UEB Rulebook

This is a glossary version of the rulebook that allows for automatic hyperlinking of the rules.

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Follow print when transcribing into braille, including accents, punctuation and capitalisation.

Note: This provision does not apply to print ornamentation as provided for in 2.3.2 below, or to parts of the braille text which are added by the transcriber, e.g. preliminary pages, page information lines, or transcriber's notes.


When transcribing, it is preferable to ignore print ornamentation which is present only to enhance the appearance of the publication and does not impart any useful information. Examples of print ornamentation include:

  • different typefaces or fonts for headings
  • the lowercase of letters with accents in a fully capitalised word
  • coloured type used for all example words
  • italics used for all variables in a text
  • small capitals font used for all Roman numerals


When a facsimile transcription is required, reproduce all aspects of print as fully as possible including ornamentation. Examples of circumstances when a facsimile transcription may be requested are:

  • when the reader is responsible for editing the text
  • when the reader is studying typography
  • when the reader is studying original manuscripts


For a literary work in which English and one or more other languages are interspersed freely with no typographical or other distinction, consider the braille codes of the languages involved and the issue of ambiguity in determining whether to use UEB contractions and how to represent accented letters. Do not mix UEB signs and foreign code signs for any particular print character or braille indicator. 

Note: The following example is a mix of English and Spanish. In this example, foreign code signs are used for accented letters since it is expected that readers would be familiar with them. Uncontracted braille is used to avoid ambiguity. UEB signs are used for punctuation and indicators.


If the main body of text is in a foreign language with occasional words or passages of English interspersed, e.g. by way of commentary or explanation, it is recommended that the function of the code switch indicators should be reversed, so that they enclose the UEB material. Explain this reversal in a transcriber's note.


When the nature and extent of the enclosed material can be clearly deduced from formatting or other contextual considerations, as when parallel texts in English and another language are set out in tabular form or when the foreign language is identified by a change of typeface, then code switch indicators may be omitted. 


In general, do not correct print errors.


Code switch indicators are used to enclose non-UEB material, in this case material using foreign code signs. Do not use UEB signs within code switch indicators.


Use foreign code contractions, i.e. category (6) above, only for a language written in Roman script which is also one of the official languages of the country from which the document originates or for which it is requested. However, in no case is the use of foreign code contractions mandatory.


List all foreign code signs used on a preliminary page.

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