Getting started with ChordPro

For a good understanding it is important to know that ChordPro is basically a file transformation program. It reads a file containing lyrics and chords according to the ChordPro File Standard, and produces a neatly formatted PDF document that you can view and print.

Linux

When you start the wxchordpro program it will show a File Open dialog where you can designate an existing ChordPro file.

  • If you have one, select it and its contents will be shown in a new window.
  • If you don’t have one, press Cancel and a (basically empty) window will be shown.
    From the menu bar, choose Help > Insert song example. A small song will appear in the editor window.

Windows

The wxchordpro app is capable of handling documents with filename extensions .cho and .crd. If you have such a document you can double-click it from the Explorer and ChordPro will be started with the document opened. You can also drag a ChordPro document to the ChordPro desktop icon.

When you start the wxchordpro program it will show a File Open dialog where you can designate an existing ChordPro file.

  • If you have one, select it and its contents will be shown in a new window.
  • If you don’t have one, press Cancel and a (basically empty) window will be shown.
    From the menu bar, choose Help > Insert song example. A small song will appear in the editor window.

MacOS

The ChordPro app is capable of handling documents with filename extensions .cho, .chordpro, .chopro, and .crd. If you have such a document you can double-click it from the Finder and ChordPro will be started with the document opened. You can also drag a ChordPro document to the ChordPro app icon.

When you start the ChordPro app without document it will show a (basically empty) song in its window.

  • If you have existing ChordPro files, choose File from the menu bar, select Open, and navigate to a ChordPro document.
  • If you don’t have one, from the menu bar, choose Help > Insert song example. A small song will appear in the editor window.

All

From the menu bar, choose File > Preview. If all goes well, a preview window will open showing the formatted PDF document. From the preview window you can print and save the PDF document.

Note that you need to have a PDF file viewer application installed, and the system must be configured to use this viewer to open files with .pdf extension.

Legacy ASCII input format

Before ChordPro it was common to write lead sheets with chords on seperate lines preceding the lyrics. This is often referred to as crd format. For example

      D          G    D
Swing low, sweet chariot,
                       A7
Comin’ for to carry me home.

ChordPro tries to detect whether the input files are in this legacy format and if so, internally converts the data to ChordPro (cho format) before processing.

Swing [D]low, sweet [G]chari[D]ot,
Comin’ for to carry me [A7]home.

Command Line operation

If you are familiar with working on the command line, the basic command to use is:

chordpro mysong.cho

This will process mysong.cho and produce the PDF document mysong.pdf.

chordpro --help will give you a list of options that you can pass to the chordpro command.

More information can be found in the User Guide.