In the settings panel you’ll find a forScore-specific option called “Auto-lock”. If enabled, forScore will allow your device’s screen to dim then sleep if it’s set up to do so. If you disable this option, forScore will override the device’s settings and prevent it from going to sleep as long as forScore is visible on the screen.
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).
Most PDF files contain white space around the edges, but these margins are more important for printing something out rather than displaying it on a screen. To crop individual pages within a PDF file, use Crop tool by following these steps:
- Open the Tools menu (toolbox icon) and choose Crop
- The app will attempt to detect the edges of the music and auto-crop the score
- Use two fingers to zoom in or pan around and enlarge the page further if needed
- Use the slider in the crop toolbar to adjust the skew of the page if needed
- Tap the next page arrow to move through the rest of the file and make further page-specific adjustments if needed
- Tap Crop when finished to save your changes
If you’d like to adjust the margins for all pages in a file at once, learn more about margin adjustment.
Your data is incredibly important—priceless, in some cases. That’s why forScore includes a built-in backup function that plays an essential role in your overall backup strategy. Here are a few things to know to ensure that your data is always protected:
iOS Device 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.
In forScore’s tools menu, you’ll find the backup panel. This panel allows you to save all of your library information—including metadata, setlists, links, annotations, and more—into a forScore Backup (4SB) file in the app’s documents directory alongside all of your PDFs. In fact, forScore automatically creates these files every time you launch the app, just in case something goes wrong and you need to revert back to an earlier state.
It’s important to note, however, that these backups don’t contain duplicates of your PDF files, so while they’re an important part of backing up your data, they’re not a complete solution on their own. 4SB files can only be used in conjunction with PDF files—it cannot replace them if they’re lost.
When you connect your iOS device to iTunes on a Mac or PC, the File Sharing panel allows you to not only add files, but to save them back to your hard drive as well. Since forScore’s backup files are stored in that same location, saving all of your information is as easy as selecting all of the files in that list and saving them to a safe location on your computer.
- In forScore, open the Tools menu and choose Backup
- Tap the + button to create a new backup file that will save all of your annotations, metadata, setlists, and settings into a single file. When it’s finished, you will see the new file listed in the backup panel, named with the date and time.
- Close forScore and connect your iOS device to your computer
- Open iTunes on your computer and select your device from the list of devices (the same as if you were managing its syncing settings)
- Click the “Apps” button across the top of the iTunes window, then scroll down to where it says “File Sharing”
- Choose forScore from the list, and a panel will appear to the right showing all of your files.
- Select all of the files 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 to save all the files. We recommend creating a dedicated folder for your forScore library.
- Once chosen, the transfer will begin immediately, with a progress bar displaying at the top of the iTunes window.
- When the transfer is complete, you can disconnect your device from your computer.
Please don’t leave your hard work up to chance, back up regularly!
*iCloud’s ability to back up your documents can be unreliable, so your mileage may vary.
Most PDF files contain white space around the edges, but these margins are more important for printing something out rather than displaying it on a screen. The margin adjustment slider allows you to zoom in equally towards the center of every page of that score at once. It doesn’t affect the original file, so you can still print it out later if you need to.
- Open the metadata panel for the item you’d like to adjust (tap the title display for the current item or tap the round arrow button to the right of an item in a menu)
- Make sure the “Layout” tab is selected about 2/3 down the panel
- Use the slider at the very bottom to make a global adjustment to the margins of the file
- The preview image will update when the slider is released, and you can page through by swiping or tapping the blue arrows to check how the adjustment affects the other pages in the file
- When finished, tap away from the panel to close it and save the changes
To crop individual pages differently or off-center, consider using the Crop function in the tools menu instead. Note that cropped pages won’t zoom in when you move the margin adjuster.
You can customize forScore’s settings as needed to tailor the app to your particular needs. Below are descriptions for each of the settings available through the Tools menu.
Note: These settings are found in forScore 10.1. Earlier versions may differ.
- Gestures: Configure forScore’s taps, swipes, and shortcuts to better suit your needs.
- Page turners & shortcuts: Use keyboard shortcuts, MIDI signals, or page turner pedal presses to trigger certain actions, and choose to allow page turners to function while in annotation or crop mode.
- MIDI: Toggle the ability to send and receive MIDI commands or use the piano keyboard as a synthesizer.
- Page transitions: This setting affects the transition animation that is used when turning pages.
- Flip between scores: Choose when to advance from the end of one score to the beginning of the next, like a book.
- Two-up page advance: Choose whether to advance one or two pages at a time when using two-up mode.
