Creating Music Braille Using SharpEye 2, Lime and GOODFEEL
For Blind and Sighted Users
By Bill McCann
of Dancing Dots
The instructions in this document include specifics on using SharpEye,
Lime and GOODFEEL with a screen reader.
However, these instructions should prove useful to anyone.
You might also want to read
GOODFEEL for sighted users which was written
specifically for sighted people.
The instructions in this document refer to the JAWS for Windows screen
reader, but all popular screen readers should be able to deliver access to SharpEye 2.
If you should find otherwise, please post a note
or, better yet, to our goodfeel listserv.
If you're not yet subscribed to our list, see subscription instructions on our at
In addition, these instructions were developed using a Canon N656U.
Your procedure might be different especially if you don't have a Canon scanner, however,
the concepts are the same.
Transcribing from print hard copy to music braille is a three-step
process of scanning, editing and transcribing. Each step is accomplished with
a different software program. Each program flows into the next making the process
seamless and intuitive. This article focuses on using SharpEye in the initial
scanning step. Here's an overview of how to scan, edit and transcribe your work.
After the overview, I'll give detailed background and instructions.
Overview of Steps to Create Music Braille with GOODFEEL
- Scan with SharpEye
(optional step but usually helpful)
- Configure scanner (generally
only necessary once)
- Scan sheet music
- Acquire an image of the music
(File | Acquire or ALT+F, then Q. Then tab to Scan button and press ENTER).
- Recognize the music (Read |
Read or ALT+R, then R). (Need not save image)
- Correct any rhythm or key or
time signature errors. Editing tools inaccessible to blind users.
- Listen to the music (File |
Play/Stop or ALT+F, L).
- Save as music file for editing
- If blind: File | MIDI | Save
and open temp file (ALT+F, D, T).
- If sighted: File | NIFF | Save
and open temp file.
- Edit scanned information
or, if you skipped the optional scanning step, begin entering score data.
See "Preparing Files for GOODFEEL to Transcribe"
- If blind, use Cakewalk, preferably
with CakeTalking JAWS scripts.
- If sighted, use Lime notation
- Transcribe with
- Set Format Options (ALT+O) (Usually
first time only)
- Transcription options: choose
North American, U.K. or International.
- Embosser options: choose Generic
/ Text Only and set embosser to North American ASCII.
- Procedure for Every Piece (with
default automation options)
- Choose Automatic Transcription
- View Braille on screen, with
Braille display, or send to embosser.
Details of Steps to Create Music Braille with GOODFEEL
Step 1. How to Scan with SharpEye 2
Step 2: Editing
and press CONTROL+TAB to move focus to SharpEye's main window.
- Select Your Scanner
This step is only necessary if you have more than one scanner or if you have
the software drivers for more than one scanner on your computer. This step
also only needs to be performed if you want SharpEye to use a scanner that
you did not use the last time SharpEye was run.
- Press ALT+F and then the letter T to open the Select
- Tab to the list of scanners and be sure that the
scanner you want to use is selected. Tab to the Select Button and press
- Acquire an Image
- Press ALT+F and then the letter q to open the scanning
software supplied with your scanner. For me, that means that SharpEye
opens the ScanGear software for my CanoScan N656U scanner.
- Configure your Scanning Software
As noted above, it is impossible to offer specifics on how to accomplish
this step. Basically you want to select an image mode of grayscale (older versions of SharpEye only support black and white
(document), OCR or Line Art mode) and a resolution of 300 dpi. Check out
Using Scanning Interfaces for specific
directions for some scanners.
Here's what I've done to set up my ScanGear software supplied with my
CanoScan N656U scanner:
- At this point I can press CONTROL+TAB to move
to the settings screen for ScanGear. On the Main tab there is a setting
called Color Mode. On tabbing to this combo box, you'll be in a list
of options. Arrow up and down until you hear "Black and White" and select
that option. Tab to Output Resolution and make sure it is set to 300
dpi (dots per inch). Editor's note: These directions were written before SharpEye
accepted grayscale images so please now select grayscale.
- After you have made your selections, press CONTROL+TAB
until you hear "Preview Button." Now follow the remaining instructions.
- Preview and/or Scan
Scanning software usually offers a preview of the material to be scanned.
This step tells you that the sheet music has been placed right side up in
the scanner and presents a small image of what will be scanned.
- Press ALT+S to begin scanning. You may want to
set JAWS to Say-all mode by pressing INSERT+S until JAWS says "All."
JAWS will now report the scanning progress which displays the percent
- When the scanning software is finished, press CONTROL+TAB
(JAWS should say "SharpEye2.")
- Press ALT+R and then the letter R to begin SharpEye's
read/recognition step. Again, you may want to set JAWS to Say-all
mode to hear the percent completed report. You will probably hear a
query from SharpEye telling you that the image is unsaved. I always
say OK to this query but you may want to save the image for future use.
During this read process, you can also check the percent completed value
by pressing INSERT+NumPad3.
