Guide to the different versions of Braille

This is a basic guide to what you need to know and may want to consider before ordering Braille format:

The term embossed means the raised Braille dots and will be used instead of the word printed.

As our service can produce both normal print and Braille on the same item we will also use the phrase embossed and print. If you wish for further information just call the office.

Braille comes in two versions, Grade 1 and Grade 2.

Grade 1

This is the basic grade that everyone who reads Braille can read. This is the beginner level.

Grade 2

This level is aimed at the experienced reader. It takes time to learn it properly and to be able to read at speed. Only an experienced reader will be able to read Grade2.

This is similar to shorthand in written text.

This is where a single letter or Braille symbol is used as a whole word or can be a few letters as part of a much larger word.

Page Layout

As well as the two grades there are different types of page layouts of Braille. Reader without experience may like the Braille embossed only on one side of the sheet of paper.

More experienced Braille readers will be able to cope with Braille embossed on both sides of the paper (double sided).

Then there is the layout of the individual pages themselves. There are two main variations. These are mainly down to the spacing between the lines of Braille cells.

There is the layout as you would find in a mainstream book one line of text or Braille. Then there is double line spacing, which means under each line of Braille there is a blank line. This helps those who are not as experienced or have problems with their fingers feeling the lines of Braille.

So this layout helps this group with Tracking.


Tracking is the term used to describe the process of following a line of Braille.

Braille can be read both with one hand which just reads the Braille itself or with two hands and this is where one hand reads the braille and the second hand is tracking.

This second layout with the double line spacing is the easiest to read for all especially if using Grade 1 Braille. An added benefit is that the lines that do not contain Braille can be used to print ordinary text. Normally up to a font size of 20.

The Braille version with no spacing does not allow any print to be inserted between the lines of Braille.

Braille Work

When asking DW for quotes for Braille work, please define exactly what format is needed, with knowledge of the target reader in mind.

For example:
The cheapest will be the double sided layout in Grade 2 braille. However how many will be able to read it?
Grade 1 braille double spaced and only embossed on one side of the paper is more expensive, but all Braille readers will be able to read this easily

DW can also quote for different sizes of Braille papers, large and small and varying quality.

For example, if the requirement is for a letter, only read once and disposed of, then we can use cheap paper.  For items to be placed on a notice board and read by many it may be appropriate to consider a plastic paper, which can also be wiped over in areas where hygiene is a concern.

For more information please contact the DW office with your inquiry.