[tex4ht] Could LaTeX Be Used to Format Braille Documents?

Susan Jolly easjolly at ix.netcom.com
Wed Oct 26 03:31:50 CEST 2011

Dear Professor Hammond,

Thank you for the detailed response.

Let me attempt to re-phrase my question in a simpler way.

The overall goal is to convert existing paged print documents to braille.
There are two aspects to this process.  One aspect is translating the print
characters to the corresponding braille characters.  As a very simple
example, braille does not have separate small and capital letters so
titlecase words in the print source need to be preceded by a special braille
character that acts rather like a markup tag.  But the important point as
far as this discussion is that we can consider the translation aspect of the
process as a solved problem.

Braille is typically represented using a transliteration to ASCII characters
so a document that has been translated to braille looks similar to a plain
text file.

The second aspect of the process of converting a print document to braille
is to format the braille file by doing such things as indenting paragraphs,
centering headers, and paginating.

The problem which I apparently haven't explained clearly is that according
to the pagination standards, braille documents do not have separate headers
or footers.  Page numbers are simply appended to the first and/or last lines
of the ordinary (what I called body) text on each page.  These lines must,
of course, be slightly shortened to accommodate the page numbers plus a
space or two to separate the text from the page number.

So my first question is whether one could use LaTeX to paginate an ordinary
plain text document (not necessarily braille) without using headers or
footers but rather with the correct page numbers included at the beginning
or end of the first and/or last lines of the text on each page?

Susan Jolly

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