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 2022 runs on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices running iOS/iPadOS 15 or newer. You can also run OnSong 2022 on Intel and Apple Silicon Mac computers running Big Sur or newer. If you are using an older device that does not support these operating systems, we recommend updating your hardware for future support from OnSong and Apple. However, if you had purchased or downloaded OnSong previously, you can always download that last known version for that operating system on that device from the App Store.


OnSong 2022 is only available for purchase on the App Store or Mac App Store. Search for “OnSong” or follow this direct link. This is a free download and you can unlock features through an OnSong subscription. This version will get continued improvements and features as well as services and premium technical support.

If you had paid for OnSong from the App Store previously, you can continue to run and download OnSong 2020. OnSong 2020 is available as a paid download on the App Store and features an older version of the app that does not change as frequently aside from security and maintenance updates.

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. If you subscribe to OnSong, you can sign into any OnSong app and access your premium features.

Launch OnSong

When the app has finished downloading and installing, it will appear on your home screen as an icon. Tap to open. Once opened, you will be prompted to either create an account or sign in. This is required for OnSong 2022 as using the app is tied to an OnSong account to access features and services.

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. While this shows you a list of songs, you can tap on the icon in the upper left corner to open the drawer. The drawer shows you different ways to organize your library.

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 from storage services or content providers. 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 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 extension can import any type of file format OnSong supports too!

Viewing Songs

Tap on a song in the Songs Menu 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 or tap on the top or bottom of the screen. Does it look like you want? If not, you can make changes to it or pick a different file to view. Tap on the pages icon with the checkmark to open the Attachments to view different files that you can view.

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 the text-based chord chart, tap on the Edit Chords and Lyrics at the bottom to open the Song Editor. You can learn more about the OnSong and ChordPro file formats.

For other file formats, you can also import other file formats in this screen by tapping on the + button at the bottom or edit the file itself. See the Attachments Menu for more details.

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 or capo and transpose. Try to make some changes and see how it affects the chord chart you are viewing. You can also use the document tab to change how the song appears as well as toggle Low Light Mode.

Add an Annotation

Now let's add a sticky note to the song. To do this, tap on the annotations 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 button in the upper left to open the Drawer and choose Active Sets under the Sets section. This will display a list of your active sets. You can then tap on the + button at the bottom to create a new set. Set the date and optional title and then tap Done.

Since your set is empty, you should be taken to a screen to browse your library for songs to be added. If not, just tap on it 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 2023 — Last Updated on March 21, 2022