Frequently Asked Questions About FORTE

How much is an update / upgrade?

Updates are free of charge. Updates contain small bug fixes and work towards greater stability. Generally, updates are available for the last two versions.
When your computer is connected to the internet, go to the main menu “help” and select “check for updates”. If there’s a new update available, download it.

Or maybe you meant upgrade. An upgrade refers to changing to a bigger or newer version. Say for example from FORTE Basic to FORTE Home. Or from FORTE 7 to FORTE 8. If you upgrade, your existing licenses will be taken into account to give you the best possible rate, of course. You’ll only pay the difference. Here’s an overview of the upgrade rates:

You can also use this link to check if there are any upgrades available for you.

Do I have to purchase a new FORTE every year?

No, you don’t have to. If you’re happy with your FORTE, we’re happy as well. Yet we do recommend you do a thorough check of the new FORTE in autumn. The new version is always optimized for the respective operating system. Together, they run safe and smooth. That means the chances for freezes or shutdowns are low.

The introductory offer usually lasts for a few days and you’ll receive the news about it well in advance. Maybe one of the preview showed you some interesting new feature? Then download the trial version in any case and try the new feature! During the introductory offer your upgrade rates are as good as they'll ever get for you.
Being a FORTE customer, you’ll get your upgrade rates and information ahead of everyone else!

Just how much is FORTE?

FORTE has one version, like for example FORTE 6, FORTE 7 or FORTE 8. Each year, a new version is published: FORTE 9 will be released in 2017.
Each version comes with three editions: Basic, Home and Premium.
FORTE is available as a download license or in a box.

Here are your rates:

FORTE Premium:


FORTE Basic:

$229 (Download) / $239 (Box)

$99 (Download) / $109 (Box)

$24 (Download) / $34 (Box)

Which FORTE edition is the right one for me?

We cannot give you a general recommendation as to which edition ist the right one for you. The best edition for you depends on what kind of music you're making and which functions of the program are essential for you. There's an overview of the different editions here labeled "Every detail you need to know about FORTE".

The easiest way to find the best option for you is to simply test the program. You can download trial versions of each edition and test it for 14 days. (see below "How long can I use the trial version?")

Should I buy the download or the box?

Buying a box you have a physical product that you can touch and put on a shelf. Sometimes, it’s important to have that kind of feeling for a purchase. However, producing CDs and boxes and wrapping and shipping them requires a lot of energy and resources. This causes environmental stress. That’s why the boxes cost an additional $10. Boxes are produced at the release date (Version X.0). That means if you buy a box at a later time in the year, you’ll have to install an additional upgrade right away (Version X.1).

Your download license is with you right away and you can get started immediately. Even on a Friday night. Licenses are always sent to your paypal account (!). Please remember to check your spam folder, too. A download doesn’t require any ressources save for an internet connection. They are eco-friendly. Download licenses are always up to date – you’ll always get the latest version. We recommend you save the setup file of your license, say, on an external hard drive. And even if you lose this file, we’ll always be able to send you your download link and license key again.

I’ve bought FORTE, but it does not accept my license key!

You’ll probably also see an error message? If you buy a FORTE license, you’ll have to download and install the full version first. You cannot use your license key to “open” your trial version.

How long can I use the trial version?

You can test each edition of FORTE once for 14 days. The trial version is fully functional. You can test, write, save and print your first scores. You will not be charged anything. After the testing period of 14 days, the program just won't open again. You do not have to cancel anything. Of course, you'll be able to access your saved scores when you decide to buy a FORTE license.

Good to know:

The trial period starts once you installed FORTE for the first time. In order to get the most thorough and best experience, please plan for some time with the program 🙂

During the trial period, you'll get some emails to help you get started. These are sent automatically (once again - this is a great help to you on a weekend!). So it might happen that the emails and your actual trial period are somewhat not 100% syncked.

The emails contain tips for your work with FORTE and other information and as well as offers for the software. If you don't want to receive these news, please use the unsubscribe link provided. We might be a bit sad then, though...

The following page will provide you some useful information: You'll get an overview of the differences between the different FORTE editions. You'll be able to download a fully functional test version.

Can I digitize my PDFs? Can FORTE Scan read my PDFs?

FORTE Scan is an exclusive feature of FORTE 8 Premium. At the moment, you cannot digitize PDFs directly. But if you use a free service like you can convert your PDF into an image file like jpg. These image files can be digitized by FORTE Scan.

I need help! How can I contact you?

Our BLOG features a lot of tutorials. Many of them are inspired by the questions other customers asked us. On the right hand side, you find a tag cloud. Click one of the tags to find all posts linked to that tag.
Then there's our customer support forum. There are many articles and video tutorials about FORTE. We update the articles regularly. You can also search the article data base. If you don't find an answer to your problem in our knowledge data base, you can always write us a message.

Good to know for your customer request:

(1) Please always provide the exact version and edition of FORTE you're working with. (FORTE 6, 7, or 8? FORTE Basic, Home or Premium?).
Please provide information regarding your operating system.

