feature of the week

Backing Up

| feature of the week

2017 is almost here, and tomorrow lots of people will be starting things out right by rededicating themselves to those habits that are important but hard to form. Like backing up your files.

If you’ve spent time scanning, organizing, and annotating your scores, then you should also know how to back them up—and you should do so regularly! We recommend backing up before any update to iOS or major update to forScore, and especially if you’ve made a lot of recent changes to your library. Our knowledge base article on the subject includes detailed instructions on how to back up your files:

Backing up your data to your computer

For those who got their hands on a shiny new iPad this holiday season, the instructions for transferring your library are similar. Of course, the best way to move everything to a new iPad is to restore it from an iTunes or iCloud backup. If that’s not possible, or if something goes wrong, it’s easy to move these files over manually. Here’s how:

Transferring your forScore library to another device

Don’t risk losing all of your hard work this year, back up regularly and turn a good practice into a smart habit. Happy new year!

Features of the Year

| feature of the week

We love simple, clear designs, and we strive to make forScore as approachable as possible so that everyone can get started using it as quickly and naturally as possible. For some, that leaves the mistaken impression that forScore is a shallow app, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. That’s why we created this series, the Feature of the Week, and we’ve covered a lot of ground over the past twenty months.

This holiday week, we wanted to take a moment to recap all of the many features we’ve written and give our readers a chance to catch up on any they may have missed. So without further ado, here’s every feature we discussed in 2016:

And if that’s not enough reading material to keep your holiday travels lively, here’s everything from last year as well:

Thanks for reading, and happy holidays!

Stamps: Editor

| feature of the week

Over the past two weeks we’ve taken a look at forScore’s Stamps tool. We began with a quick overview, then explored tinting to give you more flexibility and expressiveness. Finally, today we’ll take a look at forScore’s powerful stamp editor and the ability to create your own custom stamps.

From within the Stamps palette, tap the + button in the bottom toolbar to create a new stamp. Here, you can use the large canvas to draw small, detailed annotations and reuse them whenever you need to. Use the hue, saturation, transparency, brightness, and size sliders to adjust your drawing style, and use the undo or redo buttons when necessary. You can also use the eyedropper tool to reuse any color on the canvas (tap once to activate the tool, then tap on a colored portion of the stamp to use that color).

Once you’ve drawn your stamp and it looks correct in the small, medium, and large preview areas, tap Save to add it to your stamp collection. You can delete any stamp by selecting it in the Stamps palette and then tapping the trash can icon. You can also edit any existing stamp by selecting it and tapping the action icon (the box with the upward arrow). This opens the same stamp editor we just discussed, but with the selected stamp already on the canvas so you can refine it as needed.

Along the standard draw, erase, and clear tools in this editor, you’ll also see two additional options: import and revert. Reverting can be useful when editing an existing stamp: if you make some changes and decide that they’re not right, you can reset back to the saved version of your stamp and try again.

Which brings us to the important “Import” function. While drawing your shapes by hand works well in some cases and is a quick and easy way to design your own stamps, sometimes an image works better. If you add a PNG image to your forScore library using iTunes’ File Sharing panel, you’ll be able to select that image here and place it on the canvas. For best results, your image should be 144 pixels wide and tall, and should use a transparent background instead of a white one (so you don’t cover up your sheet music unnecessarily). Once imported, you can draw or erase to refine your stamp even further and tap Save when you’re done.

Stamps are incredibly useful, and the ability to create your own takes this feature from a nice add-on to an exhaustive and powerful tool that can service many different needs. If you haven’t used it yet, now is a great time to get started.

Stamps: Tint

| feature of the week

Last week we took a look at forScore’s Stamps tool, part of the annotation system that allows you to place detailed, reusable symbols on the page. We briefly explored the Stamps palette, which you can see by tapping once to select the Stamps tool (if not already selected), and then tapping again.

One part of this panel that we didn’t discuss is the “Tint” button in the top right-hand corner. This button lets you change the color of your stamps quickly and easily: tap on it to pick your color, and use the switch at the top to enable or disable tinting. Although all of the default stamps are black, stamps can be any color or even multiple colors (check back next week for more on that). When tinting is disabled, your stamps are drawn in their original form. When tinting is enabled, however, forScore uses your stamp’s shape and opacity but replaces all colors with your selected tint color, much like a rubber stamp and an ink pad.

This feature makes it easy to use just one stamp for multiple purposes, color-coded to whatever system you use to remember important details. It also helps stamps stand out from the page a little more, so they don’t just blend in with the original sheet music.

Things get even more interesting when you create your own stamps, as you’ll see next week, so be sure to check back then as we conclude our series on forScore’s indispensable Stamps tool.

Stamps: Basics

| feature of the week

We’ve discussed forScore’s annotation features a lot, but one feature that’s been part of the app since almost the very beginning is the Stamps tool. It allows you to place commonly-used symbols right onto the page without needing to draw them manually. It works great for small, detailed markings like numbers, sharps, flats, and other notation symbols.

To use the Stamps tool, activate annotation mode by selecting it from the tools menu or pressing and holding your finger on the page for a moment. On the left-hand edge of the annotation toolbar you’ll find the Stamps tool, a flat symbol by default. Tap once to select it, then tap again to see the Stamps palette. This panel allows you to choose from a wide range of symbols (scroll up and down to see all 80 of the stamps we include by default). Tapping on any of these symbols changes the active stamp in the toolbar, and using the slider at the bottom of the Stamps palette lets you control the size of your stamp.

With your stamp selected and resized to fit your music, touch and hold your finger on the page and drag it around to see a preview loupe. When you’ve got the perfect spot, just let go and the stamp will be drawn onto the page. You can do this even when the Stamps palette is showing—it’ll disappear when you touch the page so you can see what you’re doing, and then reappear when you’re done (great for adding several different stamps in quick succession).

If you find yourself using some stamps more often, you can rearrange them to better suit your needs. Just tap and hold on any stamp for a moment, then drag it to a more appropriate spot. Putting your favorites right up at the top for easy access can really speed up your workflow.

There’s much more to this feature, though, so be sure to check back over the next few weeks as we dive a little further into this tremendously useful tool.

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