Researching file formats 37: Portable Embosser Format

This blog post is part of a series on file formats research. See this introduction post for more information.

Update: The official format definition is now online here: Portable Embosser Format. Comments welcome directly to the Library of Congress.

The Portable Embosser Format (PEF) is a document type that represents braille pages in digital form, “accurately and unambiguously; regardless of language, location, embosser settings, braille code and computer environment” (source).

Not a lot of info online about this one. It’s based on XML and Unicode. There’s a public draft from 2011. There’s also several dead or noted-as-unmaintained websites. It was initially developed by the Swedish Library for the Blind and so there’s a good bit of usage in Scandinavia, but seems like it never got a lot of uptake in the States.

The challenge of this format was that the online information was so sparse – you can check out the FDD above to see how I fared when juggling limited information and uptake!