Lime Frequently Asked Questions
All of these items refer to all versions of Lime unless otherwise noted.
Also, please see our
SharpEye FAQ page
Q: How are pickup measures specified in Lime?
A: Pickup measures are usually numbered "0" and in Lime, this is done in the
Options dialog which is at the bottom of the Edit menu.
For pieces with pickups, set Start Bar Numbers at to 0.
To make the actual partial measure in Lime:
- Click on the first note or rest of the piece.
- Select Page | Insert Measures... and insert 1 measure of
the time that indicates the amount of time in the partial measure.
For example, if there is an eighth note pickup, 1/8 time should be
specified for the measure. You'll also probably want to select
Insert All Measures on Current System.
- Enter the correct notes for the pickup measure.
Q: How can I edit or enter more than one voice on a staff
A: See our movie with descriptive text:
Entering a Second Voice.
Note that this movie was made using an older version of Lime but it is similar enough to be helpful.
Q. How are XML files imported into Lime?
A: The ability to import MusicXML files started with Lime 9.13.
Simply select Import, MusicXML from the File menu.
Lime 9.15 has complete support for MusicXML.
Q: How are MXL files imported into Lime?
A: Lime can only import MusicXML files with the extension xml. MusicXML files with the extenrion mxl are compressed (or zip) files with xml files in them. The easiest way to get a .xml file out of a .mxl
file is to change the mxl file extension to zip, double-click the renamed file to open it, and copy the xml file somewhere else. If you want to, you can rename the xml file after copying it somewhere else.
Q. How do I import MIDI into Lime?
A. Preparing the MIDI File for Import
It is extremely helpful to use SONAR or another program that can allow you to review important information about the structure of your MIDI file. You want a one to one ratio of track to part. That is, the music for each part is recorded on a separate track in your MIDI file. In particular, the right-hand part for keyboard must be on a separate track from the left-hand part.
The MIDI file must be saved as MIDI Format 1. Again, if you lack the ability to open your MIDI file in a sequencer before importing it into Lime or attempting to braille it directly with GOODFEEL, you may find that all parts are saved on a single track. In fact, that is just how MIDI Format 0 files are designed. If the creator of the MIDI Format 0 file assigned a unique MIDI channel number to notes for a particular part, there are utilities in SONAR and other programs for separating the information out to create a track for each MIDI channel.
Steps to Import a MIDI File into Lime
- File | New to open Lime's New Piece dialog.
- Enter a value for number of measures which is at least as many as the MIDI file contains. If you are not sure how many measures the MIDI file contains, enter 900.
- Be sure to enter the correct values for Beats per Measure and Beat Value Indicator. That is, if the MIDI file sounds like it is in three-quarter time, you must set up your empty Lime file to have 3 beats per measure or your results will be unsatisfactory to say the least.
- Enter a name for the first part in piece that is a traditional instrument name like ""Flute"", ""Trumpet"", etc. If the first part is the right-hand of the piano. Call it ""piano RH"".
- See the GOODFEEL manual for the section
Preparing Files for GOODFEEL to transcribe
which refers to the section called
Preparing MIDI Files for GOODFEEL.
- One very important consideration: your MIDI file must be quantized or you may see some interesting notation such as triple-dotted sixteenth-notes.
- If your MIDI file has any changes in meter, you must insert measures of that new time signature at the proper place in your empty Lime file.
- If the piece begins with a pick-up measure (anacrusis) you must insert that measure at start of piece.
- If the MIDI file has more than one part, you must use Lime's Parts and Voices dialog to add parts to your Lime file.
Press ALT+V, V and then press ALT+N to add part.
- If you need one of your parts to be notated in a different clef, move to first bar and beat of the part and press CONTROL+F to open a list of clefs. Arrow to the one you want and press ENTER. For example, if the part is for cello, you will probably want it to print out in bass clef for the cellist to read. Otherwise, you may have a very unhappy cellist to deal with.
Q. How do I connect a musical keyboard to use with Lime?
A. Lime uses the General MIDI bank of any MIDI keyboard or MIDI module. As far as I know, virtually all MIDI keyboards and modules made since the late 1990's come with General MIDI as standard equipment.
In order to record and play back sounds on any general MIDI device, you must install the device driver software for that instrument on your PC. Make sure the manufacturer offers drivers for the version of Windows you are using.
