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At A Glance

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Important Updates

Half-page turns

When your device is in portrait orientation, half-page turns allow you to see the top half of the next page while finishing up the bottom half of the current page. A blue horizontal divider shows you where the page is split so you don’t get lost, and you can reposition this divider vertically by dragging the three horizontal lines up or down. The divider’s position is saved per page of score, so you can set it once to the most convenient location for each turn and it’ll always split in that same spot.

Toggling Half-Page Turns

Half page turns can be toggled using the Display Options overlay. To access it, double tap the center of the page or tap the gear icon in the title bar:

Next, tap the button shown below to turn this mode on and off. When the button’s background is light (on), half-page turns are enabled.

Older Versions

On devices running iOS 13 or iPadOS 13, or when using older versions of forScore, you may see the button shown below in forScore’s title bar instead of the gear icon. You can either tap this button or use the method described above to toggle half-page turns. When this button is blue half-page turns are active, and when it is gray they are not.

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Viewing two pages at a time

forScore features an optional display mode that shows two pages of a score side by side. This option is generally available when your device is in landscape orientation, or whenever forScore’s window is too short to display a standard portrait-oriented page. In other cases, half-page turning mode is available instead. Two-up mode can be toggled using the Display Options overlay. To access it, double tap the center of the page or tap the gear icon in the title bar:

Next, tap the button shown below to turn this mode on and off. When the button’s background is light (on) forScore displays two pages side by side. When the button’s background is dark (off), forScore displays a single page instead.

Older Versions

On devices running iOS 13 or iPadOS 13, or when using older versions of forScore, you may see the button shown below in forScore’s title bar instead of the gear icon. You can either tap this button or use the method described above to toggle two-up mode.

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Understanding Display Modes

Display Modes

forScore features several different page display modes depending on your device’s orientation (or window size) and forScore’s current layout. To switch display modes, double tap the center of the page to show the Display Options overlay or tap the gear icon in the title bar. The fit modes are presented from left to right in the order described below.

Display modes affect how your annotations are presented on screen but do not alter your annotations. If you make edits while using these display modes, drawings that you’ve previously made outside of the visible area will not be lost.

Portrait Modes

Standard fit mode uses a common aspect ratio across all devices to ensure that you’ll see the same thing on any screen size, even if doing so creates gaps on the left and right side or bottom of the page. In most cases this is identical to how previous versions of forScore have always worked and emphasizes compatibility and consistency.

Best Fit mode is the best choice for most people. It makes each page of music as big as possible without clipping it, although some annotations, links, or buttons may be partially or completely clipped if they fall outside of the page’s bounds. Depending on your screen size and page aspect ratio, this may be indistinguishable from Standard mode.

Zoomed mode is similar to the “Display Zoom” feature that was previously offered exclusively for the 11-inch iPad Pro in older versions of forScore. It zooms in to fit the height of your screen, even if doing so clips the left and right edges of your music or annotations.

In summary, Standard shows everything, Best Fit shows the whole page but not necessarily the whole annotation canvas, and Zoomed makes the annotation canvas fit the height of your screen no matter what gets clipped.

Landscape Modes

Best Fit (forScore 13.0 or later) works just like it does in portrait orientation, ensuring that the entire page is always visible and that scrolling is not necessary. Some annotations, links, or buttons may be partially or completely clipped if they fall outside of the page’s bounds.

Scroll mode is the default and fits the width of the page to the width of the screen, extending the page down below the bottom of the screen and allowing you to scroll or shift the page up and down to see its full contents.

Cropping

Note that once you’ve cropped a page, forScore assumes that the placement you specified offers the best possible view of your sheet music. In these cases, portrait fit modes will have no additional effect.

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Freezing, Crashing, & Resetting to the Quick Start Guide

A system bug in iOS/iPadOS 13.4 or later can cause forScore to freeze and eventually crash, either at launch or at any time while using the app. If this happens, forScore will close all tabs and revert to displaying the quick start guide upon relaunching (a general safety measure intended to protect users from repeated crashes).

With forScore 11.2.5 we introduced an opt-in workaround that avoids this bug by limiting forScore’s communication with the system’s shared music playback framework. Based on this bug’s severity and Apple’s failure to address it for over a year, forScore 12.1 enabled this workaround by default for all users. Unless you need to use specific functionality that is limited by this change, we recommend leaving it on until further notice.

If the situation above does not apply to you, please contact us directly so we can diagnose the issue further.

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About forScore for Mac

With the release of macOS 11 in November 2020, we brought forScore to the Mac and introduced a whole new sheet music reading experience. Learn more about forScore on the Mac below:

What are the minimum requirements?

forScore requires macOS 11 Big Sur (a free update for most Macs). It runs natively on all Macs that support macOS 11, including both Intel-based models and the newer Apple Silicon-based models first introduced in late 2020.

How is it different than the iOS and iPadOS version?

forScore on the Mac was designed to be nearly identical to the iOS and iPadOS version. Whenever possible, its features and tools work exactly the same way across devices, but there are some differences and limitations:

  • There are several APIs that Apple does not currently offer on macOS, including ARKit (used for face gestures), AirPods Pro motion sensing, and automatic document scanning (though the camera and image inputs are still available through forScore’s Scan feature). If these APIs are updated in the future, forScore will be able to utilize them just as it does on iOS and iPadOS.
  • Due to major unresolved issues with Apple’s Media Player framework on macOS, audio playback using the Music app is currently not available—though in most cases forScore can use its own audio engine to play these same Music library tracks directly while offering advanced functionality like speed and pitch adjustment. This limitation currently prevents forScore from playing songs that are streamed from the cloud or DRM protected.

