Connecting a braille display to NVDA

Below will be two examples of connecting two different braille displays to the NVDA screen reader; whether via bluetooth or via a USB cable.
In some cases, you may need to download a driver for your braille display so that it can work with the NVDA screen reader.

Supported Braille displays

NVDA can support many braille displays. To see which braille displays NVDA can use while NVDA is running, press the NVDA key + letter N. When the preferences menu comes up, arrow down to help, then a sub menu will come off it. Locate the user guide and press the Enter key. Your browser will be launched and the user guide will appear in front of you. You will need to locate the section in the user guide called supported braille displays.
There is a commands quick reference guide, just under the user manual, which has supported braille displays and much quicker to navigate.

Setting up a braille display

Next, you will need to set up your braille display.
Either connect your display via a USB cable or set it up via bluetooth.
Once this is done, go to NVDA menu and settings.
Go to Braille and start tabbing.
You will see various options here.
Using an example of a focus display, they don't have a single dedicated driver, but at the beginning of your braille displays section is automatic. This should detect your braille display.

If you keep on tabbing after you have set your braille display, you can go through this section and apply the other settings you want (for example output table, input table and so on).

To see what each setting does in the braille section of NVDA please have a look in the user manual in the section called braille. Here it will give you a good description of what these settings do.

Tether Braille shortcut key

NVDA + Control + T
This option allows you to choose whether the braille display will follow the system focus / caret, the navigator object / review cursor, or both for both desktop and laptop layouts.


Braille Input
Pressing dot 7 erases the last entered braille cell or character. Dot 8 translates any braille input and presses the Enter key. Pressing dot 7 + dot 8 translates any braille input, but without adding a space or pressing Enter.

Braille extender add on

For extra functionality with your braille display there is an add on which you can install into NVDA called Braille Extender. The add on can be downloaded from the following web page at
After the add on has been downloaded, installed and enabled there is a menu that appears called braille extender.
You can locate the braille extender menu by doing the following: Press the NVDA key + letter N. When the preferences menu comes up, arrow down to the braille extender menu.  A submenu will come off this menu, which will give you different options, documentation, settings and so on. It is a matter of having a look around these menus and the relevant sections referring to each menu.

Input gestures for the braille extender add on

To see which input gestures the braille extender add on uses, press the NVDA key + letter N, locate settings, then arrow down to input gestures, then press the Enter key. You will then need to look for the braille extender menu. After it has been located you can use the arrow keys to open and close the menu and arrow through the input gestures you can utilise.

You can add your own gesture to each choice.

Also check out the braille section under input gestures while you are in the input gesture section.

Make sure you apply and ok your settings.

Adding a Humanware BrailleNote to NVDA

To make your Humanware BrailleNote work with NVDA you need to do the following:

You will need to buy a serial to USB cable (which includes the driver CD) which should have drivers for it up to Windows 10.
Install the software onto your computer and plug in your power adaptor to a power point. Then, hook up the serial end of the cable to your Humanware BrailleNote and plug in the other end (which is USB) into your computer; and turn on your device.
You will then need to go into the settings on your BrailleNote device and set it to terminal for screen reader mode; and set your port.

Next, while NVDA is running, go into the preferences section of NVDA (by pressing the NVDA key + the letter N). Arrow down to the preferences menu, then right arrow to the settings section of NVDA, then press the Enter key. You will be given a list of different sections in NVDA. Next, arrow down to the  braille section, then tab to the change button in that section. Use the Spacebar to open it. Arrow to the Humanware BrailleNote driver, then tab to the port it uses. Change it to Port: Serial: Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port (COM3) then tab to the OK button and press the Enter key. NVDA  will go back to the braille section, and you will notice that your BrailleNote can now be used. You can then tab through this section and make any changes. Make sure you apply your settings, then tab to the OK button, and press the Enter key.

You can use the Ctrl key + NVDA key + the letter C to save your changes.


To find out more about the different sections under the braille section (in the settings menu of NVDA) please see the section called braille in the user manual.  Please also see the sections below it for more information on the braille settings section and what each section does.

Supported Braille Displays

To see which braille displays are supported in NVDA, please also go to the section called Supported Braille Displays.
NVDA may already have a driver for your device, or if not, you might have to download a driver and install it into NVDA for it to work first. It will also depend on how you are connecting your braille display, as to what you have to do (for example USB, bluetooth or serial to USB).