The basic braille alphabet, braille numbers, braille punctuation and special symbols characters are constructed from six dots. These braille dots are positioned like the figure six on a die, in a grid of two parallel vertical lines of three dots each. From the six dots that make up the basic grid, 64 different configurations can be created. These 64 braille characters can be seen below in the Unicode braille code chart. The Unicode block for 6 dot braille is U+2800 – U+283F:
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
The Braille Alphabet—Internationally Standardised
The letters a-z are common and standard for most braille country tables.
Braille Numbers—Internationally Standardised
Numbers use the same braille characters as the alphabet letter symbols A to J – with the exception of France.
Note: French Antoine Braille number symbols are unique characters – please see the Braille code for France.
Note:When indicating numbers the number sign should be placed before braille numbers to differentiate them from the letter symbols A to J. See example below.
Note: A letter sign, or grade 1 indicator (⠰) is required to be inserted between numbers and letters when numbers are immediately followed by letters. See example below.
Examples (set with UEB code):
|100 cm||⠼⠁⠚⠚ ⠉⠍|
|6′ 10″||⠼⠋⠶ ⠼⠁⠚⠶⠶|
|– (en dash)||⠠⠤||6 36|
|— (em dash)||⠐⠠⠤||5 6 36|
Braille Alphabet, Numbers and Symbols Codes
Each country has its own braille code and there are some common codes, such as the Unified English Braille (EBU) Code and the EBU European Braille Code. There are many common elements in each country code, but certain important differences. The various braille alphabets, braille numbers, braille punctuation, special symbols and code tables can be found in braille codes.
How to represent braille
Braille characters are three dimensional tactile bumps on a medium such as paper or board. In order for these bumps to be represented, viewed, checked and controlled on digital artwork the designer places appropriately sized and spaced filled circles on the artwork layout. The circles can be constructed from a simple grid of dots, but the most efficient method of creating braille print artwork is with a braille font.
Nationally different special braille alphabet characters in Europe
It must be stressed that punctuation, abbreviated characters and accented characters vary from country to country.
In the artwork creation process, the braille character set to be used should be verified as appropriate for the country in which the medicinal product is sold. The Marketing Authorisation Holder (MAH) and packaging supplier must check all braille artwork for current accuracy and relevance. The European Braille Guidance area of this website, supported by RNIB and EBU, contains information on European Braille and the braille code pages contain many country specific braille codes. The International Blindness Agencies Directory can help to identify braille organisations for each country.
If multi-market, multilingual packs are being produced with braille text, the correct character sets should be identified and included in the artwork.
Note:While every care has been taken to check the accuracy of the symbols used in each language, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information. Please confirm braille character sets with the relevant local braille authority. The International Blindness Agencies Directory can help to identify braille organisations for each country.