Instructions for after installing drivers.
- Run Lime, and press ALT+H, and then the letter I, to open the MIDI Input list of drivers under Lime's Hear menu.
You should see your device listed there.
- When you find it, just press ENTER to choose it for your MIDI input device.
- Likewise, ALT+H, and then the letter O, allows you to choose your MIDI device from Lime's MIDI Output list.
- Note that if you use a hardware MIDI interface such as the MIDISPORT or Uno, you will choose the drivers for that device. You must connect your MIDI instrument to that interface.
Q. How do I rename parts in Lime?
A. Yes, you can rename the parts. Remember that a "part" is written on its own staff in print regardless of the number of voices in that part.
- Move to first note or rest of the part you wish to rename.
- Press ALT+V, V to open Lime's Parts and Voices dialog under the Voice menu.
- Press ALT+R to activate the Rename button.
- Type in new name. For example, you could enter:
- Now press ENTER or tab to OK and press space bar.
- JAWS tends to read too much information in the part list of this dialog. To determine the name of the currently highlighted part, press JAWS KEY+TAB.
JAWS KEY is numpad INSERT or CAPS LOCK depending on your selected JAWS keyboard layout.
- Press DOWN ARROW to highlight another part name or press ENTER which activates the OK button to close the Parts and Voices dialog.
Q. How can I configure Lime with Lime Aloud to use the UK Names for Notes?
A. To configure Lime with Lime Aloud to use the UK Names for Notes
- Close Lime.
- Download the UK phrases file by right-clicking on
this link. Screen reader users can move to this text and press the Applications Key but first read next instruction below.
Use the "Save Target As" option to save a copy of this file in the folder where you find the lime executable file called lime.exe which is usually found at C:\Program Files (x86)\DancingDots\Lime 9.05 if you have a 64-bit computer or at C:\Program Files\DancingDots\Lime 9.05 if you have a 32-bit machine.
- If you have a different version of Lime, change the version number in the path above to match your Lime version. For example, if you have Lime 9.03, change 9.05 to 9.03.
- The next time you run Lime, it will use the UK names for notes such as minim for half-note. If you ever want to revert to the shipping version of the phrases, simply move this PhrasesUK.txt out of the folder above or rename it.
In future, we will offer a choice of phrases during the installation process which will greatly simplify this set up. If you have problems following the directions above, please contact support@DancingDots.com for assistance.
Q. How do I save tempo changes in Lime?
A. To set the tempo in Lime, you must insert a tempo annotation.
- Move to the beginning of the piece or section where the tempo should start.
- Press ALT+A, X, K to open the text assistant for creating tempo annotations.
- Lime starts you off on the OK button. Press TAB key to move past the Cancel button to the list of common tempo indications.
- Arrow up and down to choose one or move to the top of the list to select “None.”
- Tab to the “Beat” field and move up and down the list to choose the duration for the metronomic marking.
- Tab to “Rate” and move up and down the list to choose from a list of common settings for metronomic markings.
- Tab to OK and press space.
- If you want to revise your tempo annotation or any other annotation in Lime, select it with ALT+LEFT ARROW or ALT+RIGHT ARROW and then press ENTER.
Lime opens an edit field and places your cursor at the end of the text.
- After you make your changes, or even if you make no changes, press the ESCAPE key to exit the annotation text. Pressing ENTER here just moves you to a second line of text for the annotation.
- Play back using the Hear dialog (CONTROL+H) or the shortcut key of CONTROL+NUMPAD 2 / CONTROL+DOWN ARROW.
Q. How do I enter simultaneous notes into one hand?
A. If you have a musical keyboard, this task is simple because you can just play the notes you want to enter. If you are entering notes from the PC keyboard, it is usually possible to press multiple keys simultaneously on the home row of the PC keyboard to enter chords. Ironically, the more expensive keyboards have a feature that blocks you from pressing more than one key at a time. But if one or more of the notes of the chord you want to enter is outside of the range of the PC keyboard, you must:
- Press CONTROL+N to enter note entry mode.
- Enter some of the notes from the PC keyboard.
- Press LEFT ARROW to move back to the position where you have just entered notes.
- Shift the octave using the left or right bracket keys or the Keyboard Shift option under Lime’s Hear menu. Shortcut keys are ALT+H, K.
