How to Create a Tab File from TablEdit

Mike Stangeland

File conversion: It takes from 20 minutes to a hour, according to the complexity of the tune, to create an tablature (ASCII, text) file from a Tabledit file.

Step 1 Choose a tune, bring it up in Tabledit. Make sure the Mandolin module is up and not the rhythm track by pressing the correct module number in top right corner. Choose between notation and tablature with the "M" in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Step 2 Press FILE > EXPORT > ASCII. A dialog box called EXPORT ASCII will appear. The settings:

  1. For tunes that are mostly 1/4 and 1/8 notes set the PAGE WIDTH TO 66 characters, the TIME WIDTH to 4. This will produce an easy to read, three measure wide tablature.
  2. For tunes that are complicated with a lots of triplets hammeron/pulloffs, slides etc., set the PAGE WIDTH TO 100 characters, the TIME WIDTH to 8. This will produce a two measure wide tablature, with more space between each note so the all of the annotations will be clear.
  3. Put a check in the TRACE READING LIST box. Make sure the "from/to" measure settings include the entire song.
  4. Press the FILE box (a second dialog box will appear) choose a folder or create a new one named ASCII in your Tabledit directory. Name the file, press SAVE (second dialog box will disappear) then press EXPORT > OK and the file will be converted.

Step 3 Now you have an ASCII file that can be opened in note pad or any other word processing program. Set the font to something simple, Courier, Arial etc. Press FILE > OPEN, find the file in your folder and press OPEN.

  1. Check the file against the Tabledit file to make sure it's all there and is readable. Adjust font and character width settings as needed until the file is correct.
  2. Check the title information and copy everything from the Tabledit file on to the header of the file. Title, author, arranger, where recorded etc., and add any notes about the tune you wish too. Put your name on it "Tablature Created by ________________."
  3. Now check all the hammerons, triplets, and pulloffs to make sure they made the conversion intact, Sometimes the center note will be dropped in a triplet or the "HO, PO, Slide" symbols will be missing.
  4. Now the hardest part - When a file is converted to ASCII the chord symbols over each measure [may] not make the crossover. You [may] have to type them all in back in. The best way to do this is to put measure numbers at the end of each line to give yourself a guide as you move down the page adding chords. I generally print out the Tabledit file when doing this rather than going back and forth between TE and tab files, it's faster to have a hardcopy.
  5. Now that you have the file perfected hit SAVE.
Now go eat dinner, watch the news, turn off the TV and start another one.