Braille from EPUB
At the time of writing this article (April 2016), I am not aware of any tool that can directly import an EPUB file and transcribe text to Braille. Therefore, I am recommending the following workflow as an option for small scale Braille production till the time a better alternative comes up.
All EPUB files are basically compressed archives and contain the text of the publication in HTML files. These HTML files can be imported easily in any Braille transcription application like Duxbury. You can perform the steps listed below to convert EPUB files to Braille.
- Rename the EPUB file: delete the .epub extension and replace it with .zip. Now uncompress this .zip file using any utility like WinZip, 7zip or the Windows default extraction utility. You will get a folder with at least one or more sub-directory and file named "mimetype".
- Explore the content of the sub-directories and identify the HTML/XHTML files which contain the complete text of the publication. You can open these files in any web browser to examine its contents. At this time you need to identify all the files that need to be transcribed into Braille. Generally the files are numbered and their sequence is easy to identify.
- Merge all the HTML/XHTML files to create one file with complete content of the publication. This is an optional step. The files identified in the previous step can also be imported one by one in the Braille transcription application. However, when the EPUB contains a large number of files then it may be easier to merge all the HTML files. To do this, you can use utilities like HTML Merge or anything similar.
- Import file/s in Duxbury: Import the multiple files one by one or the single file created in the previous step in Duxbury application. You should now have complete text from the publication ready for Braille printing.
- Review and format text: EPUB files can vary a lot in content and mark-up. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly review the text in Duxbury. In particular you may like to check the headings, tables and image alt text imported by Duxbury. Delete unwanted text and apply formatting as you consider appropriate for the Braille book.
- Emboss Braille: Finally you can translate the text to Braille code in Duxbury (Ctrl + T) and emboss on paper.
Text is available under the terms of the DAISY Consortium Intellectual Property Policy, Licensing, and Working Group Process.