BRF (Digital Braille) are Grade II Braille Ready Format files -- a widely recognized form of contracted Braille. The files can be used with common Braille reading devices or Braille printers.
Braille is a 63 symbol writing system used by the blind and visually impaired as a tactile method of reading. Each symbol is called a cell. Each cell contains positions for 6 dots in a 2x3 array with the positions being universally numbered 1 to 3, from top to bottom, on the left, and 4 to 6, from top to bottom, on the right.
A Braille ASCII file (usually .brf) format is a computer file with the Braille symbols represented in computer code that can be displayed by a Braille embosser or notetaker. A page is formatted with 25 lines and 40 cells. They may be read with a refreshable Braille display, printed on a Braille embosser, or converted to audio via TTS using a computer or reading device.
BRF is a text file that looks like gibberish to a sighted person when viewed by a word processor. Although the alphabet (26 letters) does match letter for symbol, everything else looks very odd and somewhat random. When the file contents is displayed with appropriate equipment it is translated to perfect Braille.
 Computer Programs
- BRF Editor
- BRF translator and back translator - open source
 Learning Braille
On way to learn Braille is to memorize the first 10 letters A-J as shown above. If you add a dot to the lower left corner (dot 3) then the next 10 letters are made K-T. If you add another dot (dot 3-6) to the lower right corner you have U-V-X-Y-Z in the first 5 places. W (dot 2-4-5-6) is out of order as it was not part of the French alphabet when Braille was invented.
Numbers are the number sign (# dot 3-4-5-6) followed the same 10 letters meaning 1-9 plus 0. The rest of the symbols are a bit more difficult.
Numbrl is a number system to help sighted people recognize Braille. It can also be useful for visually impaired people to learn the Braille system. It uses a binary weighted system to provide a recognizable pattern by placing a numeric weight value on each dot. See computer numbers for more information on creating numbers from binary values. The chart below shows how to translate binary values into dot codes used in Braille.
From the chart you can see there are two digits in the number and each corresponds to a vertical column in Braille. The dots are weighted 1, 2, 4 from the top to the bottom. Memorizing the chart and some practice can make anyone proficient at reading Braille text.
 Braille Alphabet
 For more information
- Wikipedia Braille ASCII
- Braille ASCII values
- ICEB standards
- BookShare.org - A Digital Library - Now Free to All U.S. Students with Qualifying Disabilities
- Web Braille - Missouri
- Web Braille - Colorado
- http://www.afb.org/ American Foundation for the Blind
- What is Braille?
- DAISY - The other system for the visually impaired.