- Clean up Rhythm Warnings
If all goes well, SharpEye will report "0 rhythm warnings." If so, you can
go on to the steps below to save your music file and go on to edit with Cakewalk
or Lime and to transcribe to Braille with GOODFEEL. However, if you have rhythm
errors, you should correct them in SharpEye before continuing. Note that if
you have many rhythm warnings you could have a missing or incorrect time signature.
Blind users will need assistance from a sighted helper to clean up these warnings.
Some errors like incorrect pitches can easily be fixed
after SharpEye but here is a list of errors that should be fixed in SharpEye:
- Time signature errors
- Rhythm errors
- Clef errors
- Key signature errors
While there are more rhythm warnings or other mistakes:
Press ALT+M then G or click on the blue arrow to move to the next rhythm
- To modify a musical symbol, left-click it and then
make a selection from the palette above the music.
- To delete a musical symbol, left-click it and press
the delete key.
- To add a musical symbol, right-click anywhere in the
music, select the type of musical symbol from above the music then right-click
at the location where the symbol belongs.
Don't forget to save your work from time to
time using File | Save!
- Processing Multiple Pages
Multiple pages can be processed by basically repeating steps 3 and 4 for each
page and then after all the pages have been processed separately, read Multi-page
Scores in SharpEye's online Help. We recommend using the process that involves
converting the pages individually (Read | Read) and then combining them in
SharpEye. Read How to Scan Multiple Pages in
SharpEye for more information.
- More Editing
Associating File Types with Programs
SharpEye will open MIDI and NIFF files using the program
that Windows has associated with those file types. If SharpEye opens these
file types correctly skip this section. To change the program associated with
a file type: Go to Start | Help then go to the index and enter the keyword
"Associating files", press ENTER, select the item that refers to changing
the association and then follow the directions.
Cakewalk users are given one opportunity to make this
association during the Cakewalk installation; you are asked if you'd like
Windows to open Cakewalk when a MIDI file is double-clicked. Select this
option to make the proper association.
Lime automatically associates NIFF files with Lime every
time you run it.
Press ALT+F, then D and then T. These keystrokes cause
SharpEye to save your music as a MIDI file in a temporary folder and then
open this MIDI file in whatever program Windows has associated with MIDI files.
For most blind users, this should be Cakewalk. Whether SharpEye opens Cakewalk
automatically or not, you are now ready to go to Cakewalk or any MIDI sequencer
to continue preparing your MIDI file for transcription by GOODFEEL.
Select File | NIFF | Save and Open Temp File. SharpEye
will open Lime for you and you can continue preparing the Lime file for transcription
All users should consult the article "Preparing Files
for GOODFEEL to Transcribe" under GOODFEEL's online help to learn about the
specifics of using Lime or a MIDI sequencer. GOODFEEL's online help is accessible
from Start (menu) | Programs | GOODFEEL | GOODFEEL Help or in GOODFEEL by pressing
F1. Press SHIFT+CONTROL+TAB to the Contents Page, arrow down to "Preparing Files
for GOODFEEL" and press RIGHT ARROW to open it. All users should review articles
in this section before brailling anything with GOODFEEL. In particular, arrow
down to either "Preparing MIDI Files for GOODFEEL" or "Preparing Lime Files
Launching GOODFEEL from Lime
Choose "Launch GOODFEEL" from Lime's File menu to pass your
Lime file onto GOODFEEL for transcription.
Launching GOODFEEL from CakeTalking
Cakewalk users who use CakeTalking 2.2 can press INSERT+G
to pass their Cakewalk information to GOODFEEL. Otherwise, save your file as
a MIDI format 1 file, close Cakewalk, run GOODFEEL and use CONTROL+O to open
that MIDI file for transcription.
Step 3: Transcribing with GOODFEEL
Set all desired options by choosing Options (ALT+O) from
GOODFEEL's main menu or before choosing "Automatic Transcription" from GOODFEEL's
Braille Process dialog. Unless you want to take advantage of advanced formatting
options such as suppressing selected parts from brailling, changing standard
interval directions or specifying more than one voice on a MIDI track, you will
need to do very little work in GOODFEEL itself.
Once you're sure your options are set to your personal preferences,
choose "Automatic Transcription." If GOODFEEL finds no errors or things to bring
to your attention about your Lime or MIDI file, it will present a dialog that
allows you to view the music Braille on screen or with a Braille display. Or,
you can simply send it directly to your embosser. If warnings are found, GOODFEEL
will first show you a list of them. Press F1 to get more help and to link to
other areas of GOODFEEL's online, context-sensitive help. If the errors are
serious, you will need to make corrections in Lime or Cakewalk and reload the
file into GOODFEEL. You can close the list of messages with ALT+C or by clicking
on the Close button.
Braille Versions of this Document
These files can all be brailled with Duxbury but if you
don't have Duxbury use these instructions for brailling the formatted Braille
- Save it to your computer (We recommend c:\windows\temp).
- Open a DOS prompt.
- Use the cd command to get to the correct folder (CD \windows\temp).
- Type: copy gfp*.brf lpt1[ENTER]. This assumes that you
didn't rename the file and that your embosser is hooked up to LPT1.
I invite all users to give us feedback
on the usefulness of these instructions. We'll apply suggestions and revise
Copyright 2002 Dancing Dots