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Jot-A-Dot Instruction Guide

by Quantum Technology Pty Ltd
Distributed worldwide by
Harpo Sp. z.o.o
Mailing Address: 27 Grudnia 7
61-737 Poznan
Phone: (+48 61) 853 1425

Inside the Jot a Dot Box

  • JOT A DOT Print Instruction Guide
  • JOT A DOT Braille Instruction Guide
  • JOT A DOT CD Rom
  • Notepad of Jot a Dot paper
  • Jot a Dot Braillable Labelsamples
  • Jot a Dot carry case
  • Neck strap

Making the Most of Your Jot a Dot

Jot a Dot is a revolutionary pocket-sized brailling device. Designed for brailling on regular notepaper, it is recommended that only paper with the following specifications is used in Jot a Dot.


  • Paper size: A6 (A4 quartered) or A5 (A4 halved)
  • Weight: 80GSM
  • Width: 148mm


  • US Letter Paper (quartered)
  • Weight: 20-22 pound;
  • Width: 5.51"
  • Length: 4.25"

Jot a Dot can be used for brailling on labels such as the sample provided for you in the Jot a Dot box.

Warning: heavy paper such as card or thick label is not recommended and can harm some Jot a Dot components, resulting in the reduced life of the device.

Getting To Know Your Jot a Dot

The six faces of Jot a Dot

Being familiar with the six surfaces of Jot a Dot and the features of each will assist you in orientating it when inserting paper and reading your Braille.

Place your Jot a Dot on a flat surface, with the green knob on the left.

The six main surfaces are:

Top – with Braille keyboard; (blue)
Base - bottom surface; (black)
Front - the vertical edge closest to you.
Back - the vertical edge furthest from you.
Left edge - left side with protruding green knob.
Right edge - right side with tactile dial.

Place your fingers on the Dot Keys and press down gently. You will feel the entire top surface of Jot a Dot move down towards the base, closing the gap between top and base. This is how Jot a Dot makes braille.

The Features of Jot a Dot

Now that the six surfaces are familiar, let's learn about the features of Jot a Dot found on each surface.


Dot Keys - curved row of six green braille keys.

Now moving away from you:

Reading Stand – tactile green tab used for supporting Jot a Dot when inserting paper or reading.
Writing Ruler - tactile ruler used for measuring the current braille cell while writing.
Cell Indicator – green pointer which moves to the right as each cell is brailled and is manually pushed back to the left hand margin. Corresponds with tactile cell measurement on the writing ruler.


Roll the Jot a Dot over, keeping the green knob (paper winder) on the left.

Moving towards you:

Paper Rest - slope against which paper is placed prior to insertion.
Ridged Bar - below the Paper Rest over which paper is guided when being inserted.
Paper Slot - the opening below the Paper Rest into which the paper is wound.
Reading Ruler - tactile ruler used for locating the current cell when reading;
Base Release Clips - located to the front and on each side of the base. Only used for Jot Dot maintenance.


Neck Strap sockets - located on both left and right side. Used for removing or attaching the Neck Strap.


Rear Paper Slot - through which the paper protrudes once installed.

Left edge:

Paper Winder - round green knob used for rolling the paper in and out of the Jot a Dot.
Tactile Arrow - located immediately above the Paper Winder. Helpful for pointing the direction in which to roll the paper.

Right edge:

Line indicator - dial with a moving pointer. As the Paper Winder is rolled, the pointer moves to indicate each new line.

Note: it would be helpful to experiment with this prior to inserting paper.

Getting ready to Jot a Dot

To insert paper, Jot a Dot must be in the reading position.

  1. Using your finger or fingernail, flick the reading stand to the upright position.
  2. Roll Jot a Dot over by lifting it up from the base and rolling it away from you, again keeping the paper wind on the left.
  3. Ensure Jot a Dot is positioned securely with the reading stand. The paper rest and paper slot are now facing you. The dot keys and top of the Jot a Dot are facing down and away from you.

Suggestion: familiarise yourself with this position, taking note of the orientation of the six Jot a Dot faces. It will help in learning to use it quickly.

Inserting The Paper

  1. Take a sheet of paper from the notepad supplied.
  2. Slide the paper on to the paper rest. Make sure the long edge is horizontal, and the shorter edge is vertical; (otherwise known as landscape orientation)
  3. Ensure the paper covers the ridged bar and the bottom edge of the paper fits just inside the paper slot.

Hint: try taking your hands from the paper. If it does not move, it is in the correct loading position.

  1. Wind the paper winder anticlockwise to begin rolling in the paper. Keep a finger placed gently against the paper on the paper rest to ensure it rolls in safely.
  2. The bottom edge of the paper will slide out through the rear paper slot.
  3. Continue to wind until the top edge of the paper is aligned with the ridged bar below the paper rest. The majority of the paper will now be protruding from the rear paper slot and is now inserted successfully.

