BrailleNote Apex as a Braille display

Did you know that you can run a screen reader (such as JAWS, Window-Eyes, or HAL on your Windows computer or VoiceOver on your Mac) using your Apex as its Braille display? You can also read and type information in Braille to your iPhone or to other Mobile phones.

Apex offers flexible connectivity options. You can connect your Apex through the USB client port. It also allows you to enjoy the freedom of wireless Bluetooth connectivity.

Contents

Using Braillenote Apex as a braille display for Windows computers
Connecting via the USB port
Connecting your Apex Braille display via Bluetooth
Setting-up your Windows computer and screen reader
Apex USB driver installation:
JAWS driver installation
MAC Computers
Connecting via the USB client port
Connecting via Bluetooth
iPhone iOS 4 and higher
Smartphones with Mobile Speak
Using BrailleNote with screen readers
How to deal with command conflicts
Braille input in terminal mode on Apex QT
JAWS Command Summary
Writing with your BrailleNote BT keyboard
JAWS Command summary for the BrailleNote BT
Keysoft Input mode and PC emulation for BrailleNote BT (JAWS)
JAWS command summary for the BrailleNote QT
KeySoft Input mode and PC emulation for BrailleNote QT (JAWS)
Window-Eyes command summary
Keysoft Input mode and PC emulation for BrailleNote BT (WINDOW-EYES)
Using Window-Eyes with the BrailleNote QT
Modifier commands
KeySoft Input mode and PC emulation for BrailleNote QT (WINDOW-EYES)
Supernova or HAL
VoiceOver iPhone iMac command summary
Basic navigation commands
Reading commands
Information commands
Rotor commands
Edit commands
Miscellaneous commands

Using BrailleNote Apex as a Braille display for your Windows computer


Connecting via the USB port

The simplest way to use the display is through the USB client port. Follow the next 3 steps:


1- Prepare your computer and screen reader

If it is the first time you use your computer with Apex, you must follow the steps described in the section Setting-up your computer and screen reader. If you prefer to connect using Bluetooth, follow the instruction described in the Connecting via Bluetooth section.


2- Set your BrailleNote Apex to Terminal mode:
On the BrailleNote, press Space with Braille keys 1 to 6 to go to the Main Menu. You will be prompted “Main Menu”.
  BrailleNote Space 1 to 6
From KeySoft’s Main menu, press T to select the Terminal for screen reader option.   BrailleNote Terminal
You will be prompted “Braille terminal port?”. Press U to select USB client. You will be placed in the Braille Terminal mode.   BrailleNote Usb Client

Using the USB client cable, connect the computer to the USB client port on the right side of the BrailleNote Apex.
You will hear a rising tone indicating that the PC has recognized the connection.

On your PC, turn on the screen reader of your choice.


3- Now you are ready to enjoy your Apex display!

Information from any PC application will be shown in Braille and you can use the various sets of commands available in your screen reader to read and navigate the PC information. Please refer to the Appendix for more information about JAWS, Window-Eyes and HAL set-up and commands.

To learn how to use your Apex as a Braille display via a wireless connection with your Windows or Mac computer, your iPhone or another smartphone, please refer to the following sections.


Connecting your Apex Braille display via Bluetooth

To use the BrailleNote with a screen reader via Bluetooth, you will first need to add the BrailleNote as a Braille display within your screen reader.

Follow the described steps:

 


1- Turn ON Bluetooth on your BrailleNote
On the BrailleNote, press Space with Braille keys 1 to 6 to go to the Main Menu.
  BrailleNote Space 1 to 6
From the Main Menu, press Space with O to open the Options Menu.    BrailleNote Options Menu
In the Options Menu, press C to open the Connectivity Menu.    BrailleNote Connectivity Menu
In the Connectivity Menu, press B to select Bluetooth.
   BrailleNote Bluetooth Menu

You will be prompted “Bluetooth on? Currently x”, where “x” is the current Bluetooth status.

Press Y for yes.

   BrailleNote Bluetooth Prompt Yes

You will be prompted “Search for devices?”

Press Space with Braille keys 1 to 6 to go to the Main Menu.

   BrailleNote Space 1 to 6

2- On the PC

On the PC, perform a Bluetooth search. When the Apex BrailleNote is displayed in the list of Bluetooth devices, select the Apex BrailleNote from the list. When prompted for an authentication code, type the code “0000”, and then confirm this.

The device should then pair with the BrailleNote, and an incoming Bluetooth virtual serial port will be set up on the PC.

You should now check the Ports list in the Windows Device Manager to find out which COM port number has been assigned to the incoming Bluetooth serial port.

The Device Manager will show the COM port number assigned. Make a note of this number. On the PC, in your screen reader set the active Braille display COM port to use as the relevant Bluetooth serial port COM number.

On the BrailleNote, press Space with Braille keys 1 to 6 to go to the Main Menu. You will be prompted “Main Menu”.
  BrailleNote Space 1 to 6
From KeySoft’s Main menu, press T to select the Terminal for screen reader option.   BrailleNote Terminal
You will be prompted “Braille Terminal port?”. Press B to select Bluetooth.   BrailleNote Bluetooth Menu

 

You will then be in the Braille Terminal mode.

