What's New in Sao Mai Braille Alpha

New features

  • Used LibLouis library 3.18.
  • Native *.docx Word file editing. No longer using Office Converter third-party dependency.
  • New SM LibMusicBraille library for Braille music translation with main features:
    • Supported bar-over-bar and line-over-line formats. Braille music output is currently supported in Unicode only.
    • Translated score with lyrics and chords. Lyrics can be selected to translate with LibLouis Braille translation tables.
    • Supported plucked instruments with alignment and inline formatting methods.
    • Note grouping.
    • Doubling for articulations, noteheads, tremolos, tuplets, grace/cue notes etc.
    • Translated most notations from chapter 1-23 of the MBC document.
    • Options to toggle translation for different musical elements.
    • Supported to arrange Braille sign order.
    • Used music profiles to manage custom translation options.
    • And many other fixes and improvements.



  • New options dialogue design.
  • Improved score info dialogue.


Known issues

  • Page breaks as converting document with music score to BRF is not correct.



New Features

  • Added Jaws and NVDA speech engine options to have SMB read document. Please note, for user interface voice, it still uses SAPI-5.
  • Supported 32 new user interface languages. Not all strings are translated and we need help from users to localize untranslated ones. Go to Tools -> Options and General page for more information.
  • Supported for LibLouis default Braille output (mostly in Braille ascii) and in Braille Unicode. Go to Tools -> Options, ctrl+tab to Languages page for more information.
  • By default, only English and Vietnamese are added in the Translation tables menu item under Tools. To add other Braille tables, go to Tools -> Options -> Languages page, move to languages list, use arrow keys and press Space to check language Braille tables you want to add to the Translation tables menu. Then, choose Ok. Please note, existing checkboxed list of SMB is not fully accessible with screen readers, so you can turn the self-voice feature for UI voice to have it read list item state.
  • For Braille music translation: can select inserted scores, part(s) and change score info (title, composer, copyright info etc.) before translating into Braille. Go to Tools -> Score Info for more information.
  • Used LibLouis library 3.14.
  • SMB will check and notify if there’s new update version available for download.
  • We created a simple addon for NVDA to initially define rich-text classes for SMB. This addon will make SMB rich-text editing window accessible with NVDA. So, users don’t need to enable document voice as working with edit window. Download and install SMB NVDA addon at: https://www.saomaicenter.org/sites/default/files/SMSoftAutoUpdate/SMB_NVDAAddon.zip



New Features.

·         SAPI-5 TTS compliant speech output: to read document and user interface. Go to Tools -> Options and find Voices tab.

·         Translating inserted MusicXML sheet into Braille music. Going to Insert menu, choose Music XML. See more other settings on the Music XML tab in Options dialogue.

·         Supporting Braille rich-text editing.



·         Using new rich-text component for the editor to be much more similar to Microsoft Word.

·         Rearranging the Options dialogue in Tools menu into multiple pages with additional tabs for speech and Braille music translation settings. Find under Tools menu and choose Options.

·         Adding score info dialogue to customize basic information of music sheets. Before translating to Braille with Ctrl+T, go to Tools and choose Score info to customize sheets available in the document.

·         Completely free for all, no need to register the license key after 30 days.


Known Issues

·         Text edit window is not accessible with screen readers due to the implementation of new rich-text control. So, for now, blind users are advised to turn on speech output for document on the Voices tab under Options dialogue.

·         Braille translation features for Math equations and music sheets are still supported with basic rules. We need more support, inputs and feedbacks from users, experts and organization-based collaboration.