Where Music Meets Technology for the blind
Dancing Dots serves blind musicians and their educators through technology and training


Many of the answers to the frequently asked questions about GOODFEEL®, Lime, Lime Aloud, and SharpEye which appear below were originally responses sent to our GOODFEEL user listserv written by a member of Dancing Dots or sometimes written by expert customers. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for after reviewing this page, please send a note to our GOODFEEL listserv or use our online contact form. Also, please see our Lime FAQ page and our SharpEye FAQ page


Q. What is the process for scanning, editing and transcribing print music into Braille?

A. The instructions shown below will work for everyone but they are written primarily with the screen reader user in mind. Sighted users may wish to substitute mouse equivalents.

SharpEye Music Reader

  • Start SharpEye from Desktop
  • CONTROL+TAB to exit Input Image window
  • Note: First time only or after installing a new scanner: File | Select Twain source. You may find on tabbing through this dialog that you have more than one choice of scanner drivers to select. I have found with our Canon scanners that if the term "WIA" appears in the description of the driver, that choice works well. You may have to go through a trial and error process before you find the twain source driver that works best for you.
  • Note: Place print score face-down on scanner. Put the top edge of the page flush with the edge of the scanner opposite to the hinge.
  • Press ALT+F, then the letter Q to acquire the image. Make sure your scanner is set to gray-scale and 300 dots-per-inch (DPI) Scanner options vary according to which make and model of scanner you are using.
  • Press ALT+S to start scanning. If you are not sure when this step has ended, just wait until your scanner stops making noise.
  • Read image with ALT+R, R.
  • Press INSERT+NUMPAD 3 to read status line to hear progress report. If number of rhythm errors = 0, congratulations. Otherwise, sighted assistant must help to correct or possibly you could fix in Lime later if error not critical.
  • To play back: Press ALT+F, L. If you cannot hear the music playing. Check MIDI Options under SharpEye's Options menu. Tab to the Velocity field and set to at least 100. Tab to OK.
  • To Stop playback: Press ALT+F, Y.
  • To launch Lime from SharpEye: Press ALT+F, F, F.

Lime with Lime Aloud

  • Press ENTER to accept NIFF import default settings.
  • To refer at any time to the Lime Aloud Guide for JAWS-specific help: Hold down the JAWS key while you press F1 twice quickly to open the Lime Aloud Guide. It may take up to 30 seconds, but eventually Internet Explorer will open and display the contents of this annotated reference guide for JAWS users. By the way, if you have JAWS set to use a desktop keyboard, your JAWS key is the INSERT KEY. If you have JAWS set to a laptop keyboard, your JAWS key is the CAPS LOCK key. You can leave the guide page open and move back and forth between it and Lime itself by pressing ALT+TAB.
  • To enter a title: Press ALT+A, X, T.
  • To rename part: Press ALT+V, V and then ALT+R to open rename edit field. Lime places you in a list of parts. Press vertical arrows (up and down) to highlight the part you want to rename. Place JAWS KEY+TAB to read current part when this dialog gets too chatty. Be sure to rename all parts to traditional instrumental or vocal part names such as "Flute", "Violin", "Alto", "Vocal". Name treble staff of keyboard part "Piano RH" and bass staff "Piano LH". Sometimes, SharpEye formats the grand staff as a single part and all that is necessary is to name it "Piano" or "Harp". Lime will automatically append a number so that the treble clef part, for example, becomes "Piano-1" and bass/left-hand becomes "Piano-2". After you have renamed all parts, tab to OK to close the Parts and Voices dialog.
  • To Launch GOODFEEL: Press ALT+F, G
  • Lime may prompt you for a file name.


  • If GOODFEEL has errors to report, it will open its Intermediate dialog.
  • Tab once to focus on the list of errors and press down arrow to read.
  • Tab to the Process button or press ALT+P to process.
  • GOODFEEL's final dialog asks you where you want to send your braille. Press ENTER to open braille view program.
  • Press ALT+F4 to close the BrlView program after you review the output.

Q. How can I change the default instrument abbreviations that GOODFEEL uses in score format?

A. First, make sure that you have the "prompt before brailling" field in GOODFEEL's Automation options dialog set to "Always."

To do so:

  • Press ALT+O for Options
  • Type the letter A for Automation
  • Press the UP or DOWN ARROW until you select "Always."
  • Click OK or just press ENTER to save your preference.

To change the instrument abbreviations used in the braille score:

  • Either open the file you want to transcribe in Lime and then choose Launch GOODFEEL from Lime's File menu or Run GOODFEEL and use File | Load to browse to the Lime or MIDI file you want to transcribe.
  • GOODFEEL's Intermediate dialog will open with focus on the Report tab. Press ALT+F to shift focus to the Format tab or click on Format.
  • Press TAB key a couple of times to move to the check box: Braille all parts together (Score or solo instrument with accompaniment) and press space to check it.
  • Press ALT+O to shift focus to the Options tab or click Options.
  • Press ALT+C to select Part Control Options.
  • Press RIGHT ARROW to move to the "Inst. Abbrev." Column that shows the text of the instrument abbreviation which GOODFEEL has chosen to be used in the braille score.
  • Press ENTER to open the edit field.
  • Now you can type a new abbreviation. Note that the abbreviation can only be a maximum of 4 characters.
  • Press ENTER to save your new abbreviation.
  • Now you have the choice to press up or down arrow to move to the text of instrument abbreviations for other instruments in the score which you can change using instructions above.
  • When finished, press TAB to move to OK or CANCEL. Choose OK to save your abbreviations.
  • Now you can press ALT+P to process or click on the Process button.
  • Note: The Part Control Options dialog can also be used to determine which parts you want to process and the interval direction you want to use. Note that interval direction for the score format is always upward from the lowest note because that's the rule in the 1997 Manual of Braille music. But you can flip it when brailling individual parts.

Q. How do I convert from Lime to GOODFEEL?

A. Converting from Lime to GOODFEEL is quite straightforward. If the music is entered properly into the Lime notation software, the results from automatic transcription by GOODFEEL will also be properly expressed in braille music. Anyone who claims that his software is bug-free is either trying to mislead others or delusional. That being said, you will find that GOODFEEL does an excellent job provided that the Lime file was prepared with care.