If using Jaws, you may then need to quit and restart it.

 


Setting-up your computer and screen reader

To set-up your computer, you will need to:

  1. Install the USB driver: Using USB client port requires the installation of a driver on your computer. The USB driver is required if you plan to use your Apex as a Braille terminal with JAWS or Window-Eyes. It is also necessary for use with KeyView or KeySync through the USB client port. Both drivers can be installed with Windows XP, Windows Vista (32 and 64 bits) and Windows 7 (32 and 64 bits) operating systems.
  2. Install the JAWS driver: If you are using JAWS, you will need to install the JAWS driver. If you are using other screen readers, the drivers are already included.

Both the Apex USB driver and the JAWS BrailleNote driver are included in the BrailleNote Terminal Tool. You can download it from our Web site at:
www.humanware.com/braillenote_support
The driver is also available on the CD-ROM PC Software for Keysoft under Screen Reader Tools.


Apex USB driver installation

Follow the instructions below to install the USB driver. Don't connect your Apex before installing the driver.

  1. Download the driver zip file and unzip it to a folder on your PC. Note the location where you downloaded the file.
  2. Locate the file BrailleTerminalTools.zip and open it.
  3. Open the file BrailleTerminalTools.exe.

    BrailleTerminalTools.exe
  4. Select Install the USB driver or press Alt-U to start the installation. This process will preinstall the driver files on your computer.
  5. Activate braille terminal mode on your Apex.
  6. Connect the small end of the client USB cable into the rectangular port on the right side of the Apex, just below the AC power jack. Plug the standard USB end into a USB port on your PC. You will hear a rising tone indicating that the PC has recognized the connection.
  7. You will be presented with a Found new hardware wizard, most likely asking if you want to use Windows update to check for the drivers. Select the "Not at this time" radio button and select the NEXT button.

    Select "No, not this time"
  8. On the next screen, select the "Install the software automatically" radio button and select the NEXT button.

    Select "Install the software automatically"
  9. You will be presented with a warning stating that these drivers have not passed windows logo testing. Simply select the "Continue anyway" button.
  10. After installation has been completed, you will be presented with a completion message. Click FINISH to conclude the installation.

JAWS driver installation

Follow the instructions below to install the BrailleNote driver for JAWS version 10 or later.

  1. Select Install BrailleNote driver for JAWS or press Alt-J to start the installation.
  2. Select NEXT to continue.
  3. On the next screen, select the BrailleNote's communication port from the list. If your Apex is connected to the USB client port, it will be automatically detected by your computer.

    JAWS driver installation automatic COM port detection
  4. Select NEXT to continue.
  5. Select INSTALL to start the JAWS driver installation.
  6. Select YES to use your BrailleNote as your default Braille display.
  7. Click FINISH to conclude the installation process.
  8. If your JAWS is already running, close it and restart it for changes to take effect.

    If your JAWS is already running, close it and restart it for changes to take effect.

MAC Computers


Connecting via the USB client port

  1. From the Apex main menu, follow the steps described in the section “Set your BrailleNote Apex to Terminal mode”.
  2. Insert the larger end of the cable into one of the Mac's USB ports. If the Apex does not display the item on the Mac, then reset the Apex. Again, choose "terminal for screen reader" from the main menu, and press the Enter key. Items from the Mac should then be displayed on the Apex.

Connecting via Bluetooth

To establish the connection, do the following:

  1. Before attempting to pair the Apex with the Mac, you will need to ensure that Bluetooth has been turned on for the MAC and that it is discoverable by other devices. From the Mac's desktop, open the menu bar; move the VO cursor down through the menu and select System preferences. Interact with the scroll area of the Preference panes. Move to the Bluetooth button and press it. Make sure that the check box for Bluetooth on as well as the box for discoverable are both checked. Then, close the Window.
  2. From the Apex main menu, make sure Bluetooth is turned ON. See the section Turn ON Bluetooth on your BrailleNote.
  3. After you have completed the above steps on the Mac, you will need to set the Terminal mode on the Apex. Change your terminal port to Bluetooth, then, exit to the Main Menu. Those procedures are described in the section “Connecting your Apex via Bluetooth”.

On your MAC, from the desktop:

  1. Open Voiceover Utilities by pressing the VO keys with F8. Interact with the table of categories and move to Braille.
  2. Stop interacting with the table and move the VO cursor to the Displays tab and press the VO keys with Space to activate that tab.
  3. Move the VO cursor to the right until you find the "Add Braille Display" button and select it. The Mac will search for Bluetooth Braille displays.
  4. When you hear that the Mac has found a display, move the VO cursor to the right to the table of discovered displays and interact with the table. Move the VO cursor down and find the Apex.
  5. Stop interacting with the table.
  6. When you no longer hear “busy” from the progress bar, move the VO cursor to the right, find the “select” button and activate it.
  7. A secure edit box, the type of input control that is present when a password is needed, will then appear, along with a prompt for a pairing code. Type in “0000,” and press the Enter key.
  8. If the pairing is successful, the Apex will display the contents of the VO cursor.

iPhone iOS 4 and higher

The Apex can be paired with the iPhone running iOS 4 as a Bluetooth Braille display and provides Grade 2 braille input and output.

