[Blindmath] LaTex to Nemeth?

Jose Tamayo jtblas at hotmail.com
Sat Aug 29 14:11:33 UTC 2009

Hello Michael,

Would you provide versions of DBT that you have encountered the conversion
inconsistencies  with.  It would interest me as I am working on acquiring
some of these tools for supporting my Math endeavors.

thanks in advance,
Jose Tamayo 

-----Original Message-----
From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of Michael Whapples
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2009 5:19 PM
To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] LaTex to Nemeth?

Hello Mary,
As you said Duxbury does claim to support translation from LaTeX, but in 
my experience when translating to British Braille it really didn't work 
well and it sounds like you are getting a similar outcome for nemeth. 
Here are some of the issues I found, only a very limited subset of the 
LaTeX commands were actually supported, certain parts of LaTeX could 
result in Duxbury just stopping translation at that point (I can't 
remember whether this was due to poorly coded LaTeX or a particular 
command), unknown parts of LaTeX didn't warn the user of Duxbury about 
the unknown LaTeX and the Braille may contain nonsense at that point or 
worse it may just lack that part of the document (IE. the Braille would 
be valid but the content would be incorrect so the reader wouldn't have 
a clue from the document alone that something is missing), and I am sure 
there were plenty more problems which would just get tedious to list 
here. Even the documentation which comes with Duxbury is lacking for the 
LaTeX support part, it tells you to use scientific notebook to prepare 
the LaTeX but even SN will produce LaTeX not supported by Duxbury. As 
you may have guessed, Duxbury isn't a system I would even consider for 
producing maths Braille from existing documents.

I don't know about the Tiger products for producing actual Braille 
output, but as I understand it you would need to convert the LaTeX 
document to word format. I am sorry I don't know of what software would 
be suitable for this, it may be that mathtype includes a feature for 
importing LaTeX but I think I will have to say you will either need to 
look around for yourself or wait for another list member to say how this 
conversion may be done. One thing you should consider when taking this 
route is that as you have the extra step of converting the LaTeX to word 
format, errors may be introduced at this step and so may not be a fault 
of the Tiger software, so try a few conversion applications, or may be 
even try a few documents originally created in word and mathtype before 
passing judgement on the Tiger software. I did see the dotsplus side of 
the Tiger software and was very pleased with the output it produces. 
Dotsplus seemed easy to learn and if you only want this to be something 
to fill in until the student knows LaTeX so that they can work directly 
in LaTeX then this may be good.

I am not so familiar with software to produce nemeth as I live in the UK 
so use the British Braille code, but here are some suggestions of 
various software packages which may be of interest.

Liblouisxml can produce nemeth Braille output, however this takes mathml 
input so you would need to use a LaTeX to mathml translation application 
(eg. tex4ht or ttm). Again like with the conversion to word document 
format from LaTeX you may want to try a few LaTeX to mathml conversion 
packages (having tried both tex4ht and ttm I can say they do produce 
different output, although they both seemed to work reasonably well for me).

While on the topic of mathml, it may be worth you considering to convert 
the LaTeX documents to that anyway as then the documents can be made 
accessible on the web (eg. internet explorer users can use mathplayer 
with a screen reader like window-eyes or JFW).

Although you said about wanting to translate the document for embossing, 
the following may be useful should the students have a Braille display 
(I would highly recommend they consider one if they will be working 
directly in LaTeX and maths). Anyway the website is 
http://latex-access.sf.net and this can be used with JFW to have Braille 
and better speech output while editing LaTeX (it isn't designed for 
document translation as it doesn't deal with numbering references, etc).

Hope some of this is useful.

Michael Whapples
On 27/08/09 20:09, Mary J Ziegler wrote:
> Hi,
> I recently joined this list to learn ways to better ways to make math
accessible to blind students at MIT.    Today, I have a very specific
> What's the best path to convert a LaTex document to Nemeth Braille?   We
have both Duxbury and the Tiger Software Suite, but neither seems to be able
to translate the LaTex to Nemeth.   Is it possible with one of these
applications?   Both mention the use of either Scientific Notebook (Duxbury)
or MathType (Tiger): is there a way to do it through those applications?
> FYI - While our long term goal is to have our students learn and read
LaTex directly, as it's used widely here anyway, for students that are not
up to speed on LaTex and already read Nemeth, I'd like to be able to emboss
in Nemeth.
> Can anyone advise me on what's doable here, and, if yes, how?
> Thanks in advance,
> Mary
> ____________
> Mary J. Ziegler
> Team Leader,  Accessibility and Usability
> MIT Information Services and Technology (IS&T)
> ATIC Lab Room 7-143
> 617.258.9328
> maryz at mit.edu
> _______________________________________________
> Blindmath mailing list
> Blindmath at nfbnet.org
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindmath_nfbnet.org
> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for

Blindmath mailing list
Blindmath at nfbnet.org
To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for

More information about the BlindMath mailing list