FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

1. 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 11 to FORTE 12. 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.

2. 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 previews showed you some interesting new feature? Then download the trial version of FORTE Premium 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!

3. Just how much is FORTE?

FORTE has one version, like for example FORTE 11 or FORTE 12. Each year, a new version is published: FORTE 11 was released in 2019. 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: $229

FORTE Home: $99

FORTE Basic: $24

4. 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:

Overview FORTE Editions

A good way to find out is to test the trial version of FORTE Premium. You can download the trial version and test it for 14 days. (see also "How long can I use the trial version?")

There's also a short quiz to guide you to the right edition for your needs.

5. 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” the trial version.

6. How long can I use the trial version?

You can test the Premium edition of FORTE for 14 days. The trial version is fully functional and has all the features of FORTE Premium. You can scan, 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% synced.

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 of FORTE Premium:


7. Can I digitize my PDFs?

8. Is there a manual for my perusal?

Yes, there is. Read the manual to make yourself familiar with the latest features and to learn the steps for each process in FORTE.

On our support page, there are the manuals of the last FORTE version.Here’s the direct link to the FORTE 11 manual. Download the FORTE 11 manual as PDF here.

9. 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!

Please submit your request to: support@fortenotation.com

10. Can I use FORTE on my MAC?

FORTE is optimized for Windows 8 and 10. We do not offer a FORTE version for Apple's operating system. There are two options for you:

  1. You can use FORTE via Parallels. Parallels is about $79; but there’s also a trial version available as well as a money-back guarantee for 30 days. 
    More information on parallels.

  2. 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: www.apple.com/support/bootcamp/

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.

11. 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.