[Chords & Lyrics]


Printing Lyrics with Chords


This is a description of a utility called Chordii.

Its purpose is to provide guitar players with a tool to produce good looking, self-descriptive music sheets from text files. You've seen an example of Chordii at work on the opening page of this site.

Chordii reads a text file containing the lyrics of a song, the chords to be played, their description and some other optional data. The format used is the so called ChordPro format. Chordii produces a PostScript document that includes:

  • Centered titles
  • Chord names above the words
  • Graphical representation of the chords at the end of the songs
Chordii also provides support for:
  • Multiple columns on a page
  • Index of a songbook
  • Multiple logical pages per physical pages (1, 2 or 4)
  • Configurable fonts for the lyrics and the chord names
  • Multiple songs inside one file
  • The complete ISO 8859-1 character set
  • Chorus marking

Chordii was originally written as Chord by Martin Leclerc and Mario Dorion. Chord was dreamed up (and the chord notation invented) by the authors in june 1991 after having arrived early at the Tennis court for their game and having to wait for 30 minutes. Later that day Mario had his first date with his wife-to-be. They stopped development and maintenance several years ago and apparently disappeared from the internet.

In 2007 Johan Vromans and Adam Monsen, both grateful users of the tool, found that Chord may not get lost, and after failure to contact the original authors they decided to take over the program and revive it. A long time ago Johan already augmented the program with several interesting features he needed, and he has now integrated these enhancements in the new, revived version.

In its first reincarnation, the name Chordie was used. Since this would cause confusion with the chordie.com web site, the name was changed into Chordii, to be pronounced as chord-ee-ee.


The last known distribution of the original Chord program is 3.6.2 and dates from july 1995. It includes a statement that Chord is licensed following the conditions of the general GNU license, but with some additional restrictions. These restictions formed an obstacle for Chordii to be included in official software distributions.

In december 2009 Johan finally succeeded to track down the original authors and they agreed to create a new, GPL-only release. This release was called 3.6.4 to avoid confusion with an already existing unofficial 3.6.3 version.

Following the GPL release Chordii was rebased on the 3.6.4 version, making it officially and legally GPL.

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intro.html last modified 08:32:01 15-May-2015