The pairing has to be initialized from the phone, just as you would to pair with any other keyboard or Bluetooth device.

To make the connection do the following:

  1. From the Apex main menu, make sure Bluetooth is turned ON. See the section Turn ON Bluetooth on your BrailleNote.
  2. Enter Terminal mode. Change your terminal port to Bluetooth. The procedure is described in the section "Connecting your Apex via Bluetooth".

On your iPhone, from the Home screen, navigate to settings:

  1. Navigate to General
  2. Navigate to Accessibility
  3. Double tap Voice Over
  4. Double tap Braille
  5. If your phone's Bluetooth is not turned on at this point, it will prompt you to do so.
  6. Give it a few seconds to scan.
  7. Once scanning has completed, you should see Apex as an option. Simply double tap it and the pairing will begin.
  8. Enter 0000 on the phone as the pairing code

You will hear a chime sound when the pairing has completed and both keyboard and display functionality will be available.


Command summary for iPhone

To know the commands you can use with VoiceOver on the iPhone, please refer to the section VoiceOver screen reader.


Smartphones with Mobile Speak

To use the BrailleNote with Mobile Speak on a smartphone, follow these steps:

  1. From the Apex main menu, make sure Bluetooth is turned ON. See the section Turn ON Bluetooth on your BrailleNote.
  2. Enter Terminal mode. Change your terminal port to Bluetooth. The procedure is described in the section "Connecting your Apex via Bluetooth.

On the smartphone:

  1. Open the Start Menu. Select the Mobile Speak Smartphone item to open the Control Panel. The Control Panel is divided into multiple pages. Navigate using the left and right arrows.
  2. Go to the Braille page and select the first option Set up my Braille device.
  3. Choose the correct device from the Select your Braille device from the following list of Bluetooth devices in range list by using left or right arrows.
  4. Choose HumanWare from the manufacturer list. Choose BrailleNote from the device list so that Mobile Speak can configure the correct driver for your device.
  5. Enter the pin number 0000.

Turning Braille On

When your BrailleNote has been properly connected to your Windows Mobile device and added in the Braille page (in the Control Panel), you may connect to your device using one of the following two ways:

  1. Use the shortcut (command + dial key) to enable Mobile Speak Braille support.
    Note: This will turn on Braille in the device currently selected in the Braille page.
  2. Change the selected device and enable Braille, then:
    1. Go to the Braille page in Control Panel.
    2. Navigate to the Braille device you wish to use using the arrow keys.
    3. Press the left softkey to activate the Options menu.
    4. Navigate to Connect and press Enter.

If successfully started, Mobile Speak will announce "Braille Ready", and this message will also appear on your Braille display. Note that if there are fewer cells on your Braille display than required by this message, you may have to use Braille Pan Right to read the rest of the text. You can now use your Braille device to control your Windows Mobile device with Braille output.

To turn off Braille support, press command + dial again. Alternatively, you can select Disconnect from the Options menu in the Braille page of the Control Panel.


Using BrailleNote with Screen readers

This section includes detailed information on how to use your BrailleNote with JAWS, Window-Eyes, Supernova or Hal and VoiceOver.

JAWS command summary
Window-Eyes command summary
Supernova or Hal
VoiceOver (iPhone, iMac) command summary


How to deal with command conflicts

A bypass command is available on the BrailleNote. It allows the next command that is pressed to be sent to the active application. This is useful if you have a command conflict between KeySoft and a current application. On the BrailleNote BT dots 4-5-6-8, on the QT Control with Read with Z.


Braille input in terminal mode on Apex QT

Certain screen readers do not allow for full keyboard usage when a Braille terminal is used. Because of this the command function plus B has been created to emulate Braille input using the letters ASDF and JKL; on the QWERTY keyboard. In this mode, the Apex QT is recognized as an Apex BT by the screen reader used. All the commands related to the Apex BT are available.


Steps to use Braille input with QWERTY keyboard are as follows:
  1. From the main menu enter the Braille Terminal application.
  2. Select the communication port, (U for USB or B for Bluetooth.)
  3. Press function with B to activate Braille input.
  4. Now ASDF and JKL; emulate the keys on a standard Perkins style keyboard and can be used to enter information into devices that allow for Braille control.

JAWS command summary

Below are the command summaries for the BrailleNote BT and QT to be used as refreshable Braille displays with JAWS. It includes JAWS commands, Windows commands, reading and navigation commands. Your BrailleNote can also be used to type text into the PC applications or to simulate the PC keyboard using the Keysoft input mode.

You can also define your own commands in the keyboard configuration utility of the JAWS options. Those settings will only apply when the KeySoft Input mode is deactivated. The commands available in the KeySoft Input mode cannot be modified.