- Up next: See the next queued item’s title in the status bar when you reach the last page of the current item.
- Gradient effect: Applies a subtle gradient effect to pages, simulating natural lighting and reducing eye strain.
- Sepia effect: Tint forScore’s views for a warmer, more natural color.
- Always show seek bar: The seek bar (the dotted line along the bottom of the page) usually appears and hides along with the control bar. Enabling this setting keeps it on the screen at all times.
- Always show tab bar: Prevents the tab bar from hiding automatically when only one tab is open.
- Always show playback controls: Shows the rewind, play, and pause buttons even when other controls are hidden.
- Show status bar: Controls whether the system status bar along the top of the screen is visible while using forScore.
- Scale text annotations: Enables a more accurate method of scaling text annotations when switching between portrait and landscape mode.
- PDF annotations: Choose which kinds of embedded PDF annotations forScore should display, and whether or not they should be tappable if their author has included additional comments.
- Score menu includes bookmarks: Bookmarks typically appear in two places—the bookmarks menu itself, and alongside other files in the score menu. Disable this to hide bookmarks from the score menu.
- Smart sorting: When enabled, items are sorted by ignoring common prefixes like “the,” “a,” or “an.”
- Sort composers by first name: Alphabetizes by first word in the composer value instead of the last word.
- Automatic fetching for new files: Allows forScore to scan new files for PDF metadata and import it automatically.
- Use external audio: When forScore launches, it checks to see if the iPad’s audio system is currently in use. If so, this option will allow you to control playback of that track, temporarily overriding any linked tracks.
- Apple Pencil: Allow forScore to automatically enter and/or exit annotation mode when Apple Pencil is used.
- Annotation tools: Control how forScore saves your last-used preset between annotation sessions.
- Auto-lock: Disable this setting to prevent the iPad from sleeping automatically while forScore is open.
- Accessibility: Enable Reflow, change the app’s color, use full-screen menus, or use custom metronome sounds.
- Restrictions: Set a passcode and hide certain features.
- Reset: Restore default app settings, stamps, or drawing presets, or scan your library and remove any unused data.
By default, forScore’s settings allow you to turn pages from one file to the next in the queue when viewing a setlist, but not from the main score menu (music note icon). You can adjust this in the app’s settings panel under “Flip between scores.” The options are:
- Off: Only allows you to flip between pages within the same PDF file.
- Setlists: Allows you to flip from one score to the next when viewing a setlist. Queue order is determined by the sort order you’ve selected in that setlist (Manual, Sorted, Fresh, or Shuffle)
- All: Allows you to flip from one score to the next when viewing a file from either the Score or Setlist menu. Queue order is determined by the sort order of the menu or sub-menu where you first viewed the file.
forScore has a seek bar that appears along with the rest of forScore’s controls when you tap once in the center of the screen. It displays down at the bottom just like in iBooks and shows a thumbnail preview of the page as you drag the slider back and forth. If you’d like the seek bar to stay put at all times, enable the “Always show seek bar” option in the app’s setting panel.
There are two ways to delete scores within the app, but you can also delete them directly from your device through iTunes, or through the Console web editor. Below are instructions for all four methods.
Swipe to Delete:
- In the scores menu (music note icon), swipe from right to left across the title of an item and a red “Delete” button will appear.
- Tap the Delete button to confirm, and it will be removed from your library immediately.
Delete One or More Files:
- In the scores menu, tap the Edit button in the upper right corner of the menu, then tap to select one or more files from the list.
- When finished, tap the Delete button that appears in the menu options at the top, then confirm when prompted to delete the files immediately.
Managing Your Files through iTunes:
- Connect your device to your computer and open iTunes, then select it from the list of devices.
- Click the “Apps” tab across the top of the iTunes window, then scroll down to where it says “File Sharing”
- Select forScore from the list of apps, and use the panel on the right to view the files in your library.
- Select one or more like you would in your file browser, then press the Delete or Backspace key to delete them, and confirm when prompted.
Deleting files through the “Console” web editor:
- Make sure your iOS device and computer are on the same wi-fi network
- Open the forScore Tools menu and choose Console
- Follow the on-screen instructions to authorize your computer to access your forScore library
- Click on an item in the menus in your browser to display its metadata
- Click on the file name to view the PDF in a new tab if needed
- Click the Delete icon (trash can) to delete the file. (You can also hold Ctrl/Command or Shift while clicking to select multiple items and delete them all at once.)
forScore doesn’t use “windows” like a conventional desktop app, so there’s not a home screen or a way to close the score you’re viewing, and the app will always recall the last thing you were viewing when it relaunches. You can select a new item from any of the menus and the one you were viewing previously will effectively “close”. forScore then clears that previous item out of memory automatically so you don’t need to worry about having too many things open at once.
