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CelticPipes FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for version 2.1 and earlier


The following topics are covered in this FAQ. Please click on a link to find out about a particular item.

Mac: Big Sur
Mac: Catalina
Mac: High Sierra
Mac: not updating
Mac: Sierra / Exporting
Mac: Yosemite
Mac: Mavericks
Mac: Sound
Mac: other issues
Windows: Screen and text size problem
Downloading and Upgrading
Formatting Tunes
Displaying angled beams and key signatures
Using Toolbars
iPad and other Tablet Computers

Big Sur

Q) Is CelticPipes compatible with Mac OS 11 (Big Sur)?

A) No, sorry, it isn't. If you want to keep using CelticPipes, you can either go through hoops to run it in a WIndows VM, run it on a PC, or upgrade to CelticPipes v3 (which will run on Big Sur and will open any v2.1 .cep files). If they do choose to upgrade, existing v2.1 users get a substantial discount along with the advantage of working with an actively developed application.


Q) Is CelticPipes compatible with Mac OS X 10.15 (Catalina)?

A) It is not advisable to upgrade to Catalina at this time. You may be lucky but sound problems have been reported.

High Sierra

Q) Is CelticPipes compatible with Mac OS X 10.13 (High Sierra)?

A) Yes, CelticPipes v2.1 is compatible with the release version of High Sierra. Make sure you are not using a Beta version of High Sierra as CelticPipes 2.1 was not compatible with this.

Mac: updating problem

Q) Why has the build number not updated after I have downloaded and installed the latest update on Mac?

A) Sometimes the installer doesn't overwrite the existing CelticPipes program folder in /Applications. The way around it is to manually remove the CelticPipes folder ("CelticPipes 2.1") and all it's contents from /Applications before running the new installer.

Windows: Screen and text size problem

Q) Why is text chopped off and not fitting properly on various screens?

A) This issue is now fixed, so please download and install the latest build of CelticPipes 2.1 (Build 11) For Windows - released 20th May 2017.

Sierra and Exporting

Q) Is CelticPipes compatible with Mac OS X 10.12 (Sierra)? Is there a problem Exporting?

A) Yes, it is now compatible. There was a Save button enabling issue in Build 9 and older versions of CelticPipes v2.1. However, this is now fixed, so please download and install the latest build of CelticPipes 2.1 (Build 11) for Mac - released 26th May 2017.


Q) Is CelticPipes Supported on Yosemite? I get a Java download message!

A) Yes, CelticPipes is compatible with Yosemite i.e. Mac OS X 10.10.x from CelticPipes 2.1 Build 8 onwards. If you see such a Java message, you are not using the latest Install of CelticPipes. You may be having this problem updating?


Q) Is CelticPipes Supported on Mavericks?

A) Yes. A new build has been released (2.1 Build 5) to fix Mavericks stability issues. Important: Make sure you have all the latest Apple updates installed (Java in particular).

Sound on Mac

Q) Why do all the instruments sound wrong in CelticPipes when running on some Macs? Bagpipe sounds like a piano, chanter like harp etc.

A) This problem is caused by a Mac update that was issued by Apple. It prevents the Java sound system working properly.

OS X Upgrades:
All major Apple OSX upgrades (including Mavericks) are pretty inconsiderate and they remove all soundbanks from your system without asking you. You will need to download and reinstall CelticPipes to restore the rudely deleted soundbank. Without this soundbank, you will just get default midi sounds such as piano instead of bagpipe etc.


Q) I have a license for CelticPipes and it runs on my Home PC. Can I install and run it on my work PC?

A) Yes, you can, as long as the software is for your own use only. The licensing works on a per user basis i.e. one license per person, not per CPU.

Q) I have a license for CelticPipes for Windows but I want to upgrade my hardware to a Mac (good choice). Do I have to pay again for the Mac version?

A) No you don't. Again, the software must be for your own use. Just use your License Key to access the registered customer download page and download the Mac installer. This works the other way around too. See section on Downloading and Upgrading.


