At A Glance

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All Categories

Organizing Your Music

Merging two or more files

Use the following process to merge two or more files into a single PDF:

  • Open the score menu and navigate to a view that shows all of the files you’d like to combine
  • Tap the edit button and tap to select each of the files you would like to combine in order from first to last
  • Tap the Merge button at the top of the list
  • Provide a name for the merged file and choose whether or not you’d like to retain the source PDFs

Note: Page specific information like annotations and links are copied to the new merged file, but only the metadata from the first item you select will be used. Metadata from the other items you’re merging (like composers, genres, etc.) will not be assigned to the resulting file.

If you need greater control over the order of pages, or if you want to remove certain pages, use the Rearrange tool instead.

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Understanding the setlist menu

Unlike the score menu, which automatically generates and sorts its contents, the setlist menu is completely manual. Create a setlist by tapping the + button and supplying a title, and rename or move it up or down at any time by tapping the “edit” button. Tap on any setlist to view or edit its contents.

The main list of setlists and the contents of each individual setlist can be sorted manually, alphabetically, or by least-recently played (fresh). In addition, individual setlists can be sorted randomly and shuffled at any time: drag the list downward until you see the refresh control, then let go to re-shuffle the queue.

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Managing a score’s setlist and library membership

The “setlists” tab in the metadata panel lets you quickly manage which setlists the current score is a part of. Tap a setlist to add the current score to it (a blue check will appear) and tap it again to remove it. If you have multiple libraries set up, a similar “libraries” panel lets you manage library membership in the same manner.

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Using Indexes to create bookmarks

About Indexes

When you’re using one long PDF file with multiple pieces within it, bookmarks are an essential part of ensuring that forScore can be at its best, giving you all of the great features you’d get with individual PDF files for each score.

Since adding bookmarks can be a daunting and time-consuming task, use the Indexes feature to create bookmarks from a comma-separated value (CSV) file. To begin, import a CSV file by downloading it through the Services panel, copying it to forScore from another app (or using Drag and Drop), or by adding it to your forScore library from a computer using Apple’s File Sharing panel.

Importing Data From Indexes

While viewing your score, open the Bookmarks menu and tap “Indexes” in the top left-hand corner and choose your CSV file. Values found in each column are listed in the “values” section—tap any of them to assign their information to specific types of forScore metadata, then browse through each record to make sure things look right. The minimum values to create bookmarks are title and starting page; if you want to be able to add individual metadata or add bookmarks to setlists, you’ll also need to set an end page. Set a page offset value, if necessary, and check the thumbnail preview to make sure each bookmark lines up correctly. Skip any header or footer rows as needed, then tap “save” when you’re ready.

If you have multiple CSV files that are structured similarly, you can save and reuse your current value mapping in the future by selecting “default to these settings.” Each time you repeat this process, those settings will be applied by default and you can make any changes, if necessary, before importing the data.

About the CSV Format

CSV files are text documents whose contents follow certain rules. Each line of text (with a newline or carriage return character at the end) contains one or more values separated by a comma. Since newline characters and commas are both used structurally, there are certain rules for how they must be used within values (e.g. if the name of a bookmark is supposed to contain a comma it should be surrounded by double quotes).

In most cases, using a spreadsheet editor is easier and will ensure your data fully conforms to the CSV specification. A CSV file that contains the text shown below, when opened in a program like Excel or Numbers, will be properly formatted and editable without worrying about specific rules or scenarios:

The First Song,”A value, with a comma”,2012,1,2
Another Song,”A value with “”quotes”””,1976,3,5

Name Artist Year Start End
The First Song A value, with a comma 2012 1 2
Another Song A value with “quotes” 1976 3 5

Editing a CSV file directly is as easy as opening a text file, but ensuring that it can be parsed correctly is another story. Whenever possible, we recommend that you rely on spreadsheet editors to do that work for you.

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Using the Clone feature to create multiple versions of a score

forScore 11 includes a Clone feature that allows you to duplicate scores in your forScore library without using up any additional storage space. This is possible because of a file system-level feature that allows multiple documents to share the same data whenever possible. They’re completely independent and work just like any other files in your library. They can be modified at any time, at which point iOS will separate their data and use up more of your storage space.

To clone a document, open the score menu and tap Edit, select your document, tap “Clone” and supply a name for your copy.

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Editing information with the metadata panel

In the score, bookmark, and setlist menus, tap the blue arrow button off to the right-hand side of any score or certain bookmarks to open the metadata panel where you can view and edit forScore’s information about that item. From the main screen, you can also tap the title in the menu bar for quick access to the current score or bookmark’s information.