If you would like to show multiple things at once, you can open items in new tabs, much like a web browser. To do this, tap and hold an item in the menu until the preview image appears, then tap the “+” button to open it in a new tab.
Menus are a big part of forScore, so understanding how they’re organized in general can help you move from one to another without getting lost.
forScore’s menus are usually presented in popups, and the first thing you’ll see when you open one up is the navigation bar. It’s the topmost portion of the popup, and includes a title as well as edit, add, and back buttons (when appropriate).
Below the navigation bar, you’ll see a series of buttons that alter the content or sort order of the list below it. While you’re editing a list, this bar may also show available actions, and it may scroll left and right if needed to display all of the options.
Next, you’ll see the list itself, which also includes a search bar hidden up at the top—just drag the list downward until it starts to appear, then let go and it’ll slide out. When you’re done searching, or when you drag the list back up, the search bar will slide back under the control bar and hide out of sight until you need it again.
Menus may also include an index down the right-hand side which allows you to move quickly through the current list. Tap or drag your finger up and down over it to navigate to a particular spot or first letter (if the list is sorted alphabetically).
The score menu can organize your files by Composers, Genres, and Tags. These lists are generated dynamically, so they’ll only show values currently being used by one or more items in a library.
Tap any of these entries and you’ll see a new list containing all of the scores that pertain to that category. A single score may be visible in several different lists, so long as it matches the corresponding category or setlist. (For example, a score with “Johann Sebastian Bach” as its composer and “Romantic” as its genre will be listed under both of these categories.) Most submenus can be sorted by date added, rating, difficulty, key, time, or alphabetically.
Note: By default, forScore sorts Composers alphabetically by last name. You can change this in the app’s settings panel to sort by first name.
In many of forScore’s menus, a search bar hidden up at the top of the list will allow you to filter down its items and find exactly what you’re looking for. If you’re viewing a list of composers, for instance, drag the list downward and type a few letters to see composer names containing those letters. If you’re viewing a list of scores, you can also use multiple words in any order to match either the score’s title or its composers.
In most cases, however, it’s easier to find what you’re looking for by using the global search function (the magnifying glass icon in the main control bar). You can search for any score, bookmark, setlist, or category (composer, genre, or tag). You can even search for an action or tool by name to get to it quickly.
Turn the page with two basic kinds of gestures: swipes and taps. Swipe left or right across the screen like flipping through pages in a book, or simply tap either side of the screen once.
You can also adjust the page transition type in the app’s settings panel under the Tools menu, and choose between curl, slide, stack, or no transition at all.
To get a better view of your score, turn your device sideways: the page will fill up the screen’s width and extend downward if necessary. Swipe or tap to scroll from top to bottom and between pages, or drag the page up and down with your finger.
You can also view two pages at a time in landscape orientation.
To save real estate, all of forScore’s controls are hidden by default. A quick, single tap in the middle of the page will reveal the control bar along the top of the screen. This control bar gives you access to six important items (in blue): scores, bookmarks, and setlists on the left, and search, the metronome, and the tools menu on the right.
The darker area in the middle of the toolbar displays the current item’s title and composer and gives you quick access to important settings and tools. By default, the button on the left toggles either half-page turns or a two-page view, depending on the orientation of your device. The button on the right reveals a second page of tools, and you can swipe left and right to move between pages at any time. Use the edit button on the second page to place the two you use the most on the first page for easy access.
If you’d like to quickly see part of a page up close, place two fingers on the screen and move them farther apart to zoom in, or closer together (pinch) to zoom out. Double-tap the screen while zoomed in to return to the normal size.
To open an item, just tap on it. If you’re viewing a list of scores, you can tap and hold your finger down on an item to preview it. Then, tap the thumbnail image of the page to open it, tap the + button in the lower right-hand corner to open it in a new tab, or tap outside of it to close the preview. To delete an item, swipe your finger across it from right to left and tap on the “Delete” button that appears.
You may also see a button or symbol off to the right-hand side of each item. A plain arrow or chevron symbol indicates that selecting that row will display an additional list of items, such as selecting a composer to see all of their scores. A circled arrow is a button: tap on it to view and edit metadata for that item, or tap anywhere else in the row to open it.
One of the most important items in a menu is the edit button in the top right-hand corner. When highlighted, you can choose multiple items in the list and use the options along the top of the list to work with those files in a number of different ways. These options can vary, but usually include the ability to select all items, reset (de-select all items), and delete items.