Q) How do I access the CelticPipes Support pages?

A) You can do this using one of the following methods:
  • Go to our website at www.celticpipes.net and sellect the Support link top-right of our home page.
  • Run CelticPipes, make sure your PC is online and select Support from the Help menu (only available in the full version). If your sotware is activated, you won't have to enter a License Key to access restricted pages.

Q) What is the best way to get help or report a problem?

A) The best way is to submit a detailed Help Request using the "Help" link provided on the main Support web page. Filling it out as fully as possible gives us a fighting chance to be able to provide a solution. Filling in the form can be a pain, but on the other hand, submitting a one-liner like 'my software doesn't work' doesn't help anybody. Fortunately, most people wouldn't do this, but honestly similar to this does happen. Also, due to the proliferation of smartphones, an evil growing trend is for no punctuation at all.

Your co-operation is really appreciated.


Q) I am using the Evaluation of CelticPipes. How do I Activate it?

A) You need to purchase a License Key from our website and then Download the full registered version and install it. The Evaluation version can't be Activated.

Once this is installed, run CelticPipes and follow the procedure shown in the question below.

Q) How do I Activate CelticPipes and get rid of that annoying screen?

A) Once you have started CelticPipes and you have dismissed any Welcome or Warning screens, navigate to Help->Activation. This screen is very simple now and it only requires your Registered email address and your License Key. Please enter your details and double-check them before pressing the Activate button (we strongly recommend that you Copy & Paste the key, rather than type it, to avoid errors.). Follow the Instructions and restart Celticpipes. If your details have been accepted, you shouldn't see any warning screen and you will see your email address besire "Licensed to" on the About screen.

If you are on a PC, particularly on Windows 7 or 8, your key may not be getting saved corrctly and the software is not getting activated. In this case close CelticPipes and start it by right-clicking on the Program icon and selecting "Run as administrator" from the popup menu. This should not be necessary when running CelticPipes at other times.

Downloading and Upgrading

Q) I am a registered CelticPipes user. How do I know if my software is the most recent buld?

A) You can find the version and build number of CelticPipes from its "About" screen. In Windows, this is on the Help menu. On Mac, it is under the CelticPipes menu item. It will read something like "Version 2.1 Build 8".

To find out what version is available, you need to access our Support pages.

NB: You can find the latest version and build number from our Download Evaluation page, but if you are a registered CelticPipes user, DO NOT download anything from this page as you will overwrite your fully functional software with a restricted evaluation one!

Q) I am a registered CelticPipes user. How do I download the full version of the Software?

A) First, you need to access our Support pages (see earlier question for details of how to do this).
When the Support page appears, select the item relating to Customer downloads and updates. If you have entered from our website, or your software is unregistered, you will be asked for a License Key before you can gain entry. Please try to Copy & Paste this, rather than typing it, to avoid errors.

NB: The email address and License Key must match. i.e. the email address you use with the key must be the one you have registered with us. If you change your email address, you need to tell us using the "Change my registered email address" option on our Suppport page. You will receive a new key to use with your new email address. Throw away the old key!

To download, click on the appropriate link for your platform and follow the instructions. Just install on top of your existing CelticPipes.

Please DO NOT download anything from the "Download Evaluation"  page from our main website as you will overwrite your fully functional software with a restricted evaluation one.You may be surprised how many times this has happened!

Q) I am a registered CelticPipes user. How do I upgrade to the latest build?

A) Follow the procedure answered in the question above.

Q) I have CelticPipes on CDROM. How do I upgrade to the latest build?

A) You can upgrade from our Support pages. You just install the standard Full version on top of your existing installation.

Q) I have a new computer and I want to install CelticPipes on to it.

A) You need both your License Key and a download of the latest version of our software. You can get your License Key sent to you again using our Support Pages. it will be sent to your registered email address (so keep this up to date!) Once you have this, you can go back to the Support pPages and download the latest version of the software and install it.