The not-so-straightforward path is creating that Lime file. In order to do so, you can scan the print score using the SharpEye Music Reader music OCR software included with the GOODFEEL suite; you can import the score into Lime using Lime's MusicXML import; or you can enter the score directly into Lime using a mix of any or all of the PC keyboard, an electronic musical, piano-style keyboard or the mouse for the light-dependent individuals among us.

Many blind people ask us why they cannot scan print scores independently. The short answer is that you can, sometimes. I have scanned numerous print scores with SharpEye and encountered 0 errors. I can then launch Lime from SharpEye's menus, add the title text and name the parts, and pass that information on to GOODFEEL for automatic transcription. The difficulty starts when SharpEye reports 1 or more "rhythm errors." When that happens, I have two major problems. The first one, and the showstopper, is that I cannot see the original print score in order to determine just what the problem is. For example, SharpEye is smart enough to tell me that there are too many, or too few, beats in a particular measure based on the time signature. But, unless I know the piece really well, I cannot know which note is too long, too short, or just plain missing. Probably, if I did know the piece that well, I would have no need to scan it in order to create an accessible score to help me to learn it.

Even if I had a sighted assistant tell me that information, I encounter problem number 2. That is, SharpEye is a mainstream music OCR program developed by a sighted developer for sighted users. We at Dancing Dots did not develop it but only bundle it with our own software to speed up data acquisition. The tools for editing score data in SharpEye are almost all graphical in nature and usually involve issuing left or right mouse clicks, dragging graphical objects around the screen, etc.

Bottom line, you really want to find a competent sighted assistant to scan and prepare scores for you. The good news is that your assistant need not know anything at all about braille music, JAWS, or such things. He or she only needs to know how to read music in print and how to use a PC. As you probably know, there are many, many more people who can do those things than who know how to transcribe music into braille the "old-fashioned" way.

By the way, we never intended or expected that GOODFEEL would replace those wonderful people. But we have seen that it can handle the vast majority of beginner to intermediate level transcriptions. Some transcribers have learned to use GOODFEEL and related programs and have become good at integrating their use into their work flow as appropriate. An example of the level of music that we can transcribe is that we have successfully scanned and automatically transcribed some preludes and nocturnes of Chopin.

Q. Can GOODFEEL transcribe MIDI files into music braille?

A. Yes, GOODFEEL can transcribe MIDI files. They should be Format 1 MIDI files.

As you may know, MIDI files are not strictly notation files. MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is both a communications protocol and a computer file format designed almost 30 years ago to facilitate the exchange of data between computers and electronic, musical instruments. You can think of a MIDI file as an electronic version of a paper piano roll. MIDI files are meant to recreate a performance by recording which notes were played relative to subdivisions of the beat, their duration and intensity.

There are two types of MIDI files: those that are designed to recreate the full expression of a performance including rubato passages where a performer may play a bit behind or in front of the beat. The second kind, the kind you would want GOODFEEL to transcribe (or any other notation editor for that matter) is the kind that has very regular, precise rhythms. Files of this kind are very boring to listen to but they notate well. If someone prepares a MIDI file for you to braille with GOODFEEL, it is important for that person to understand the explanation above. If you find a MIDI file created by someone you don't know, you need to decide if it will be possible for you to transcribe it as it is or whether you can use a sequencing package like Cakewalk SONAR to prepare it for transcription without too much difficulty.

Here are some of the things to do that will improve the quality of the braille notation. Many of them will also improve the quality of the printed notation if you should decide to use a print notation program to create a print edition.

Each part should be on a separate track and the tracks should be in the order you would want to see on the score. For example, the right hand part should be on track 1 followed by the left hand part on track 2. Each track should have a meaningful name such as "Flute" or "Piano Left-hand". Names like "Lead" or "Jam" are meaningless to GOODFEEL when it tries to determine the instrument type for a particular track.

For best results, the MIDI file should be quantized. If need be, it should have a key signature set so that GOODFEEL will braille it. Many MIDI files are created to recreate a performance and not to be translated into notation. Accordingly, their authors often do not set a key signature.

If a particular track has more than one rhythmic voice you must use GOODFEEL's Process MIDI options to indicate that to GOODFEEL. For example, the right-hand part of a piano piece might have a passage that shows 2 half notes in the same measure with 4 quarter notes. This kind of passage is said to have 2 voices.

You may want to insert rehearsal markers or cue points into the MIDI file for reference in a rehearsal. MIDI files can store lyrics and GOODFEEL can braille them.

GOODFEEL's manual has an entire section entitled "Preparing MIDI Files for GOODFEEL to Transcribe" that gives more detail.

Connecting hardware peripherals

Q. How do I add a generic text-only printer?

A. In order to emboss braille scores from GOODFEEL, you will need to install the Windows generic/text-only printer driver. See the heading "Embosser Configuration" on this link for some basic direction on how to add the generic/text-only printer driver. You may need to consult a local expert on Windows if you still have problems after studying the information on that page and other information below. You may want to contact the company from which you ordered your embosser for help. The directions on the page cited above are general.

Try the following specifically for Windows7:

  • Press Windows Key to open Search Box.
  • Type the following text into the search box: "Add printer" and press ENTER,
  • Tab to "Local Printer" and choose by pressing space bar. Windows will ask you to choose a printer port. If you do not understand which port to choose, try lpt1. But, again, you may need help from a local expert or from the company that supplied you with your embosser.
  • After choosing printer port, tab to Next button and press space.
  • What happens next depends on whether you have the Generic/Text-only driver already installed. In general, the manufacturer is "Generic" and the driver you select is "Text-only". You do not want to make this driver your "Default" Windows printer. If there are no other printer drivers installed on your PC, you will need to add another printer driver and tell Windows to make that the default. That is, you can add any printer driver from any manufacturer such as HP, Canon, etc., even if you do not own one of those printers.

See Dancing Dots Lime support page for information about what to do if your fonts are missing in Lime. The problem relates to the configuration of the generic/text-only driver.

