Chord Chart Wizard Help

Contents

Song Editor
Chord Chart (Preview)
Lyrics (Preview)
File Menu

Edit Menu

Format Menu

Actions Menu


Song Editor

The Song Editor is where you type in the chords and lyrics for your songs. It is a simple text editor, like Notepad on Windows. The editor uses a fixed-width font (Courier) so that chords can be positioned exactly over the words they correspond with.

Song Format
Song text must be entered in this format:

	Title on the first line
	Author on the second line (optional)
	Chord line
	Lyrics line
	Chord line 
	Lyrics line
	.
	.
	.
	Copyright on the last line (optional)

For example, the following text is in the proper format:

	Amazing Grace
John Newton

E A E
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
E C#m Bsus B
That saved a wretch like me

© Public Domain

Getting Songs
Songs can be typed in by hand, or pasted from a web site (see the Songs section on the Links page for some good sites). Also, you can open any existing songs you have on your computer that are in Plain Text (.txt) or Microsoft Word (.doc) format.

Plain Text
What you enter in the Song Editor is simple, plain text; there is no formatting at all (such as fonts, font size, alignment, etc). The formatting is later applied automatically by Chord Chart Wizard using the formatting rules you create.

Chords/Lyrics Alignment
The editor uses a fixed-width font to ensure exact spacing and alignment of chords over lyrics. If you open or paste from a document that was created with a variable-width font (like Times New Roman), then you will probably need to re-align the chords over the lyrics.

Extracting Lyrics / Identifying Chord Lines
Each line in the song editor is automatically identified as either or a chord or lyrics line. Then the chord lines are automatically removed to create the Lyrics and Powerpoint documents, so only the lyrics are displayed.

Lines are automatically marked as either chords or lyrics, but they can also manually be marked as chords or lyrics by clicking in the left margin. Clicking once in the left margin will cause an "L" to appear next to the selected line, forcing it to be treated as a "lyrics" line so that it will be displayed in the Lyric and Powerpoint documents. Clicking again will change the marking to a "C", forcing the line to be treated as a "chord" line and excluded from the Lyrics and Powerpoint documents.

Special Features
Here are few things that will help you use the song editor:

    • Double-click on a word or chord to select it
    • Triple-click on a line to select the entire line
    • Use Control+Left/Right to move left or right a word/chord at a time
    • When editing a chord the editor preserves the alignment of the chords that come after it on the same line

Spell Checking
Spell checking is built-in to Chord Chart Wizard. By default spelling errors are underlined in red. This underlining is updated automatically whenever you save the file. US English is the only dictionary that comes with CCW, but if you would like another language, send an email to request it (see the email address at the bottom of the page).

Chord Chart (Preview)

The "Chord Chart (Preview)" tab displays the chord chart you entered with all of your custom formatting applied. All this formatting is automatically applied by the program. This behavior can be called the "separation of content from presentation". This is advantageous because: 1) formatting is automatic, and 2) formatting can be changed for all documents by adjusting a single setting.

Chord Chart formatting can be configured by clicking the "Format" menu and selecting "Format Chord Charts".
The "Chord Chart (Preview)" can not be hand-edited - it is read-only. To edit the document you must export it (see below).
The "Chord Chart (Preview)" can be exported or printed by clicking on the "Chord Chart (Preview)" tab and choosing "File -> Export As Doc" or "File->Print".

Chord Diagrams are shown if you hover you mouse over any chord in the Chord Chart Preview.


Lyrics (Preview)

The "Lyrics (Preview)" tab displays the lyrics document that is generated from the chord chart you entered. This document can be used create overhead transparencies or to give to vocalists instead of chord charts. Chord Chart Wizard extracts the lyrics from the song editor and applies the custom formatting you entered for lyrics. Also, lines that are too long are automatically split apart to prevent line wrapping and ensure readability.

Lyrics formatting can be configured by clicking the "Format" menu and selecting "Format Lyrics".