Q) I have forgotten my License Key. How do I find it again?

A) You can get this emailed to you by accessing the CelticPipe Support Page and selecting the appropriate menu item. See earlier question for how to access the Support Page. Make sure you keep your registered email address up to date using the item on the main Support menu.

Using Toolbars

Q) I'm confused about selecting and beaming notes. Sometimes when I press 'Beam' nothing happens. When I try and select a second note, the first one turns black.

A) It essentially works like this:
  •  You can only select one note at a time with a single click. This is  standard practice on Windows and Mac. You can only select more than one note like this when they are already beamed as they are then treated as a group.
  •  To beam notes, you need to have more than one note selected first, before you press the Beam button. Otherwise CelticPipes doesn't know what you want to beam.
  • To select more than one note, you either 'box' ('rubberband') the notes, or you select the first note and extend the selection using Shift-click on the next note or notes.

The section "Operations on notes" under "Creating a Score" in the CelticPipes Help file covers Selecting Notes and Modifying Notes.

Q) Why can't I beam together two quarter notes (crotchets)?

A) It's not musically possible to connect quarter notes as they have no tails! Beaming, or joining, just means to join existing note tails together. You need to halve their values to convert them to eighth notes (or smaller) to give them tails which can then be joined.

Some software automatically halves the note values to make them eighth notes before joining them. With CelticPipes, you need to select the notes and press the 'Halve note value' button to convert them to eighth notes first. Then you select them and beam them together using the beam button on the same toolbar. We could have done this automatically but we decided not to as it is confusing (it hides what is happening to the notes) and it can cause other problems later on.

Q) I can't find the 'Cut' button. Where is it?

A) There isn't one. To 'cut' a note just means to give it another tail which halves its value. There is no specific button named 'cut', but there is a 'Halve note value' button which will have exactly the same effect. It is probably better to get the note values right before you try and join them, that way, you won't need to cut at all.

To halve the value of an already joined/beamed note, you will need to select it on its own i.e. use Shift-click on it's note head or 'rubberband' its head.

Formatting Tunes

Q) Is there any way to make a score smaller so that it no longer appears on two pages? Having a score on one page would be much better so that you do not have to go back and forth while playing a tune.

A) Yes, this is certainly possible. You can really make it as small as you want.

The key to this is in the values you set on the "Staff Spacing" screen - accessible from the Tools menu.

Setting A sets the size of the note heads (staff line separation) and C controls the distance between the stave systems. B controls the separation of instruments on a multi-part score. The meaning of the settings is shown on the

Q) Why can't you have eight lines on a page in landscape mode? One tune I did only allowed 5. The next tune allowed 7.

A) You can have 8 or more lines on a page quite easily. 12 or more are quite possible. You are limited only by the space on a page so you have to change the size of the staff. I have provided a tool called "Staff Spacing" for this purpose (Tools menu). It is also available via the "Advanced" button when creating a new tune. Set A to something small like 5 or 6 and C to 8 and see what happens to your lines. It is mentioned in the Help file, but under creating
a new score. It should be in the Fine Tuning Layout section too.

Q) When I create or import a tune in Landscape mode and try to print it in Portrait mode, some of the notes and embellishments overlap. How do I fix this?
A) There are a few ways of fixing this.
  • Usually, you can either use the "space evenly" button the toolbar to autospace notes. To do this, either click inside a bar or select several bars and press the button.
  • Move the notes manually (tedious) and not so easy if there is not much room. Click on a note head and move right or left.
  • Moving bar lines can help if notes are crowded more on one side that the other. You can move a bar line by clicking on the 'Move barline' button on the top-right of the Structure Toolbar and then letting go of the mouse button. With the button depressed, now click on a barline. Keeping the mouse button depressed, drag the barline to the right or left and let go.
  • You can get a more space by reducing the distance between the individual lines on the staff, and hence changing the size of the notes. To do this, choose Tools->Staff Spacing and change the value of 'A'. Make this smaller and see if this helps. You will probably need to use Edit->Select All Notes and then press the "Space Evenly" button again.

