Braille Preferences

Enable Braille Support

This check box toggles whether or not Orca will make use of a braille display. If BrlTTY is not running, Orca will recover gracefully and will not communicate with the braille display.

Default value: not checked

If you configure BrlTTY later on, you need to restart Orca in order to use braille.

Enable Contracted Braille

Orca supports contracted braille via the liblouis project. Because many distros include liblouis, you will likely automatically have access to contracted braille support in Orca.

To enable contracted braille on a system where liblouis has been installed, be sure that the Enable Contracted Braille checkbox is checked. Then choose your desired translation table from the Contraction Table combo box.

Default value: not checked

Abbreviated Role Names

This check box determines the manner in which role names are displayed and can be used to help conserve real estate on the braille display. For instance, if a slider had focus, the word "slider" would be displayed if abbreviated role names is not checked; if it were checked, "sldr" would be displayed instead.

Default value: not checked

Disable end of line symbol

Checking this checkbox tells Orca to not present the "$l" string at the end of a line of text.

Default value: not checked


This radio button group determines the amount of information that will be brailled in certain situations. For example, if it is set to verbose, keyboard shortcut and role name information is displayed. This information is not displayed in brief mode.

Default value: Verbose

Flash Message Settings

Flash messages are similar in nature to notifications or announcements: They are shown on your refreshable braille display for a brief time, after which the original contents of the braille display are restored. Orca has several settings you can use to control flash message presentation.

Enable flash messages

If Enable flash messages is checked, Orca will present messages to you in braille. If you prefer to only have Orca's messages spoken, you should uncheck this checkbox.

Default value: checked

Messages are detailed

If Messages are detailed is checked, Orca will present detailed messages to you in braille. For instance, if you use Orca's command to change key echo, Orca might display "Key echo set to word." If you would prefer shorter messages, such as simply "word," you should uncheck this checkbox.

Default value: checked

Messages are persistent

As stated above, flash messages are only shown for a brief period of time. If you would prefer messages remain displayed until you perform an action which causes your display to be updated, you should check the Messages are persistent checkbox.

Default value: not checked

Message duration (secs)

The amount of time Orca will wait before removing the message and restoring the original contents of your display can be set in the Message duration (secs) spin button. Note that the value of this setting will be ignored if you have enabled persistent flash messages.

Default value: 5