Writing with your BrailleNote BT keyboard

You can use your BrailleNote's BT keyboard to type in computer Braille with JAWS 10 and 11, US Grade 2 Braille is available in JAWS 12.


JAWS Command summary for the BrailleNote BT


BASIC COMMANDS

Braille navigation
Prior line: Outer Left Thumb Key (F1)
Move left: Inner Left Thumb Key (F2)
Move right: Inner Right Thumb Key (F3)
Next line: Outer Right Thumb Key (F4)
Move left on current line: Outer Left Thumb Key (F1) + Inner Left Thumb Key (F2)
Move right on current line: Inner Right Thumb Key (F3) + Outer Right Thumb Key (F4)
Routing cursors: Puts the active cursor under the current cell
Active follows Braille: Outer Left Thumb Key (F1) + Outer Right Thumb Key (F4)
Braille follows active: Inner Left Thumb Key (F2) + Inner Right Thumb Key (F3)

Windows commands
Start Menu: Space with Dots 3-4
Menu Bar: Space with M
Minimize All Apps: Space with D
Enter: Dot 8
Backspace: Dot 7
Escape: Space with Q
Alt-Tab: Space with T
Open list or combo box: Space with Dots 3-5
Close list or combo box: Space with Dots 2-6

Navigation commands
Tab: Space with Dots 4-6
Shift-Tab: Space with K
Top of file: Space with L
Bottom of file: Space with Dots 4-5-6
Next document window: Space with Dots 1-2-5-6
Previous Document Window: Space with Dots 1-6
Move Braille display to top line of screen: Space with Dots 2-3
Move Braille display to bottom line of screen: Space with Dots 5-6

Reading commands
Say prior character: Space with Dot 3
Say next character: Space with Dot 6
Say prior line: Space with Dot 1, Up Arrow or Scroll wheel counterclockwise
Say next line: Space with Dot 4, Down Arrow or Scroll wheel clockwise
Say prior word: Space with Dot 2
Say Next Word: Space with Dot 5
Say all: Space with G
Toggle speech on and off: Space with F

Cursor commands
Toggle between the JAWS and PC Cursor: Space with Dots 2-3-5-6
Route JAWS cursor to PC: Space with P
Route Braille to active cursor: Space with R

Braille commands
Braille toggle mode (Line, Structured, Speech History, Attribute): Space with Dots 2-5
Start Braille auto advance: Space with Dots 1-2-4-5-6
Increase Braille Auto Advance Speed: Space with Dots 3-4-5
Decrease Braille Auto Advance Speed: Space with Dots 1-2-6
Toggle between contracted and uncontracted Braille: Space with U
Expand current Grade 2 word: Space with W
Indicate which text attributes should be displayed: Space with Dots 3-6
Set Braille Verbosity: Space with Dots 1-2-3-4-6

Information commands
Keyboard Help: Space with Dots 3-5-6
List task tray icons: Space with Y
Hotkey Help: Space with Dots 2-3-6
JAWS window: Space with J
Start JAWS task list: Space with S

Edit commands
Cut to clipboard: Space with X
Copy to clipboard: Space with C
Paste from clipboard: Space with V
Delete: Space with Dots 2-5-6

Internet Explorer commands
Go back: Space with Dots 1-2-3-5-6
Go forward: Space with Dots 2-3-4-5-6
List links on a webpage: Space with Dots 3-4-6
List frames on a webpage: Space with Dots 1-5-6

Keysoft Input mode and PC emulation for BrailleNote BT (JAWS)

Entering text using your BrailleNote's keyboard in KeySoft Input mode is straightforward. Typing characters, changing lines, deleting characters, entering uppercase characters, and moving inside the text is the same as performing these tasks using KeySoft. JAWS simultaneously updates the Braille display to reflect what you type.


Key combinations to emulate the PC keyboard

Aside from entering alphanumeric characters, it is also possible to emulate the pressing of system keys, so that you can completely drive your PC from your BrailleNote's keyboard. There are a few commands to learn and some behaviors to understand before you can really unleash the full power of your PC and your BrailleNote working together. These commands and examples of their common usage are listed below.

To make the notation easier to read, SPACE7 represents SPACE with dot 7 and SPACE8 is SPACE with dot 8. Therefore SPACE with dots 1-4-7 is represented as SPACE7 C, or SPACE7 with C, or SPACE7 and C.


Function keys

Function keys from F1 to F12: SPACE with dot 8 with the Braille dots combination used to generate the first 12 letters (A to L).

For example:
F1: SPACE with dots 1-8 (SPACE8 with A)
F2: SPACE with dots 1-2-8 (SPACE8 with B)
This pattern continues until…
F12: SPACE with dots 1-2-3-8 (SPACE8 with L)


Numeric pad
NumLock: SPACE with dots 1-3-4-5-7 (SPACE7 with N)
Divide: SPACE with dots 3-4-7 (SPACE7 with Slash)
Multiply: SPACE with dots 1-6-7 (SPACE7 with asterisk)
Plus: SPACE with dots 3-4-6-7 (SPACE7 with plus)
Minus: SPACE with dots 3-6-7 (SPACE7 with minus)
Dot: SPACE with dots 4-6-7 (SPACE7 with period)

Number keys from the numpad, from 0 to 9: From SPACE7 with dots 3-5-6 to SPACE7 with dots 3-5 (SPACE7 with the code of the numbers in the US Computer Braille Table).


