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a LaTeX package for typesetting guitar chord diagrams

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a LaTeX package for typesetting guitar chord diagrams

by Kasper Peeters


Guitar players often use a notation for chords that shows a part of the fretboard, indicating in a graphical way which strings to press and where. GCHORDS is a LaTeX package that draws these diagrams using only LaTeX symbols (i.e. without using any postscript/pdf specials). This is what it looks like:

sample chords

There are many options to change the size, use numbered dots, combine chords with lyrics and so on. See the manual for detailed information. Available under the GNU General Public License.

Description of files

The package consists of the following files:

  • gchords.sty, the style file.
  • ChangeLog contains the list of changes.
  • gchords_doc.tex, the documentation, also available as a pdf file gchords_doc.pdf.
  • chordbox.tcl, an optional TCL script by D.Lovell, to create chords interactively.
  • get2knowu.tex, an example of how to typeset chords above lyrics (also available directly as a postscript file get2knowu.pdf). Thanks to Yotam Medini for contributing these examples.

Other guitar chord typesetting software

If gchords is not what you are looking for, maybe one of these programs can help:

Graphical tool in Perl/TK for creation of guitar song sheets and song books, including tablature and chord diagrams (the latter using postscript, will use gchords.sty in a future version).

This program reads a text file with the description of music and outputs a postscript file. It has guitar chords added as an option, but I guess you can use that feature separately too. Does of course not mix with TeX as nicely as gchords, but the output looks good.

A complete graphical music score typesetter.


a LaTeX package for typesetting guitar chord diagrams







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