Ally student guide

On this page:


Ally creates alternative formats for course content items. You can download the alternative formats anywhere the download alternative formats icon is present. Select your desired format from the pop-up menu, and then press download.

Ally alternative formats

Ally provides alternative formats for these content types:

  • PDF files
  • Microsoft Word files
  • Microsoft Powerpoint files
  • OpenOffice/LibreOffice files
  • Uploaded HTML files
  • Content created in the LMS course editor (WYSIWYG) (currently available only for Blackboard Learn Original, Instructure Canvas, and D2L Brightspace)

These alternative formats can be generated:

  • OCR'd version (for scanned documents)
  • Tagged PDF (currently for Word, Powerpoint, and OpenOffice/LibreOffice files)
  • Mobile-friendly HTML
  • Audio
  • ePub
  • Electronic braille
  • BeeLine Reader
  • Translated Version
    • Translated Version is disabled by default. Administrators can submit a support case to have it enabled.

When alternative formats are generated

When someone requests an alternative format for a content item for the first time, Ally generates the format on demand. In most cases, it generates within 1-2 minutes.

As soon as it is generated, the alternative format is downloaded. Ally then caches the result, so any additional requests for the same alternative format can be served and downloaded from the cache immediately.

Alternative formats for student content

Ally currently processes only instructional content (for example, content added by someone with edit permissions in the course, such as the instructor or instructional designer). Ally currently doesn't process student content or student submissions.

Ally electronic braille format

Braille code used

Ally uses Braille Ready File (.brf) as the electronic braille format. The braille code used depends on the document's language. For English documents, Ally uses Grade 2 Unified English Braille (contracted).


The Braille Ready File (.brf) format can be used for both electronic braille displays and braille embossers (printers).

This is document bhdi in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2021-07-13 13:54:49.