Q. How do I configure a Tiger printer for use with GOODFEEL?

A. Besides our normal Generic/Text-only printer instructions, the Tiger may need the following configuration which I received from a customer of ours:

  • Go into the printer properties, access the 'Legacy Printer Settings' tab, and set the appropriate paper size/margins for the paper you are using.
  • Apply the changes. Note that the printer must be on to perform these changes, as you will hear a beep immediately upon applying the settings indicating that the firmware has updated the changes.

Please see the following youtube video.

Entering and Editing Notation in Lime

Q. How do I write in-accords?

A. In braille music notation, the in-accord is used to indicate that there are 2 voices or more within the same part. For example, you might want to hold a G for 2 beats while simultaneously playing F for 1 beat followed by an E for 1 beat. The notes for the voices all appear on the same staff using the direction of the print stem signs to indicate to which voice an individual note belongs. If you want to enter music that has more than one voice, use Lime's Parts and Voice dialog to add a new voice. If you plan to transcribe the piece into braille, make certain that you move to the very first note or rest of the part before adding the new voice. If you only want to produce a print version and not a braille copy of your piece and, say, the second voice does not start until measure 30, move to the first beat of the bar where the new voice enters before opening the Parts and Voices dialog and adding the new voice. You will find the Parts and Voices dialog under the Voice menu. Keyboard shortcut is ALT+V, V, Press ALT+A to add the new voice. Now the braille edition of your piece will use the in-accord sign to show that your piece has 2 voices. Note that GOODFEEL can only show a maximum of 2 voices. If a part has 3 or more voices, GOODFEEL places them on a separate line in the braille music parallel.

Q. What are some guidelines for interval direction?

A. The general rule is that in parts printed in the bass clef and the left-hand part of piano pieces the intervals read up. That is, you braille the lowest note of a chord and then follow the note with the braille music interval signs that tell the reader which notes to play at the same time. For treble clef parts and for piano right-hand, the intervals are written in the opposite way. That is, we braille the highest note first and then follow it with interval signs that indicate which notes to play together with that note. For example, a C Major triad of half-notes being transcribed for the left-hand of the piano would show the octave sign followed immediately by dots 1-3-4-5 to indicate half-note C. The next cell contains dots 3-4-6 which is the braille music interval sign for third. That tells us "while you're playing that third-octave, half-note C, play the E that is a third above it." The next cell should contain dots 3-5 which is the interval sign for fifth. That says: "While you are playing the C and the E, also play a G that is a fifth above the C." For a C Major triad written in the right-hand part or other treble instruments, the notes and interval signs appear in the opposite order as for the bass clef parts. That is, we would write the appropriate octave sign followed by half-note G first using dots 1-2-3-5, then the third interval sign of dots 3-4-6, and then the fifth interval sign of dots 3-5.

Q. How do I force intervals to read up in single line format?

A. As you may have already learned, there is a checkbox to set all intervals to read up from the lowest note under GOODFEEL's Transcription Options dialog. From GOODFEEL's main screen, press ALT+O or click on Options. You will find the Transcription Options entry under that Options menu. According to the 1997 International Manual of Braille Music and also according to the standards for music braille for North America published by BANA, the interval direction for instruments written in the bass clef will read up and intervals for treble clef instruments will read down. Piano left-hand part reads up and right-hand down. That being said, we recognize that there are many people who learned to read all intervals from the bottom note of a chord up. So we added this preference to GOODFEEL. GOODFEEL also has a Part Control dialog under the Options menu that allows you to set interval direction for any given part. Interestingly, the rule is that all intervals must read up in score format. Presently, if you select score format, GOODFEEL will braille all intervals in the upward direction regardless of settings you made in Part Control.

Q. How do I enter Chord Symbols Using Lime?

A. See our page for : Tutorial on Entering Chord Symbols into Lime

Q. How do I enter an arpeggio into Lime?

A. The braille music arpeggio sign uses dots 3-4-5, followed by dots 1-3. Use the annotations.lim file to copy a variety of symbols into your own Lime file. As of Lime Aloud 9.05, We have some improvements to make on how these special symbols get read to you by JAWS though. For example, the arpeggio symbol is read as S. That is, JAWS reads it as though it were reading the letter S to you. Everyone who has installed the GOODFEEL(r) Braille Music Translator has a copy of the annotations.lim file installed. You will find it in a folder called DDResources inside the Music folder inside your Shared or Public Documents folder. The read.me file included says: *Annotations.lim: This file contains frequently used annotations. Open Annotations.lim and copy annotations that you need and then paste them into your Lime document. Two helpful references are *AltMap.htm: A reference for easily getting characters with accents. *gfproc.htm: A guide for creating braille music using SharpEye, Lime and GOODFEEL. To copy the arpeggio symbol associated with the first note of the annotations.lim piece:

  • Open annotations.lim.
  • Hold down the ALT key while you press LEFT ARROW.
  • When you hear JAWS say S, you have selected the arpeggio annotation.
  • Press CONTROL+C to copy to the Windows clipboard.

To use in your own Lime file:

  • Press CONTROL+O and open your own Lime file.
  • When Lime asks if you want to close annotations.lim file, say "No."
  • Move to the note of the chord where you want the arpeggio symbol to appear. Remember, Lime Aloud users, Lime does not always present the notes of an interval or chord sorted from top to bottom or bottom to top. Use left and right arrow keys to find the topmost or bottommost note.
  • Press CONTROL+V to paste the annotation onto the highlighted note.
  • The symbol should appear on the screen and, if you have a braille display attached, it will also appear there.

Q. Is there any way that I can independently add an arpeggio symbol to my music manually, or do I need to copy it from annotations.lim?