Note: do not wind the paper further than the ridged bar, or it will get jammed.

  1. Roll Jot a Dot back towards you until the base is again resting on the flat surface
  2. Take note of the line indicator on the right edge of Jot a Dot. Turn the pointer to the "12 o'clock" or horizontal position. When reading and writing, this will help you identify which line on the page you are currently.
  3. Make sure the cell indicator on the top of Jot a Dot is pushed all the way across to the left. It is moved easily using a finger. You are now ready to Jot a Dot.

Jotting dots - writing with Jot a Dot

The Writing Position

  1. Place your fingers on the dot keys while Jot a Dot is resting on a flat surface.
  2. Bring the thumb of each hand towards you and over the front of Jot a Dot hooking them underneath the base.
  3. Keep your thumbs in position and tilt the Jot a Dot up and away from you until its back rests on a flat surface and the base is facing you. Your fingers are still on the dot keys.

Note: there are rubber strips along the back which will stop Jot a Dot from slipping.

  1. Jot a Dot should now be in an almost upright position with the thumbs of your hands supporting the base and your fingers resting comfortably on the dot keys.

Making Braille

  1. Select the dots of a Braille cell you wish to write by gently pressing down the correct dot keys.
  2. Close the Jot a Dot by using the thumbs and fingers of both hands and bringing the top of the Jot a Dot toward the base, use a squeezing action.

Note: For best results, press firmly. It is also important to use both hands to close the Jot a Dot especially when dots have only been selected on one side of the dot keys

  1. You will feel resistance once the Jot a Dot is fully closed. To release simply relax the "squeeze" and the Jot a Dot will spring open.
  2. To make a space or empty braille cell, squeeze the Jot a Dot closed without selecting any dot keys.
  3. The Jot a Dot writes 20 cells on a line. Use the cell indicator and writing ruler to measure when you are close to the end of the line.
  4. To start a new line, roll the paper winder on the left edge clockwise until you feel it click. Each click indexes one line. You can also use the line indicator on the right edge to check the line position.

Reading your braille

To read a line of braille you have written:

  1. Roll the Jot a Dot into the reading position: (refer to the section "inserting paper"). Remember first to set the reading stand to the upright position.
  2. Roll the paper winder clockwise. The top of the page will move further out of the paper slot below the paper rest and your braille will appear. Depending on finger size, the page may need to be advanced two lines to access the braille comfortably.
  3. You can continue to write at this point and your lines of braille will be double-spaced. For single spacing, roll the paper winder back (anticlockwise). Check your line position using the line indicator.
  4. Roll the Jot a Dot back into the writing position.
  5. Return the cell indicator to the left hand side and resume writing.
  6. To take out the page once you are finished, continue to roll the paper winder clockwise and the paper will exit through the paper slot at the base of Jot a Dot.

Note: if the paper catches underneath the paper rest, refer to “Retrieving crumpled and damaged paper from inside the Jot a Dot” in the Maintenance section below.

Handy Hints

Jot a Dot Maintenance

  1. When not in use, keep Jot a Dot in its carry case.
  3. If particles become caught internally, open the Jot a Dot using the base release clips (explained below) and shake out the particles. In extreme cases, a vacuum cleaner or suction device could be used to remove dust and collected matter.
  4. If required, wipe the outside of Jot a Dot with a cloth dampened with PLAIN WATER ONLY.
  5. Retrieving crumpled and damaged paper from inside the Jot a Dot.
  1. Underneath the left and right edges of the Jot a Dot are two small clips.
  2. Set the Jot a Dot to the reading position.
  3. Place your thumbs on the inside of the clips and brace your fingers on the base of the Jot a Dot.
  4. Push the clips out to each side, while manoeuvring the base away from the top of the Jot a Dot. You will feel a click as the base releases revealing a cavity.
  5. Carefully remove any material and gently push the Top and the Base together again.

Attaching and removing the neck strap

To attach the neck strap

  1. Align a clip on one end of the Neck Strap to the neck strap socket on the Jot a Dot.
  2. Push gently until you feel it slot in to place.
  3. Repeat step b with the clip on the other end of the Neck Strap.

To remove, tug firmly on the neck strap close to where it attaches to the Jot a Dot.

Note: these are emergency release clips and will release with a sharp tug.


  1. Do not move the cell indicator unless the Jot a Dot is in the writing position.
  2. Use of heavy paper and card will damage the Jot a Dot.
  3. The rear paper slot is not designed for the insertion of paper.
  4. Paper of any length can be used. The only limitation is the width.