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Tactile reading code, based on six dots (like the 6 on a domino) invented in the early 1805 by a blind French boy, Louis Braille. Used throughout the world, and includes codes for music, mathematics, science, chess and foreign languages.

Dotty (or Dotted) Moon

Moon-like characters made up from a grid of dots (often a 5 by 5 square), which can be produced on a Moon-enabled braille embosser.


Special printer attached to a computer which produces braille or dotty Moon documents.

Grade 1

The simplest form of Moon or braille, which is generally a letter for letter translation from print. The Grade 1 code includes the alphabet and punctuation marks, with special symbols to denote capital letters, numbers, italicised print and so on. Grade 1 Moon also includes single signs for "and", "the" and "th", as well as 2-characters signs for "ing", "ment", "ness" and "tion". Some books produced for children use letter for letter translation plus the symbols for the words "and" and "the".

Grade 2

A more complex braille or Moon code, building on Grade 1, and including additional signs to represent groups of commonly-occurring letters, plus a simple shorthand. Grade 2 Moon includes single signs for "ch" and "wh", and represents complete words by a single letter or group of letters (e.g. "I" for "like", and "yd" for "yesterday").

Heat Fuser

Machine used to apply heat to swell (micro-capsule) paper and raise the black images on the paper so that they can be felt with the fingers.


A set of raised characters based on the print Roman alphabet devised by William Moon in the first half of the nineteenth century. The alphabet, punctuation marks and a numeral sign are included. The same Moon character represents the capital and lower case version of each letter, and numbers are represented by letters preceded by the numeral sign, where "a" represents 1 , "b" 2, "c" 3, ..."i" 9 and "j" 0. For example, 23 is represented by numeral sign "bc" and 207 by numeral sign "bjg".

"New" Moon

lntroduced in the early 1990s, this version of Moon has all lines running from left to right as in English print. Hyphens are used when a word cannot be completed on a line. A few of William Moon's original characters have been slightly modified in this version of Moon.

"Old" Moon

Originally developed by William Moon, the lines are read alternately from left to right, then back from right to left, and so on. Print-like brackets are used to guide the fingers round from the end of one line to the start of the next. No hyphens are used, but unfinished words simply continue on the next line - thus saving space.

Swell Paper

Micro-capsule heat-sensitive paper which, when passed under a heat source, raises black areas of the printing on the paper so that it can easily be felt with the fingers. Frequently used for Moon documents or tactile diagrams.

StaffsMaths Numbers

An alternative Moon number system devised in Staffordshire for children, which includes unique Moon characters to represent digits as well as basic arithmetic operators such as representations of the addition, subtraction, multiplication and division signs, equals and inequality signs, the per cent sign, etc.

Touch Reading

The method used by blind people to read with the finger pads, using Moon, braille or other raised characters. Both hands are used by the most efficient touch readers, and fluent reading speeds can be achieved with years of practice.


Following along lines of Moon or braille with the finger pads when reading by touch. Back-tracking is used to locate the next line to be read.

Translation Software

Computer software which takes an electronic file as input and applies Moon or braille rules to create an output file of correctly formatted Moon or braille to be printed as a hard copy on an embosser.

Wibble Font

Moon font on a computer which includes the StaffsMaths Moon numbers and arithmetic signs.


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