Connecting a braille display
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
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
There is a commands quick reference guide, just under the user
manual, which has supported braille displays and much quicker to
Setting up a
Next, you will need to set up your braille
Either connect your display via a USB cable or set it up via
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
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.
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
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
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
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
You can use the Ctrl key + NVDA key + the letter C to save your
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.
To see which braille displays are supported in
NVDA, please also go to the section called Supported Braille
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).