Braille embossers are printers that print in Braille. It is not necessary to know Braille in order to print in Braille. The idea is to create a regular document, i.e. in Microsoft Word, and print it. However, there is an additional step: the document has to be printed not from a Microsoft application, but from a Braille translation program. The program is sometimes included with the Braille embosser; sometimes it has to be purchased separately. It can be used by both blind and sighted users. The task of the program is to translate the text of a document into Braille. This may sound like a complicated task, but it is done automatically by the program. The user’s task is to ensure that the format of the document looks fine after the translation, much like one might look at “Print Preview” before printing a document in Microsoft Word. A sighted person who knows Braille should look at the printed document to ensure its quality.
Braille embossers are also designed to print graphs and graphics in raised dots, so that a blind person can feel them on paper.
The most commonly used Braille embossers are produced by Index and by Enabling Technologies.