ABC Feature Support Table

This is a table of some of ABC's features versus software packages, showing which features are supported by which packages. Here's what the cells' contents mean:
not known.
The package doesn't support this feature.
The package supports this feature.
If you know information that's missing or incorrect here, send me mail.

program abc2mtex abc2ps abc2win abc4Mac abc2midi abcmus AbcPlay BarFly Muse YAPS
variant __ mm jc ja
V: voice lines   Y Y Y             Yes  
V: name=   Y Y Y                
V: clef=   Y Y Y                
"^text"   N N Y                
"24"|   Y Y ?                
"B"|   Y Y Y                
x invisible rest   Y Y Y                
y unplayed rest   Y Y Y                
w: lyrics   Y Y Y                
K:Dphr^F   N Y N No   Yes Yes   Yes    
K:Dphr ^F   N N N No              
M:none   N N N   No       Yes Yes Yes
M:23/44   Y Y Y                
M:2+3/4   Y Y Y                
M:2/4,3/4   N N N                
:|3,4     Y       Yes       Yes  
|:: ... ::|     Y                  
PostScript out Yes Y Y Y               Yes
Sound out                 Yes Yes    
MIDI out             Yes     Yes    
AIFF out                   Yes    
variant __ mm jc ja
program abc2mtex abc2ps abc2win abc4Mac abc2midi abcmus AbcPlay BarFly Muse YAPS

Descriptions of Features

Explicit key signatures

At present this is only implemented in jcabc2ps. It allows the usual K:<tonic><mode> to be followed by a list of accidentals which are added to the key signature. Just K: is allowed, and specifies a tonic center and explicit list of accidentals, with "major" not assumed.

Global accidentals

Free Meter

Multiple time signatures

x: invisible rest

This is a rest that isn't shown but is played. It is mostly useful in multi-voice music, to cut down on the clutter of many rests.

y: invisible and unplayed rest

This is a "rest" that takes space on the screen or paper, but is ignored otherwise. Players should ignore it entirely.

Lyrics under the notes (w: lines)

Annotations: Quoted Text

This is not part of the standard yet, but is implemented by a few ABC tools. In the past, a lot of ABC has mis-used the "text" chord notation to place arbitrary text above or below the staff. The proposed extension uses:

is placed above the staff.
is placed below the staff.
The idea is that the ^ and _ characters tell the software that this is not the name of a chord, but just plain text. The initial flag character will be stripped off, and the text displayed above or below the staff, hopefully in a position that doesn't clash with other symbols. We expect that eventually the common musical terms may be recognized and interpreted by player programs.

Alternate Endings

Bar numbers

Bar Labels

PostSscript out

PostScript is the language accepted by most laser printers, and can produce very good-looking printed music.

Sound out

This means that the program plays the music using the computer's sound card.

MIDI out

MIDI is the Musical Instrument Digital Interface, the most widely-used encoding scheme used by electronic musical instruments.

AIFF out

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