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Using musical notation in

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With OOoLilyPond (OLy) you can use musical notation within Use it for writing a book on music theory or for writing down exercises for music instruments or voice which need to be commented with text. OLy is not limited to classic musical notation, you can also create guitar fret diagrams with it.

You enter the music notes as text code using the LilyPond language and OLy converts it into an image within You will need some time to get familiar with the LilyPond language but once learned, you can typeset small pieces of music much faster than with any other sofware.

Samuel Hartmann, July 2009

Table of Contents





First Steps

Getting Help

Known Issues



2017-03-25: Project Moved / New Release 0.5.2

I'm happy to see the development of OOoLilyPond (OLy) being continued by Klaus Blum. Just recently he released OOoLilyPond 0.5.2 with great new features and compatibility with the latest versions of LilyPond. The new version can be downloaded from the extensions websites of LibreOffice and The Development web site has moved to GitHub.

A great thank you to Klaus and a lot of fun to all Users of OLy!


2009-06-13: New Release 0.4.0

OOoLilyPond has changed a lot with the new version. It is now easier to use and it has many new features:

2009-01-10: New Release 0.3.3

The installation of OOoLilyPond is now much easier thanks to Goran Rakic who provided the extension package. The new release now works with LilyPond 2.12. Special characters in lyrics like german Umlaute are now possible under Windows.

2007-07-20: New Release 0.3.2

This is a bug fix release. There are no new features. Error handling has been improved.

Example and Screenshot

Below an example with voice exercices for male choir to start rehearsal with.

As open document ( Einsingen_fuer_Maennerchor.odt
You do not need to have OOoLilyPond installed for just viewing the document with

As PDF: Einsingen_fuer_Maennerchor.pdf


The latest versions can be downloaded from the extensions websites of LibreOffice and

You also need and installation of or LibreOffice and LilyPond.


Installing under Windows and Linux

Installing on Mac OS X

The current release of OOoLilyPond hat not been tested on Mac OS X but it should work as it works on Linux machines. OLy can also be used in NeoOffice.

First Steps

Place the cursor in a Writer document. Click the “OLy”-button in the tool bar to open the OOoLilyPond Editor.

Select a template (you can also keep the default).

Select the Staff Size you like.

Adjust the line width to the value that corresponds to your Writer document. The default should be OK for A4.

Click the “LilyPond”-button. This translates the example of the template and inserts it into the Writer document.

Select the newly created musical notation object and click the “OLy”-button again.

The OOoLilyPond editor window opens again with all the settings from last time. In the large input field, you can change the notes (may be you need to scroll down to see the code for the notes). For learning the syntax of the LilyPond language read the LilyPond documentation. I recommend to start with the chapter Simple notation.

Getting Help

For getting help on how to use or install OOoLilyPond visit the forums .

For learning the syntax of the LilyPond language read the LilyPond documentation. Best starting point is the chapter Simple notation.

Known Issues


When Compiling the code I get the following error:
lilypond: /usr/lib/openoffice/program/ version
'CXXABI_1.3.1' not found (required by lilypond)

Edit the lilpond macro code as described in the following:

In from the Menu choose:
Tools --> Marcros --> Organise Macros --> Basic
Select under "Macro from": My Macros --> OOoLilyPond --> Subs
Select the Macro "CallLilyPond"
Click Edit

find the Line:
& Chr(34) & sLilyPondExecutable & Chr(34)

change it to:
& "env LD_LIBRARY_PATH= " & Chr(34) & sLilyPondExecutable & Chr(34)

Switch back to Writer, start the macro.


OOoLilyPond would not exist without the two great softwares LilyPond and Therefore I like to thank all the developers of and LilyPond. Many thanks also to Geoffroy Piroux who has written the macro OOoLaTeX.  from which OOoLilyPond has been derived. Thanks also to Andy May for the installation instructions for Mac OS X, to Goran Rakic for providing the extension package and to Hugo Ribeiro, Francisco Villa and Daniel Cartron for translating the web page into portuguese, spanish and french. And a great thank you to Klaus Blum for taking over the project and the new releases!