1.1.3 Windows

Note: These instructions assume that you are using the built-in LilyPad editor. If you are using any of the programs described in Easier editing, please consult the documentation for those programs if you have any problems compiling a file.

Step 1. Create your ‘.ly’ file

Double-click the LilyPond icon on your desktop, an example file will open.


From the menus that appear along the top of the example file, select File > Save as. Do not use the File > Save for the example file as this will not work until you have given it a valid LilyPond file name.


Choose a name for your file, for example ‘test.ly’.


Step 2a. Compile (with drag-and-drop)

Depending on what you prefer, to compile your file either:

Drag-and-drop the file directly onto the LilyPond icon.


Right-click on the file and from the pop-up context menu choose Open with > LilyPond.


Step 2b. Compile (with double-clicking)

Or simply double-click the ‘test.ly’.

Step 3. View output

During the compilation of the ‘test.ly’ file, a command window will, very briefly open and then close. Three additional files will have been created during this process.


The PDF file contains the engraved ‘test.ly’ file.


Other commands

To create a new file, begin by selecting File > New from within any previously created file.


or File > Open to open and edit any files you have saved before.


You must save any new edits you make before you compile it and if the PDF file is not created, check the log file that will have been created during the compilation attempt, for any errors.


This log file is overwritten each time you compile your LilyPond file.

The PS file is used internally by LilyPond to create the PDF file and can be ignored. It also gets overwritten each time you compile your file.

If you are viewing your file in a PDF viewer, then you must close the PDF if you wish to make a new compilation as it may fail to create the new PDF while it is still being viewed.

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LilyPond — Learning Manual