Orbit Reader 20: Editing Basics

In the first article in this series, we introduced the layout of the Orbit Reader and proceeded into the basic menu structure.  In the second article, we focused mainly on the file structure.  In the third installment, we explored reading and working in files loaded onto the Orbit as well as those we may have created ourselves.  

In this fourth article, we will concentrate on editing files on the Orbit Reader.  Please note that printing and back-translating was also originally going to be addressed in this article, but it has become a topic all its own. I promise, you will be happy it is!

A Note Before We Begin

This is one of the ways that the Orbit Reader can be used in stand-mode This means that the unit does NOT need to be connexted to a computer or iOS device.  As discussed in previous posts, there are certainly advantages and disadvantages to this, which we will further explore in upcoming posts.  For now, let's just say that editing functions on the Orbit are limited and it is not as robust as other notetakers such as the BrailleNote or BrailleSense. 

Also as mentioned previously, the Orbit does NOT have its own internal translator. In plain english, this means that when editing a file on the Orbit Reader, you are editing in a type of braille file. This means it MUST be back-translated using a program such as Duxbury or BrailleBlaster before it can be opened in Word or any other standard word processor.  

It is important to be as consistent as possible in the braille translation you are using (UEB or EBAE) and consistently use the necessary contractions to avoid back-translation issues. I personally do not recommend doing writing on the Orbit that is lengthy or needs to be submitted to a sighted teacher. Having to back-translate is often difficult and if any errors were made in braille, either typos or incorrect use of contractions. The individual doing the backtranslatation may need to repair the text and in doing so, may not “repair” it correctly. Also, as you’ve seen in the previous article, moving in the text of a file can be time consuming. 

Navigation Commands Used in Edit Mode

As you can imagine, part of writing in and editing a file on the Orbit Reader involves navigation within that file. Navigation commands are slightly different in a file that is in edit mode. 


Navigating Character by Character 

  • Right select arrow to move one character to the right and left select arrow to move one character to the left.

Navigating Word by Word

  • Right select arrow with space to move one word to the right and left select arrow with a space to move one word to the left.

Navigating Paragraph by Paragraph 

  • Down select arrow to move to the next paragraph down and up select arrow to move to the previous paragraph.

Move to start of Paragraph

  • Space + dot seven + left arrow (all three simultaneously)

Move to End of Paragraph

  • Space + dot seven + right arrow (all three simultaneously)

Move to Top of File 

  • Long press up arrow 

Move to Bottom of File

  • Long press down arrow

Save File

  • Select key, then the letter S (dots two, three, four)


Entering and Exiting Edit Mode

As you are probably already aware, once you open a file, you are NOT automatically in edit mode. This is a good things since you or your student cannot inadvertantly make changes. 

To enter the edit mode in any unprotected file, simply press space with the letter E (dots one, five).  

To exit edit mode, press the Select key then the letter E (dots one, five) or just press the Select key twice.  

File Creation and Editing

A file can be created either inside a folder or in the “root” directory of the SD card. As long as you remember what you named it and where it is saved, it really does not matter.  

To create a file you want to edit:

  • Press space with the letter N (dots one, three, four, five)
  • You will be given a space to write a name for the file. Once you’ve named your file, press Enter or dot 8)
  • Since you’ve created that file, you are automatically in “edit mode”. This means you can add text. 

Select Text

Selecting text with the Orbit requires you to set a mark to indicate the start of the text you wish to select and then move your cursor to the end of the text you want to select. Once text is “selected”, you can cut or copy it. 

Set or Remove a Mark

To set or remove a mark:

  • Use your navigation commands to find the start of the text you want to select. Make certain that the cursor (represented by dots seven and eight) is placed where you want it.  
  • Press Select followed by the letter M (do not press them simultaneously)
  • The Orbit will display the text “Mark Set”.
  • Move your cursor to the location you want the end of your selection to be. You will know that the mark is still in place because as you move your cursor, dots seven and eight are still raised where you inserted the mark.
  • Once your cursor is where you want your selection to end, you are ready to cut or copy that text.   

You may NOT have more than one mark in a file. If you attempt to add a second mark, your first mark will be removed.  

Working with Marked or Selected Text

Cut or Copy Text

Once text is selected using the method described above, you may cut or copy it to the clipboard.

  • Cut text by pressing the Select key followed by the letter X (dots one, three, four, six). The text will disappear from your display and be added to the clipboard. You will see a message indicating the text has been cut and you must exit that message using the Enter key (dot eight)
  • Copy text by pressing the Select key followed by the letter C (dots one, four). The text will NOT be removed from your display, but it will be added to the clipboard. You will also see “copied” written on your display.    You must exit that message using the Enter key (dot eight)

Pasting Text

Once text is either copied or cut to the clipboard, it can be pasted.

  • Navigate to where you want your text pasted.
  • Press the Select key followed by the letter V (dots one, two, three, six) the press Enter (dot eight).  
  • The text will appear on the display and your cursor will be positioned in front of the pasted text.  

Next Installment

The next installment of this series will focus on back-translating files and tools that make the process more streamlined.    


Want more resources?  You can view the Orbit User Guide here.  

Also, there is a YouTube playlist under development on the Orbit by yours truly (yes, I do realize that’s a pretty shameless plug).  See the video below or go to Part Five focuses on reading and working in files.


Read more about: Assistive Technology