System keys
ENTER/RETURN: Dot 8 or SPACE with dot 8 (as in KeySoft)
BACKSPACE: Dot 7 or SPACE with dot 7 (as in KeySoft)
Esc: SPACE with dots 1-5-7 (SPACE7 with E)
Tab: SPACE with dots 2-3-4-5 or SPACE with dots 2-3-4-5-7 (SPACE with T or SPACE7 with T)
Caps/Shift (characters): SPACE with dots 1-3-6 (SPACE with U)
Caps lock: SPACE with U twice
Control as a modifier: SPACE with dots 1-4-7 (SPACE7 with C)
Control, as the key used alone to stop the speech: (SPACE with 2-3-7)
Alt: SPACE with 1-7 (SPACE7 with A)
Windows key: SPACE with dots 2-4-5-6-7 (SPACE7 with W)
Contextual menu: SPACE with dots 1-3-4-7 (SPACE7 with M)
Delete: SPACE with dots 1-4-5-7 (SPACE7 with D)
Print Screen: SPACE with dots 1-2-3-4-7 (SPACE7 with P)
Pause / Break: SPACE with dots 1-2-7 (SPACE7 with B)
Scroll Lock: SPACE with dots 2-3-4-7 (SPACE7 with S)
Insert: SPACE with dots 2-4-7 (SPACE7 with I)
Insert, as the JAWS key: SPACE with dots 2-4-5-7 (SPACE7 with J)
Shift hold down/released: SPACE with dots 1-3-6-7 (SPACE7 with U)

Direction arrows

The following commands are the standard navigation keys in use in KeySoft:

Left: SPACE with dot 3
Right: SPACE with dot 6
Down: SPACE with dot 4
Up: SPACE with dot 1
Home: SPACE with dots 1-2-3
End: SPACE with dots 4-5-6
Page-Up: SPACE with dots 1-3
Page-Down: SPACE with dots 4-6

Internal commands

Activate and deactivate KeySoft Input mode: SPACE with dots 2-4 (SPACE with I (input)). Restart the keyboard emulation mode: SPACE with dots 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 (Main Menu with dot 7) from the Input mode of the Braille terminal. If the characters you input are not spoken by JAWS when they should be, it may be necessary to restart the part that runs on the PC using this command. Note that this can occasionally happen after JAWS restarts.


Common commands

The use of the 9 keys that make up the BrailleNote BT keyboard puts some constraints and forces you to obtain some new habits in order to learn how to emulate all the keys of a standard PC keyboard.
Some useful details about common commands are described below:


The Windows key

The windows key (SPACE with W with dot 7) is used as a modifier key. In other words, as part of a key combination such as Control and Alt.
For example:
Windows with E launches an Explorer window
Windows with D minimizes all windows to access the Desktop
However, this key cannot be used alone to launch the Start menu. You need to use the standard alternative which is Control and Escape, which is obtained with the sequence SPACE7 C, SPACE7 E.


Text selection

On a standard keyboard, text selection is usually performed by holding the SHIFT key down and extending the selection with the arrows. The SHIFT key is then therefore marking the end of the selection.
To select a block of text using your BrailleNote, press SPACE7 with U (SHIFT down), followed by the navigation keys. Press SPACE with dot 1, SPACE with dot 1, SPACE with dot 1 to select the 3 preceding lines, and to unselect two characters on the left, for example, press SPACE with dot 6, SPACE with dot 6. Validate the selection by pressing SPACE7 with U.
To modify the movement of the cursor, use the Control key as you would on a PC.
For example, to select the preceding word, you’ll use the following sequence: SPACE7 U, SPACE7 C, SPACE with dot 3, SPACE7 U.
To select all the text, use the equivalent keys for Control with A, which is SPACE7 C, A, (SPACE with dots 1-4-7, dot 1)


Text selection

Once the selection has been done, the usual commands can be used:

To cut the selection: SPACE7 C, X
To copy the selection: SPACE7 C, C
To paste the selection at the cursor: SPACE7 C, V

Task switching

Normally the Alt + Tab key combination is used to switch between tasks, that is, you hold the Alt key down and press the Tab key as many times as you need to find the program you wish to select. It is not possible to hold the Alt key down because the BrailleNote has a limited keyboard.
However:
When using the sequence SPACE7 A, SPACE7 T, only one (Alt + Tab) command will be generated which will only switch between the last two tasks. However, since the list of tasks is sorted according to the last tasks used, this command will generally be enough to switch between the two tasks you are working on.
If you want to access another task in the list, you will need a different strategy. For example, it is possible to use the JAWS key with F10 to display the list of the active tasks, then using the up and down arrow keys, move in the list until the right one is selected.
In BrailleNote terms, this would be SPACE7 J, SPACE8 J (10th Function key), SPACE with dot 4, SPACE with dot 4, etc. To validate the selected item, press SPACE with dot 4, then Dot 8.