A score’s title is, by default, its filename minus the “.pdf” extension. If you change the title, forScore updates the filename to match as closely as possible (it adds a number if needed to ensure that the filename is unique).

Note: With forScore 11.2, you can change this behavior in the “advanced options” section of forScore’s settings panel so that changing a score’s title does not affect its filename. If you do, forScore will provide an additional “rename” contextual option in the Score menu so you can still rename files when you need to (without losing your annotations or metadata).

Multiple Values

Items may have one or more composers, genres, tags, or labels. To use multiple values, separate them using commas within each text field. For instance, “tag 1, tag 2” is automatically separated and creates two entries (“tag 1” and “tag 2”) in the Tags list.

Other Metadata

Other values include rating and difficulty (which can be set by tapping or sliding your finger across their star or dot symbols), time, and key. In the Layout tab in the lower section of the metadata panel, you can also specify a page offset to account for a preface or title page.


Bookmarks can be created by supplying a title, start page number, and an optional end page number. If no end page number is provided, the bookmark lets you quickly access that page but offers no additional abilities and does not maintain its own metadata values. If you do provide an end page, forScore creates a reference to that range of pages and treats them like any other score in your library: you can add metadata to them, add them to setlists, and more. (The rest of this section pertains to this second type of bookmark.)

There are a few differences between working with metadata for scores and bookmarks. Unlike with scores, a bookmark’s title has no relation to its PDF filename. Bookmark titles must be unique within their parent score, otherwise you can use any value you like. Page offsets are available for scores only, since the number of leading pages isn’t something that’s specific to a particular bookmark.

Batch editing

When you access the metadata panel from one of forScore’s menus, you’ll see a + button in the top right-hand corner that lets you select additional files and edit some of their values all at once. Batch editing is not available when you tap the main view’s title display to access the current item’s metadata.

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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.


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.


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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Understanding alphabetical sorting

Alphabetical sorting in most of forScore’s menus works by skipping leading articles such as “a”, “an”, and “the”, much like a library catalog or book index. If you prefer, you can disable the “Smart sorting” option for three categories in the app’s settings panel under “Sorting” to list the items purely by first letter.

When viewing the list of composers, forScore also alphabetizes by last name (or the last word of a name). If you prefer to sort using the first name of each composer value, open the app’s settings panel, and under Sorting, and enable “sort composers by first name.”

Note: As of forScore 11.2, Smart Sorting also applies to setlist names and categories by default (except for Composers when sorted by first name). In forScore’s settings panel, tap “smart sorting” and check or uncheck items, scores, or categories to enable or disable smart sorting for any of these three types of content.

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Organization Basics

The score menu organizes your files by Composers, Genres, Tags, and Labels. These lists are generated dynamically, so they’ll only show values currently being used by one or more items in your library. (Learn more about changing an item’s properties using the Metadata panel.)

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 and ignores common words like “the,” “a,” and “and” when sorting categories, scores, bookmarks, and setlists. You can adjust these behaviors within forScore’s settings panel to better suit your needs.

The setlist menu lets you create lists and group things manually so you can play through them in any order you need. Setlists even allow you to place the same item in a list more than once. Learn more about setlists here.

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Fetching PDF metadata

PDF files sometimes contain their own information for title, author, subject, and keywords, which can be used by forScore as values for title, composer, genre, and tags respectively. If you’ve already imported a PDF file that might contain metadata, tap “Fetch…” above the keyboard while editing any field to see if any of this information exists and then decide if you’d like to use it or not. To automatically check for and use this information when a new file is added to your library, enable the “automatic fetching for new files” option in forScore’s settings panel.

To learn more about the types of PDF metadata forScore supports and the formatting it uses, visit this page.

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Deleting or replacing metadata

When you’re working with metadata, a box to the left of each field helps you understand and control what will happen to any existing information once you’re done editing. If it’s unchecked or empty, no changes will be made to your file for that specific type of metadata. If it’s checked, the file’s existing metadata will be replaced with whatever you’ve entered in. The best choice is selected for you automatically as you work with these fields, but you can tap the box at any time to change it. For instance, if you want to clear out any existing values for a field, delete the text and then tap the box on the left so it shows a check mark. This replaces the value that was there previously with the one you’ve entered in: nothing.

If you’re batch editing, the Composers, Genres, and Tags fields will toggle between the same “checked” state—meaning that existing values will be replaced with whatever you’ve typed in—and an “append” state (a plus symbol). In this case, the + indicates that the values you’ve entered in will be added to the selected files, and that all existing values will be preserved.

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