Manual The Basics

Bars, Chords and the Grid

cartoon guitar player by bethann93 (


  • Do not use delimiters
  • Just enter the chords
  • One chord makes a bar
  • Put four chords in a line
  • No lyrics

Plain Text

To create a chord sheet the data is entered in plain text.


Use a # to start a comment line.

E.g. # todo - I have to listen to the original song to get the turnaround chords right

When rendering the PDF comments will be ignored.


Use as many whitespace as you like to keep your data source readable.

When rendering the PDF whitespace will be ignored. It has no effect on the result.

Adding bars

Just enter the chords.

Every chord will get on its own bar.

You don't have to use special delimiter chars between chords.

Just use a blank.

Adding chords

Just write the chordnames as you would do on paper.

Adding lyrics

No, not really. The purpose of this tool is to create sheets with just the chord progressions.
You could add lyrics as simple text lines. But it is hard to relate the words with the changes.
Check out the ChordPro format. It might be better suited to your needs.

Text lines and section titles

There are three types of text lines.

- Text line
Line is interpreted as text annotation e.g. verse.

: Section Title

Text line rendered with a border. E.g. A and B sections.

= Section Title and Delimiter

Same as : but also delimiter of musical parts or sections.
The previous bar ends with a double line.
The next bar starts with a double line.

Split bars

To put multiple chords in a single bar there is a special char _.

Think of it as "glue" to paste multiple chords together.

E.g. Dm7_G7 Cmaj7 will result in two bars.
One split bar with two chords (Dm7 G7) and one bar with just one chord (Cmaj7).

The grid system

There is an underlying grid system.

That is that all bars get aligned vertically.

Indent Bars

You can indent bars by preceding them with one ore more X.

That is useful to make 1st and 2nd endings easier to read.
Use two lines and indent the bars of the 2nd ending to align them vertically with the 1st ending.

See the Example 1st and 2nd endings (PDF).

First and second endings

See the Example 1st and 2nd endings (PDF).

Repeat sections

E.g. (A B) |:A B:|

You can note the number of repeats by writing (A B)3x or (A B)x3

See the Example repeat sections (PDF).

Page Break

If the arrangement does not fit on a single page you'll have to add a page break.

E.g. + or + Chorus.

The latter as a shorthand for + followed by a = Chorus to start a new section.

See the Example Page Breaks (PDF).

A page break will be added automatically if the maximum lines per page limit is exceeded .

Time Signatures

Use the advanced edit form to set the time signature for the whole song (optional).

You can add time signatures per bar as well by writing e.g. 3:4 or 2:4

See the Example time signatures

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