The "Lyrics (Preview)" can not be hand-edited - it is read-only. To edit the document you must export it (see below).
The "Lyrics (Preview)" can be exported or printed by clicking on the "Lyrics (Preview)" tab and choosing "File -> Export As Doc" or "File->Print".


File Menu

New
Selecting "New" from the File menu will clear the Song Editor and create a new, empty chord chart. New chord charts can be typed in or pasted from a web site or another source.

Open
Selecting "Open" from the File menu will allow you to open an existing chord chart on your computer. By default, Chord Chart Wizard looks for plain-text (.txt) files; however, you can open Microsoft Word (.doc) files by changing the File Type value to "MS Word" on the file selection screen. MS Word documents are essentially just converted to plain text and then loaded like a regular plain-text file because formatting is handled by Chord Chart Wizard.

Save
Selecting "Save" from the file menu will save the chord chart in the Song Editor as a plain text file in your Songs folder. The file name is pre-filled with the song's title, but any file name can be used.

Export As Doc
Selecting "Export As Doc" from the file menu will export whatever document is currently visible as a Microsoft Word document. This is useful for two reasons:
1) To share or send the formatted file to someone else
2) To allow you to edit the formatted file (because the on-screen preview cannot be edited).

If the Song Editor or Chord Chart Preview tab is selected, then the formatted Chord Chart will be exported. If the Lyrics Preview is selected, then the Lyrics document will be exported.

Print
Selecting "Print" from the file menu will print whatever document is currently visible. If the Song Editor is visible, then the formatted Chord Chart will be printed.

Edit Menu

Check Spelling
Selecting "Check Spelling" will indicate any spelling errors and suggest possible correct spellings.US English is the only dictionary that comes with CCW, but if you would like another language, send an email to request it (see the email address at the bottom of the page).

Preferences
Selecting "Preferences" will allow you configure Chord Chart Wizard.

The Document folder is where all your songs are stored. This folder is created when you install Chord Chart Wizard, but you can choose a different folder if you want. Actually, if you're only using Chord Chart Wizard can save songs anywhere, but Set Creator can only access the songs in the Document folder.

The OpenOffice folder is where you have installed OpenOffice. This location is automatically detected by Chord Chart Wizard unless you have installed OpenOffice to a custom location; if so, enter that folder here. OpenOffice is depended on in order to read and create Microsoft Word documents and Powerpoint documents.

The checkbox Terminate Office on Program Exit will force OpenOffice to quit when Chord Chart Wizard is closed. OpenOffice is started up by Chord Chart Wizard when needed and runs invisibly in the background. It will continue running in the background after you close Chord Chart Wizard unless you check this box to terminate it.

The checkbox Use OpenOffice File Formats will make all your generated documents be saved in Open Document format instead of the proprietary Microsoft formats (.doc, .ppt). If you are only working with the files on your own computer, or are sharing them with someone who uses OpenOffice, then you should check this option. Checking this option and using the OpenOffice file formats will result in higher quality documents, so unless you really need compatibility with Microsoft Office you should check this. If you are sharing your generated files with Microsoft Office users, you should not check this.

The checkbox Files Contain Author/Artist on Second Line controls how Chord Chart Wizard interprets your songs. If your songs have the author/artist on the second line of the song (after the title) then you should check this. If you don't have author information then you should uncheck this.

The Footer configuration allows you to enter text that will appear at the bottom of all your documents along with any copyright information in the document. This is where you should enter your CCLI number.

The Themes configuration lets you add and remove themes from the global list. All the themes here will be available for tagging your individual songs with.

The Musical Styles configuration let you add and remove musical styles from the global list. All the musical styles here will be available for tagging your individual songs with.


Format Menu

Format Chord Chart
Selecting "Format Chord Chart" from the Format menu will allow you to set the formatting rules for chord charts. You can specify alignment, font, font size, and font style for each section of the chord chart (title, author, chords, lyrics, song info, and footer).

