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Common Questions

Backing up your data to your computer

This article provides step-by-step instructions for backing up your information using forScore’s Backup panel, but it’s also important to understand where your data is stored and how forScore works with iOS backups, iCloud, and your computer. For more information on these topics, visit this page.

Note: this article references 4SB Archives which are available as of forScore 10.4.7 and forScore mini 3.4.7. Archives take up significantly more storage space on your device and may not be available in all situations. Learn more about the difference between 4SB backups and archives here.

Using iTunes

This method is the fastest and most common way of backing up your data. We recommend this process instead of using the Services panel whenever possible.

  • In forScore, open the Tools menu and choose Backup.
  • Tap the + button to create a new backup (recommended) or an archive, if available.
  • Connect your device to your computer with its USB cable and access the iTunes File Sharing panel.
  • If you created an archive, select it from the list. If you created a backup file, select all of the files in the documents panel by clicking on one and pressing Ctrl-A (PC) or Command-A (Mac).
  • Click the “Save To…” button and specify a location on your computer. The transfer begins immediately (see the progress bar near the top of the iTunes window). Once the progress bar finishes, it is safe to disconnect your device.

Using the Services panel

You can also back up your library to a supported cloud service through forScore’s Services panel. When using this method, we strongly encourage using Archives instead of Backups since only a single file needs to be uploaded and ensures that you don’t end up with an incomplete backup of your library.

  • In forScore, open the Tools menu and choose Backup.
  • Tap the + button to create a new backup or archive (recommended, if available).
  • Return to the Tools menu and choose Services, select your account if not already visible, and navigate to your preferred upload directory.
  • If you created an archive:
    • Tap the + button, navigate to the “Backups” tab, select your archive and choose “Upload” to begin the transfer.
  • If you created a backup:
    • Tap the + button, navigate to the “Backups” tab, select the backup you just created and choose “Upload” to begin the transfer.
    • Tap the + button again, navigate to the “Scores” tab, tap “All” in the lower left-hand corner to select all files. Ensure that the upload format is “PDF” in the bottom right-hand corner, then choose “Upload” to begin the transfer.
    • Tap the + button and navigate to the “Audio” tab. If any files listed, tap “All” in the lower left-hand corner to select all of them and choose “Upload” to begin the transfer.
    • Repeat the last step for the upload picker’s “Other” tab, if necessary.

Using forScore Backup Utility for MacforScore 10.5 & 3.5

Archive your library directly to a Mac running macOS 10.13 or newer by downloading our free backup utility. This creates a single 4SB Archive file on your computer that can be used to recover your entire forScore library if needed. If you need to be able to browse through and access your documents on your computer, see the “using iTunes” section above.

  • Connect your iOS device to your computer using its USB cable
  • Launch forScore Backup Utility
  • Open forScore and choose “Backup” from the tools menu
  • Create a new archive by tapping the + button in forScore’s Backup panel, or restore from an existing archive by clicking “Restore…” in the Backup Utility app on your Mac

Please don’t leave your hard work up to chance, back up regularly!

If you ever need to restore your data from a forScore backup, see this article: Restoring your library from a forScore backup file

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How do I annotate behind the toolbar at the top of the page?

While you’re annotating, forScore displays a toolbar so you can change drawing presets, tools, save or cancel your changes, or move between pages. This toolbar covers up part of the page, so you’ll need to move it when you want to annotate near the top of the screen.

On either side of the toolbar you’ll see a set of three horizontal lines. This is a standard iOS control that signifies when something can be moved up or down, for instance when reordering items in a list. Tap and drag this control up or down to move the annotation controls out of the way and they’ll stay there until you move them again (even if you exit and re-enter annotation mode later).

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Why is there a blue line across my page?

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. This feature can be enabled by tapping on the circled “1/2” button in the main control bar. Tap it once to enable half-page turns (it will turn blue) and tap it again to disable them (it will turn gray).

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.

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Can I brighten a bad scan or copy and paste measures between pages?

PDF files are designed to display their information predictably and to look the same no matter which device or operating system you use to view it. The file extension stands for “portable document format,” and it’s generally only meant to be read, not modified (except for in certain specific cases, like forms with fields).

Although PDF files can be created from images, you can’t work with them the same way you might work with an image file. Instead of pixels, PDF files think in terms of vectors and points—relative measurements rather than concrete ones. They often include highly specific data that can’t be conveyed through an image, like web links, multimedia, or computer-readable text.

What this means for apps like forScore is that while we can allow users to take photos and make adjustments to brightness and contrast, once those images are saved into a PDF file those kinds of changes can no longer be made safely. As a result, any issues with your scans must be corrected before you create your PDF file.

For the same reasons, copying and pasting measures isn’t practical with an app like forScore. We provide additional tools that let you augment how your document is displayed (by adding annotations, for example), but we can’t modify the document itself in the same ways.

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Why do bookmarks stop me from turning the page?

When you create a bookmark in forScore, you can either specify an “end page” number or you can simply leave it blank. There are important differences in how forScore works depending on which choice you make.

If you leave the end page blank, the bookmark works like an easy reference to a specific page. Select it from the Bookmarks menu and you’ll go to the corresponding page, but everything else will stay the same—you can turn pages backward and forward throughout the entire score just like you’d expect.

If you supply an end page, you’ll be creating a kind of “virtual score” in your forScore library. This is intended to help people split up multiple works within a single PDF file without having to actually separate the pages into many different files. It treats a specific range of pages as a different piece in your library, so when you select it from the Bookmarks menu you’ll only be able to work with those pages. For instance, if your bookmark starts on page 3 and ends on page 5, you won’t be able to turn backwards from page 3 to 2, or forward from 5 to 6.

