UKEPIX is distributed in the self-extracting archive UKEPXARC.EXE.
Download the file to an empty subdirectory and
double-click on its icon
to extract UKEPIX.EXE, README.TXT, and some test files.
The UKE.EXE page describes how I started writing UKE to help me learn the names of ukulele chord fingerings and overcome the name/shape associations formed from many years of guitar playing. After making UKE available on the World Wide Web, I began to receive requests to add fingering diagrams to the output. I put them off for two reasons, one practical and the other technical. The practical reason was that UKE already met my needs, so a new program didn't offer much utility to me. The technical reason was that UKE is a text program while the new program would have to be graphical. I didn't want to write a high resolution graphical output system from scratch. The only other options seemed to involve proprietary systems that might not be available to most potential users.
On the practical side, the steady flow of requests convinced me that the program would be useful to the ukulele community and the time it took to create it would be well spent. The solution to the technical problem was provided by a program for guitarists that added chord diagrams to the bottom of lyric sheets. The authors wrote the output from their program as PostScript files!
PostScript files can be printed not only on PostScript-capable printers, but also on a wide variety of non-PostScript printers by using freeware versions of GhostScript and GhostView. Aladdin Enterprises offers an easy-to-use Windows version of GhostScript with a Free Public License that can be downloaded from the GhostScript freeware site. (The current version of GhostView explicitly states it may be used without charge for noncommercial purposes. However, every time an unregistered copy starts, it displays a panel urging registration for those who might wish to offer financial support. The panel cannot be bypassed without registrating no matter how many times it is viewed. The user must interact with the program by clicking on the panel to proceed. Earlier versions of GhostView, such as 2.9, have no nag. They may be found through a web search for gsv29w32. [Version 7 of GhostScript has now been released. It is not compatible with versions of GhostView earlier than 4.0. If you wish to use an earlier version of GhostView, you will have to use version 6.x of GhostScript, as well.]
UKEPIX reads an ASCII file of chords and lyrics and rewrites it adding ukulele chordal patterns. In the source file, the names of chords can be written on a separate line above each line of lyrics or they can be imbedded in square brackets within the lyric (ChordPro files). In ChordPro files, a set of square brackets may contain the name of only one chord.
For example, it turns
Makin' Whoopee! 1928 - Gus Kahn and Walter Donaldson G D7 Another bride another June G G7 C C#dim another sunny honeymoon
Although UKEPIX is a DOS progam, it can be run by double-clicking on its icon and responding to its prompts. UKEPIX can also be run from the DOS command prompt. UKEPIX's command-line syntax is
UKEPIX filename [options]
where options must be separated by one or more space. The options are
UKEPIX recognizes the chord names
X Xm X7 X9 Xm7 X6 Xm6 Xmaj7 X7+5 X7-5 Xm7-5 X+ Xaug X- Xdim Xmaj9 X7sus X6/9 X11 X13 Xm6/9 ,
where X can be A A# Bb B C C# Db D D# Eb E F F# Gb G G# Ab , Xaug is equivalent to X+, and X- is equivalent to Xdim .
UKEPIX identifies ChordPro files by counting the number of right square brackets in the file. If there are more than 2 (to allow for the occasional square bracket in the lyric file), it is considered to be a ChordPro file. The 'L' option overrides this rule. It causes UKEPIX to treat the file as a lyric file regardless of the number of [-s.
UKEPIX identifes lines of chords above lyrics by its ability to parse them. If any chord is unfamiliar to UKEPIX no chordal patterns will be created for the line on which it appears.
|Version 1.32 corrects the C6/9 chord.|
|Version 1.31 proceeds gracefully when a ChordPro file has unbalanced square brackets.|
|Version 1.30 drops lines containing only numbers. This allows UKEPIX to work from a file containing chord fingerings inserted by UKE.EXE.|
|Version 1.20 supports long file names.|
|Version 1.10 does not fail when chord names are typed close together. However, chord diagrams may overlap. Also, chord diagrams have been resized.|
The Scale factor, Snnn, rescales the size of the output. The full-size default is 100, that is, S100. It is sometimes convenient to shrink the output slightly to prevent a single line from spilling onto another page. Despite what the internal documentation says, the scale factor may exceed 100. I'll fix the description next time 'round.
UKEPIX was designed with the printed page in mind. In my experience, printed output is always fine. However, the quality of the output on screen will vary according to the resolution of the monitor and the scale factor. It's been pointed out to me that when the program's defaults are used and the screen resolution is 800 by 600, one of the legs of the letter 'm' will appear quite faint. After some experimentation, I've found that a scale factor of 103 fixes it without apparently introducing other complications. I'll explore this further and perhaps make this size the new default. In the meantime, using a scale factor of 103 should prove a satisfactory work around.
Click here to go to my main ukulele page.