Q) How do I center the footer?

A) Currently, there is just a left and a right footer. The centre position is reserved for the page numbering. This may be made more flexible in the future.


Q) Why does a tune seem to only print correctly in Portrait orientation? If I try to print in Landscape mode, half of the tune gets cut off.

A) This should work correctly but on some systems the Print Driver doesn't retain the Landscape setting passed to it by CelticPipes and it defaults to printing the tune in  Portrait mode.

If you think this is happening, check what the actual Print driver screen is using after you press OK on the CelticPipes 'Print Options' screen - i.e. Portrait or Landscape. You can usually find this by selecting a screen or button on the print driver called "Preferences" and then check out the Features used before the final OK is pressed to activate the print.

We are working on a permanent solution to this problem.

Displaying angled beams and key signatures

Q) How do I display angled beams, or show the bagpipe key signature on a tune?

A) Defaults are used for different instruments, but they can be overridden on a score basis. To change these (and other) settings, do the following, with the tune loaded in CelticPipes:
  1) Select Score Properties from the Edit menu
  2) click on the name of the instrument part to change (anywhere on the line will do).
  3) The button lower-left will enable. Press it.
  4) Change any of the features you like on the Part Properties screen.
  5) Press OK or Cancel when done, and the same on the Score Properties screen.
  6) Save the file if you want to keep the changes.

Mac Issues

Q) Why do the angled beams sometimes appear digitized and blurry looking?

A) Only on the screen I hope. This is probably because you don't have enough pixels on your screen. This is common to any graphics program. Mac OS (not CelticPipes) can use smooting on fonts which can be switched off (System Preferences->Appearance). If you zoom in a bit more it should be less annoying. When printing, you have a lot more pixels. Is should look ok when printing.

Q) Why does the playback sound tinny and high-pitched on my Mac? Not at all like bagpipes!

A) Check your audio setting in Applications / Utilities / Audio MIDI Setup. In the Audio Devices section, check that your Audio Output format is set to 44100.0 Hz.

Here's another (rather strange solution): "If you launch Apple’s Garage Band application, bring up the keyboard window (Command-K), and click on the piano keys to make some noise. Once you hear the soothing sounds of the Grand Piano, quit Garage Band and open CelticPipes again–the sound should be working fine now.

The obvious question is, why does this fix the problem? While the actual reason for the problem is not known, at least by anyone outside Apple, running Garage Band resets certain audio settings in the operating system that restore audio functionality for other applications. This has a lot to do with that 44.1k versus 48k audio rates setting that we mentioned before. Sometimes, an application will set your Mac to use the 48k audio format, and this can cause problems with other applications. Launching Garage Band will reset your Mac to the 44.1k format. "

(Thanks to Tammy Templeton for finding this information).

Q) When CelticPipes has been opened for a while, the playback indicator gets out of sync with the sound. What can I do to solve this?

A) This is a longstanding issue with the Apple Java implementation. Make sure you have the most recent updates of Java installed. This usually solves the issue. However, if it doesn't it may help to close CelticPipes and re-open it more frequently to get the indicator bac in sync. If all else fails, you can always disable the indicator for now on the Tools->Options screen (CelticPipes->Preferences on Mac). We are working on a radical update toat uses a different sound library to fix this problem.

iPad and other Tablet Computers

Q) Will CelticPipes run on an iPad?

A) No, sorry it won't in its current form. CelticPipes will have to be rewritten to run on an iPad as Apple refuse to let a Java virtual machine on to the iPad. CelticPipes (currently) can't run without this.

Q) Will CelticPipes run on an Android or Windows Tablet computer?

A) No, sorry it won't yet.

(Last updated 23rd Dec 2020)