Braille was created to give you the power to teach students at their own pace. When you customize the list of contractions used in translating your document, Beginner Braille automatically assures your document contains only the contractions you want. This way, you can use a different set of contractions for each student based on what they've learned so far.

MegaDots and Beginner Braille help students learn and educators teach braille simply and quickly. You control the level of contractions, you provide braille documents fit to each student, and you can save and review each set of contractions to monitor one or one hundred students' progress. Beginner Braille paves the way for primary and secondary students, as well as adult learners, to improve their braille literacy.


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