Braille Math Editor: JAWS and Fusion

Featured Image: 
JAWS logo on a computer screen and text, "Braille Math Editor Update"

The recent JAWS and Fusion update includes support for reading math equations. The following is from Freedom Scientific's website:

Braille Math Editor

JAWS and Fusion currently supports reading Math equations on web pages that are displayed using MathML, or math equations in Microsoft Word documents inserted using the native Word math format. You can navigate the individual elements of an equation using the Math Viewer, accessed by pressing ENTER from a web page or INSERT+SPACEBAR followed by EQUALS from a Word document when focused on the equation. If JAWS braille translation is set to Unified English Braille or United States English Grade 1 or Grade 2 output, math expressions are also shown on a braille display using Nemeth Braille format.

The new Braille Math Editor in JAWS now enables braille users in Windows 10 to input their own equations, and in Office 365, edit existing equations in Word documents. To open the Math Editor, press the layered command INSERT+SPACEBAR followed by SHIFT+EQUALS (plus sign). Focus braille display users can also press DOTS 3-4-6-7 CHORD. Similar to reading math content, JAWS braille output must be set for one of the English Grade 1 or Grade 2 translation settings in order to launch the editor.

When the Math Editor opens, focus is placed into an edit field where you can immediately begin typing the equation in Nemeth braille from your braille display's keyboard. As you type, a preview pane below the edit field visually displays the equation so a sighted teacher or parent can review it. Once you are finished inputting the math equation, press ENTER or choose the Accept button to close the Math Editor. If you are in Word, the equation you entered is automatically inserted into the document at your current location. The equation is also copied to the Clipboard so you can paste it in other applications.

Opening the Math Editor while focused on a math equation in a Word document displays the existing equation in Nemeth Braille, allowing you to edit or replace it. After making any changes and pressing ENTER to close the editor, the current equation in the document is replaced by the new or modified equation.

Note: After inserting or modifying an equation in Word from the Math Editor, the blinking cursor (dots 7 and 8) on the braille display always remains at the beginning of the math content, even as you move by character with the LEFT and RIGHT ARROW keys. If you need to insert another line of math content, first press the END key to move to the end of the current math content and then press ENTER.

While the Math Editor is opened, you have the following additional options:

  • Press to start a new equation.
  • Press CTRL+P to preview the current equation in the Math Viewer. When finished, press ESC to return to the Math Editor.
  • Press ALT+E to open the edit menu where you can copy your Nemeth Braille to the Clipboard using a specific format. MathML is the default format when copying, however, depending on the application where you intend to paste the equation, you can also choose to copy your Nemeth Braille to LaTeX or Braille ASCII. After choosing a format to copy to, paste the equation into the specific application before pressing ENTER or selecting Accept to close the Math Editor as this always copies as MathML and will erase the current clipboard contents.

To learn more about Nemeth Braille, check out this Nemeth Tutorial which teaches this braille code beginning with the very basics up through advanced mathematics.