- Type the number 8 above the letter I to enable the add-note function.
- Now play the notes you wish to add to the chord. Make sure that Lime receives all of the key presses you have made. That is, depending on your PC keyboard, you may have to repeat this step.
Q. How can I shift octaves when entering notes from the PC keyboard in Lime?
A. Be careful not to confuse transposing notes with the menu commands to shift the octave of the PC keyboard. You can use the shortcut keys of LEFT BRACKET and RIGHT BRACKET to shift the octave of the notes that sound when you type on the Home Row of your PC keyboard. If you plan on entering a lot of notes, we always recommend that you get a
MIDI musical keyboard
instead of trying to type notes in. It is so much more intuitive to play on an actual piano keyboard when entering music.
Instead of using the bracket keys to shift the octave for input, you may prefer to use ALT+H, K, which brings up a menu that gives you verbal feedback. The bracket keys work, but they do not trigger any speech.
Q. How can I transpose notes in Lime?
A. Instructions below allow you to shift the pitch of a passage of your piece up or down. If you need to transpose the entire piece, you will use Lime's Key Signature dialog instead (CONTROL+K). For more information, see
How can I transpose an entire piece using Lime?
To transpose a selected passage:
- Move to first note in sequence.
- Hold down SHIFT key continuously while you press RIGHT ARROW to select individual notes.
- When you reach last note in sequence, release SHIFT key.
- Press ALT+N, T to open the note transpose dialog.
- Enter 12 to raise that passage one octave.
Q. How can I prepare my Lime score to be most readable to sighted musicians? I've written all the notes and lyrics, but
sighted readers cannot read it because the notes and lyrics all overlap and are too small. What kind of formatting do I
need to do in order to make the notes, labels, tempo markings, mood, and lyrics more readable?
this tutorial on our website.
Q. How can I transpose an entire piece using Lime?
A. Try the following exercise to practice transposition techniques in Lime. You should be able to apply the same technique for transposing pieces you have scanned in SharpEye and imported into Lime.
First, you will create a new piece in Lime. It will be a simple melody notated in G Major. Next, you will use Lime’s Key Signature dialog to cause that melody to play back in concert F Major but keeping the written pitch in G Major.
Note that you can only transpose sections that are in one key. The process described below must be repeated for
each section that's in a different key.
Step 1: Create a New Piece
Step 2: Transpose Your Piece
- Create a new piece in Lime with ALT+F, N
- Press CONTROL+K to open Key Signature dialog.
- Enter 1 for number of sharps or flats.
- Tab once and make sure you have chosen sharps.
- Tab to OK button or simply press ENTER to close dialog.
- Press CONTROL+N to start Note Entry Mode.
- Type 3 on the Numbers Row (the keys above the QWERTY row of keys) to set input duration to quarter-note (would that be a crotchet?).
- Type the following keys:
to enter 8 quarter-notes.
- Now type 2 to change input duration to half-note/minim.
- Type the letter g to enter a half-note G.
- Press CONTROL+N to toggle off Note Entry Mode.
- Press numpad 7 / Home Key to move to beginning of piece.
- Press CONTROL+H or CONTROL+NUMPAD 2 to listen back. You should hear a simple melody in concert G Major. Press ESCAPE to cancel play back.
- Press ALT+A, X, T to enter title. Call it
Scale for Clarinet.
- Press CONTROL+S to save your piece now.
- Type the letter b as in box to make certain that you are still positioned at bar 1, beat 1.
- Now you are ready to transpose your piece so that it is still written in the key of G but the notes sound in the key of F concert. When you want your B-Flat clarinet player to play a scale in concert F pitch, you must write the scale in G. By concert pitch, we mean the pitch at which the piano is tuned.
- Press CONTROL+K to open Key Signature dialog.
- Tab until you reach the check box that says:
This is a transposing instrument,
and press space bar to check.
- Tab once to the field that asks you to enter the
Number of half steps below (dash) or above (plus) that the transposing instrument sounds with respect to the written pitch.
- Each time I use this feature I have to think about exactly what this text means. In the case of the clarinet, if the player sees a G on the score and plays that note on his clarinet, we will all hear a concert F. So, for the clarinet, the correct value for this field is negative 2. Therefore, you must type the dash key followed by the number 2.
- Tab to OK button or simply press ENTER to close dialog.
