Developers / File Types

File Types

Direct Formats

With forScore, users primarily work with standard PDF files stored in the app’s Documents directory, but this is not the only file type forScore is compatible with. Users can also add audio files, images, and CSV indexes to their forScore library for use in a number of different ways. Support for these direct file types may either be full (publicly declared support and compatibility with iOS and iPadOS’ sharing protocols), or partial (the file can be added to forScore’s Documents directory and is usable within the app, but is not publicly declared or importable).

Name Identifier Support Purpose
Portable Document Format com.adobe.pdf
Full The primary content type; sheet music
Tracks may be linked to specific scores for automatic queueing and easier playback control, and WAV-format samples may be used instead of the default metronome sounds
Comma-Separated Values public.comma-separated-values-text
CSV indexes can be used to create bookmarks within scores; values are imported and not used directly
forScore Backup or Archive com.forScore.4sb
Backups contain a snapshot of forScore’s metadata, settings, and non-file content such as setlists; Archives also contain a copy of all files in forScore’s Documents directory (learn more here)
Portable Network Graphics public.png
Partial May be used in the Stamps creator to create custom annotation stamps

Transport Formats

Additional file types are used to move data but are not stored or displayed as-is. This includes custom file types, used to bundle forScore-specific information along with a user’s content, as well as formats that can be automatically converted to a supported format as a convenience.

Name Identifier Purpose
forScore Container com.forScore.4sc
Automatically unpacked as a PDF file upon import; may include forScore-specific metadata, annotations, versions, and more
forScore Setlist com.forScore.4ss
Automatically unpacked as a forScore setlist upon import; includes setlist information and may include scores as generic PDFs or as 4SC files with embedded metadata, annotations, and more
Text-Based Documents public.plain-text
Automatically converted to PDF files upon import


Open Setlist (4SS) FormatforScore 12.0

With forScore 12 you can create your own setlists from XML data saved to a filename ending in forScore’s custom 4SS file extension. Note that although this format uses the 4SS extension, it is not similar to the files forScore exports when sharing setlists and it cannot contain PDF files or any other assets. These files are not compatible with earlier versions of forScore.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<forScore kind="setlist" version="1.0" title="My New Setlist">
	<score title="Score Title" path="filename.pdf" />
	<bookmark title="Bookmark Title" path="another_filename.pdf" />
	<placeholder title="A New Placeholder" />

The document’s root element must be forScore with the attributes and values shown above for kind and version. You must supply a setlist name using the title attribute.

Child elements within the forScore element can be one of three kinds: score, bookmark, and placeholder. When building a setlist, forScore attempts match score and bookmark entries to existing items in the user’s library (using path to identify scores, and both path and title to identify bookmarks). It first looks for an exact match, then falls back to a case-insensitive match, and finally a diacritics- and case-insensitive match. If no matches are found for a score entry and a title has been supplied, a placeholder is inserted in its place. Otherwise, the entry is omitted.

Element Attribute Value Required
score path The filename of the score in the user’s library Yes
title The placeholder name to be used if the file cannot be found No
bookmark path The filename of the score in the user’s library that contains the bookmark Yes
title The name of the bookmark in the user’s library, used as the placeholder title if the bookmark cannot be found Yes
placeholder title The title of your placeholder Yes

Drag & Drop Formats

Most compatible file types can be dropped into forScore from other apps, but the drop target and behavior varies based on the content type. Generally, files can be dropped where they’re used; CSV files can be dropped into the Indexes browser, 4SB files can be dropped into the Backups panel, and 4SS files can be dropped into the Setlists menu.

There is one major difference in file format handling when using Drag and Drop that’s specific to images: while forScore only recognizes and supports PNG images stored within its Documents directory, Drag and Drop allows users to work with many different image formats. Any file that conforms to Apple’s base image UTType of public.image (kUTTypeImage) can be dropped onto a page to be positioned and placed as an annotation, or dropped into the Stamp creator to be used to create a new custom stamp. The exact file types that are supported using this method depends on Apple’s APIs and are subject to change at any time.