User Manual

Getting Started

In this guide we will show you the core features of OnSong needed to start using OnSong right away. We will reference various screens in our in-depth user manual, but focus on getting you the know-how to use OnSong effectively, quickly.


OnSong runs on any iOS device (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) running iOS 9 or later. While OnSong runs on older devices, for best results we recommend an iPad Air or higher.


OnSong is only available for purchase on the App Store. Search for "OnSong" in the App Store or follow this direct link. Tap on the buy button and enter your Apple ID and password. This will purchase the OnSong app directly from Apple and begin the download process.

Note: OnSong requires iOS 9 and higher. If you have already purchased OnSong you can download and install the app on another device for free as long as you are using the same Apple ID with which you first purchased the app.

Launch OnSong

When the app has finished downloading and installing, it will appear on your home screen. Tap on this icon to open OnSong. Once opened, you will find a Registration Screen. Fill out your information to receive periodic emails on new OnSong releases. You will then see the Getting Started where you can find information about OnSong. Close that screen by tapping on the Close button in the upper right corner.

Getting Oriented

Once you open the app, you will be immediately immersed in the OnSong user interface. You'll see the majority of the screen is filled with a demonstration song called Welcome to OnSong. Above that you'll find the Menubar which is where you will be accessing nearly all the tools and functions of the app. In the lower right corner is the Live Bar where you can toggle certain live features like Autoscroll, Backing Tracks and the Metronome. Let's first start by adding a new song to your song library.

Your Song Library

Tap on the Songs button in the upper left corner of the screen to open the Songs Menu. This is where you organize all your songs and sets. Make sure the All Songs tab is selected at the bottom. Here you will see all the songs in your OnSong library. You should have only the Welcome To OnSong at this point.

Importing Songs

Tap on the + button in the lower right corner to view the Add Songs screen. Here you can find many ways to import files or subscriptions you have into OnSong. OnSong supports a variety of file formats. We are going to use Dropbox to import files that we have wirelessly and anywhere there's an Internet connection. You'll need to setup a Dropbox account and authorize OnSong to access your Dropbox. That's a one-time thing. After that, you just browse and select files you want to import and then tap on the Import button. The files will download and be added to your library. You'll be returned to the All Songs list and your imported songs will appear in the Song Viewer.

If you'd like to import content from the Internet, OnSong provides the Add To OnSong Safari Extension which lets you import from popular chord chart and lyrics websites. Some bands don't just post their chord charts, but also media like backing tracks and loops! The Add To OnSong Safari extension can import any type of file format OnSong supports too!.

Viewing Songs

Tap on the song in this screen that you want to view and it will be loaded into the Song Viewer. You can scroll this song up and down to view it. Does it look like you want? If not, you can make changes to it using the Song Editor.

Editing Songs

Text-based chord charts work best with OnSong, although you can also import chord charts you may have in Word, PDF, and other supported formats. To edit your chord chart, tap on the pencil icon in the Menubar to open the Song Editor. In here you can make changes to the song's lyrics and chords. You can learn more about the OnSong and ChordPro file formats.

When you're all done making changes, tap on the Done button to save the changes and redraw the screen with your updates.

Change Formatting

Tap on the sliders icon in Menubar to open the Style Preferences Menu. Here you can change the font, size of different elements of the page, as well as highlight the chords. Try to make some changes and see how it affects the chord chart you are viewing.

If you are performing in a dimly lit room, you may want to switch OnSong into Low Light Mode.

Add a Sticky Note

Now let's add a sticky note to the song. To do this, tap on the sticky note icon in the Menubar to open the Annotations Menu. Next, choose Sticky Note from the menu to place a sticky note on the screen. Use the Note Editor to write a note. Tap on Done and then tap and drag the note to place it where you like. Double tap on the note to open the editor again. Tap on the "A" icon to open the Appearance Menu where you can change the note color and other parameters. Tap Done to save your changes.

Create a Set List

Now that we have two songs, let's create a set. Tap on the Songs button in the Menubar to open the Songs Menu. Tap on the My Sets tab at the bottom. Make sure that you are on the All Sets screen and then tap on the + button at the bottom to create a new set. Set the date and optional title and then tap Done.

Tap on the new set to view the set and then tap on the + button on the bottom right to pick some songs. Tap on both songs in your library to place a checkmark next to them and then tap Done. Now you have a set with two songs. Rearrange these songs by tapping on the Edit button in the upper right corner to enter editing mode where you can drag and drop songs where you'd like. Tap Done to save your changes.

Backup Your Library

As you create your library of songs and sets, your OnSong library will become more and more valuable to you. Keep it safe by creating a backup. No matter what happens to your device or OnSong library, you can always restore from this backup file in the event of an emergency.

Technical Support

There are many resources available for learning how to use OnSong. Please visit our Resources page to find links to our tutorial videos and knowledge base. You can also Get Support from inside the app. For members of OnSong Premium, you also can request to Fast Track your request for faster response times.

Continued Learning

OnSong is a deep app full of features that you can use. To get started, refer to the Features section of the user manual. If you want to learn more about a specific screen or tool inside of the app, refer to the User Interface section of this manual.

OnSong 1.999 — Last Updated on January 3, 2021