A. To enter an arpeggio annotation, one may open the annotations.lim file found in the DD Resources folder and then copy and paste into your own Lime file. There is a shortcut to annotations.lim found on the submenu of the Lime entry on the Start Menu. Here is an alternative approach:

  • Move to the place in the score where you want the arpeggio to appear. Your chord should already be entered into the score. That is, you cannot enter the arpeggio before you enter the chord it refers to.
  • Press ALT+A, T, A which are the shortcut keys for Annotation | Text Category | Ornament.
  • Type a lower-case s into the text edit field that appears.
  • Press ESCAPE to close edit field.
  • Press the right arrow once.
  • Press ALT+LEFT ARROW to select the annotation you have just entered.
  • Press ALT+A to open the Annotation menu. Arrow down to Font. Right arrow into the submenu and press up arrow until you hear “Tufa”, then press ENTER. Arpeggios must appear in the Tufa font. Also, press ALT+A, and arrow down to Size and check that it is 24 point it that item’s submenu. Press ALT+A again and arrow down to Style. Make sure that “Plain” is checked it that item’s submenu.
Note: Lime Aloud needs to be corrected because it improperly reads arpeggio annotations as “s.” That is, Lime Aloud should say “arpeggio” when it finds the small s written in the tufa font but it says "s" instead. If you have a braille display, you can verify that you have entered the arpeggio correctly. If you see dots 3-4-5, followed by dots 1-3, you have correctly entered this annotation. Otherwise, you must ask a trusted sighted assistant if the arpeggio appears correctly formatted.

Q. What clef should I use for a part for drum set?

A. Use the bass clef. If you want to hear percussion instruments, assign the part to MIDI channel 10. However, Lime does not automatically map specific drum sounds to the specific note typically used to represent drums on the staff. For example, third octave D is usually the place where you would write notes for the snare drum. But Lime sounds a different percussion instrument when you play that note back using MIDI channel 10. If your aim is to produce a score that looks right, that’s fairly easy to do in Lime. However, if you also want accurate sounding playback, you have to study the Lime manual to learn how to map percussion notes to specific percussion sound.


Q. Can a blind person independently scan music using the SharpEye Music Reader software which comes with GOODFEEL Standard and GOODFEEL Lite?

A. The short answer is no.

The music to be transcribed can be entered into Lime by playing it on an electronic musical keyboard attached to the PC via a MIDI interface or by scanning the hardcopy sheet music using SharpEye.

Both blind and sighted musicians can use Lime or a MIDI sequencer like SONAR to input notes with a keyboard. A sighted assistant must learn to scan print hardcopy music, correct any scanning errors and prepare the resulting music notation files for automatic transcription by GOODFEEL. Although a blind user can use the basic music scanning functions of the SharpEye Music Reader software, it is impossible for a blind person to correct scanning errors independently at the current stage of development. However, such errors can typically be corrected in a matter of seconds by an experienced sighted user. Accordingly, it is important to understand that a blind musician will need the help of a sighted assistant sooner or later when scanning printed music with SharpEye.

Q. What should I do with multi-rests in SharpEye?

A. SharpEye does not recognize multi-rests or "gathered" rests correctly and doesn't pass them correctly to Lime via NIFF. Instead, delete what SharpEye makes and make each individual full measure rest in SharpEye. If you can't fit them in the space provided, do as many as you can and insert the missing ones in Lime. If you already transfered the music to Lime and started working in Lime, you can select each rest that is missing a bar line (in front of it), open the Bar Line dialog, and press OK. If this doesn't make sense, watch the movie.

Q. When I want to do a multi-page scan, what do I need to do to have Sharp Eye do the scanning continuously without asking me to save each page?

A. See our page for instructions on the procedure for scanning multi-page scores.

Q. Does Sharp Eye realize the arpeggios and the dynamics at all?

A. I don’t think so. I only listen back in SharpEye to try to determine if it has missed the key signature at start of some systems. Of course, if there are “rhythm errors”, I must have a sighted assistant correct them since I am blind and cannot see the score being scanned. For pieces that stay in the same key throughout, you can press ALT+V, E to open SharpEye’s Simple Editing dialog where you can check certain checkboxes to indicate a particular key signature should be in effect throughout the piece.

Q. Is there any loss of information in the scores when the music is converted to Lime from SharpEye by pressing ALT+F F F?

A. When I press play, what I hear in Lime and SharpEye are slightly different then each other most of the time. Make sure that SharpEye reports 0 Rhythm Errors before passing the results of the scan from SharpEye to Lime by pressing ALT+F, F, F. Lime actually does attempt to realize grace notes but I do not think it attempts to realize any other ornaments such as trills. SharpEye sets velocity and playback metronomic tempo under Options | MIDI Options. In Lime, CONTROL+H opens Lime’s Hear dialog where you can temporarily adjust playback tempo by altering the percentage of the marked tempo. To permanently alter, add a tempo annotation using ALT+A, X, K.

Q. Can GOODFEEL users use the Pearl camera for scanning hardcopy print scores?

A. We have not experimented with the Pearl camera but we have tried another camera like it with mixed results. We still recommend that GOODFEEL customers who want to scan hardcopy print scores use any Twain-compatible, flat-bed scanner. Because the SharpEye Music Reader music OCR software uses the scanning software that ships with your scanner to acquire the image of the page, we like the Canon LIDE series because in addition to being an excellent scanner for the price, the software interface works reasonably well with JAWS and other screen readers.

Q. Have you ever tried to scan and convert contemporary music into Lime to study the score? If so, what is the result?

A. If the music is printed in conventional staff notation, results are generally good. If it employs any kind of experimental or nonstandard notation, you will probably not obtain very useful results.

Q. How do I append pages in SharpEye?

A.The text below comes from our GOODFEEL tutorial page.

For each page perform the Scanning and Recognition and Editing steps.

  • That is, you first acquire the image by scanning the page:
  • Press ALT+F, Q (File | Acquire). Make sure to set your scanning software to use Gray Scale and 300 DPI (dots per inch)
  • Once you acquire the image, you read it. Press ALT+R, R or (Read | Read)
  • Read the status line to determine if there are any "Rhythm Errors." If there are, you should correct them before continuing. If you are blind like me, you will need help from a sighted assistant to correct the rhythm errors.
  • It is also a good habit to play the music back. Shortcut keys are ALT+F, L to play back.
  • In print music, the key signature is reprinted at the start of each new system. System is a technical term for musical line. If you hear that SharpEye missed a key signature here and there, try using View | Simple Editing to tell SharpEye that each staff should begin with the same key. Of course, if there are key changes, this approach does not work and, again, if you are blind, you will need sighted assistance to clean up the key signatures.
  • Once you have acquired the image for a page, read it, and corrected any rhythm warnings, use the menu item File | Save Music As... to save the page in SharpEye's internal format of .mro . That is pronounced as dot m, r, o
  • use a name that references the page number. For example, if you are scanning a 3-page score of Stardust, save page 1 as Stardust p1
  • Repeat all steps above until you have a file for each page of the score. In our example, those files will be: Stardust p1.mro Stardust p2.mro Stardust p3.mro.
  • Now, use the menu item File | Open Music... to open the first page.
  • Choose Replace when you are presented with the Replace or append music dialog. In our example, you will open Stardust p1.mro first and choose Replace.
  • Now, repeat the File | Open Music step but this time, choose Append. In our example, you will open Stardust p2 and append it to the page you already have opened. Continuing with our example, you will now open Stardust p3 and append that to the music for the first 2 pages.
  • You may want to listen back to the piece once again with ALT+F, L just to be sure that all pages are in the proper order.
  • Now you are ready to pass the scanned music to Lime using the File | NIFF | Save and Open Temp File menu entries. Shortcut keys are: ALT+F, F, F.
  • Lime's Import NIFF dialog should open automatically. Press ENTER to accept all import settings. Now your scanned music is ready for review in the Lime notation editor.

