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User Manual

Chords Palette

The chords palette provides tools for changing how chords appear in the chord chart. This affects both transposition, appearance, and chord diagrams.


Typically chord charts use alphabetic characters to define chords. OnSong can convert alphabetic chords into numeric ones to better suit musicians that play using a number system. The selected style is highlighted. Choose from one of the following chord styles:

  • Alphabet uses letters A-G with sharps and flats to indicate precisely what chord should be played. If using different chord localizations, this may also include an H. Default.
  • Nashville uses a decimal numbering system which indicates the chord number based on the root chord of the key. In addition, this method uses symbols for different chord variations.
  • Roman uses upper and lowercase Roman numerals for chords. Major chords are represented in uppercase while minor chords are lowercase. Symbols are also used to indicate different modes such as a minus symbol for minor.
  • Solfege uses do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do instead of numbers. Symbols are used to indicate different modes such as a minus for minor.


Use this slider to transpose the song to any key. The key of C is placed on the far left and the key of Cb is on the far right. You can use the arrow keys to make fine-tune adjustments the key you would like to pick.

The power icon on the right turns transposition on and off. If turned off, and if no capo is applied, then no transposition is performed. This will display chords just as they appear in the Song Editor.


This slider allows you to apply a capo to the song. Slide from 0 to 11. This will modulate the chords of the song down to maintain the key of the song when a capo is applied. You can change the direction of this modulation in Settings » Display Settings » Song Formatting » Capo » Capo Modulates

You can turn the application of the capo on and off using the power icon on the right side. This allows you to maintain a capo and determine if you want to apply it or not depending on the instrument you are playing.


This section of the chords palette is used to toggle the chord diagram display on and off. Use the slider to adjust how many diagrams appear across the page. You can select a number between 4 and 10. Use the power icon on the right to toggle the visibility of chord diagrams on and off.

You can change how and where chord diagram appear in Settings » Display Settings » Song Formatting » Chord Diagrams.

Diagram Position

The diagram position chooser lets you determine where diagrams and drawn on the page. You can choose from:

  • None turns off chord diagrams. Default.
  • Below draws diagrams under the song content.
  • Above draws diagrams above the song content directly below the title and metadata.
  • Within draws chord diagrams in place of chords within the lyrics.


This section allows you to select the instrument to use when displaying chords. The selected instrument is highlighted. Choose a different instrument to have the chord diagrams change to the selected instrument.

Transposing Instrument

If you are playing an instrument that does not play at concert pitch, you can adjust the chords that appear throughout the song to adjust for those instruments. Options include:

  • Off used for concert pitch and most stringed or percussion instruments like piano.
  • B-flat used for B-flat instruments such as trumpet, clarinet, bass clarinet, and soprano and tenor saxophones.
  • E-flat used for E-flat tuned instruments such as soprano clarinet, or alto and baritone saxophones.
  • F used for F tuned instruments such as French and English horns.
  • G used for alto flute.

Note: Making changes in this palette does not affect the song content but is applied in addition to the original song.

OnSong 2023 — Last Updated on December 10, 2019