Edit Lyrics and Chords

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If you create chord charts in Planning Center Services, you can edit them directly in Music Stand.

Music Stand downloads any PDF attached to a song, its song arrangements, and keys. You can create your own charts by entering text into the Lyrics & Chords editor, and Music Stand downloads them like any other PDF, but they can be edited.

Creating your chord charts in Planning Center has the following benefits:

  • The chord charts will transpose themselves every time you add a key.
  • Musicians can transpose keys on-the-fly from Music Stand.
  • You have control over the formatting, and if you update the chart in the Editor, all charts in all keys are updated.

Accessing the Lyrics & Chords Editor

To edit the file, tap the title area of the PDF, then tap the toolbar on top of the screen.

In the PDF Options list, tap Edit Lyrics & Chords.

You'll be taken to the Lyrics & Chords editor.

There are two other ways to access the Lyrics & Chords Editor:

  • From the Song library sidebar. Navigate to an arrangement and then click the Edit Lyrics & Chords button at the bottom.
  • From the quick transpose popup. When you are looking at an editable chord chart PDF, there is a Bubble at the top right that shows what key it's in. Tap that and at the bottom is the option to edit Lyrics & Chords.

Editing Lyrics & Chords

From the Lyrics & Chords editor, you can edit the lyrics and chords for the arrangement.  

Lyrics & Chords page

See the corresponding sections for more information.

1. Format the Song Sheet

On the Formatting page, you can format the song sheet text and page layout.

Format page
2. Preview the PDF

Tap the eye icon in the upper right corner to see what the song sheet looks like when it's imported to PDF.

In the PDF view, you can choose to send, download, or print the PDF from the Options menu.

PDF preview

The Lyrics & Chords editor in the app does not allow you to preview a transposed version of your chart from within the editor itself. When you save your file, transposed PDFs will be created for every key added to your arrangement.

3. Set the Key

Choose the key you will use to type out your chord chart.

Lyrics & Chords page
4. Edit the Text

Tap the Text area of the Lyrics & Chords editor to access the touch keyboard.


Edit your lyrics or chord chart using ChordPro or Standard Chords:

  • ChordPro chords allow you to enter your chords  inside of brackets ([ and ]) in your lyric lines to "lock" chords to syllables or words in your chord chart so that there won't ever be a shift. Any square brackets [ ] will be treated as chord characters. Any chords or text entered into these brackets will be treated as a chord related object and added to their own line in the chart or removed from the lyrics sheet.
  • Standard chords are chords placed on a separate line above the lyrics. If you change fonts or keys, chords can shift a little.
  • You don't have to redo the entire chart to have this option; mix and match your chart with ChordPro and Standard chords where there's a big shift.

Enabling Lyrics, Numbers, and Numeral Charts

Scroll to the bottom of the Lyrics & Chords editor to enable or disable the following settings for the PDF:

  • Lyrics - All chords are stripped out leaving only lyrics and section headings.
  • Numbers - Chords are converted to the Nashville Number system, replacing chords with the number they represent. Because these charts don't contain specific chords, one chart can be used for any key.
  • Numerals - Similar to Numbers, but uses roman numerals instead of simple numbers.
Create PDF

The PDFs you create will be available as file attachments when view the arrangement in the Songs sidebar.


When you save your changes to Lyrics & Chords, transposed chord charts are automatically created for every key added to the arrangement. You can view these transposed PDFs from the Files section.

In the example above, the key of Ab has been added from the Keys section, so the Files section shows transposed files for those keys. To create a new transposed PDF, add a key to the Keys section.

If you want to permanently add a new key, you need to do that from the Services app.

ChordPro Codes (Advanced)

Lyrics & Chords

  • SECTION HEADING - Type section headings, like CHORUS 1, or INSTRUMENTAL in all caps.
  • [ Chord ]  - Chords in square brackets are Chord Pro and will be transposed and be placed on the line above the corresponding lyrics. Anything in square brackets will only appear in Chord Chart PDFs. If it is on the same line as a SECTION HEADING, it will still be shifted to the line above, so make sure NOT to use the ChordPro brackets in this header.
  • :: - Double colons start a new line for Projector slides. The double colon symbol will not show up in any PDFs or slides. If your chord chart line is long and you want split it into 2 lines just for Projector slides, add a double colon :: where you want the line break to go.
  • --- If you want dashes removed for Projector slides, make sure there is a space around the dashes. Glo --- ria in lyrics will become "Gloria" on slides, but Glo---ria will stay "Glo---ria" on slides.

Key Changes

  • TRANSPOSE KEY +1 - To insert a key change but still type chords in the original key, add TRANSPOSE KEY plus or minus the number of half-steps. (When choosing a key, it will use the following scale: Ab, A, Bb, B, C, Db, D, Eb, E, F, F#, G.)
  • REDEFINE KEY +1 - To insert a key change where you have already typed the chords in the new transposed key, add REDEFINE KEY plus or minus the number of half-steps. For chord charts, this does not transpose chords, but for Number and Numeral charts, it remaps the numbers to the new key. (When choosing a key, it will use the following scale: Ab, A, Bb, B, C, Db, D, Eb, E, F, F#, G.)

Number and Numeral Charts

Number charts are commonly used by studio musicians who show up and need to be ready to play a song in any key. Instead of having 12 chord charts all in different keys, you only need one number chart. Chords are replaced by numbers based on the scale of the key you are in. In D, 1=D, 2=E, 3=F# and so on. Then just by saying you are now in E, the musicians see 1 and now play E instead of D.

Numeral charts are a little different, though very similar. In a number chart, it really is as simple as replacing chords with numbers. In a numeral chart, it goes one step further. If your chord is major, the numeral is uppercase, but if the chord is minor, instead of showing the 'm', you use a lowercase numeral. In the key of C, II would be D major, but ii would be D minor.

For both numbers and numerals, if you ever use a chord or note that is not in that key, it will always be represented using flats. So in the key of C, if you have a G#, it will show as b6 or bVI instead of #5. Likewise, E/G# would be 3/b6 or III/bVI.

When creating your charts, you can enable Number or Numerals right next to the button to enable Lyrics. These files are attached to your arrangement, meaning they're available no matter what key you choose for the song. You can even preview number or numeral charts in the new chord editor.

When you have a C2 chord, we'll put the 2 in superscript to make it clear this is a 12 chord and not a 12 chord. Superscript chord suffixes on number and numeral charts make it easy to tell what is the chord and what is the suffix.


  • { note } - Text in single curly braces is a note that will show in Chords Chart PDFs and Lyric PDFs. Unlike square brackets, it will not be shifted up a line.
  • {{ note }} - Text in double curly braces is a note that wil only show in Chord Chart PDFs and will be removed from Lyric PDFs and Projector slides


  • +Col  - starts a new column
  • +Page - starts a new page

To have a column or page break only apply to chord charts and not lyrics, put it in double curly braces. {{ PAGE_BREAK }}


To format words in bold or italic, double-tap a word to select it, and then tap the Bold or Italic short-cut key.

You can also style text using HTML tags.

  • <b>Bolded Text</b> - Text placed between <b> and </b> will be bolded for Lyric & Chord PDFs
  • <i>Italicized Text</i> - Text placed between <i> and </i> will be italicized for Lyric & Chord PDFs
  • <strong>Bolded Text</strong> - Text placed between <strong> and </strong> will be bolded for Lyric & Chord PDFs
  • <em>Italicized Text</em> - Text placed between <em> and </em> will be italicized for Lyric & Chord PDFs
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