feature of the week

Page Turners & Shortcuts

| feature of the week

Job number one for any sheet music reader is making sure basic navigation is as straightforward as possible while offering enough flexibility to work for the wide range of musicians and instruments out there. The fundamentals of page turning in forScore haven’t changed much since its introduction over seven years ago, but we’ve added a lot since then. The best example of this is the Page Turners & Shortcuts section of forScore’s settings panel.

Not long after the iPad’s (and forScore’s) introduction, we started hearing from companies that were looking to create physical devices that could help musicians turn pages without reaching up to touch the screen. In many cases, this took the form of wireless, Bluetooth foot pedals that mimicked keyboards to pair and communicate with the iPad. App developers weren’t able to directly monitor these keyboard inputs, however, so we had to get creative to adequately respond to those incoming signals.

Fortunately, Apple greatly improved the situation in 2013 with the release of iOS 7, allowing apps to respond directly to keyboard shortcuts. We used these new functions to add the “Page Turners & Shortcuts” section to forScore’s settings panel. It allowed users to tap a command, then press a key on their device, remapping that keystroke to the corresponding function whenever they used the device with forScore. We didn’t just use it for page turns, however—we added support for dozens of features like controlling audio playback, activating links and buttons, starting and stopping the metronome, and much, much more.

After the introduction of Apple’s Smart Keyboard cover, we made working with a standard keyboard more powerful by adding default shortcuts for many of forScore’s most popular features (any of which can be remapped to different keystrokes or pedal presses). With a traditional keyboard connected to your iPad, press and hold the command key to see all of the options available to you on the current screen.

This panel isn’t just limited to keyboard-based devices, it also works with MIDI devices: tap a function, use your MIDI device to send a command, and from then on you’ll be able to trigger that function at any time by sending that same signal. It also works with select Bluetooth Smart devices such as the iRig BlueBoard and FiftyThree Pencil. These devices can even send two types of signals: one for a standard button press, and another for a longer press and hold.

If you use forScore with a page turner, smart stylus, or keyboard, be sure to take a peek at this powerful panel if you haven’t already. You might just find a better way to work.