5.2.1 Updating old input files

The LilyPond input syntax occasionally changes. As LilyPond itself improves, the syntax (input language) is modified accordingly. Sometimes these changes are made to make the input easier to read and write or sometimes the changes are made to accommodate new features of LilyPond.

LilyPond comes with a file that makes this updating easier: convert-ly. For details about how to run this program, see Updating files with convert-ly.

Unfortunately, convert-ly cannot handle all input changes. It takes care of simple search-and-replace changes (such as raggedright becoming ragged-right), but some changes are too complicated. The syntax changes that convert-ly cannot handle are listed in Updating files with convert-ly.

For example, in LilyPond 2.4 and earlier, accents and non-English letters were entered using LaTeX – for example, No\"el (this would print the French word for ‘Christmas’). In LilyPond 2.6 and above, the special ë must be entered directly into the LilyPond file as an UTF-8 character. convert-ly cannot change all the LaTeX special characters into UTF-8 characters; you must manually update your old LilyPond input files.

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