File Formats (Save, Import and Export)

FORTE Notation File (.FNF)

This is a proprietary file format that stores all notational and performance information for a file. Files stored in this format can only be exchanged between FORTE products.

Use this format when it is important to store both performance and notation for your music. All symbols and performance settings are preserved completely with the FNF format.

FORTE Template File (.FTF)

This format is essentially the same as the FORTE Notation File except it resides in a special Templates directory and isUsed as a starting point for new documents.

If you find yourself continually working with keyboard, bass, and drums, for example, you can create your own template with those instruments. You can also define any page layout information such as staff size, measures per system, and fonts, and those will be saved with the template as well.

Standard MIDI File (.MID)

A MIDI file is an industry standard file format that can be exchanged between nearly all sequencers and score processors. However, the MIDI file format is defined to include primarily performance information such as when notes start and stop -- it does NOT include much in the way of notation.

If you store a document as a MIDI file you will lose:

  • slurs, lyrics, clef changes, special meters, barline types, articulation symbols, dynamics, ornaments, repeats, chord symbols, and hidden symbols

  • note spelling (e.g. C-flat vs. B-natural)

  • breaking and joining of beams and positional offsets or overrides

  • all layout information, such as which tracks are visible, font preferences and margin information.

  • output device information is not supported in the MIDI file format, so if you have more that 16 MIDI channels split across multiple output devices, you shouldUse the .fnf format instead.

  • articulations, dynamic markings, repeats and transpositions affect how the music sounds, but the symbols themselves are not stored. Consequently, if you reload such a file it will sound like it did originally, but the symbols will not appear in the music.

Use this format when you are concerned only with playback and/or would like other people with other sequencers to read the file.

MusicXML File (.XML)

MusicXML is a universal translator for common Western musical notation from the 17th century onwards. It is designed as an interchange format for notation, analysis, retrieval, and performance applications. The MusicXML format is supported by over 50 applications.