JAWS command summary for the BrailleNote QT


BASIC COMMANDS

Basic Braille navigation
Prior line: Outer Left Thumb Key (F1)
Move left: Inner Left Thumb Key (F2)
Move right: Inner Right Thumb Key (F3)
Next line: Outer Right Thumb Key (F4)
Move left on current line: Outer Left Thumb Key (F1) + Inner Left Thumb Key (F2)
Move right on current line: Inner Right Thumb Key (F3) + Outer Right Thumb Key (F4)
Routing cursors: Route Braille to position of active cursor
Active follows Braille: Outer Left Thumb Key (F1) + Outer Right Thumb Key (F4)
Braille follows active: Inner Left Thumb Key (F2) + Inner Right Thumb Key (F3)

Windows commands
Start Menu: Control with Menu
Menu Bar: Function with Menu
Minimize All Apps: Function with D
Escape: Read with E
Alt-Tab: Control with T
Open list or combo box: Function with Down-Arrow
Close list or combo box: Function with Up-Arrow

Navigation commands
Top of file: Read with T
Bottom of file: Read with B
Next document window: Control with Z
Previous Document Window: Control with Shift with Tab
Close current document window: Control with W
Move Braille display to top line of screen: Control with T
Move Braille display to bottom line of screen: Control with B

Reading commands
Say prior character: Read with M
Say current character: Read with comma
Say next character: Read with period
Say prior line: Read with U or Up Arrow
Say current line: Read with I
Say next line: Read with O or Down Arrow
Say prior word: Read with J
Say current word: Read with K
Say Next Word: Read with L
Say all: Read with G
Toggle speech on and off: Control with S

Cursor commands
Toggle between the JAWS and PC Cursor: Control with 7
Route JAWS cursor to Pc: Control with J
Route Braille to active cursor: Control with Shift with R

Braille commands
Braille toggle mode (Line, Structured, Speech History, Attribute): Control with 5
Start Braille auto advance: Shift with Read with G
Increase Braille Auto Advance Speed: Control with Shift with Right-Arrow
Decrease Braille Auto Advance Speed: Control with Shift with Left-Arrow
Toggles between contracted and uncontracted Braille: Control with G
Expand current Grade 2 word: Function with W
Toggle between six and eight dot Braille: Control with 6
Toggle between 8 and unlimited pixels per space: Control with 8
Indicate which text attributes should be displayed: Control with M
Set Braille Verbosity: Function with V

Information commands
Keyboard Help: Control with H
Say system time: Function with T
List task tray icons: Function with Y
Hotkey Help: Control with 0
JAWS window: Function with J
Start JAWS task list: Read with S
Run JAWS manager: Read with Shift with M
Windows keys help: Read with Help

Edit commands
Cut to clipboard: Control with X
Copy to clipboard: Control with C
Paste from clipboard: Control with V

Internet Explorer commands
Go back: Read with Left-Arrow
Go forward: Read with Right Arrow
Move to next non-link text: Control with Read with G
List links on a webpage: Control with Read with L
List frames on a webpage: Control with Read with M

KeySoft Input mode and PC emulation for BrailleNote QT (JAWS)

The KeySoft Input mode is available by pressing Function with I on the QT. This mode allows an emulation of the PC full keyboard. It is possible at anytime to switch between the two modes using Function with I command. Beeps are emitted when switching modes (one beep so that you know which behavior should be expected. The KeySoft Input mode is required to type characters with the BrailleNote QT keyboard.


Key combinations to emulate the PC keyboard

This section describes the Apex QWERTY key combinations to perform in order to reproduce the equivalent key or keys pressed on the PC keyboard. These are grouped by key types and should be quite easy to remember.


Function keys

Function keys from F1 to F10: Function key with numeric keys 1 to 0.
For example:
F1: Function with 1
F2: Function with 2
This pattern continues until…
F10: Function with 0


Numeric pad
NumLock: Function with N
Caps/Shift (characters): Function with U
Caps lock: Function with U twice
Control as a modifier: Function with C
Alt: Function with A
Windows key: Function with W
Contextual menu: Function with M
Print Screen: Function with P
Pause / Break: Function with B
Scroll Lock: Function with S
Insert: Function with T
Insert, as the JAWS key: Function with J

Internal commands

Toggle KeySoft Input mode on and off with Function with I.
Restart the keyboard emulation mode: Function with R from the KeySoft input mode of the Braille terminal. If the characters you input are not spoken by JAWS when they should be, it may be necessary to restart the part that runs on the PC using this command. Note that this can occasionally happen after JAWS restarts.


Common commands

The use of the Apex keyboard puts some constraints and forces you to obtain some new habits in order to learn how to emulate all the keys of a standard PC keyboard.
Some useful details about common commands are described below.


