Shabad OS

Shabad OS

The fastest and most advanced application for searching, navigating, and displaying shabads.

Search Examples

It is the first modern app to incorporate the following features:

And more! Our features section goes into more detail and covers more topics. Check out our support section to voice your desires and missing features. Otherwise, read on to install Shabad OS!

Download Shabad OS
Version 18.2.9 ❁ Windows

Remember to accept the firewall traffic prompt for full functionality. Otherwise they won't be able to interface through the network for multiple controllers and displays.

Android, iOS, macOS, and Linux versions are in development. Desktop applications for macOS and Linux can already be built from source code. The "OS" in our name stands for this project being as open source as possible. Help out by submitting issues, forking repos, sending pull requests, and more at GitHub.

Change Log


Fast SearchingSearch

Shabad OS will order shorter results (2 or 3 word matches) before search queries that are longer. This makes it easier to find the shabad you're looking for if the entire line is short. It's also really quick to find these matches. Many searches can happen in the blink of an eye or seamlessly as you type (results varying from machine to machine).

Smart searchingSearch

Not only can you search fast, but you can search smart. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between similar sounding words like vismaad and bismaad (ivsmwd / ibsmwd). Othertimes it's hard to remember whether or not Khalsa is spelled with a bindi (^wlsw / Kwlsw). And there are times when you simply missed the entire word. That's okay. Shabad OS provides wild card characters for you to search with. If you type a blank space with a hit of your spacebar, you'll allow all letters to fill that spot.

Expressive searchingSearch

Why limit yourself to a mouse? Our program lets you define whether you're searching the first letters of each word or full words with a simple symbol. Leave it blank for the default, but type a hash tag (#) for full word search. In the future we might even introduce more options like english transliteration/translation or full words with no vowels.

TimestampsHistory & Bookmarks

Our program provides you with not only a history of each shabad opened, but also the ability to download this data with timestamps as a csv file. You may appreciate this for quickly creating track labels for audio and video recordings. For example, you can easily add timestamps to YouTube videos for users to click.

There is also an option to download the timestamps for every single line that was activated. This can easily be converted to subtitles (gurbani or english) to be added to YouTube's native subtitle feature.

Compiled BanisHistory & Bookmarks

There are a lot of banis that are read at Sikh gurdwaras which require juggling different shabads. An easy example is reading 6 pauris of Anand Sahib and then opening the concluding salok. A harder example is Asa di Var where each pauri is accompanied by one shabad of a chhant. Luckily we've already compiled all these for you and will add the feature to create your own.

Custom LayoutsSettings

You can customize whether you'd like everything spaced evenly or if you'd like to read gurbani top-down. You can also control whether the navigator in the bottom right is small or large. Other options include turning on or off spaces in gurbani (larivaar), english translations, punjabi sri guru granth darpan, and english transliterations.

The font size is very easily customized with a slider that works on multiple displays and aspect ratios. And if you want to take the gurbani reading to the next level, you can show or hide vishraams for three different pause weights (long, medium, and short) with either different colors or characters to signify their locations. Each weight of vishraam can be turned on or off. And as an added bonus, we tried to split most gurbani lines by their heavy pause, so they naturally look more poetic than if they just tried to fit as many words to each line.

Next LineSettings

Probably the biggest feature you never thought you wanted. Why clutter a beautiful presentation of the current line of gurbani being sung? Because of human and technical errors that happen in day to day life. People forget to activate the next line, some times projectors freeze up for a short bit, and it could just be the gurbani being sung is across two lines since they were short and fit the tune better. Whatever the reason, you will probably find that people sing along more and are more confident about what is coming up next when they can see the next line. Still not convinced? You can always toggle it on/off in the Settings.


We started out with the seamlessly displayed dark theme. This allows projectors to hide their borders by only displaying the words in color (useful when the projector doesn't fit the screen perfectly!). But what about when it's too bright near the projector? That's why we've included a high-contrast, bright, and mostly monotone day theme as well. And for those that love color, we have the Philosophiae theme as a nod to and Guru Granth Darpan.


As far as gurdwara laptops go, they're not always the best. Sometimes they have finicky touchpads and that means the more you can rely on the keyboard, the better. Not to mention, even for those with good trackpads and mice, keyboard still reigns king in terms of speed and accuracy. With our hotkeys you can search a shabad, pick one, set a main line, go to the first line, jump back to the main line all with the keyboard. We've even numbered and lettered up to 36 lines for each shabad.

Hotkey NumbersNavigation

Compiled banis have specific jump points, so for instance you could hit the "9" key for the 9th pauri of Asa di Var. If you look at your keyboard, you'll see half the letters follow the row above them. So the letter "T" under the "5" key is the 15th. "P" under the "0" is 20. And in the next row, "G" is under "T" which is under "5", meaning 25.