How do I get it?

forScore is a universal app, so you only have to purchase it once using your Apple ID, then you can download and use it on all of your personal devices authorized for use with that same Apple ID at no additional charge. That means you can buy it once (exclusively on the App Store) to then use it on your iPad, Mac, iPhone, and iPod Touch. If you’re a forScore Pro subscriber, use the “restore” button in the forScore Pro interface to activate your membership on each device.

What if the App Store prompts me to pay again?

This is an occasional App Store issue that can be easily addressed—please see this article for more information.

How do I transfer my content to the Mac?

You can use iCloud Syncing to automatically keep your content up to date between devices, or perform a one-time transfer: use forScore Backup Utility to archive your iPad or iOS device’s library directly to your computer, then launch forScore on your Mac and drag the resulting 4SB file into the Backups panel and click on it to restore its contents.

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About iCloud Syncing

forScore’s syncing feature uses iCloud to automatically keep your content up to date across all of your personal devices. It uses your AppleID and iCloud storage quota, and was first introduced in forScore 12.1 as an Early Access feature offered exclusively to forScore Pro subscribers. As of forScore 13, this feature is now available to all users.

How It Works

Once enabled, forScore uses Apple’s iCloud storage service to automatically update your content between devices. It does not facilitate sharing content between users or accounts, and it is not a cloud storage service—a complete copy of your library is stored on each device and files cannot be offloaded or downloaded on demand. Unlike some apps that use Apple’s “Documents in the Cloud” infrastructure, forScore communicates directly with Apple’s servers to manage changes promptly rather than waiting for the system to perform background transfers at its own pace.

Although iCloud Syncing provides an easy way to transfer your content to a new device, it does not offer any sort of recovery feature or previous versions of your data. Once something is deleted or edited, that change is permanent. Therefore, it’s essential that you regularly back up your data using Apple’s whole-device backups and/or forScore’s manual backup feature. You can learn more about iCloud storage and backups in our user guide.

Requirements

iCloud Drive must be enabled in your iCloud account settings to use forScore’s syncing feature (an error message in forScore’s Sync panel that begins with “Could not connect to your iCloud account” usually indicates that this setting is not enabled). For instructions on enabling iCloud Drive, see this Apple Support article.

Troubleshooting

Many error messages shown in forScore’s Sync panel are informational and represent temporary issues that resolve themselves after a short time. In other cases, a change you’ve made on one device may not sync successfully to other devices—in this case, making any change to the good copy will cause forScore to sync it again.

Depending on your internet connection, forScore typically syncs changes within one minute. If needed, you can open forScore’s Sync panel and drag downward until the refresh control begins spinning to attempt to sync immediately—note that this may not always be possible, such as when another device is currently syncing, iCloud is being rate limited, or if Apple’s servers are temporarily unavailable.

If an issue persists or if syncing has been automatically disabled, be sure to contact us directly so we can help. If needed, forScore provides a logging tool that can help us identify and troubleshoot issues. This tool maintains a limited record of syncing-related tasks and their status (but not your actual data) and you can use the “report a problem” button to send a copy of this log to us, if we request it.

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What happened to Notes?

Notes is still available in forScore 13 but it is no longer visible in the tools menu by default. To re-enable it, open forScore’s Settings panel and tap “advanced options,” then tap “notes” to turn it back on. To learn more about this change, please visit: forScore.co/legacy

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Accessing Perform, Reflow, and Face Gestures

forScore 13 introduces support for multiple windows on iPadOS and macOS. Since Perform, Reflow, and Face Gestures can now be enabled per-window, they have been moved to the Display Options overlay. To access it, double tap the center of the screen or tap the gear icon in the title bar:

Perform, Reflow, and Face Gestures. Note that some of these icons are system-provided and may differ based on your OS version.

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Title Bar Changes

Based on feedback from Apple’s design team, forScore 13 simplifies the title bar and relocates certain elements. Note that the following changes do not pertain to iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 as these versions do not support pull-down menus.

Display Options

The gear icon to the left of the current score’s title now shows the Display Options overlay which you can also access at any time by double-tapping the center of the page. This interface provides quick access to essential options and modes that are window-specific and likely to be changed more frequently than the rest of forScore’s settings.

As with previous versions of forScore, this interface allows you to change the page’s display mode and toggle half-page turns, two-up layout, and the sepia effect. In addition, this interface now also provides access to performance mode, Reflow, Face Gestures, and AirPods Pro gestures (when available).

Contextual Menu

On the right-hand side of the title display, the ellipsis button presents a menu that gives you access to a variety of other score-specific tools and actions, including Share, Flag Page, and Add To Setlist.

The rest of the items previously shown on the second page of this title display are still available through the Tools menu and can be configured for quick access via gestures, page turner button presses, or keyboard shortcuts.

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Using Multiple Windows

forScore 13 supports multiple windows on iPadOS and macOS, allowing you to work with multiple scores or setlists simultaneously. The core music reading experience in secondary windows is very similar, giving you access to familiar features like annotation, page turning modes, layout options, and more. The browsing experience, on the other hand, is unique and differs based on your device’s OS version:

Users on iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 can access the window’s current playback queue and navigate between items by tapping the numbered list icon on the left-hand side of the title bar.

On iOS or iPadOS 14 or later—or on a Mac—secondary windows offer a completely new read-only browsing experience that combines most of forScore’s menus into a single unified hierarchy. The sidebar allows you to navigate between general sections, while the submenu lets you access the items within that section. Swipe from the left or tap the left-most icon in the title bar to access this interface.


The easiest way to create a new window is by browsing for a score or setlist in the menu, then using its contextual menu to open it in a new window. On iPadOS, you can also use drag and drop gestures or the system’s multitasking interface, and on macOS you can use the menu bar or keyboard shortcuts.

Each device and operating system works a little differently, so be sure to consult Apple’s user guides for the most up to date information.

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