[Chords & Lyrics]

Chordii

Printing Lyrics with Chords


The ‘Chord/ChordPro’ format

Chord or ChordPro is the name of a simple text format for the notation of lyrics with chords. Although primarily intended for guitarists, it can be used for all kinds of musical purposes.

The Chord format is invented by the original authors, Mario Dorion and Martin Leclerc. For unknown reasons the users of the format started to call it ChordPro.

Several tools exist that can process data in ChordPro format: to print nice song sheets, create web pages, or to transform it in into a format suitable for other tools.

The following specification of the ChordPro format is taken from the Chord program, and must therefore be considered official. Common extensions are denoted in green. Uncertain issues are denoted in red.

Often characteristics are quite generic. For example, a piece of text can be shown in a way that makes it different from the rest of the text. Where appropriate, a blue note will indicate the way Chordii does it.

Data files that contain ChordPro data are usually given a file name extension .cho. Other often used extensions are .crd, .chordpro, and .chopro.

General description of the ChordPro format

A ChordPro data file is a simple text file, which is interpreted line by line. Line endings should obey the rules of the platform.

The contents of each line should be ASCII data. Chord version 3.6 and later accepts the full ISO 8859.1 (Latin1) character set.

Lines that start with a # symbol are ignored. Check: Is leading whitespace allowed?

Lines that start with { and end with } (curly brackets or braces) are directives. Check: Is leading/trailing whitespace allowed? They are used to pass instructions to the program that processes the data.

Song lines

Lines that are not directives are song lines. They contain the lyrics of the song. Between the lyrics the chords are specified between [ and ] (square brackets). Chords should immediately precede the syllable of text they apply to. For example:

Swing [D]low, sweet [G]chari[D]ot,
When processed, this results in:
D G D Swing low, sweet chariot,

Directives

Many directives have long and short alternatives. For example, the long form for the directive ‘title’ is title, and the short alternative is t.

For directives that take arguments, the arguments are separated from the directive name by a : (colon). Check: Is whitespace before/after the : allowed? Whitespace after the argument?

Preamble directives

{new_song}
{ns}

Starts a new song. This is implied at the start of a ChordPro data file.

{title:text}
{t:text}

Define text as the song title.
Chordii: The title is shown in a bigger size on top of the page.

{subtitle:text}
{st:text}

Define text as a subtitle. More than one subtitle is possible.
Chordii: The subtitles are shown under the title on top of the page.

Formatting directives

{comment:text}
{c:text}

Define text as a comment. This will be shown in a outstanding manner. It can be used for example to call a chorus.
Chordii: The text is shown on a grey background.

{comment_italic:text}
{ci:text}

Define text as a comment. This will be shown in a outstanding manner, most likely using an italic font.
Chordii: The text is shown in an italic font on a grey background.

{start_of_chorus}
{soc}
{end_of_chorus}
{eoc}

Define the lines between start and end as the chorus. The lines are normal song lines, but will be shown in an outstanding manner.
Chordii: A vertical line is drawn to the left of the chorus part.

{start_of_tab}
{sob}
{end_of_tab}
{eob}

Defines a section of guitar TAB instructions.
Chordii: The text will be shown as is, in a fixed-width font so it aligns vertically.

{define ... }

Defines a guitar chord. There are several variant implementations of this command.
Chordii: {define: name base-fret offset frets pos pos ... pos}
pos … define the string positions, all relative to the offset. Strings are enumerated from left (lowest) to right (highest), as they appear in the chord diagrams.

Output related directives

{textfont:fontname}

Sets the font used to print text to fontname. This must be the name of a known PostScript font.
Chordii: Default font for text is Times-Roman.

{textsize:fontsize}

Sets the size of the font used for texts.
Chordii: Default font size for text is 12.

{chordfont:fontname}

Sets the font used to print chords to fontname. This must be the name of a known PostScript font.
Chordii: Default font for chords is Helvetica-Oblique.

{chordsize:fontsize}

Sets the size of the font used for chords.
Chordii: Default font size for chords is 9.

{no_grid}
{ng}

Suppresses printing of the list of chords at the end of the current song.

{grid}
{g}

Enables printing of the list of chords at the end of the current song.
Chordii: The -g and -G command line options can be used to control what chords are printed.

{titles: flush}

Chordii: If flush is left, song titles are printed to the left of the page. If flush is center, or if this directive is missing, titles are printed centered on top of the page.

{new_page}
{np}

Forces a page break.
Chordii: When printing in 2-up or 4-up page mode, this command forces a logical page break. Otherwise it is the same as a physical page break.

{new_physical_page}
{npp}

Forces a physical page break.

{columns number}
{col: number}

Specifies the number of columns to print the current song in.

{column_break}
{colb}

Forces a column break.

{pagetype: type}

Chordii: Sets the page type for the PostScript output. type can be either a4 or letter.



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chordpro/index.html last modified 16:42:44 26-Sep-2013