BBLily: Lilypond Syntax Colouring for BBEdit

Publicado el domingo, 6 de junio de 2010

For a long time I have been looking for Lilypond syntax colouring in BBedit (and its free companion TextWrangler). BBEdit is my long-time my favourite text-editor, but for years I found no way to get this done. Since version 8.5 however, BBEdit allows for “Codeless Language Modules”, and this – I found out – is manageable. It is still work in progress, I update version as I go here:

Update June 10: Version 0.2 is available here: Download Lilypond.plist


  1. Download Lilypond.plist and unzip.
  2. Place the file in the folder: ~/Library/Application Support/BBEdit/Language Modules
    ~/Library/Application Support/TextWrangler/Language Modules
  3. Create the Language Module folder if it does not exist yet
  4. Restart BBedit or TextWrangler

Look in your TextWrangler folder where the Language Modules are kept and follow the same steps. Make sure you use the extention .ly for you Lilypond files, otherwise it will not be recognized by BBEdit / TextWrangler as a Lilypond file.

If you would like to help me to complete the BBLily syntax colouring, please let me know.

Version history

Version 0.2 – Included all the keywords from the lilypond-words.el file. Still have some trouble in the XML syntax with dealing with “-” and “\”characters. Far from complete, but it is getting better in terms of readability.

Version 0.1 – Marked as version 0.1 because many of the function names of the lilypond syntax are not included yet. I may do so eventually, but since my own requirements are limited (writing out bass and lyrics scores) I feel little sense of urgency.

Update Dec 2011

I realize that I have not given this any attention over the past few months. All due to the fact that I discovered Frescobaldi. There is nothing like instant viewing of the resulting PDF. A Darwin port exists for OSX users, but I have not tested it. The easiest way is to setup a virtual machine with Ubuntu if you have not already.