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Focus Blue 5th Generation Firmware Downloads

Use this page to download the latest firmware for your Focus Blue 5th Generation refreshable braille display. For more information on using the Focus Blue, visit the Focus Blue Braille Display Training web page.

IMPORTANT: This update is for the Focus Blue 5th generation braille displays. DO NOT install this firmware on older Focus 14 Blue, Focus 40 Blue, or Focus 80 Blue 4th Generation braille displays. The 5th generation Focus Blue braille displays have a Menu button between keys 1 and 4 on the Perkins-style keyboard. If your display has a Menu button, follow these instructions to upgrade the display.

Changes in Version 5.82-20

  • When saving a file for the first time in Scratchpad, you are now asked if you want to save using TXT/BRF/BRL/BRA format. If you want to save using one of these formats, press Y, use the Rocker bars, NAV Rockers, or Cursor Routers to select a format (dots 7 and 8 are used to indicate the selected format), and press DOT 8. After choosing the file format, type a name for your file, and then press DOT 8. Files saved in one of these formats can be opened and modified on a PC.

    If you do not want to save the file in a specific format, press N, type a name for your file, and press DOT 8. This saves the file with an FNZ extension. FNZ files can only be read and edited in Scratchpad. However, the contents of FNZ files can be exported to any open editing application over an active USB or Bluetooth connection.

Note: The BRA format is only available if the Focus language is set to Spanish. Additionally, as you work in your file, make sure to enter content in a way that matches the file type you want to save as. For instance, if you intend to save a file in TXT format, it is suggested that content be written using Computer Braille and not literary or contracted braille. This ensures the file displays correctly when opened on your computer.

  • When creating a new file in Scratchpad and there is currently content on the clipboard copied from another file, you are now asked if you want to create a file based on the clipboard contents. For example, if the clipboard contains content from a text file, you will be prompted to create a new TXT file. Pressing Y creates a new blank file that will include a TXT extension when saved. Pressing N creates a new blank file using an FNZ extension.
  • Resolved an issue where the cursor was unexpectedly moved to the beginning of the document instead of remaining at your current location when saving (RIGHT SHIFT+S).
  • Addressed an issue where BRF files were not displaying properly in Scratchpad If the Focus language was set to French or Polish.
  • Addressed issues with searching for text in BRF files when the Focus was set to a language other than English.
  • Resolved an issue where several Scratchpad keystrokes were not working If the Focus language was set to Russian.
  • When selecting characters that include a dot 7 or 8 such as a capital letter, addressed an issue where the dot 7 or 8 portion of the character was not displayed as part of the selection If Scratchpad was configured to hide dots 7 and 8.
  • Added language support for Slovenian.

Changes in Version 5.82-14

Scratchpad Improvements

  • Scratchpad has been completely reworked to provide improved overall performance when opening, editing, and saving files.
  • When entering text, files are no longer limited to 32 K before they stop accepting content.
  • FNZ files, which can only be read and edited in Scratchpad, now offer an approximately 1 MB size limit.
  • TXT, BRF, BRL, and BRA files up to 10 MB can now be edited. You can also read files as large as 100 MB. Note that BRA files can only be opened when the Focus language is set to Spanish.

Note: All files to be edited must be placed in the Notes folder on the SD memory card.

  • When opening or deleting a file, you can now use DOTS 1-2-3 CHORD or DOTS 4-5-6 CHORD to move to the top or bottom of the files list. You can also use first letter navigation to help you quickly locate a specific file.
  • Added the following commands based on customer feedback:
    • Display the title of the currently opened file: LEFT SHIFT+T (DOTS 2-3-4-5)
    • Display the current page and number of pages in the file (requires that files include page break characters which should be available in most formatted books from services like BARD): RIGHT SHIFT+P (DOTS 1-2-3-4)
    • Switch between the current and previously opened file: DOTS 2-4-6 CHORD
  • In addition to using RIGHT SHIFT+DOT 4 to find the next occurrence of a word or phrase in a file, you can now press RIGHT SHIFT+DOT 8 CHORD to find the previous occurrence of text. Alternatively, use the new Find Previous option in the Edit menu.
  • Added a new Advanced menu containing the following options to help improve the reading experience:
    • Word Wrap – When enabled, Scratchpad does not split a word that is too large to be shown on the braille display and instead shows the entire word when you pan to the next increment. This option is off by default.
    • Reverse Panning – Turn this option on to use the Right Panning button to pan backward and the Left Panning button to pan forward through files. This option is off by default.
    • Hide Cursor – When enabled, the cursor, which is represented by dots 7 and 8, is not displayed. If a Cursor Router is pressed while the cursor is hidden, the cursor briefly flashes at that location. By default, the cursor is always displayed.
    • Hide Dots 7 and 8 – Dots 7 and 8 are used to indicate capitalization and other special symbols. Additionally, formatted braille (BRF) books produced by some agencies in the United States such as and the National Library Service use characters that include dots 7 and 8. To help reduce distraction while reading, you can enable this option to suppress dots 7 and 8 so they are not displayed as part of the text. This option is off by default.

One-Handed Mode

The new one-handed mode feature allows users who are unable to enter data using two hands to use the Focus display. To turn this feature on or off, use the One-Handed Mode item in the display configuration menu, or toggle it by pressing LEFT SHIFT+DOTS 1-2-3-7 or RIGHT SHIFT+DOTS 4-5-6-8. Once enabled, one-handed operation works with Focus-specific features such as Scratchpad, or when using the Focus to interact with applications on a computer or mobile device.

In one-handed mode, enter commands or Braille characters one key at a time; or enter as many keys together as you find comfortable; then press the SPACEBAR when finished. For example, individually pressing DOTS 1-2-3-5, followed by the SPACEBAR types a letter R. If you are entering data and need to enter the Space character, press the SPACEBAR twice.

If you need to enter a chord combination, press the SPACEBAR, then the keys that make up the chord, then press the SPACEBAR again. For example, to go to the beginning of a file, press the SPACEBAR, followed by DOTS 1-2-3, followed once more by the SPACEBAR.

Bluetooth Pairing Code No Longer Required by Default

When pairing the Focus display with another device over Bluetooth for the first time, you will no longer be prompted to enter a Bluetooth pairing code and the connection is immediately established. If you prefer to be prompted each time you pair the display with a new device, turn on the new Require Pin option in the Focus configuration menu.

Flash Messages

The Focus now supports Flash Messages, which are short informational messages that appear on the display for only a few seconds. For instance, Scratchpad displays flash messages in a variety of situations including when confirming a file was saved or deleted. Flash messages disappear automatically after a short time, but you can dismiss one at any time by pressing a Cursor Router. If you need more time to finish reading a message, press one of the Panning buttons to keep the message on the display longer.

By default, flash messages are displayed for three seconds. To change this, use the new Flash Msg Time option in the Focus configuration menu to choose a time between 1 and 20 seconds.

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