Guitar Tab Maker - The Guide - Mac Edition

iOS version of the guide here

Download HERE

Create a Tab

Create Tab Example

Create a new tab by clicking "New Tab" on the tabs list view. (If you don't see the tabs list view, use keyboard shortcut cmd+o)

Tab Editor

Tab Editor Example

The tab editor view shows a fretboard and tab rows.

Input a Note

Tab Input Example

Click on the tab to select the desired column. Then find the desired string and fret on the fretboard to enter a note. To enter an open string or "0" note, click on the letter to the left of the desired string.

You can also use the arrow keys to move the current selection, and enter values using the keyboard.

Undo, Redo, Clear

Undo Example

Use the undo and redo buttons to undo or redo edits made. Use the clear button to clear the selected content on the tab.

Shortcuts: undo (cmd+z), redo (cmd+shift+z), clear (delete)

Symbols (Hammer-on, slides, etc)

Symbols Example

Enter a symbol by doing the following. Click and hold directly on the tab where you want the symbol to go. A circular menu should pop up. Slide over to the desired symbol and release.

Make sure you are not in Magic Edit Mode otherwise the menu will not pop up.

You can also enter values using the keyboard.

Chord Shortcuts

Chord Shortcuts Example

To use a chord shortcut, open the chord shortcut menu and find your desired chord. Then tap that chord to insert it in the highlighted column on the tab. You can also create custom chord shortcuts.

To overwrite an existing custom chord shortcut, create a new one with the same name.

To delete a custom chord shortcut, either right-click or click and hold on the chord name in the chord shortcut menu to bring up a delete dialog.

Column Headers

Column Headers Example Column Headers Example 2

Click just above any column to input a column header. You can input the chord name of the column's content or, for example, indicate palm muting (PM). When using chord shortcuts, the chord name will automatically be set as the column header.


Lyrics Example Lyrics Example 2

You can add up to 4 lines of lyrics content to each tab row. To adjust the lyrics size, go to the tab settings. Note that blank lines will occupy space in View Mode, so delete these lines as desired.

More Tools

More Tools Example

Select the wrench to open the More Tools menu. Here you can:

Insert tab row shortcut: cmd+a

Remove tab row shortcut: cmd+d

Add tab row at bottom shortcut: cmd+shift+a

Insert bar shortcut: cmd+b

Magic Edit Mode (Cut/Copy and Paste)

Magic Edit Example Magic Edit Example 2

Magic Edit Mode allows you to drag and select portions of the tab, which you can then move around or duplicate and also shift up and down by semitone. You can drag across tab rows.

To trigger scrolling, move the selection toward the top or bottom of the showing tab rows.

Shortcut: cmd+e

View Mode

View Mode Example View Mode Example 2

Click this button to view a tab in View Mode (shortcut: cmd+g). On the right side are two buttons -- one to change what content is displaying, and another to start and stop audio playback. (If you don't see this little menu, tap the screen and it should appear.)

View Mode Example 3 View Mode Example 4

The menu options are:

Audio playback position is indicated by the right edge of the highlighted column. You can tap a different part of the tab to move the highlighted column. Tap to the left of the first column in order to start playback at the very beginning.

Tab Settings

Tab Settings Example Tab Settings Example 2

Open Tab Settings to: Or modify an app-wide setting:

¹ To create a custom tuning, click and hold directly on the note you want to change. A circular menu should pop up. Slide over to the desired note and release.

² The setting "Show Notes On Tab" will cause your tabs to display notes instead of fret numbers. This setting can be easily turned off again.

³ This only applies to small screens. Larger screens always show these arrow buttons.

⁴ "Free Scroll" is always enabled for macOS.

Make sure to click "Save Changes" in order for the changes to take effect.

Export a Tab

Export Example

To export a tab for sharing or backup, first open View Mode and adjust the display settings to your liking. Then click Export.

There are options for .gtab (GTAB), PDF, and simple ASCII-based TXT.

GTAB files are specific to Guitar Tab Maker and can be imported back into Guitar Tab Maker, allowing for easy backup and sharing between different users.

Tip - if you want to fit more rows per PDF page, try adding columns to the tab, as this will decrease the height of each row. You can also use the option to display two columns which will fit a lot more per page.

Import a Tab

Import Example

Click the indicated button in the image on the tabs list view to select a GTAB file for importing. You can also click on a GTAB file in Finder, and that should trigger an import.

Back-up All Tabs

Backup Example

On the tabs list view, click the gear icon to open app settings. Then hit "Back-up All Tabs".

This process will back-up all your tabs at once into a ZIP file. You can then save the backups in a safe location.

Rename a Tab

Rename Example

On the tabs list view, select the (i) info button to rename a tab. (If you don't see the tabs list view, use keyboard shortcut cmd+o)


Folders Example Folders Example 2

Tabs can be grouped into folders for improved organization. A tab can be in multiple folders at once.

Add Tab to Folder

Add to Folder Example Add to Folder Example 2

Add a tab to folders by clicking the (i) info button, then "+ add folder". You can select a previously created folder or create a new one.

To remove a tab from a folder, please see the "Delete a Tab" section right below.

Delete a Tab

Delete Example

On the tabs list view, right-click or cmd+click on a row, then click Delete.

If you are in a custom folder, you will have the option to simply remove the tab from the current folder OR delete it (remove from all folders).

Deleted Folder

Deleted Folder Example Deleted Folder Example 2

Deleted tabs are moved to the Deleted folder and are still recoverable. Click a row to restore. Or hit Clear to permanently remove all Deleted tabs.

Duplicate a Tab

Duplicate Example

On the tabs list view, select the (i) info button to duplicate a tab.

Use iCloud Files

iCloud Example

By default, all of your tabs will be stored in your iCloud. This enables easy access by all of your iOS/macOS devices. This default setting is highly recommended.

If you disable this or do not use iCloud storage, then tabs will be stored locally on your device — under ~/Library/Containers/

NOTE: If you accidentally delete this Local folder, your tabs may be lost. So if you want to be safe, export copies of your tabs using the Back-up All Tabs feature.

Reddit Community

Check out the Guitar Tab Maker subreddit to share tabs, ask questions, and more.


If you have any questions or requests, check out the subreddit or email me at