Q. How do I get SharpEye to process lyrics? How do I delete unwanted lyrics in Lime?

A. First, if you plan to scan a piece that has lyrics, make sure that you find the option in SharpEye that tells SharpEye to expect lyric text.
  • Under Options | Text Recognition Options check the box that says: Read Lyrics. Don’t forget to uncheck that box before scanning pieces that have no lyrics.
  • Secondly, to delete unwanted lyrics in Lime, use ALT+LEFT ARROW or ALT+RIGHT ARROW to select the unwanted lyric and then press the DELETE key. Alternatively, select any annotation and then press ENTER to open an edit field where you can revise the text of the annotation. Be sure to press the ESCAPE key when you are finished. Pressing ENTER at that point just moves you to a new line in the edit field.
  • It is possible to change the type of an annotation. Select the annotation. Then, press ALT+A for Annotation menu, then t for Text Category. Arrow up or down in the list of annotation types. The one that is checked tells you the current annotation type. Move to any other type and press ENTER to change the currently selected annotation to that type. Lime will ask you if you want to change the attributes of the annotation to match the type you have chosen. Say, “Yes.”
  • Use this technique to reclassify text of an annotation that, for example, should be a lyric but has been erroneously classified as some other kind of text.

Q. How can I adjust SharpEye MIDI options?

  • Open an existing music file in SharpEye with CONTROL+O or scan a print score, and perform the "Read" step so that there is something to play back in SharpEye.
  • Press ALT+O, D, to open the MIDI Options dialog.
  • Press TAB twice to move to the playback tempo field and set it to your preference. It represents beats per minute like a standard metronomic marking.
  • TAB once again to go to the MIDI Velocity field. If it is set at a low number (say, 10 or less) you will not hear playback even though it is in progress. Type in a value of 100 or more. Maximum level is 127.
  • TAB to the OK button and press space bar or ENTER to close the MIDI Options dialog.
  • After some experimentation, I discovered that SharpEye saves MIDI playback values with each piece. That is, each time it opens an existing music file, SharpEye resets the MIDI playback and velocity settings according to that piece. By the way, SharpEye's own file extension is .mro. Also, each time you run SharpEye, it starts up with the MIDI playback settings that were in use when you last closed the program.
  • Bottom line is, check SharpEye's MIDI Options often and set them to your preference.


Q. What are some alternatives for embossing GOODFEEL files?

A. "If you have the .gf file created by GOODFEEL, you can actually highlight the file name, press the Applications Key or perform a right mouse click, arrow down to "Open with" and select Duxbury. Duxbury should recognize it as a formatted braille file. Simply open and press CONTROL+E to emboss. I am running Duxbury Braille Translator version 11.1 which recognizes the .gf file as formatted braille. If older versions do not, simply rename the file from .gf to .brf and it should work fine. If your file is flute.gf just rename it to flute.brf and Duxbury will open the .brf file without any problem. However, you can install the demo version of GOODFEEL as well as the Windows Generic/Text-only printer and then emboss your .gf from within GOODFEEL. Although the demo version will only transcribe 10 or so bars of any input file and then stop, it has no limitation on embossing .gf files already prepared.

  • Run the unauthorized copy of GOODFEEL.
  • OK the message that tells you that GOODFEEL it is running in demo mode.
  • File | Open Braille File or Press ALT+F, O
  • Tab to Emboss and press space bar.

Q. What are correct GOODFEEL settings for Windows 7?

A. Under Windows7, our scripts do not work well until you disable User Account Control.

To disable User Account Control:

  • Press Windows Key to open Start Menu.
  • Type: UAC Into the search box and press ENTER.
  • Press Tab to move to the Notification level and set it to 0.
  • Windows will ask you to confirm with y or ALT+Y and you will need to restart your PC.

To suppress that unwanted speech:

  • Press JAWS KEY + V to open the JAWS Quick Settings dialog.
  • Type the word: progress into the search box
  • Press the TAB key to move to the list and you should hear only 1 entry, Progress Bar.
  • Press space to toggle settings. When the setting is set to "Silent", press TAB until you reach the OK button. Press space to save this setting.

Q. "I purchased Lime Aloud and when I launch GOODFEEL from the File menu of Lime, I receive a message that GOODFEEL will run in demo mode until I authorize it. Why? And why do I still receive warnings and error messages about my Lime file? "

A. First some background information: the official name of the product you ordered is Lime Aloud. It is a suite of software that includes Lime, the Lime Aloud scripts for making Lime accessible, and the SharpEye Music Reader. The suite of software called GOODFEEL includes all of the above plus the GOODFEEL Braille Music Translator software. The main difference between Lime Aloud and GOODFEEL suites is that the GOODFEEL suite gives you the option to produce a braille score of your Lime file. Otherwise, these products are identical. That is, with either of them, you can read and write print music scores using verbal and musical cues and you can scan print scores and import results into Lime.

Lime Aloud users must still install GOODFEEL for a couple of reasons. First, the function to authorize all programs in both suites is part of GOODFEEL. That is, you access the authorization function through GOODFEEL’s File menu. The other advantage is that you can still launch GOODFEEL and read the list of warnings and errors about your Lime file.

