forScore 8: Annotations

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Annotation is the heart of forScore, and we’re constantly looking for ways to improve not just the technologies that power it, but also the interface that defines it. With forScore 8, coming later this month, we’ve redesigned the annotation controls to refocus on efficiency and clarity. We’ve flattened a hierarchy of panels and popovers into a more utilitarian layout that reduces the number of taps required to annotate effectively.

Instead of picking your drawing presets from a list of names, they’re all on display along the toolbar so you can find the right one instantly and select it with a tap. If you want to edit it, tap a second time, and if you have more presets than fit on the page you can scroll left and right to see them all. Stamps and shapes work similarly, with a live preview of your current stamp or shape tinted and resized to match your settings. Tap once to select either tool, and select again to pick a new stamp or shape or to edit it.

The stamps panel itself has been completely rewritten as a collection view that scrolls up and down freely instead of paging left and right, and it no longer requires an “edit” mode to rearrange, add, delete, or edit your stamps. We’ve also added a new layout that makes stamps accessible without covering up a significant portion of the page: tap the new arrow button in the top left-hand corner to shrink it down into a single column of stamps that fills up the screen vertically. Finally, when placing stamps on a page, last-minute movements made by lifting your finger are now ignored for improved accuracy.

Text annotations got some improvements, too, with a new scaling option in the settings panel to ensure that text annotations line up consistently with your music in both portrait and landscape orientations. Since this affects existing annotations, it has only been enabled by default for new users. For other users, turning it on will make text annotations larger in landscape orientation than they have been previously, so some manual adjustments might be necessary.

These improvements join a list of great updates coming with forScore 8, and we’re very excited to get them out the door. If you haven’t had a chance to check them out yet, be sure to take a look at our previous posts unveiling a new media box, tuner, and devices panel.