- Press CONTROL+H or CONTROL+NUMPAD 2 to listen back. You should hear the simple melody in concert F Major now. Press ESCAPE to cancel play back.
- Note that the written pitch remains in G Major both on the screen in staff notation and in braille on your braille display or embossed copy of the piece.
Also, notice that when you move to bar 1, beat 1, Lime now tells you that the key is G Major Transposed dash 2. Lime tells you that the pitch is G but you hear F concert sound.
Q. How can I add a finger number to a note in Lime?
A. It is best to add finger numbers after you have entered the notes into
- Move to the note you wish to mark with a finger number.
- Press ALT+A, T, F to open the edit field for finger mark.
- Type a number from 1 to 5 and then press the ESCAPE key to close the dialog
and save the value you have entered.
- Note: if you need to add more than one finger number, you can press the TAB
key after entering the first number instead of pressing ESCAPE. Lime plays
the next note. If you want to mark it with a finger number, enter the value
and then press TAB. If you reach a note that does not need a finger number,
press TAB to bypass it. Press ESCAPE as described above when you have
finished entering finger numbers.
Q. How do I enter a grace note into my Lime score?
A. To enter an appoggiatura grace note into your score:
- Move to the bar and beat where you want the grace note to appear.
- Press SHIFT KEY plus the number 2 to tell Lime that the next note to be entered should be a grace note. SHIFT plus the number 2 types the at sign on the U.S. keyboard. The 2 which you need to press is the key just above the letter w on the QWERTY keyboard.
- Type the key to set the duration you want. For example, type the 5 above the letter t to select sixteenth-note.
- Type the 0 above the letter p to set slur if you wish.
- Play the note or notes to be entered as grace notes.
- Type 0 to remove slur if necessary.
- Change duration if necessary.
- Now enter the regular note to follow the grace note.
If you want the type of grace note called an acciaccatura:
- Press left ARROW until you move back to the grace note.
- Press ALT+S and then type the letter s again to add a slash to the stem of the grace note.
Q. How do I enter fermatas and rit in music?
A. Entering a Fermata:
- See the heading
Shifted Numbers Row Keys
in the Lime Aloud Guide. Be sure to set JAWS to read all punctuation when reviewing the guide.
- Asterisk or SHIFT+8 on the numbers row mark the highlighted note with a fermata.
Entering Text for Tempo Alteration such as ""Rit."":
- Move to the note which you want the text to precede and enter ""Rit."" as an annotation.
- From the menus, select:
Annotation | Text Category | Tempo Alteration
or press the following shortcut keys:
Press ALT+A, then the letter T, then the letter M
- Note that the musical score in print and in braille will show the fermata and the ""Rit."" but Lime does not observe such markings during playback.
Q. How do I enter chords in Lime?
A1 (from our customer Andy). To type (notice the word ""type"", not ""play"") chords into Lime:
- Keystroke ALT a, t, x, and type in your chord.
- For a sharp symbol, simply
use the pound sign (shift 3).
- For the flat symbol type a letter ""s"" and
go back and edit it with a font change.
So, for an f-sharp-seventh chord,
simply type F#7, but for a b-flat-seventh, type a Bs7 then go back and
highlight only the ""s"" and change the font to ""Marl"" using the Annotations
menu (ALT+A, then T, then F). Only do this for the ""s"", or all the other letters will
A2 (from our customer Brandon). The easiest way to enter chords is to use a MIDI keyboard hooked up to your computer.
- When in note entry mode (Press CONTROL+N to toggle
on and off, N to verify)
- Select the note value you wish on the
- Play the chord you want on the MIDI
keyboard. Lime will enter the chord with the note duration you
Q. How do I create multiple staves for a 4-hand piano piece, multi-voice work, etc.?
A. You may find a template that is just what you want or very close to what you want in a folder called “Lime Templates” within the folder “Music” within your Shared or Public documents folder. There is a shortcut from the Lime entry on the Start menu.
- Move to start of piece.
- Use Lime’s Parts and Voices menu to add a new voice to an existing part or to add a new part to your piece. In lime, each part is written on its own staff. Parts can have one or more voices.
- Press ALT+V, V to open the Parts and Voices dialog.
- Focus will be on the list of current parts. If your piece already contains more than 1 part, be sure to arrow down to the part you want to modify before adding a voice by pressing ALT+A.