Because you ordered Lime Aloud, your GOODFEEL software is not authorized. However, you can disregard the error about no authorization for GOODFEEL and still refer to that list of errors about your Lime file. Without authorization, GOODFEEL will revert to demo mode and transcribe only the first 10 measures of your Lime file into the equivalent braille music. However, it will still check the entire file for errors which should be useful information for correcting the Lime file you want to read or create.

If you ever want to upgrade from Lime aloud to GOODFEEL Lite or Standard, you can do so for the current price of GOODFEEL Lite or GOODFEEL Standard minus what you paid for Lime Aloud. You may first have to upgrade to the current version if we have released upgrades since time of your original purchase.

Q. How can I assign specific instrumental sounds to various parts in Lime?

A. If your piece has more than 1 staff, you must assign each part to its own MIDI channel in order to associate it with one of the possible 128 general MIDI instruments available. The sounds of the Microsoft Wavetable soft synth that ships with Windows are of reasonable quality, but the general MIDI sounds of most electronic musical keyboards are far superior. For example, check out the Yamaha PSR-E433 61 key portable Keyboard which has an excellent set of general MIDI instruments. Once you install the device driver software that comes with the PSR-E433 on your PC, you simply connect it using the USB cable provided and select it under the MIDI Output entry of Lime’s Hear menu.

Specific Steps for Assigning Instrumental Sounds in Lime

  1. Move to the first note or rest of the part.
  2. Press ALT+V, C and enter a number from 1 to 16 to set MIDI channel for that part.
  3. Press ALT+A, X, I and select instrument sound for that part. Lime now enters a General MIDI annotation into your score.

If you do not want the text of that annotation to appear on the screen and to be printed on the music, you can hide it by following these steps:

  • Press ALT+LEFT ARROW or ALT+RIGHT ARROW to select the General MIDI annotation
  • Press ALT+A, S, H for Annotation | Style | Hidden

Q. How can I fix a SharpEye file that has been incorrectly put together with Open Music... & Append?

A: If you didn't do much work on it, you can just assemble it again. The next time you work on a piece with many pages, consider using SharpEye's Batch process. We don't talk about Batch process a lot because we want people to concentrate on the basics.

First make a backup copy of what you have and move it somewhere else so you won't overwrite it by mistake.

If you mistakenly appended a page more than once, delete all the systems of any pages using Edit Music, Delete system, Current system only. For each system on the redundant page, select a note or rest on the system and delete the current system (Alt+M, D, C).

If you mistakenly left out a page:

  • Save two copies of the whole piece. Name one to indicate that it includes the music before the missing page and name the other to indicate that it includes the music after the missing page.
  • Use File, Open Music (and then Replace if you're asked) to open the file that includes the music after the missing page.
  • For each system before the missing page, select a note or rest on the system and delete the current system (Alt+M, D, C).
  • Save this Music file.
  • Use File, Open Music and then Replace to open the file that includes the music before the missing page.
  • Use Delete system, All systems from here on to delete all the trailing music.
  • Save this Music file.
  • Use File, Save Music As... to start the new, complete music file and give it a good name like 'SongXpage4'.
  • Use the normal process for putting files together but in this case you'll be starting with the file that has all the music before the missing page (it's already loaded), then you'll append the missing page, and then you'll append the file that has all the music after the missing page.
  • Save this Music file.

Q. What do I do when my braille display says “No music to display.”

A. If you have not opened an existing Lime file with File | Open or if you have not chosen File | New to create a new Lime file, you will see “No music to display” on your braille display. If you are certain that there is a file open in Lime, try the following:

  • Press Numpad 9/PAGE-UP key a few times to move ahead in the score a few measures.
  • Press ALT+TAB once and release the keys.
  • Now, press ALT+TAB a second time to return to Lime.
  • Press INSERT+CONTROL+ESCAPE to refresh the JAWS scripts.
  • With Lime open, unload JAWS and restart it. Before doing so, make sure that you have set up a hot key for restarting JAWS such as ALT+CONTROL+J or have a sighted assistant to help you.

If none of the steps above remove the “no music to display message” from your braille display, please send a copy of the problem Lime file to info@DancingDots.com and we will follow up with you.

Q. What do I do when I get the message "Not enough time in measure to insert note"?

A. To my knowledge, there is no way to disable the message that warns you that there is not enough time left in the measure to insert a note of the specified duration. That is, you have never seen it before because you have never tried to add a note of a duration that was too long to fit into the measure. Congratulations because I actually get this message fairly often when I am working in Lime. It's one of those cases where the computer keeps doing what I tell it to do and not what I want it to do. As an example, let's say that I am composing something in 2-2 time. The figure I want is quarter, half, quarter or crotchet, minim, crotchet.

Here are the steps:

  • I type the letter b as in box to make sure that I am positioned at the start of the measure. That is, I want to start entering notes on beat 1.
  • Press CONTROL+N to go into Note Entry mode.
  • Type 3 on Numbers Row to set duration to quarter/crotchet.
  • Enter note, rest, or chord.
  • Type 2 on Numbers Row to set up for half/minim.
  • Enter note, rest, or chord.
Now, because I can hear exactly what I want next in my mind and because I am so busy listening to the music in my head, I completely forget that if I want the software to do just what I want it to do and not just what I tell it to do, I had better type a 3 on the Numbers Row to set duration back to quarter/crotchet. I could have read the braille music on my braille display and noticed the quarter rest at the end of the current measure and realized that that is all the room that remains in this measure. However, again, I am too distracted and so here's what I do next: I enter a note, a rest, or a chord. It's beautiful and I can hear it all right there in my head. And, suddenly, I hear JAWS rudely interrupting my creative flow to tell me something:

Not enough time in measure to insert note.


"What is this silly computer talking about?" I say to myself, then I have to come back to Earth and realize that this big, dumb, adding machine I am using to express my inspired creative ideas is doing just what I have told it to do. And so now I have to tell it just what to do to get what I really want. Here's what I recommend to do when you get this message. Notice that I say "when you get this message" because you absolutely will get it sooner or later.