The Windows key

The Windows key (Function with W) is used as a modifier key. In other words, as part of a key combination such as Control and Alt.
For example:
Windows with E launches an Explorer window
Windows with D minimizes all windows to access the Desktop
However, this key cannot be used alone to launch the Start menu. You need to use the standard alternative which is Control and Escape, which is obtained with the sequence Function with C, Escape.


Text selection

On a standard keyboard, text selection is usually performed by holding the SHIFT key down and extending the selection with the arrows. The SHIFT key is then therefore marking the end of the selection.
To select a block of text using your BrailleNote, press Function with U (SHIFT down), followed by the navigation keys. Press Up-Arrow three times to select the 3 preceding lines, and to unselect two characters on the left, for example, press Right-Arrow twice. Validate the selection by pressing Function with U.
To select all the text, use the equivalent keys for Control with A, which is FUNCTION with C, A.


Copy and Paste a selection

Once the selection has been made, the usual commands can be used:

To cut the selection: Control with X
To copy the selection: Control with C
To paste the selection at the cursor: Control with V

Task switching

Normally the Alt + Tab key combination is used to switch between tasks, that is, you hold the Alt key down and press the Tab key as many times as you need to find the program you wish to select. It is not possible to hold the Alt key down because the BrailleNote has a limited keyboard.
However:
When using the sequence Function with A, Tab, only one (Alt + Tab) command will be generated which will only switch between the last two tasks. However, since the list of tasks is sorted according to the last tasks used, this command will generally be enough to switch between the two tasks you are working on.

If you want to access another task in the list, you will need a different strategy. For example, it is possible to use the JAWS key with F10 to display the list of the active tasks, then using the up and down arrow keys, move in the list until the right one is selected. In BrailleNote terms, this would be Function with J, Function with 0), Down-Arrow, Down-Arrow, etc. To validate the selected item, press ENTER.


Window-Eyes command summary

Support for the BrailleNote as a Braille display is integrated into Window-Eyes version 5.5 and later. In the Select Braille display dialog box, select BrailleNote with keyboard input. You should not need to restart Window Eyes.

Please find below a list of suggested default Braille keystrokes for the BrailleNote that have been included in the Window-Eyes Braille.ini file. Feel free to alter these defaults keystrokes if they do not meet your needs.


Window-Eyes command summary for the BrailleNote BT


Braille Navigation
Prior Braille Line: Thumb Key Up
Scroll Braille Left: Thumb Key Left
Scroll Braille Right: Thumb Key Right
Next Braille Line: Thumb Key Down
Routing cursors: Puts the active cursor under the current cell
To Focus: Space with R
Auto Route Cursor: Thumb key Up with Thumb Key Down

Mouse Hot Keys
Mouse Prior Line: Wheel Up Arrow
Mouse Next Line: Wheel Down Arrow
Mouse Top Left: Wheel Left Arrow
Mouse Bottom Right: Wheel Right Arrow
Single click left: Wheel Center Button
Mouse To Focus: Space with P
Mouse Search: Space with F

Keyboard Hot Keys
Backspace: Dot 7
Enter: Dot 8
Escape: Space with Q
Delete: Space with Dots 2-5-6
Up-Arrow: Space with Dot 1
Down-Arrow: Space with Dot 4
Left Arrow: Space with Dot 3
Right Arrow: Space with Dot 6
Home: Space with Dots 2-3
End: Space with Dots 5-6
Page-Up: Space with Dots 1-2
Page-Down: Space with Dots 4-5
Ctrl-Left Arrow: Space with Dot 2
Ctrl-Right Arrow: Space with Dot 5
Open list or combo box (Alt-Down Arrow): Space with Dots 3-5
Close list or combo box (Alt-Up Arrow): Space with Dots 4-6
Top of file (Control-Home): Space with L
Bottom of file (Control-End): Space with Dots 4-5-6
Exit application (Alt-F4): Space with Dots 1-4-5-6
Alt-Tab: Space with T
Shift-Tab: Space with K
Tab: Space with Dots 4-6
Activate the current application’s menu: Space with M
Activate the contextual menu for the currently selected item: Space with Dots 2-5-7
Start Menu: Space with Dots 3-4
Minimize All Apps (Windows-D): Space with D
Cut to clipboard (Control-X): Space with X
Copy to clipboard (Control-C): Space with C
Paste from clipboard (Control-V): Space with V
Close document window (Control-F4): Space with Dots 1-2-4-5-6
Previous document window (Control-Shift-Tab): Space with Dots 1-6
Next document window (Control-Tab): Space with Dots 1-2-5-6

Window-Eyes miscellaneous hot keys
Window-Eyes menu: Space with W
Page Navigation: Space with N
Say title of the active window: Space with Dots 1-4-6
Read To End: Space with G
Contracted Braille Toggle: Space with U
Display mode rotor: Space with Dots 2-5
Key describer: Space with Dots 2-3-6
Sys Tray: Space with Y
To Status Line: Space with S
WE/Mouse Toggle: Space with Dots 2-3-5-6

Internet Explorer commands
Go back: Space with Dots 1-2-3-5-6
Go forward: Space with Dots 2-3-4-5-6
Move to next non-link text: Control with Read with G
List links on a webpage: Control with Read with L
List frames on a webpage: Control with Read with M

Keysoft Input mode and PC emulation for BrailleNote BT (WINDOW-EYE)

Entering text using your BrailleNote's keyboard in KeySoft Input mode is straightforward. Typing characters, changing lines, deleting characters, entering uppercase characters, and moving inside the text is the same as performing these tasks using KeySoft. Window-Eyes simultaneously updates the Braille display to reflect what you type.

