VarioUltra Quick Reference Guide. February 2017.

Welcome to the VarioUltra (“VU”) Quick Reference Guide. To conserve space, VU is used when referring to VarioUltra in this guide. The purpose of this document is to introduce you to the primary functions of the device and let you know where to find additional resources. An electronic copy of this guide and the user manual are available at our web site, and on the VU.

Technical Support

Our technical support team is available between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM, Eastern time. They can be reached toll free by dialing (855) 620-7985, extension 402, or by email to

Product Registration

Registering your VarioUltra enables us to keep you informed about new software updates, etc. It also enables our technical support team to assist you more readily in the event you need help. The registration form can be found at:

In the Box

Besides this quick start guide, the VU box includes a product registration card, a VU 20 or VU 40, a carry case and strap, a micro USB cable, and a small box containing international plug adaptors. Please keep the box in case you ever need to ship VU to us for service.

VU Email List

The VU email list is a way for customers, prospective customers, and members of the BAUM support team to interact. Whether you need technical support outside of regular office hours, or just want to ask or respond to a question, the VU list is for you. To subscribe, send an email to Once you are subscribed, you can send a message to the list by emailing to

VU Orientation:

Topside. The top of VU contains an 8-button braille keyboard, beneath which you will find a braille display with cursor routing buttons above each cell. Note that the braille keys are referred to as b1 through b8 in the user manual. If this is your first time using an 8-button braille keyboard, b7 is the key on the far left and b8 is the key on the far right. There are display keys left and right of the display. Display keys d1, d2, and d3 on the left and d4, d5, and d6 on the right. The angled front of VU features 7 buttons. From the left, you will find system keys s1 and s2, the left thumb key b9, the 5-way Navistick, the right thumb key b0, and system keys s3 and s4. Left side. From the left rear corner of VU you will find: Standard USB Type A interface for connecting a USB memory stick, a micro USB interface for connecting to a USB power supply, or for connecting to a computer, a device mode switch that slides away from you for braille notetaker mode and toward you for braille display mode, and a device lock switch that slides away from you to unlock and toward you to lock VU. Right side. The right side of VU is where you will find the power button. A short press toggles VU on and off. Press and hold for 15 seconds to reboot. Hold down the S4 key, press and hold the power button, then release both buttons to power VU off. This will be indicated by a tone and a vibration.

Beginning with version 1.4, public beta, If VU is in Braille Display mode and is connected to a Bluetooth device, the connection will be lost unless the user has enabled the check box "Enable Bluetooth Automatically" in the menu Settings, Braille Display Mode.

If VU is in Braille Display mode and is not actively connected to an external device, or if VU is in Notetaker mode and no application is being used, VU goes into standby mode automatically after 10 minutes of inactivity.

Getting Started:

VarioUltra is shipped in the locked position. You will find the unlock slider switch on the left side of VU. It needs to be facing toward the back of the device. If VU is in standby mode, pressing the power button will wake it up at the last place you were working. If VU was off completely, pressing the power button causes a progress bar of dots 7 and 8 to appear from left to right, after which you will see a flashing cursor and the name of the product. If VU is in braille notetaker mode, you will be taken to the word processor entry in the main menu. If VU is in braille display mode, the display will appear blank when the device is ready.

Charging the Battery:

VU has an internal battery that is charged via the micro USB to standard type A USB cable. Note that the micro USB end of the cable that inserts into VU has a connector that is longer on one side than the other. The longer edge has two bumps on the surface, and needs to be on top to fit in VU. Forcing an upside-down cable in to VU may break the USB port. Connect the other end of the cable into a USB plug or power adaptor (800 - 2000 mA, 5 V), or into the USB port of a computer. Note that charging via a computer will take longer to complete. To obtain battery status information in Braille Notetaker mode, give two short taps of the s3 key. In Braille Display mode, press b9 and s2 together

If the battery drains completely, plugging VU to an external power source will not immediately bring it back to life. Please wait a few minutes for VU to attain a minimum amount of power, after which it will power on automatically, emitting a short beep as it does so. For best results, try not to allow the battery to run down completely, and charge it regularly.

Main Menu:

The braille notetaker features a main menu and sub menus. The main menu is where you will find applications. For now, these include word processor, pdf viewer, spreadsheet viewer, calculator, timers, file manager, settings, and help. Use display keys d1 and d3 to scroll up and down in the menu, or use the Navistick. Select an item by pressing the left thumb key B9. To return to the main menu at any time, just press and hold system key s3.

VU Commands:

Global shortcuts are VU commands that you can enter from anywhere. They always use the left thumb key, b9, along with other braille keys. Hotkeys are letters you enter in the menus to open an item. Global shortcuts and hotkeys are displayed for all menu items. The word processor item, for example, shows “MI” for menu item, the hotkey “w”, the item name “word processor”, and the global shortcut w+b8b9. If you are on the item in the menu, tapping b9 or pressing in on the Navistick will open it. To find out the shortcut command for other applications, scroll through the menu and read along each line.

System Keys:
Here are some quick tips for the system keys when in notetaker mode. For s1, press and hold to enter the word processor. Key s2 has no function. For s3, press and hold to return to the menu; double tap for battery level. Inside an application, a single tap of s3 opens and closes the Command Menu. For s4, tap once for current time, or twice for the current date.

HTML Manual:

An online version of the full VarioUltra User Guide can be found online at


We have some Walk-Through pages on our web site that provide instruction on some of the more frequently asked questions. Visit for more information.


Context Sensitive Help is available throughout VU, and provides information about an application and its functions. You can access Help by entering b9+b2b6 in Braille Notetaker mode. Use d2 and d5 to navigate left and right through the help messages. We encourage you to read the manual. If anything is unclear, let us know. If you need technical support, please call us toll free at (855) 620-7985 x402 between 8:30am and 4:30pm, weekdays, or send email to


We very much hope you love your VarioUltra. If you do, please consider sending us a testimonial at, letting us know what you like most.