  • Press space bar to clear the message.
  • Type the letter B to learn the value of your current position in the measure. Beat 2.5 means that the next note to be entered starts on the second half of beat 2. In other words, I only have enough room for a note or notes that occupy .5 beats. Also, realize that "beat 2.5" does not mean that after you add in a note that is half a beat in duration that you will have a measure that is 3 beats long. The report you get when you press the letter b just tells you your position.
  • Type the letter n to learn the value of the current duration to be entered.
  • Compare it to the amount of room remaining and you will find that there just is not enough space left to add a note of that duration.

In my example, I type the letter b and find out that I am positioned on beat 2.5. I type the letter n and learn that I am set to enter a half-note, or minim, which gets one beat in 2-2 time. I add 2.5 to 1 and get 3.5. But I am only allowed to squeeze two beats of music into that measure of 2-2 time. Fortunately, in most cases, the remedy is simple. Just type the key on the Numbers Row for the duration you want. That is, type the key that you should have typed in the first place had you not been distracted by listening to the music in your head, or (just as likely in my own case) by spilling your coffee on your desk, by getting a phone call, by some kind person bringing you your coffee, etc. In our example, I would just type a 3, enter my quarter-note/crotchet, reach for my coffee and... Oh no! I'll have to stop right here.

Q. Can I use the Part Control dialog to select only certain parts to be transcribed in GOODFEEL?

A. Yes, you can use the Part Control dialog to select only certain parts to be transcribed. From GOODFEEL's Intermediate Dialog screen

  • Press CONTROL+TAB to the "Options" page.
  • Press ALT+C or tab to "Part Control." to make the "Part Format Control" dialog appear.
  • Use down/up arrow to move through list of parts.
  • Press right arrow to move over to the "Process" column. Press ENTER to toggle from "Yes" to "No."

Q. How can I use my 32-cell braille display with Lime and Lime Aloud?

A. We can see braille music while using Lime because Lime is integrated with GOODFEEL. GOODFEEL 3.2 and earlier uses the same value for line length for embossing the score as for displaying it.

Take the following steps to set characters per line:

  • Choose Embosser Setup under GOODFEEL's Options menu.
  • The first field in the dialog is "Characters per Line." To view the braille score on your braille display, enter the number of cells that your display has. For example, if you have a 32-cell display, enter 32 in this field.
  • Tab to "Save as Defaults" and press SPACE BAR to save.
Note: When you want to create an embossed hardcopy of your score, you may want to temporarily increase the value of "Characters per line" if your embosser can produce a line with more characters than your braille display. If you use 11-inch paper, for example, you may want to change the numbers of characters per line to 38 or 40.

Q. Can the PAC Mate Braille display read music through the computer?

A. Yes, once properly configured, you can see the braille music for the current measure on your display while in Lime. It's important to understand that you must detach the braille display from the PAC Mate unit in order to use it as a braille display. You'll need a special mini USB cable to connect the PAC Mate to your PC. One end is a standard USB connector that mates up with a USB port on your PC. The other end is a mini plug that fits into a port on the left side of the PAC Mate braille display. Contact the dealer from whom you ordered PAC Mate if you need this cable or help with this physical connection.

Once you're connected, you must tell JAWS that you want it to use the PAC Mate display.

  • Press INSERT+J to move focus to JAWS.
  • Go to Options | Braille and then tab to Add Braille Display.
  • Add drivers for PAC Mate 40-cell display. Restart JAWS.
  • Then INSERT+J to move to JAWS again. Go to Options | Braille and choose PAC Mate as your default display.

Q. Is it possible to adjust the volume of Lime when it is playing a piece back?

A. Yes, it is possible but not from within the Lime program. Usually, you can set the volume for the JAWS speech and the volume for Lime’s playback that uses the Microsoft Wavetable synthesizer separately. However, you must open the Windows Volume Control to do so. First, run Lime and open any Lime file.

I am sure my instructions that follow are correct for Windows7, but the instructions for older editions this may not work, please let me know if they do not.

To open the Volume Mixer under Windows7 and, I believe, Windows Vista too:

  • Press the Windows Key and type the following into the Search Box: Adjust system volume and press ENTER.
  • In XP and earlier versions of Windows, open the Volume Control dialog with Start Menu, Programs, Accessories, Entertainment, Volume.
  • Press the TAB key to move through the Volume Mixer dialog. In Windows7 and Vista, you should find a field that says “Volume for Lime.” XP calls it MS Wavetable synth or something like that.
  • Press the Page Up key to increase volume; Page Down to decrease. Use up and down arrows to increase/decrease by small degrees.
  • In Windows7 and Vista, you should tab to the “Volume for JAWS” field and adjust it in the same way. I cannot remember what XP calls it. You may just have to adjust the overall system volume in relation to the Wavetable volume.
  • Leave the Volume dialog open and move back to Lime using ALT+TAB. Test the volume levels and if you still need to change them further, just ALT+TAB back to the Volume page, make adjustments, and back to Lime again to audition volume levels until you have the mix you like.
JAWS keeps saying the names of the letters when I am pressing the keys to enter notes so I am finding it hard to hear the selected instrument. Is it possible for JAWS not to say the letter names?
  • At times, the Lime Aloud scripts get confused somehow. Generally, the scripts are set up not to pronounce the letter names when you type in Lime’s main window.
  • When you hear that unwanted speech, hold down the INSERT key and press the number 2 until JAWS says “None.” That is the 2 above the letter w.

Q. Will GOODFEEL work with Window-Eyes?

A. You can use any screen reader to operate GOODFEEL, Lime, and SharpEye, the three main programs of the suite of software we call GOODFEEL® Standard. That is, you can use any screen reader to read the menus and dialogs of these three programs. However, in order to access the features we call Lime Aloud, you must currently install scripts for the JAWS for Windows screen reader. These scripts present the braille music for the current measure of music on your braille display as you use standard cursor keys to navigate through the score. They also allow you to hear each note verbally described.

Remember that, using GOODFEEL, sighted people who can read print music and who can operate a computer can learn to scan, import or enter music, edit where necessary, and automatically convert it into the equivalent music braille without needing to know anything at all about literary or music braille. Once you have a hardcopy, embossed braille score, you can use Lime’s Hear dialog to play back the music at any tempo you choose. You can read the braille music while you listen to the PC play it as an aid to memorization. You can do so regardless of the screen reader you use.