The footer will contain the copyright information of the song and/or the custom footer entered in Preferences (usually your CCLI number).

The "song info" is the information about the song such as: key, time signature, tempo, musical style, themes, etc. This information is displayed on the right side of the chord chart if you check "Show Song Info" on this screen.

The "chord dictionary" will display chord diagrams for all the chords used in the chord chart at the bottom of the page. The textual diagrams look like "A:x02220". The graphical diagrams look like the typical visual view of the fretboard.
Note: if you use graphical diagrams there is one caveat: if you export a chord chart as doc it will be exported using the OpenOffice file format (.odt) instead of .doc regardless of the application preferences. However, after the file has been generated you may save it as a .doc file and it will work correctly - only the inital generation requires the use of the .odt format.
Note 2: if you use graphical diagrams on Windows you shouldn't print directly from Chord Chart Wizard because the diagrams may get broken across pages; instead export the chord chart as doc and then print it from OpenOffice.

Format Lyrics
Selecting "Format Lyrics" from the Format menu will allow you to set the formatting rules for lyrics documents.

Checking "Generate lyrics with the user-defined arrangement/order" will cause the paragraphs of the document to be ordered the way you selected for the chord chart's Arrangement; this is useful when making overhead transparencies. Otherwise the paragraphs are ordered as they appear in the Song Editor.

If you check the above option you can choose whether or not to "Use section tags" for repeated items in the arrangement. For example, if your arrangement has a repeat of the "Chorus" three times in a row, checking this option will cause the lyrics document will display "Chorus (3x)" instead of printing the actual entire chorus three times.

Format Powerpoint
Selecting "Format Powerpoint" from the Format menu will allow you to set the formatting rules for powerpoint documents. The options here are self-explanatory. The options for the slideshow background are limited to pre-defined colors or an image; if these options don't suit you, you can generate the powerpoint document and change the background afterwards.
Powerpoint documents are always generated using the user-defined arrangement so that you never have to move backwards to find a slide.


Actions Menu

Song Info
Selecting "Song Info" from the Actions menu will allow you to enter information about the song, including: arrangement, key, time signature, speed, tempo, musical style, and themes.

This information can then be displayed on the right side of the chord chart as a resource for the musician (see "Format Menu->Format Chord Chart" to enable this option). This information can also be searched using Set Creator, helping you to find songs and plan sets.

The Arrangement you enter can be used to specify the order that song sections will appear in the lyrics and powerpoint documents.

This screen also contains a simple metronome that you can use to determine the correct tempo for a song.

Transpose
Selecting "Transpose" will allow you to change the key for the chord chart. It automatically determines the current key (in-exactly) and prompts you to choose the new key. When you press OK, the chords in the Song Editor are instantly transposed to the new key (while preserving the chord/lyrics alignment). This is very useful for generating chord charts where a Capo is used by the guitar player, but where everyone else plays the song in the original key. This feature alone is worth its weight in gold; think of the hours (and errors!) saved.

Un-Capo
Un-Capo is a quick way to transpose a song to the key that sounds in without a capo on the guitar. If your song text contains something like "Capo III" or "Capo 3" then selecting Un-Capo will automatically transpose the song down three half steps. The capo number doesn't need to specified anywhere else, it just has to be in the song somewhere.

Generate Powerpoint
Selecting "Generate Powerpoint" will instantly create a slideshow presentation of the lyrics of the song using the formatting rules for powerpoint documents. Unlike the other documents, there is no on-screen preview for the powerpoint, it can only be viewed by selecting this option.

Powerpoint formatting can be configured by clicking the "Format" menu and selecting "Format Powerpoint".

Powerpoint documents are always generated using the user-defined arrangement so that you never have to move backwards to find a slide.

Lines that are too long are automatically split apart to prevent line wrapping and ensure readability.

Web Song Search
Selecting "Web Song Search" will help you find chord charts on the internet by simply typing in the song's title or part of the lyrics. This feature uses Google along with some less familiar searching techniques to find matching songs.