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I accidentally deleted a stamp, can I get it back?

If you accidentally delete a stamp from the default set that comes with the app, you can get it back by visiting the Settings panel in forScore’s Tools menu. Near the bottom of the list, tap “Reset,” then tap “Reset Stamps” and confirm.

Warning: resetting stamps removes all of your stamps and replaces them with the default set. If you’ve customized your stamps in any way, consider replacing the missing stamp with an image instead of resetting all of them.

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Understanding Backups, Syncing, and iCloud

Backing up your data is an important part of using forScore, and with today’s cloud-connected devices it can be hard to know exactly where your data is at all times. This document explains how and where forScore stores your information and gives you a broad understanding of how you can effectively back it up. For step-by-step instructions, visit this article.

App Storage

Every app on your device has a standard set of folders that it uses to store information. The Documents directory is commonly used to store user content, like documents you add to (or create within) an app. If an app chooses to do so, like forScore does, it can make the contents of this folder available through the Files app or through iTunes on a computer when your device is connected to it.

Other data like app settings, which are designed to be changed through the app’s interface and not edited directly, are stored in a number of private app directories instead.

Documents (Public)

PDF files, CSV indexes, recordings, tracks, 4SB backups, and more

Library (Private)

Annotations, setlists, bookmarks, metadata, settings, and more

4SB Backups

When you access forScore’s documents through the Files app or with iTunes’ File Sharing panel, you’re only seeing some of forScore’s data. If you were to back these files up and copy them to a new forScore installation, you’d find that your annotations, metadata, setlists, settings, and certain other information would all be missing. To help you keep all of that extra information, forScore’s Backup panel lets you export its private app data as a single 4SB backup file that’s stored in the Documents directory alongside the rest of your documents. Together, an up-to-date 4SB backup and a copy of every other file in forScore’s Documents directory is enough to duplicate or restore your music library. Backups cannot be used on their own: they snapshot forScore’s information about your files, not your files themselves.

4SB ArchivesforScore 10.4.7 & 3.4.7

You can also use forScore’s Backup panel to create 4SB archives. An archive is a single 4SB file that includes a copy of every file in forScore’s Documents directory as well as the private information that’s contained in a standard 4SB backup. Because they duplicate all of your documents, archives require much more free space on your device, but they are more convenient because they contain everything you need to migrate or recover your entire forScore library. They can be uploaded to your preferred cloud storage service or copied to a computer using iTunes.

iCloud Backups

Depending on your settings, iOS can regularly back up your entire device through iTunes or iCloud. If your device is lost or damaged, you can usually use this information to get back up and running quickly. Keep in mind, however, that iCloud offers limited storage and that you can’t restore data for a single app—it’s all or nothing. Because of this, we also recommend manually backing up your forScore library on a regular basis.

iCloud Syncing

Some apps use iCloud to store and synchronize their content between devices. This gives you access to your documents from any device, but it also comes at a cost: an app may not always be able to access those documents immediately. If the system is busy syncing, or if the content simply hasn’t been transferred over to your device yet, the app must wait. Since forScore was built for speed, we don’t use this system. When musicians turn the page from one score in a setlist to the next, they need it to be ready at a moment’s notice.

Deleting forScore

If you delete forScore from your device, all of your information goes with it. If an Apple employee tells you to delete the app to fix a problem, be sure you have made a complete backup first. We don’t store a copy of your files and can’t help you get them back if they’re erased.

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Why is there a gray bar in annotation mode?

In annotation mode, forScore can display a ruler that helps you draw straight lines or better align elements like stamps or shapes. You can drag the ruler around on the screen with one finger to reposition it, or place two fingers on it and rotate them to adjust its angle. Tap this icon in the annotation toolbar to control whether or not the ruler is visible (the icon is outlined when the ruler is hidden and filled when it is shown):

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Does forScore sync or back up my files to the cloud?

No. forScore helps you work with your own PDF sheet music collection by augmenting it with additional information and tools. Due to technical and legal considerations, forScore deals only with the files that exist on your device (in forScore’s Documents directory) and does not transmit these files to any server.

If you use iCloud and have enabled iCloud backups for your device, Apple routinely updates a copy of all the information on your device to their own iCloud servers. If your device is damaged or lost, or if you’re migrating to a new device, this backup can be used to transfer all of your information and settings over. Note, however, that iCloud backups can not be used to restore information for a specific app—it’s all or nothing. Note also that these backups are not incremental; if your information is corrupted and then backed up to iCloud, there is no way to revert to an earlier state.

As such, it’s important to regularly back up your sheet music library and your forScore database to a computer. Learn more about forScore backups here.

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Why are there blue rectangles on certain pages?

Many PDF files embed hyperlinks into their pages to direct you to a webpage or perform certain actions (like compose a new email) when you click on a specific word, phrase, or image. These hyperlinks are just one type of embedded PDF annotation that your files may include on any of their pages. In forScore, hyperlinks are highlighted using a semi-transparent blue rectangle with a darker border. If they’re particularly small, like the hyperlinks that are sometimes added to every note in LilyPond files, they may appear as small bubbles instead.

If you’re working with files that misuse these links, or if you don’t use them, you can disable them in forScore’s settings panel. Open the Tools menu and choose Settings, then tap “PDF annotations” and uncheck “Hyperlinks” as well as any other embedded annotations you prefer not to see.

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What happened to the page thumbnail preview?

With iOS 11, the long press gesture is used with Drag and Drop, so Quick Peek (the page thumbnail that allows you to preview a page or open a file in a new tab) can now be activated by long pressing with two fingers, or by swiping from left to right over a menu item. Users with iOS 10 or earlier can continue to use the long press gesture.

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