Runabc is a graphical user interface to several command line driven programs for processing abc files. It is written in Tcl/Tk script and will run on any computer or operating system in which Tcl/Tk is installed. This includes Windows, Unix, Linux and Macintosh. The script now provides graphical user interfaces to abc2abc, abc2midi, abc2ps, abcm2ps and yaps. You also need a midi player and a postscript viewer. If you are running on Windows (2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8) or Linux. you can get many of the executables here and also from the web site The ABC Plus Homepage. For other systems you will probably need to download the sources and compile them yourself. The link below illustrates the operation of this program. The link install.html provides links to web sites where you can get the various components to run the program.

runabc.html describes what this program does. Updated 2017-07-24. You can also download the entire documentation in a zip file Updated 2017-07-24.

You can download the latest version of runabc.tcl here
2.000 July 24 2017 Source code
2.000 July 24 2017 Windows executable
2.000 July 24 2017 starkit
1.967 November 12 2015 Linux binary
1.939 June 10 2015 Mac binary
1.939 June 11 2015 Alternative Mac binary
2.000 July 24 2017 Windows install
0.030 August 16 2017 Source code
runabc.exe has Tcl/Tk built in for Windows users who do not wish to install Tcl/Tk 8.5 on their system. Runabc.exe is now created using tclkit ( First save it to your hard drive and then run (no installs).

runabcexe is a similar executable with Tcl/Tk builtin for Linux.

runabc.kit will run without tcl/tk on almost any system where tclkit has been installed. See install.html for details.

For Windows system, setup_runabc.exe will install runabc.exe and the abcMIDI executables, and create shortcuts on your start button and Desktop. Runabc will now work properly even if it is installed in the c:\Program Files (x86) folder. It will create a separate folder in your home folder called runabc_home where it will store runabc.ini and other files that it needs to write.

The Windows executable runabc.exe may return some strange error messages on Windows 10; for example
bad component "item": must be row or column while executing ".abc.titles.t identify item $locx [expr $locy+2]" (procedure "update_wholefile_and_toc" line 12)
In such situations I recommend installing the tcl/tk interpreter from www.activestate/activetcl. Download and install the community edition (ActiveTcl8.6.4.1....exe) for x86, not 64-bit. This should fix the problem with runabc.exe. Otherwise run the source code by clicking on runabc.tcl.


You need

abc2abc 1.93 July 11 2017
abc2midi 3.98 July 11 2017 1.3.3 December 2 2000
yaps 1.65 April 19 2017
midi2abc 3.04 August 14 2017
midicopy 1.22 November 15 2015
abcmatch 1.71 April 19 2017

You may find the sources of most of these files in the latest version of abcmidi (see below)  and you can obtain the executables for various operating systems from Guido Gonzato's web site - The ABC Plus Homepage.

The latest version is August 14 2017.

Executables for the Microsoft Windows operating systems are also available in the zip file This file was updated on July 18 2017 (includes abcm2ps-8.13.12 executable).

Documentation abc2midi guide . The guide was updated January 03 2016.

Other abc file links may be found in The abc Homepage.

Sample Abc files I have contributed

Balkan dances vol 1 updated 2015/12/09
Balkan dances vol 2 updated 2015/12/09
Israeli dances updated 2015/12/09
International dances updated 2015/12/09
Esac Database
Nottingham Database
Turkish Makams updated 2016/04/29
Klezmer Database cleaned up updated 2015/12/15
Ottawa Slow Jam
work in progress updated 2015/12/09

EasyAbc Support

Nils Liberg has been too busy to support EasyAbc. Some numerous bug fixes have been contributed and you can find updated source code here.


July 24 2017 runabc - clear history, midishow improvements

July 18 2017 midi2abc - new version supporting midishow

July 11 2017 abc2midi - bug fix

July 11 2017 abc2abc -xref parameter added to select tune

June 10 2017 abc2midi !shape! bug fixed

June 02 2017 abcmidi - %%MIDI program value - clarification

May 10 2017 runabc - live editor remembers sash position

May 05 2017 runabc fix

April 26 2017 runabc fix

April 19 2017 abc2abc bug fix transposing multirests.

April 16 2017 bug fix preventing %%MIDI to be processed.

April 12 2017 new option to turn parser on or off.

April 10 2017 abc2midi fix in parsekey() in parseabc.c

February 17 2017 runabc -- issue with midi2abc interface

February 02 2017 abc2midi -- issue with %%MIDI gchord and gchordbars

January 22 2017 runabc live editor fix for windows

January 01 2017 midi2abc -nt option split into -nt and -nb was corrected.


This page was last updated on July 24 2017.