- Press ALT+N to add a new part. The new part will appear after the part currently highlighted in the list of parts.
Q. How do I copy specific voices in Lime?
A. In Lime, ""Parts"" have their own staff. That is, there is a one to one ratio of parts to staves. Parts with 2 or more voices still occupy a single staff. In print, you can distinguish notes belonging to one voice from another by the direction of the stems attached to the print noteheads.
Using the instructions below you can separate voices and place them on their own staves effectively making them separate parts.
- Move to beginning of piece.
- Press ALT+V, V for Parts and Voices dialog.
- You will be placed in a list of parts.
Press TAB until you find a button labeled "Separate."" If you do not find one, then Lime does not consider that the current part has more than one voice. If you do find a Separate button, press space.
- Move back to the list of parts and you should see a new part listed.
- After you choose OK and return to Lime's main window, you should find new staves. Check staff number by pressing the letter c.
Q. How do I enter text annotations such as rallentando and ritardando?
A. Move to the position where you want to place the text and then press:
- Press ALT+A, t, x or Annotations | Text Category | Other Text.
For example, for a rallentando Type the following into the edit field:
- Press ESCAPE.
(Always be sure to type a period to terminate abbreviations like "rall." and "rit.")
Q. How do I indicate lines of continuation in passages with 8va and 8vb?
A. See the Lime manual (page 33 for Lime 9) and check Hairpin under Annotation | Line and Line or curve style for dashed lines.
Q. In pieces with certain time signatures scanned with SharpEye, Lime mishandles whole measure rests. What is the solution?
A. There are two solutions to this problem:
- Change the whole measure rests into 2 two half rests. This can be tedious.
- Transfer the music using MusicXML. You may run into other problems because Lime 9.05's import of NIFF is significantly better than its MusicXML import.
Q. Is there a tutorial for entering lyrics?
A. It's generally much quicker and simpler to enter the melody first. Once all
notes to be sung have been added to your score:
- Move to the first note to which you want to add a lyric.
- Press ALT+A, T, Y
- Type the lyric text. If the syllable is part of a word, end the syllable
with the dash character. That is, if the first word in your song is
""Sunshine"", you would enter:
- After you have entered the lyric text, press the TAB key.
- You should now hear the next note that needs lyric text. In our example,
you would now type the word
and press TAB again to move to the next note needing lyric text, and so on.
- Caution: if a syllable spans 2 or more notes, be sure to tab past all those
notes before entering the next lyric.
- When you are finished entering lyric text, press the ESCAPE key. NOT the
- Again, see the GOODFEEL help text/manual for more details.
Q. How do I enter percussion parts?
- Create a new piece (File | New)
with desired time signature.
- Make part name Snare.
- Press CONTROL+F and choose single-line percussion.
- Use Middle C to enter all rhythms. Entering a Middle C on this clef produces a third-octave D in braille but I am told that the Middle C key produces notes on the percussion line.
- Remember, you can enter a Middle C by typing the letter A on the QWERTY keyboard. If that does not produce the correct octave, use left and right brackets to shift octave or the entry under Lime's Hear menu.
- You can use the same approach to produce a separate part for other percussion instruments like bass drum.
- The following approach prints out well but might not braille as well in GOODFEEL if you have to score for more than 2 independently rhythmic voices. Use the standard bass clef and assign various instruments to certain pitches. Traditionally, third-octave D is used for snare drum, second octave G for bass drum. Third-octave F and A can be for tom-toms or other instruments. All of the pitches above are written on lines of the bass clef. The spaces usually show cymbals like crash, ride, high hat, etc. For instance, you could use third-octave G or B for a crash cymbal.
Q. How do I add an additional title or subtitle in Lime Aloud?
A. If you try to add an additional title in Lime, the new one will be placed on top of the old one and it won't be readable. We are hoping to fix this problem but for now, to get around this, add the additional title first as a composer annotation and then change the category of this new "title" to title. This will fool Lime into placing it below the normal title location. Make sure you don't check "Delete current composer". Use the Alt and arrow keys to get back to the newly made annotation. When you change the annotation type (Annotation | Text Category), respond "Yes" if you want to change the annotation's font size and style and then change the font size to 18 or so if you want to make it look more like a subtitle.