Feature of the Week

10.4: In-Place Editing

| Feature of the Week

For most of iOS’ history, sharing files between apps has always worked one way—it sent a copy of the file to the receiving app, duplicating the data and making sure each app could only modify its own version. This straightforward way of copying content between apps is easy to understand, but it also makes editing files more difficult and uses up more of your device’s storage.

With forScore 10.4 and iOS 11 we now support in-place editing of files. That means that you can use other apps on your device to modify the files stored within forScore without duplicating them first, as long as two conditions are met: First, the other app must support in-place editing (if it doesn’t, it gets a copy of the file just like before). Second, only files stored within forScore’s Documents directory can be edited—if you share an annotated PDF, for example, forScore sends a temporary copy that isn’t saved anywhere, so any edits made won’t be reflected within forScore.

The easiest way to edit a file with another app is to share it from forScore and choose the app you want to view or modify it with. As we discussed last week, forScore now integrates with iOS 11’s Files app—this means you can also open the Files app and choose to share one of forScore’s files with another app. If you’re working with an app that uses iOS’ document browser to open files, like our Badger app does, you can even access and update forScore’s documents without leaving the app you’re working in.

Lets look at some examples:

  • A PDF file’s table of contents has an entry that is misspelled and you’d like to correct it. Sharing the score from forScore as a PDF allows you to open the file in Badger, our PDF editing app, and make your edits. Because Badger also supports in-place editing, when you return to forScore your changes are immediately reflected in the Bookmarks menu’s TOC tab.
  • The page number of several entries in a CSV index file are incorrect and must be updated before you can create bookmarks within that file. Sharing the file from forScore and opening it with a text editing app on your iPad allows you to make those changes and save them, so that when you return to forScore they’re ready to go.
  • While browsing forScore’s documents in the Files app, you notice that the lyrics of a piece haven’t been updated properly. Tapping and holding the file and choosing “share” allows you to open the PDF file in another editing app on your device, correct the text, and save the changes. When you open forScore, the file has been updated.

If it seems like there are a lot of rules and different scenarios for working with your files, you’re right! By opening up the ability to access files between apps, Apple has introduced a decent amount of complexity that just didn’t exist before.

Fortunately, there’s a great example of a device that plenty of people use every day and behaves similarly: computers. If you’ve learned how to work with files and folders, apps and websites, then you’re already familiar with many of these concepts and after a little bit of an adjustment period you’ll be whizzing back and forth making edits without breaking a sweat.