Inputting lyrics

You can input lyrics by entering text into the lyrics popover, and you can advance the lyrics popover to the next note on the staff without closing and reopening it for every note.


  1. In Write mode, select the first note to which you want to input lyrics.
  2. Open the lyrics popover in any of the following ways:
    • Press Shift-L.

    • Choose Write > Create Lyrics.

    • Click Lyrics in the Notations toolbox.

    By default, the lyrics popover opens with lyric line input selected.

  3. Optional: Change the type of lyric in one of the following ways:
    • Press Down Arrow to change the lyric line number.

    • Press Shift-Up Arrow to input lyrics above the staff.

    • Press Up Arrow to input chorus lines.

    • Press Alt-Down Arrow to input lyric line translations.

  4. Enter the word or syllable you want to add to the selected note into the popover.
    • Press Shift-Alt-Space to enter multiple words on a single note.

    • Press Alt-- (hyphen) to include a hyphen within a single word or syllable.

    • Press _ (underscore) to include an elision in a lyric.

  5. Advance the popover to the next note in one of the following ways:
    • Press Space if you entered a complete word, or the final syllable in a multi-syllabic word.

    • Press - (hyphen) if you entered one syllable of a multi-syllabic word that is not the final syllable.

    • Press Right Arrow if you do not want the syllable to be followed by an extension line or hyphen.

  6. Continue entering words and syllables into the popover for the rest of the notes to which you want to add lyrics.
  7. Press Return or Esc to close the popover.

    The popover closes automatically when you reach the last note on the staff.


The text you entered into the popover is input as lyrics of the type indicated by the icon on the left-hand side of the popover.

If you advanced the popover to the next note by pressing -, a hyphen appears after the last entered lyric. This is used for multi-syllabic words across multiple notes.

If you advance the popover by pressing Space, a gap appears after the last entered lyric. This is used for single-syllable words or for the final syllable in multi-syllabic words.


You can later change whether a gap or a hyphen appears between lyrics by changing their syllable type.