User Guide

KineScribe User Guide and Help

Video above by Tony Moreno, Reed College
Graphic and video below by Chris Summers, The Ohio State University
Photos below by John Luna, The Ohio State University

**Do you need help knowing which symbol(s) to use for which body part or series of motions? Consult Mónika Lisztes’s online adaptation of Albrecht Knust’s Dictionary of Kinetography Laban.**


  • 1 General Features
  • 2 Documents
  • 3 Symbols
    • 3.1 Placing symbols
    • 3.2 Manipulating symbols
    • 3.3 Erasing symbols
    • 3.4 Moving symbols
    • 3.5 Text Box
    • 3.6 Staff
    • 3.7 Floor Plan
    • 3.8 Floor Plan pins
    • 3.9 Front Sign
  • 4 Help and Information
  • 5 Save
  • 6 Tools Menu
  • 7 Troubleshooting

General Features

Zoom in or enlarge the image:

1. Pinch with two fingers to zoom in and out.


2. Double tap with one finger to immediately zoom in fully. Once zoomed in, double tap with one finger to immediately zoom back out.

Portrait and Landscape View:

Rotate the iPad to alternate between portrait and landscape view.


Touch, hold, and drag anywhere on the score to shift it around. The linen background underneath the score indicates the edges of the page. To scroll through a score with multiple pages, swipe one finger vertically up or down. When you open a score with multiple pages, it will likely open on the final page of the score so you will have to scroll down to the bottom to access the first page of the score.


All of your files – both those you import from LabanWriter and those you create and save in KineScribe – live in this file list.

Creating a new score:

1. Tap once on Documents.

2. Tap once on “New Score.”

Opening an existing score:

1. Tap once on Documents.

2. Tap once on the desired score.

Importing a score from LabanWriter:

1. Consult this file for step-by-step instructions for importing a LabanWriter score (file extension.lw). The first page of this file contains instructions for Mac OS Catalina, and the second page includes instructions for Mac OS before Catalina.

2. Nota Bene: KineScribe can import and read all LabanWriter (.lw) files and all symbols in those files. KineScribe does not yet have all of LabanWriter’s symbols in its editing palettes. Please familiarize yourself with KineScribe’s palettes and available symbols before you edit files you import from LabanWriter.

Deleting a score from the Documents/Scores list:

1. Swipe left on the name of the file in the file list.


All symbols can be found in the drop down menu. To browse through each row of symbols, swipe left or right. Some of the symbols are “stretchables,” and some act like stamps. Tapping the Symbols button once brings up the symbol palette. Tapping anywhere off the symbol palette makes it go away.

To display a symbol’s name, do a long touch on its icon in the symbol palette.

Placing a stretchable symbol:

1. Open the Symbols palette.

2. Tap once on a symbol.

3. Drag to create the symbol the length and width that you want it to be.

Placing a symbol that acts like a stamp:

1. Open the Symbols palette.

2. Tap once on the symbol.

3. Tap once on the score to place the symbol.

Manipulating symbols:

To manipulate symbols, tap them once. This will encase the symbol in blue lines.

Most symbols that can be resized will be encased by 4 blue dots when selected. To resize these symbols, drag the blue dots in the direction you want to stretch the symbol. If the symbols are small, you may need to zoom in to interact with the blue dots.


Erasing symbols:

1. Tap once on the symbol to select it.

2. Then, click the Delete button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

Moving a symbol

1. Press and hold the target symbol (a “long touch”) until it turns red.

2. Retain your touch and while it is red, you can move it anywhere on the score.

Text Box:

The T at the bottom of the symbol palette allows you to draw a text box by dragging on the score from left to right. Edit the text by double-tapping in the text box once you have drawn it. Rotate the text by single-tapping on the text box and choosing Rotate from the pop up menu.


The staff symbol places a default staff of one measure of 4/4 time when you place it like a stamp. Once you place symbols on the staff, they become part of it and move when you move the staff.

Manipulating an entire staff:

1. Tap once on the staff with a single finger.

2. Change the characteristics in the pop-up menu.

Adding measures:

1. Tap once to make the menu disappear but retain the staff selection.

2. Drag up on the blue dot at the top of the staff and release.

3. Repeat to add multiple measures.

Manipulating an individual measure:

1. Using two fingers, tap once over the desired measure.

2. Change the characteristics in the pop-up menu.

Floor Plan:

The Floor Plan symbol places like a stamp. To edit the characteristics of the floor plan, use two fingers held close together to tap in the middle of the floor plan.

(Note: The caption slider enables you to assign space for a caption that will move with the floor plan. To insert a caption, make the text with the text box and then drag the text into the caption space.)

Floor Plan Pins:

To place a pin, use one finger to tap anywhere in the floor plan. To manipulate pins, use one-finger to tap on the desired pin which brings up the following options:

1. A slider to set the pin’s direction

2. – and + to resize pins

3. A delete button, which is the only way to delete pins

4. Options to make the pin male, female, or all-gender/gender-unspecified

Front Sign:

The Front Sign symbol places like a stamp. To manipulate the front sign, use one-finger to tap on the front sign which brings up the following options:

1. A slider to set the pin’s direction

2. – and + to resize pins

3. A delete button, which is the only way to delete pins

Help and Information

A single tap on the Help and Information button bring up links that connect you to this online help menu and general information about KineScribe.


Saving your score:

1. Tap once on the Save button to bring up a dialogue box.

2. Name your score and click OK.

3. Your score will appear in the Documents list.

You can save the same file multiple times under the same name through the Save dialogue box. To save it to your computer as a LabanWriter file, download it via the sync through iTunes.Be sure to save often while making a score.

Tools Menu

Add Page:

Tap once to add a page to your score to create a multiple-page score.
This button adds one page at a time.

Email score as PDF:

Tap once to email the score as a PDF directly from KineScribe.

Air Print:

Print wirelessly to any ePrint-enabled printer that is connected to the same local wireless network as the iPad in use.

Score Background:

Slide the Score Background slider on to have a graph-paper background on your score.
Slide it off to have a plain score background.

Symbol Color:

All symbols except for the Staff outline can be turned any of the colors in this palette. To change a symbol’s color:

1. Select the desired symbol.

2. Open the Tools Menu.

3. Select the desired color for the symbol.


To undo a delete action, shake your iPad. The most recently-deleted symbol will return.


Quitting KineScribe from the main iPad home screen wipes clean most instances of score freezing and if the background turns yellow.