Text basics

Updated 5 months ago

To decide which type of text you need, visit Text types.
For general-purpose "text boxes" attached to staves, use Staff and system text, they are good if you simply want a text for visual purpose.

Add text

To add a text-based element to the score, use one of the following general methods:

  • Keyboard shortcut: For example, press Ctrl+Tto enter Staff text , Ctrl+L to enter Lyrics, and so on.
  • Palette (Workspace):
    • Select a note and click an icon in one of the palettes (double-click in versions prior to 3.4); or,
    • Drag a symbol from a palette onto the staff. E.g. Swing text, Tempo text etc.
  • Menu command: AddText allows you to choose from a range of text-based elements.
  • Plugin: such as Expression Dictionary

Notes: The exact method depends on the type of text you are adding, visit and follow links on Text.

Basic formatting

To know more about property fields in the Inpector and their effects, visit Text styles and properties

When a text object is created in MuseScore, it assumes the corresponding Text Style: all staff text, for example, has a unique Text Style, as have tempo markings, dynamics, chord symbols etc. Each Text Style consists of a number of text properties (font-face, font-size, font-style etc.), which can be viewed, mainly, in the Text Styles dialog (FormatStyle…Text Styles).

A newly-created text object starts off with identical text properties to the Text Style. These can be viewed in the Inspector:

Text properties displayed in the Inspector

However, these text properties are not limited to those of the default Text Style: if need be, you can edit them in the Inspector independently of Text Style.

Finally, if you want to apply formatting to specific characters in a text object (font-face, font-size, Bold, Italic, Underline, superscript, subscript), you can do so in text edit mode.

Adjust position of text objects

To position a text object, use any of the following methods:

  • Drag the object.
  • Select the object and adjust the X or Y offset values in the Inspector.
  • Select the object and apply any of the following keyboard shortcuts:
    • : Move text left 0.1 staff space.
    • : Move text right 0.1 staff space.
    • : Move text up 0.1 staff space.
    • : Move text down 0.1 staff space.
    • Ctrl+ (Mac: Cmd+): Move text left one staff space.
    • Ctrl+ (Mac: Cmd+): Move text right one staff space.
    • Ctrl+ (Mac: Cmd+): Move text up one staff space.
    • Ctrl+ (Mac: Cmd+): Moves text down one staff space.

Text anchors

When you apply a text element to the score, its anchor position will depend on the type:

  • Title, Subtitle, Composer, Poet: Anchored to a frame.
  • Tempo: Anchored to a note.
  • Dynamics: Anchored to a note.
  • Fingering: Anchored to note heads.
  • Lyrics: Anchored to a time position.
  • Chord symbol: Anchored to a time position.
  • Staff text: Anchored to a time position.
  • System text: Anchored to a time position.
  • Sticking: Anchored to a time position.

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