We do want to offer comparable functionality for Window-Eyes and other screen readers which we can now offer to JAWS users. However, I cannot tell you when, or even definitely if, we can offer such scripts. We will certainly announce such support when it's ready.

Each time GOODFEEL transcribes a score, it creates a formatted braille copy of the file used to emboss the hardcopy version of the score. These formatted braille files are saved as .gf files but they are essentially equivalent to the .brf standard formatted braille files. You can read these files using your Braille Connect or any other device that can open braille text files.

Q. Can the screen in Lime become wider?

A. Lime’s windows can be resized like normal windows but it can only be made as wide as the music document. You can change the music document’s size using Layout which is available from the File menu. In the Layout dialog, you can make the page wider (Page size) or you can select ‘Enlarge’ for the ‘Zoom for Editing’ radio button.

Q. How do I disable tonal feedback so JAWS is the only thing that can tell me what notes I played?

A. You can't do this with GOODFEEL, but you can do this in Lime and Lime Aloud using the Parts and Voices dialog. I recommend reading about it in the Lime manual and on this page .

Q. Can GOODFEEL run on a Macintosh computer?

A. While there is currently no native Mac version of GOODFEEL, there are two popular and quite accessible solutions that make it possible to use Windows software on a Mac. We recommend that you use Vmware Fusion or BootCamp.

VMware Fusion is a software solution for the Mac that makes it possible for a Mac user to setup virtual machines. Virtual machines are simulated versions of a computer. VMware virtual machines appear as windows on your Mac desktop, just like any other program. The difference, though, is that a VMware window displays the entire screen of the simulated machine. Using VMware, you can create a virtual machine, install Windows on the virtual machine, and finally install Windows software, including a screen reader, on the virtual machine.

While VMware can be used to run any Windows software, there are some situations when VMware isn't appropriate. VMware isn't compatible with devices that connect to your computer over a Firewire connection. VMware is also not compatible with some programs that require extremely low level access to peripherals. In these cases, you can use BootCamp, a free feature of the Mac OS. BootCamp makes it possible to configure a Mac in what is called a dual boot setup. Once BootCamp has been configured, each time a Mac starts, you can select if the Mac will start in the Mac OS or Windows. When it is started in the Windows mode, the Mac will behave like a typical Windows-based PC, and is fully compatible with all Windows software.

Q. How do I unsubscribe from the GOODFEEL list?

A. Tab once and type the letter u to select the unsubscribe option. Tab once again and press space to select the Submit button. If that should fail, send an E-mail directly to admin@DancingDots.com and Mary Pat will unsubscribe you. You are welcome back any time.

Q. What do I do if I cannot see any music braille on my braille display?

A. If you use JAWS and run Lime 9.05 with Lime Aloud 9.05 under Windows7 or Windows Vista, you may find that Lime stops playing back unexpectedly and/or that you cannot see any music braille on your braille display. To correct this problem, we suggest that you disable the User Account Control feature of Windows. Before doing so, make sure that you install and maintain some kind of reliable antivirus program such as Microsoft Security Essentials.
    To disable:
  • Press Windows Key to open Search Box of the Start Menu.
  • Type Change User Account Control Settings and press ENTER
  • Tab to Notification Level
  • Press arrow keys to set to 0
  • Tab to apply and press space bar.
  • Windows will ask you to verify and, as I recall, you will probably need to reboot for the change to take effect.

Q. Any tips for using the list archives?

A. If you have a question on how to use SharpEye, Lime, Lime Aloud or GoodFeel, there is a good chance that your question has already been asked and answered on our GoodFeel listserv user forum. Read on for directions on how to search through years of Q&A on the forum.
The archive of messages to our GOODFEEL online listserv forum dates back to 2005. It is an excellent source of information especially when you need an answer in a hurry.
  • Move to search box. JAWS users type the letter f as in foxtrot and then press ENTER to enable Forms Mode.
  • Type a search term into the box. Try: MusicXML
  • Press TAB once and then space bar to click on the Search button.
  • Freelists shows related messages in reverse chronological order.

To ensure that you JAWS users like me find the link to the first one:

  • Press CONTROL key when you start to hear JAWS reading text of page that comes up after you choose the Search button.
  • Press CONTROL+HOME to move to top of page.
  • Type the letter N twice and you will be positioned at the top of the list of links and brief excerpts to related messages shown on that page.
  • Press TAB to move to the link that will display the entire thread for that message and press ENTER to display it.
Generally, I have found that using the JAWS webpage navigation keys like N and H allow you to pass over the Google ads that are all over the page.

Now, open the page using the link below and press CONTROL+TAB to refer back to directions above. GoodFeel user forum

Q. Why use GOODFEEL over Duxbury or OpenBook?

A. OpenBook is an excellent choice for scanning text, but if you try scanning music with it, it will ignore the music notation and read any text it can identify on the page. Similarly, Duxbury does a great job on transcribing print text to the equivalent literary braille but has no facility to convert specialized music file formats into the equivalent braille music notation. GOODFEEL is a suite of software that includes a few titles: The SharpEye Music Reader, music OCR software Lime, a comprehensive software editor for reading and writing music notation in print

Lime Aloud, a set of scripts that make JAWS for Windows compatible with Lime so that a JAWS user can independently read and write music using verbal and musical cues while scrolling through the piece note by note or chord by chord. Add a hardware braille display and you can see the equivalent braille music on your display for the print music displayed on the screen.

The final component of the GOODFEEL suite is the GOODFEEL Braille Music Translator itself which automatically converts Lime and MIDI files into the equivalent braille music. GOODFEEL also has its own literary translator built in for transcribing score elements such as title, composer and lyrics.

Q. How should textbooks be transcribed using Lime and GOODFEEL?

A: For GOODFEEL 3 and Duxbury 10.6 customers: Music files can be inserted into Duxbury documents so that text and and music can be easily interspersed. It's pretty easy: just make your Lime files (a separate file for each section of music), start a Duxbury document, enter your text and insert your Lime files using Edit | Insert File....
Also see Transcribing Instructional Materials Using GOODFEEL with Duxbury
If you don't have GOODFEEL 3 you can either upgrade to it or see our movie: Transcribing Textbooks with GOODFEEL.


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