Please refer to the Keysoft Input mode and PC emulation for BrailleNote BT section for more details.


Using Window-Eyes with the BrailleNote QT

When using the BrailleNote QT with Window-Eyes, you can use the standard Window-Eyes commands as when using your PC keyboard. You can also enter text with your Apex keyboard. Refer to the Window-Eyes documentation for a complete list of commands.


Modifier commands

Control and Shift can be used in combination with any other keys on the keyboard.
ALT is assigned to the Read key.
Function is assigned to ALT-GR.
Shift-Read emulates the Insert key.
Ctrl-Read is used for the Windows key.


KeySoft Input mode and PC emulation for BrailleNote QT (WINDOW-EYE)

The KeySoft Input mode is not required when using Window-Eyes with your BrailleNote QT but it is available. This mode allows an emulation of the PC full keyboard. It is possible at anytime to switch between the two modes using Function with I command. Beeps are emitted when switching modes (one beep so that you know which behavior should be expected.
Please refer to KeySoft Input mode and PC emulation for BrailleNote QT for more details.


Supernova or Hal

When using Supernova/Hal, you must ensure that the BrailleNote drivers are included in the SAM folder in the Dolphin program installation folder on the PC. The BrailleNote drivers are included in a folder called “pdsam”.
You must then use the SAM Configuration Manager to set the BrailleNote as the braille display to use. Set the COM port to the appropriate Bluetooth serial port COM number.

On the PC, in SAM, set the active braille display COM port to use as the Apex Virtual USB COM Port 1 COM number.

When using Supernova or Hal, ensure that the BrailleNote is set as the braille display to use.


VoiceOver iPhone iMac command summary

You can use your BrailleNote with the following Apple products: Mac computers, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPhone 4 and 4S, iPhone 3GS (8GB), iPod touch (4th generation). If you are using a BrailleNote QT, press Function B to emulate Braille input. Use ASDF and JKL; to type Braile and do commands on your QT keyboard.


Basic navigation commands
Space with Dot 1 or Outer Left Thumb Key (F1) Move to previous item
Space with Dot 4 or Outer Right Thumb Key (F4) Move to next item
Space with Dot 2 or Inner Left Thumb Key (F2) Pan Braille to the left
Space with Dot 5 or Inner Left Thumb Key (F3) Pan Braille to the right
Braille display Routing cursor or Space with Dots 3-6 Double-tap the selected item
Inner Left Thumb Key (F2) + Inner Right Thumb Key (F3) Activates the Home button
Inner Left Thumb Key (F2) + Inner Right Thumb Key (F3) twice Activates task switcher
Space with Dots 1-2-3 Move to the first element
Space with Dots 4-5-6 Move to the last element
Space with Dots 2-4-6 Scroll left one page
Bypass command (Space with Dots 4-5-6-8), Space with O Scroll right one page
Inner Right Thumb Key (F3) + Outer Right Thumb Key (F4) Activates the Return key
Space with B Activates a Back button if present

Reading commands
Space with Dots R Read page starting at selected item
Space with W Read page starting at the top
Space with Dots 1-4-5-6 Scroll down one page
Space with Dots 3-4-5-6 Scroll up one page
Space with P Pause or Continue speech

Information commands
Space with S Go to the Status bar
Space with K Start VoiceOver help
Space with B Quit VoiceOver help
Space with Dots 3-4 Speak page number or rows being displayed

Rotor commands
Space with Dot 3 Move to previous item using rotor setting
Space with Dot 6 Move to next item using rotor setting
Space with Dots 2-3 Select previous rotor setting
Space with Dots 5-6 Select next rotor setting

Edit commands
Space with Dots 2-5-6 Select text
Space with Dots 2-3-5 Unselect text
Space with X Cut
Space with C Copy
Space with V Paste
Outer Left Thumb Key (F1) Inner Left Thumb Key (F2) Activates the Delete key
Space with D Activates the Delete key
Space with Dots 2-3-4-6 Redo
Space with Dots 2-3-5-6 Select all

Miscellaneous commands
Space with Dots 3-4-5 Activates the Volume Up button
Space with Dots 1-2-6 Activates the Volume Down button
Space with M Toggle speech on and off
Outer Left Thumb Key (F1) + Outer Right Thumb Key (F4) Toggle Screen Curtain on and off
Space with G Toggle contracted and uncontracted Braille
Status Routing cursors (Applies to displays with status cells) Toggle expanded status description
Space with T Activates the Tab key
Space with Dots 1-2-5-6 Activates the Shift with Tab keys
Space with N Toggle announcement history