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 note on the staff from which you want to start inputting lyrics.
  2. Open the lyrics popover in any of the following ways:
    • Press Shift-L.

    • In the Notations toolbox, click Popovers Popovers button, then Lyrics Lyrics button.

  3. Optional: Change the type of lyric in one of the following ways:
    • To change the lyric line number, press Down Arrow.

    • To input lyrics above the staff, press Shift-Up Arrow.

    • To input chorus lines, press Up Arrow.

    • To input lyric line translations, press Alt/Opt-Down Arrow.

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

    • To include a hyphen within a single word or syllable, press Alt/Opt-- (hyphen).

    • To include an elision in a lyric, press _ (underscore).

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

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

    • If you do not want the syllable to be followed by an extension line or hyphen, press Right Arrow.


    For lyrics sung over multiple notes, you can press these key commands multiple times until the lyrics popover reaches the note where you want to input the next lyric.

  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.

When you advance 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.

When 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.

  • You can also input lyrics by copying and pasting them; for example, from an external text editor.