• e||------|------|-----|----|----|--
  • B||------|------|-----|----|----|--
  • G||------|------|-----|----|----|--
  • D||------|------|-----|----|----|--
  • A||------|------|-----|----|----|--
  • E||------|------|-----|----|----|--

Convert guitar tablature into a new compact notation system. ColorTab shows strings with color on a single line instead of using six lines of dashes. Converted songs are more convenient to use on screen or printed page. ColorTab saves lots of space but is easy to read and understand. Chords are enclosed by gray in low to high string order. Here is Greensleeves in text tablature and converted. There are two dash sizes for spacing as explained below.

  1. |
  2. |
  3. -
  4. -
  5. 2
  6. |
  7. |
  8. .
  9. 0
  10. 1
  11. .
  12. -
  13. 3
  14. .
  15. 3
  16. 0
  17. .
  18. -
  19. 1 0
  20. |
  21. .
  22. 3
  23. 3
  24. .
  25. -
  26. 0
  27. .
  28. 3
  29. 0
  30. .
  31. -
  32. 2
  33. 0
  34. |

  35. |
  36. .
  37. 0
  38. 1
  39. .
  40. -
  41. 2
  42. .
  43. 0
  44. 2
  45. .
  46. -
  47. 1 2
  48. |
  49. .
  50. 0
  51. 0
  52. .
  53. -
  54. 1
  55. .
  56. 0
  57. 2
  58. .
  59. -
  60. 2
  61. |

Copy almost any text tab and paste it to immediately convert into ColorTab. Lines of text that do not begin with string notes in the proper sequence are ignored so an entire page can be copied and pasted at once. If "No tab found" results, the starting letters do not match the beginnings on any group of tab text lines. Paste a six line tab example to change beginnings to match a different text tab style.

Only the tab portion of the pasted text remains after conversion. The text box can easily be edited and the ColorTab is updated with any changes. All six lines can be changed at once. removes part of the tab text using the start and end of a selection. inserts the cut text at the cursor. Together these can be used to copy a section with Cut, Add, then click elsewhere and Add again. Paste will also insert copied tab at any position including the end or beginning. Any line can be used to position the cursor. Keyboard edits over type to avoid shifting measure lines. Backspace and Delete keys remove one column at a time. Insert or = keys add a column of dashes. Measure bars can be added using the | key or by Cut and Add copying. and are Ctrl-Z and Ctrl-Y keys.

Checkbox options control the ColorTab conversion. Each Part shown as || is text tab that indicates sections of the song. If checked, these are kept as new ColorTab lines. Bar does not split measures across lines when checked. Chords are not broken apart at line ends. Start includes the beginning string note letters in the ColorTab. Dash retains the tab spacing or dashes are removed. Stray includes or omits letters or symbols that are not placed near any fret numbers, these may be errors and are shown in red. 4th adds an empty line after every four to ease reading. Unchecking any of these produces a smaller but possibly less readable conversion.

The Size or can be adjusted as desired to fit more notes on each line or make numbers easier to read. makes files of ColorTab for download. Text used to create the ColorTab is saved in the song title box and can be selected, copied and pasted for further editing. Text tab files can be loaded directly by . Printing can be to PDF or paper using the browser print function. The background is white, controls do not print, and page scaling and rotation can be set as desired. A song title can be entered. Screenshots can also save the ColorTab output to a file.

A warning "Measure |'s not aligned" means there are some extra or missing dashes, or a mistake like I for | in the tab text. This should be corrected because some notes might be out of sequence in the conversion. Sections on new lines can be changed by adding or removing the ||'s in the text as desired.

  1. |
  2. 1 2 3
  3. |
  4. 1
  5. -
  6. 3
  7. |
  8. 1
  9. -
  10. 2
  11. -
  12. |
  13. 12 23
  14. |

The long and short dashes are used according to the text tab spacing. If the notes in ascii text tab are as close together as possible, they must still be separated, like 1-2-3. This separation is not required in ColorTab so no dash is used. Enough separation to allow adding a note between two notes requires three dashes in text tab like this 1---3. This spacing is represented by the long dash in ColorTab. A short dash is used when this 1--2 sequence occurs. Because text tab spacing is affected by two digit fret numbers and extra characters like b and / the timing indication is often not precise.

The string colors are chosen for good contrast between any string pair, and for best possible visibility for users with color vision deficiency. They are even usable in grayscale, going dark to light from low to high strings. The fret numbers also reverse from black to white for contrast, white for wound strings. Combined with the available large type size, ColorTab can be easier to read than conventional notation.

  • e||------|------|-----|----|----|--
  • B||------|------|-----|----|----|--
  • G||------|------|-----|----|----|--
  • D||------|------|-----|----|----|--
  • A||------|------|-----|----|----|--
  • E||------|------|-----|----|----|--
  1. o
  2. l
  3. o
  4. r
  5. T
  6. a
  7. b