FAQ Sheet


Q. Why don't the chords line up correctly over the song lyrics?

A. (I borrowed this explanation from the Cowpie site) "Because the Internet consists of people using all sorts of computer operating systems and application programs, song files are formatted as monospaced ASCII text. ASCII is a sort of common computer alphabet so that if you write the letter 'A' on one system, then another one will recognise it as such. It covers just the basic Roman alphabet with some control characters (which you probably won't use). Monospaced means that each letter occupies the same width on a line of text. To display it this way you'll need to use a monospaced font (sometimes called typewriter font). When you write songs, be sure to use one of these fonts and use spaces instead of tabs to line up the chords over the lyrics. Tabs will expand to different numbers of spaces on different systems and even in different programs on the same system."

For the above reason, and the problems I've had, if you're in any doubt create your submissions in the following format:

Well, I [C] wouldn't take nothin' for my journey now,

[F] I'm gonna make it to Heaven somehow,

[C] Though the Devil tempts me and tries to turn me [G] around.

Q. How do I submit a song to the Archives?

A. Check the guidelines on the Submissions page.

Q. Can I download every song on your site?

A. You can but you'll have to do it with an offline browser. There are no scripts to stop you. Get Teleport Pro, Whebwhacker, or any number of others. These programs can be set to check for updates and ensure you always have the latest version of this site. Get one from Download.Com.

Q. I saved a file but when I opened it in my program it was all garbled.

A. This is a problem with ASCII text files and Windows "Notepad". You have downloaded them from a UNIX machine so you can have problems when you save them on a PC. On my system I often get a long string of text with a bit of gibberish thrown in. To correct this cut and paste it into a text editor or word processor.

To do this you open the offending text file on your local computer with your browser (you can drag and drop the file or use the FILE, OPEN FILE menu and choose TEXT as the file type) and it should look fine. Go to EDIT on the menu bar and SELECT ALL. The text will now be highlighted. In EDIT, COPY the highlighted text and PASTE it into a text editor or word processor and save it. The problem should now be solved.

You can use this technique while you are on-line also. Instead of saving the file in the conventional way you can cut and paste the song into your text editor.

Possibly the easiest way to overcome this problem is to get yourself an advanced text editor such as Quick Edit or Programmer's File Editor (get them from Download.com) these two freeware programs will recognise the UNIX or Mac formats and open them properly. From there you can save the file in PC format. These programs are much better than Notepad and make an excellent replacement for it.

Another problem I have encountered is when the original text (ASCII) file is created on a Mac and it is then saved on a Windows system. The file might look fine, but when you edit it and save it the next time it is opened you get a long string of text and an unusable file. This file is now totally unusable and you can only download it again. If you download it again you will have the same problem though. Thankfully there are a few solutions to this problem.

  1. Use the CUT and PASTE method. To do this use the Edit, Select All command while you are online and then Edit, Copy. Now paste you selection into a text editor like Notepad and save it. Your file is now saved in a format that is native to your computer.
  2. Use an advanced text editor like the shareware program "Textpad" or the two mentioned previously. Open the file in Textpad and then save it as "PC" format (if you are using a PC). Textpad has now made the file totally compatible with the PC. You have to do this before the file is damaged.
  3. E-mail it to yourself by cutting and pasting it into your e-mail program.

Q. I tried playing a song from your site and it didn't sound right.

A. There could be a few reasons for this:

  • The key isn't right for your voice. Solution: Change the key.
  • The arrangement you are familiar with is different. Solution: Try listening to some different interpretations of the song, especially ones by country artists.
  • You heard the same words with a different tune. Solution: As above.
  • The chords didn't line up properly over the words. Solution: Try to "feel" where the chord change should be and move the chord to that location.
  • The notation is inaccurate. Solution: E-mail the author of the guitar arrangement and discuss it with him/her (if it's anonymous then chances are it's my work, in this case use the solution below).
  • The Editor made a mistake when he typed the chords (yikes!). Solution: Write to me and let me know.

  • Q. I can't hear any sound in the archives.

    A. The only files that have sound at present are in the Cyber Hymnal. None of the guitar chord pages have sound.

    Q. I use Internet Explorer and sometimes the pages won't open or I get a blank page.

    A. This is an Internet problem and nothing to do with my Website. The solution I use for a page that won't open is to keep clicking the link until it does, ignoring any error messages, or hiting the refresh button while holding down the CTRL key.

    If the page opens but is blank or has a little bit of text at the top left corner I hit the "refresh" command and then the page should magically appear. If it doesn't open hit "refresh" again holding down the CTRL key.

    Q. I use Internet Explorer and I can't figure out how to save the songs to my computer.

    NOTE: Now that each song opens without a frame this tip isn't needed at the Gospel Music Archive anymore, I've left it in because many other sites use frames so it's a useful thing to know.

    A. This task is much simpler in Netscape's product, in IE you have a few roundabout ways of doing this. Versions of IE before version 4 running under Windows will open Notepad for some of the songs instead of just viewing the file which can be unsatisfactory because the text doesn't always display properly. My solution for this is to use Netscape Navigator.

    Here are a few ways of saving the song if IE opens it and displays it properly.

    • While you have the song open start a text editor or word processor and copy and paste the song into it. You do this by selecting the entire song and using the copy command in Explorer. Once the song is in your other program you can save it from there.

    The following instructions will work for Windows users, I'm not sure about other platforms.

    • Open the song and right click inside it. Chose "View Source" from the menu. This will start Notepad. Now save the file in Notepad.
    • Install the "Power Toys" for Internet Explorer 4.  Then, when you are looking at a song, right click inside the frame and choose "open in new window" from the menu.  This opens your song in a new window without frames.  Save your song in the normal way and then close the window or click your way back to the original window. The "Power Toys" don't work in newer versions of Internet Explorer but there are some third party ones that do.

    Note: You can't use View and then Source from the toolbar because this will only show you the source for the frames. Not very useful unless you want to look at the HTML code I used to construct the pages you're viewing

    Are your questions still unanswered? Then fill out the Feedback Form with your question and I'll try my best to help you.

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    FAQ sheet written by James "Guitar Picker" for the Gospel Music Archive
    The Gospel Music Archive.
    Copyright 1997 The 3W Gospel Music Archive. All rights reserved.
    Revised: Oct 1, 2003