Advanced HotkeysNavigation

Let's kick it up a notch. Most of the interaction during a shabad is switching lines. We've drastically cut down on the amount of times you have to scroll and find the main line. Sure you could memorize it's hotkey as explained in the last section, but better yet would be to use our spacebar or "autoselect" feature. Once you've opened a shabad, hit the spacebar to set the current line as the "main" line. Now go to any other line and hit the spacebar again. It will do two things: (1) the obvious one is it jumped back to the main line and (2) it remembered where you jumped from. Now from the main line, hitting spacebar again would take you to one line past the line it jumped from before. It automatically selected the correct line from the previous jump back to main. The only problem? Takes time to realize that only the main line can toggle an auto jump, and any jump to the main line will reset the secondary line. So don't use it to jump back to the main line in the same rahao, or you'll lose your place in the pauris.

Mouse 2.0Navigation

Don't worry, we didn't forget about mouse users! You can use the autoselect feature with the "location" icon in the bottom right. (The title of the navigator will change based on what icon you're hovering on, so you can know for sure). And if you're in a shabad you can use the up and down arrows in the middle of the bottom bar to change lines. If you're in a compiled bani like Asa di Var, the functionality changes a little. The up and down arrows we just mentioned now skip to "chapters" (in our example, each chakka). The numbers in between the arrows can be clicked on to let you see each of these chapters. And the autoselect button now uniquely activates the start of each pauri. So at the end of any Asa di Var pauri, you can autoselect the beginning of the pauri again to be read again if needed (even works on the beginning lines of the next section in case you skipped ahead by accident!).


Not only did we try to deliver a top notch keyboard only and mouse only experience, we also took into account those that would use their phones as controllers for the display. Our UI is adjusted to only show three lines in the navigator, and the current line will always be in the middle (even if the current line is the first or last line). That means, with practice, one could use simply muscle memory to move up and down in the shabad. And of course you still have the full powers of using Shabad OS on the desktop! Almost every single feature has a dedicated place on smartphones and tablets.

Multiple DisplaysNetworking

Finally! Some of the really cool and interesting features of Shabad OS is how it acts as a local webserver. This means that behind the scenes, Shabad OS is actually displaying web pages. And it also means that other devices on the same network can interface with Shabad OS. One device can be used to control multiple devices (for instance one laptop to control what's displayed on multiple projectors, TVs, and even eReader devices). And, if you wanted, multiple devices can help control the main device (for instance multiple phones and laptops searching for the shabad to display on the main projectors). All you have to do is type in Shabad OS's address into your device's browser. And that address is found in the title bar of the program. You just hover over it and it will show you the IP address as well as the port number. If you type that in, you'll get another controller. If you type that in and add a "/display" on the end you'll get another display. And if you type that in and add a "/kobo" on the end you'll get another display targeted to eReaders like a Kobo or Kindle.

Automatic SubtitlesNetworking

Since we can control so many devices, wouldn't it be neat if we could automatically update the subtitles for our YouTube or Facebook live streams? With Shabad OS you can! Using any streaming software (we recommend OBS), you can add our green-screen version of the display to your live stream. Just use your software to capture the green and make it transparent, and voila! You have subtitles on your video that are updated whenever the controllers on the network change the line.


There you have it. With Shabad OS, one person could potentially be controlling the projectors in the gurdwara, the tablet readers for older folk in the back of the hall, the TVs around the gurdwara outside the main hall, the subtitles for the YouTube live stream, and all that from their phone!

We've thought through this stuff many times and that's because we've been using this software for years now. All the features like showing the next line to the sangat and kirtaniye and autoselecting the correct lines is crucial to a seamless experience. Our program is designed to perform faster than anything else currently available. Give it a try, help us with your feedback, and let's work together to benefit the global Sikh sangat.


On first run, you'll be greated with a blank window (display) with a smaller embedded window (navigator) in the bottom right. You can hover over any button for a description in it's titlebar. For instance hover over the second to last icon in the navigator's titlebar. This button will let you minimize the navigator.

There are many shortcuts available. If you ever want to look up a shortcut, type the question mark (?) key on your keyboard (shift + /). This will bring up a menu showing you the various shortcuts.

To connect with a mobile device, hover over the titlebar of the display window. This will get you the web address to type into your phone. You can similarly join this address on different laptops, tablets, or even smart TVs. A couple noteworthy addresses include adding "/display" or "/kobo" to the end of the program's address. Example: 192.168.X.XXX:8080/display. You can use this to clone the display. The kobo link can be used on modern E-Ink technologies, similar to the Kindle, as an alternative view to reading the shabad.


We'll try our best to help you within the scope of our project. If you're having any trouble setting up Shabad OS or implementing any of the official features, the preferred method is to open a "New issue" on our GitHub. If you can't manage that, then try to message us through our social media accounts: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. If all else fails, then try the email address found on our GitHub profile.

I can't connect

(1) Did you allow the program through the firewall when you first installed? Even so, double-check your firewall settings for the program. (2) Are you sure you have the right IP Address? Sometimes there is a networking problem and the IP address shows up as 169.254.XXX.XXX. If so, run ipconfig for the proper address. Don't forget the port number as well!

When will you release Mac OS and Linux versions?

Soon! Mac and Linux developers can use our github to install their own Shabad OS either as a standalone web server or wrap it in electron for the full desktop experience. Rest assured it's on it's way and will most definitely be out in 2018.