Brailling on Your Computer
If you don’t have a brailler but wish to know what it is like to use one, you can download a simple braille editor called Perky Duck. Perky Duck is a computer-based Perkins brailler simulator produced by Duxbury Systems. Duxbury does not provide phone or e-mail support for the program.
Downloading Perky Duck
Go to the Duxbury Systems website.
Click the All Products link on the left.
Scroll down to Perky Duck and download to your computer.
Using Perky Duck
Refer to the Braille Writer page of the louisbrailleschool.org website for directions on using a brailler.
The home row keys fds jkl on your computer keyboard are used to write braille:
f is dot 1
d is dot 2
s is dot 3
j is dot 4
k is dot 5
l is dot 6
Open Perky Duck
You will have a blank page with a menu across the top.
Select File/New. You will have a page ready for brailling.
Hit a few random keys. Only fds and jkl will respond.
Select View from the top menu
You have choices of “Print Font” “Braille Font” or “Sim Braille.”
“Print Font” displays print characters.
“Braille Font” displays the dots that are raised in real braille.
“Sim Braille” displays the raised dots and smaller dots to show relative dot positions in the braille cell. Sim Braille is the default.
Braille a few characters, click the various font options and watch what happens.
Note About Keyboards
As with the manual Perkins brailler, when a braille character requires more than one dot, you must press all appropriate keys at the same time.
Some computer keyboards will not allow multiple keys to be pressed simultaneously. It will show up as garbled braille on your monitor. The most inexpensive keyboard in the store has always worked well for us.
Use options in the File menu to save and print your braille document.
The Edit menu contains the usual editing options: undo, redo, cut, copy, paste, clear, select all, highlight.
The Help menu has more extended explanations including help for blind users using additional software that makes the computer speak to them.
Please leave a comment below and tell us of your experience with Perky Duck.