Formatting with abc2ps
The abc2ps program and its variants have a number of special
parameters that control a lot of details of the formatting. These
parameters may be set in several ways:
- In a "format" file, with the suffix ".fmt". The -F option is
used to tell abc2ps which file to read:
abc2ps foo.abc -F bar -o -O foo.ps
This means to read the file bar.fmt for formatting parameters.
Each parameter in the file should be on a separate line, and
lines starting with '#' are ignored.
- Inside the abc file itself, on a line that starts with %%
%%titlefont Helvetica-Bold 16
%%titlefont Helvetica 14
This means to use a bold helvetica 16-point font for titles, and
a non-bold 14-point helvetica font for subtitles. If such %% lines
are within a tune, they apply only to that tune. If they are put
outside a tune, they apply to all subsequent tunes in the file, unless
overwritten by %% lines within a tune.
- Some format options may be set on the command line. These are
all special options and have abbreviated names. For example:
-s 0.9 (sets symbol scale)
-m 2cm (sets left margin)
Here is a list of abc2ps formatting parameters and their default values.
Note that different versions may have other parameters, or different defaults.
Use "abc2ps -H" to see the full list of parameters for your version of abc2ps.
For parameters that measure distances on the page, the default unit is the
printer's point, and you can use "cm" for centimeters or "in" for inches.
For true/false values, 1, "yes" and "true" mean true, while 0, "no" and "false" mean false.
achordfont Helvetica 12.0
Also called gchordfont, this is the font used for accompaniment ("guitar")
chords above the staff.
annotfont Times-Roman 12.0
The font to be used for "annotations" of the forms "^text", "=text" or "_text",
to be placed above, next to or below the note respectively.
This is a new feature that is not yet widely implemented.
barlabelfont Times-Bold 18.0
The font to be used for "quoted text" before bar lines.
This looks like an accompaniment chord, but is just plain text,
typically section numbers, placed above the bar line.
barnumberfont Times-Italic 12.0
If bar numbers are enabled, this is the font to be used for the numbers.
If true (i.e., > 0), bar numbers will be drawn above the bar lines.
The value -1 means no bar numbers; 0 numbers the first bar in every staff,
and a number greater than 0 means to print a number above bars that are
a multiple of that number. So 8 means to number every eighth bar.
If nonzero, line ends will be ignored, and each staff will have this many bars.
The width of the blank border at the bottom of a page.
composerfont Times-Italic 11.0
The font to be used for the "composer" text (C: header lines),
shown at the upper right of the first staff.
The vertical space between the title (or last subtitle) and the
composer text at the upper right of the first staff.
If true ("yes" or "1"), line endings will be ignored and staff breaks
will be generated automatically.
The first staff will be intented by this much.
indexfont Times-Roman 11.0
The default layout is "portrait", with the page taller than it is wide.
By setting "landscape" to true, the page will be rotated by 90 degrees
so that it is wider than it is tall. You can also use the
parameters to control the shape of a page.
The width of the blank border along the left edge of the page.
The vertical space between the composer text (at the upper right of
the first staff) and the top line of the staff. This may be stretched
to make room for notes, chords, endings, and annotations.
If true, each tune will be put at the top of a new page.
The total physical height of the printed page, including margins.
partsfont Times-Roman 11.0
The vertical space between a "parts" (P) text and the next staff.
The size of the staff and musical symbols. This doesn't affect the
various spacing parameters, but affects everything drawn on a staff.
Whether to automatically draw slurs from all grace notes to the folloowing
The separation between staves.
One-half of this distance is added above and below each staff.
Lyrics are drawn between these spaces.
The width of a staff, starting from the left margin.
The last staff in a tune may be shorter.
Whether to make the last staff fill the entire staff width.
This stretches underfull staves across the page.
Otherwise, the right edge may be uneven.
subtitlefont Times-Roman 12.0
The font used for all titles except the first.
Extra space added above each subtitle.
tempofont Times-Bold 10.0
The font used to display tempo indications (Q lines).
textfont Times-Roman 12.0
The font used for %%text lines.
Show titles in upper case.
titlefont Times-Roman 15.0
The font used for the first (main) title.
If true, titles will be shown at the left.
If false, titles will be centered.
The space above the first title, after the topmargin and any %%text.
The width of the blank border at the top of the page.
Extra vertical space at the top of a tune, before any %%text lines.
vocalfont Times-Bold 13.0
The font used for vocals (w: lines).
Space between the text of vocals, i.e., the w: lines drawn below the notes.
voicefont Times-Roman 12.0
The font used for voice labels at the left of a staff.
Print out X: xref number in title (same as -x).
wordsfont Times-Roman 12.0
The font used for W lines, placed below the tune.
The space aboove the words at the end of a tune.