(2) If possible, use the same email address that's also linked to your licenses.

(3) Please be as precise as possible when describing the problem. The better the details, the easier for us to help you. Stating something like "I didn't do anything" or "I just entered normal notes" or "then there was an error message"... makes it next to impossible to determine how we could possibly help you.
If you see an error message, take a screenshot right away. Great!

Can I just talk to somebody?

Unfortunately, no. We cannot provide any support via telephone. In the vast majority of all requests, it's greater help if we can send you a link or an illustration. Or you can send an error message or your score to us. This exchange of information does not work on the telephone. If you write a message to us, we usually get back to you within a working day.

We're just a small team located in Northern Germany. Please note that email support is completely free of charge. And we're always happy to help you!

Can I use FORTE on my MAC?

At the moment, FORTE is optimized for Windows 7, 8 and 10.

We do not offer a FORTE version for Apple's operating system. You can install Microsoft Windows on your Mac by using a virtual desktop or by using Apple's software bootcamp. Please visit the Apple website for further information:

Other operating systems, such as Linux or Ubuntu, are not supported, either. Please note that using older Windows systems (say Vista or XP) can lead to massive stability and safety issues. We cannot recommend continued use of these systems.

I play the guitar, banjo, ukulele...
Can I write tablature with FORTE?

Yes, FORTE supports the use of tablature. You can even edit the instruments according to your needs.
To be fair, though: There are special programs for guitar available. If you're mostly writing tabs, these other programs might be a better fit for you.

55 replies
  1. Sid Mills
    Sid Mills says:

    When you have it ready for Mac, please send me a note and I will use it there. All of my music stuff is on mac and I am so used to that, I hesitate to get another computer and use it in my studio. Thanks, it does look like a great program.

  2. Tom Smith
    Tom Smith says:

    Quick question: How many machines can Forte be used on? I have a laptop and a desktop (on which I do most of my music work).

    Also, do I have to register 8.5 before Sept 5, now that I have the email license? Because I won’t have access to the desktop until the 7th or 8th.


    • FORTE Team
      FORTE Team says:

      Hi Tom,
      sorry for getting back to you that late.
      Your FORTE license is valid for two devices.

      If there should be any problems left with your FORTE 8.5 Basic license,
      please contact the support at support(at)

      Kind regards,
      Your FORTE Team

  3. John Brian Chepulis
    John Brian Chepulis says:

    Hello Forte People, 🙂

    I Have Forte 5 basic.

    I would like to be able to connect my piano to my forte software so I can compose directly from my keyboard into Forte.

    Is that possible?

    I have a USB cable from piano to computer I have Forte 5 Basic

    I have a Yamaha DGX-230 piano.

    If I can connect how do I set it up.

    Thank you,


  4. David Tatman
    David Tatman says:

    My computer crashed and I lost most everything. I still have the program for Forte 7 but not the activation code. I bought Forte 8 but I don’t have anything. Can you help?

    • FORTE Admin
      FORTE Admin says:

      Hi Fran,
      thank you for your question.
      (1) If you want to slur notes, mark them, then right-click.
      The context menu gives you the various options.
      Slurring notes is one of them 🙂

      (2) The fermata is in the input palette,
      tab “Tempo”. Select the fermata, then select the note to add the fermata.

      Kind regards,
      FORTE Team

  5. Paul M Ruzicka
    Paul M Ruzicka says:

    For the life of me I can’t figure out how to add the fret numbers to the strings on the guitar tablature. Is there information somewhere that tells us how to do this?

  6. gary wilson
    gary wilson says:


  7. Boris Borgstrom
    Boris Borgstrom says:

    I now have the latest version of Forte9.
    My question is, when I import an orchestral MIDI file all the staves default to a Grand piano sound.
    I know that the original file has all the correct info. such as instrument, volume etc. It does not seem to make any difference whether it is for 2 parts or 10 parts – everything is played back as a piano.
    I would appreciate a comment from you.
    Warmest regards,
    Boris Borgstrom

    • FORTE Team
      FORTE Team says:

      Dear Boris,

      please deactivate the option “Use VST” in the main tab “Playback” and check if the instruments sounds correct.


  8. Debra Y Mathis
    Debra Y Mathis says:

    Would like to know the difference between home and premium. Would like to be able to scan. Thanks in advance for your help~

  9. Julia Rose
    Julia Rose says:

    1) Will it display more than 1 page at a time, i.e. show 2 or more pages simultaneously on one screen, to avoid page turning, if possible, while playing and reading?
    2) How does one turn a page?
    3) I wrote a lot of scores in “Encore” will it read those scores?
    4) Do you have a training video, to get started?
    5) Since there is no phone help, do you have a search manual?
    6) What is the major difference between your Home and Premium version?

    Thank you.

  10. Mr Picton
    Mr Picton says:

    When using Play Back with song you create, does it play the tune and sing the words too.

    also does the freeware version use tablature as I play with guister and can only read tablature ?

    • FORTE Admin
      FORTE Admin says: