Entering and editing text


    A Musescore Text object is an object that contains individual characters that can be entered and removed by using (typing on) a computer keyboard. Many score objects are text-based. For example

    • Title, Subtitle, Composer, Lyricist
    • Tempo marks
    • Dynamics, such as p or mf
    • Expressions such as Andante or Allegro
    • Fingering numbers
    • Lyrics
    • Chord symbols

    And so on …

    Text, of whatever type, always has an object to which it is attached.

    And so on …

    Different types of text-based objects are not interchangeable: They have distinct property fields that serves different purpose besides engraving or visual display. For example, a mp using Staff Text can never be configured to change playback loudness because it does not have the Velocity property, you must create a new Dynamics text which has the Velocity property if want the text to affect playback loudness.

    To check the type: select a text, its type is displayed on the status bar.

    Use the chart in "Types of text to decide which type you need, follow the link to handbook pages for more info.

    Types of text

    Text type Uses
    Staff text General purpose text, when attached to a single staff will appear in Parts that feature that staff.
    System text General purpose text appearing in all Parts. Offer same function as Staff Text
    expression button on the Text Palette It is a styled Staff text, same function (and limitation) as such.
    Fingering Numbers or letters attached to notes showing which fingers to use.
    Lyrics Create lyrics attached to a melody.
    Rehearsal marks Facilitate rehearsals, divide score into sections, bookmark passages etc.
    Dynamics Indicate the loudness of a note or phrase.
    Figured bass Period notation for keyboarders.
    Frame text Title/composer/lyricist details at the start of a score; song sheet lyrics etc.
    Headers/Footers Page numbers, copyright info etc. at the top/bottom of a page.
    Instrument text Apply mid-staff instrument changes.
    Jumps and markers Da Capo, Dal segno, Fine etc.
    Chord symbols Display the chords associated with a melody: usually above the staff, provides chord playback (notes automatically decided).
    Roman Numeral Analysis (RNA) A chord analysis system.
    Sticking Letters (L and R) attached to (drum) notes showing which hand or foot to use.
    Swing text Change from straight to swing time, and vice versa.
    Tempo marks Apply metronome and/or expression marks.
    Text-lines Voltas, ottavas, pedal lines, guitar barre lines etc.

    Adding text to your score

    Decide which object type you need before adding a text, see [overview]#overview). For general engraving or visual display purpose, it is recommended to use a Staff text or System text.

    Add text from a palette, the Add menu, or using a keyboard shortcut. Adding text to a frame is covered in the Text blocks chapter.

    Add text from a palette

    To add a text element to your score from a palette, either select one or more notes/rests and click on the desired palette item; or drag the text from the palette onto a note/rest. e.g.

    Add tempo indication

    Add text from a menu

    If the text object is associated with a staff you can add it by selecting a note, then choosing a text option from AddText.

    Add text using a shortcut

    Many text types can be entered using keyboard shortcuts. You can view a list of shortcuts next to the items in AddText.

    To create a text object, select a note, then enter the required shortcut.

    Deleting text objects from your score

    To delete one or more text objects, select the objects then press Delete.

    Editing text

    To enter text edit mode use one of the following methods:

    • Double click on the text object.
    • Select the text object and press Return.
    • Select the text object and press F2 or Alt+Shift+E.
    • Right-click on the text object and select "Edit element."

    You can now add, edit and format the text within the text object.

    To leave text edit mode either press Escape or click on a part of the score outside the edit area.

    Keyboard shortcuts

    The following keyboard shortcuts are available in text edit mode:

    Function Windows & Linux Mac
    Bold (toggle) Ctrl+B Cmd+B
    Italic (toggle) Ctrl+I Cmd+I
    Underline (toggle) Ctrl+U Cmd+U
    Move cursor Home, End, , , , (Alt+) , , ,
    Remove character to the left of the cursor Backspace Delete
    Remove character to the right of the cursor Del → Delete or Fn+Del
    Start new line return
    Insert special characters (see below) Shift+F2 Fn+F2

    Special characters

    Characters not available from the standard keyboard may be accessed using the Special Characters window.

    Special characters window

    To open Special Characters In text edit mode, press Shift+F2; or click on Insert special characters in the Text section of the Properties panel.

    The dialog is divided into 3 tabs: Common symbols, musical symbols and unicode symbols. The musical and unicode tabs are further subdivided into alphabetically-arranged categories.

    Clicking an item in the Special Characters dialog immediately adds it to the text where the cursor is positioned. Multiple items can be applied without closing the dialog box, and the user can even continue to type normally, delete characters, enter numerical character codes etc., with it open.

    A few special characters can also be created using shortcuts—see below.

    Special character shortcuts

    Character Windows & Linux Mac Note
    Sharp ♯ Ctrl+Shift+# Cmd+Shift+# May not work on some keyboard layouts
    Flat ♭ Ctrl+Shift+B Cmd+Shift+B
    Natural ♮ Ctrl+Shift+H Cmd+Shift+H
    Piano p Ctrl+Shift+P Cmd+Shift+P
    Forte f Ctrl+Shift+F Cmd+Shift+F
    Mezzo m Ctrl+Shift+M Cmd+Shift+M
    Rinforzando r Ctrl+Shift+R Cmd+Shift+R
    Sforzando s Ctrl+Shift+S Cmd+Shift+S
    Niente n Ctrl+Shift+N Cmd+Shift+N
    Z z Ctrl+Shift+Z Cmd+Shift+Z
    Elision Ctrl+Alt+- Cmd+Alt+-