Useful new features for singers in the forScore 4 update

Posted: August 8, 2012 in annotation, apps, choral, forScore, iPad, sheet music, tablet

Credit: forScore

forScore 4 has been out for about a week now, and while I haven’t played with every single new feature on their gargantuan list, there are a few I wanted to call out for my fellow singers: shortcut gestures, faster handling of large scores, setlist sharing, and virtual margin cropping.  I’ve given details below.

A couple other things about the forScore upgrade: Check out Paul Shimmon’s post about forScore 4 with screenshots over at iPad and Technology in Music Education.  Also, a little bird told me that version 4.1 with more bug fixes is currently under review by Apple and should be out soon.

Now, about those features:

Shortcut gestures

forScore has increased the number of available shortcut gestures to three.  If you haven’t set these up, do it right now – with regular use, they’ll make you more productive when rehearsing.  Tap on Toolbox icon, then Settings, then the Gestures button:

Here’s how I have mine set up, you might prefer some other actions instead:

Faster handling of large scores

Page turns and the page-finding slider now seem faster and more responsive on my 300+ page opera scores.  Yay!

Next up: If you are a music librarian or do programming or music distribution for a chorus or other ensemble, these next features will be of particular interest.

Setlist sharing

You can now share setlists with members of your chorus.  This is a convenient way to send out the program order for a concert (plus any changes/updates to the program later on) so that members can import it straight into forScore on their iPads.

You’ll need a Dropbox account to export the setlist into forScore’s 4SS file.  You can then share the 4SS setlist file with your members via email, website, Dropbox, or any other method.  The basic steps are:

  1. Tap on Toolbox icon, then Dropbox (enter your Dropbox credentials here to link your account if prompted)
  2. Navigate to the folder where you want to upload the setlist and tap the “Upload…” button at the top
  3. Scroll to near the bottom of the list and look for the name of your setlist, then tap it to checkmark it (Note: I tried the Setlists button at the top and it didn’t behave the way I expected – it checkmarks all setlists but does not hide non-setlists, so you still have to scroll all the way to the bottom to notice that the setlists are checked.)
  4. Tap Upload in the top right corner
  5. Choose “Setlist Only” or “Include Scores” (Note: if you choose “Setlist Only”, the setlist file will only work for the recipient if they already have the PDF scores and they are named exactly the same as yours)
  6. Now your 4SS setlist file is in Dropbox and you can distribute it as you wish.  Recipients can import and open the setlist file using the same methods used for importing PDF music scores.

Virtual margin cropping

You can now use forScore do virtual margin cropping for a whole score, not just individual pages.  (By “virtual margin cropping,” I mean resizing the page to enlarge the printed music and leave out the margins – this doesn’t change the margins in the original PDF file, just the way it is displayed.)  Now that this feature is available, it’s probably less critical for digital music librarians to crop the margins in the PDF file before distributing it to everyone.  Individual users can crop to their taste (I like to leave some margin space for adding my own notes.)

To use this feature, tap your score to bring up the menu bar, then tap on the title of the piece to bring up the metadata editor.  Use the slider at the bottom to adjust the zoom for the cropping.

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  1. Steve Roth says:

    The last feature you mentioned is not new in 4. It’s been there since I started using forScore.

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