2.2 Command-line preliminaries

This and the following sections only cover the command-line usage of convert-ly. GUI applications like Frescobaldi have their own interfaces to convert-ly.

By ‘command line’, we mean the command line in the operating system. Windows users might be more familiar with the terms ‘DOS shell’ or ‘command shell’. macOS users might be more familiar with the terms ‘terminal’ or ‘console’.

Describing how to use this part of an operating system is outside the scope of this manual; please consult other documentation on this topic if you are unfamiliar with the command line.

See The PATH environment variable how to set up the operating system so that convert-ly can be used on the command line without specifying a path.

Additional setup for Windows

[Non-Windows users can skip this section; Windows users who have a Python interpreter already installed (version 3.8 or higher) can skip this section, too.]

convert-ly is actually a Python script called convert-ly.py. In the LilyPond binary bundle for Windows it is located in the same directory as the lilypond.exe binary and a Python interpreter, python.exe. Assuming that you have unpacked version 2.25.18 within a directory C:\Users\me and PATH is correctly set up, it would be still necessary to say

python C:\Users\me\lilypond-2.25.18\bin\convert-ly.py myfile.ly

which is tedious to type.

Three steps are necessary to allow the omission of both the interpreter (python.exe) and the .py extension.2

  1. On the command line, say
    assoc .py=PythonScript

    to associate the extension .py with the file type ‘PythonScript’.

  2. As the next command, say
    ftype PythonScript=C:\Users\me\lilypond-2.25.18\bin\python.exe %1 %*

    to make files of type ‘PythonScript’ be handled by LilyPond’s python.exe. You have to adjust the path to the actual location, and don’t omit the trailing ‘%1 %*’!

  3. Modify the PATHEXT environment variable and add .py to already present entries. Do this in exactly the same way as you have already done with PATH.

Now close the command line and open it again, then test whether convert-ly --version works.



Note that steps 1 and 2 must be done using the default command prompt, cmd.exe, and not using PowerShell!

LilyPond Application Usage v2.25.18 (development-branch).