Use a Braille Display to Read and Enter Text

By Google Staff, 2014

You can use a Braille display to read and enter text in Google Docs, Google Slides, and Google Drawings. To enable Braille support, follow these steps:

·         Open a document, presentation, or drawing in Google Chrome or Internet Explorer. (Firefox isn’t yet supported.)

·         If you haven’t already enabled screen reader support, press Control + Alt + Z (Windows) or Command + Option + Z (Mac).

·         Press Alt + / (Windows, Chrome OS) or Option + / (Mac) to open a menu search.

·         Type “Braille” to locate the Enable Braille support command. You’ll hear “Enable Braille support, not checked.”

·         Press Enter. You’ll hear “Braille support enabled.”


To disable Braille support, repeat steps 3 and 4 above. After you press Enter, you’ll hear “Braille support disabled.” Once you’ve enabled Braille support, you’ll notice improvements: When you’re typing or navigating character by character, the screen reader announces your changes more quickly. The screen reader’s announcements of punctuation and whitespace are better. Google Docs, Google Slides, and Google Drawings now follow your screen reader’s settings for character echo and word echo while typing.


Braille support currently has the following limitations:

·         It isn’t yet possible to enter special characters from the keyboard. To enter special characters, open the Insert menu and select “Special characters.”

·         Firefox isn’t yet supported. Please use Google Chrome or Internet Explorer.

·         It isn’t yet possible to use the Braille display to navigate. Text input and output are the only supported uses at this time.

·         In JAWS, line-by-line movements are announced twice.

·         In some cases, special announcements (e.g. styles, comments, footnotes, and equations) are shifted by a character. This issue applies only to screen readers that announce the character after the cursor, rather than the character just passed over by the cursor, when the cursor moves. Affected screen readers include ChromeVox, NVDA, and JAWS, depending on your settings.

·         Verbalization of comments or styles can interfere with the screen reader’s announcements of the text when navigating through content.

To read more about braille support, go to


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