How to reduce score from 3 measures per system to 2 measures per system.

• Oct 19, 2021 - 09:11

Dear Forummers
I’ve spent several hours transcribing a score. It automatically chose 3 measures per system.
However, at 78yo my vision is not what it used to be and I can’t read the notes at 3 measures per system.
I have rigged a little frame to get the music closer to my eyes but I still need to increase the size of the notes. Two bars per system works for me but I can’t figure out how to do it.

Can anyone steer me in the right direction please.

Kind regards,


To make everything bigger, go to [Format]>[Page Settings] and increase the scaling (default is 1.750 mm).

To just get two measures to a system, add a system break every two measures. Add the system breaks by clicking in the measure and hitting [Return].

You may find further useful tips for users with poor vision in the handbook. See

In reply to by SteveBlower

Wow, thank you for that swift reply Steve and the referral to the handbook.
I will read that this evening.

Sorry Steve, I should ha been more clear in my email. I knew how to split the measures by clicking on the bar line and pressing Enter. That gave me 2 measures in the system - perfect. But When I tried to join bar 3 and bar 4 I just got one long measure with all the notes in it?

I know I’m doing something wrong but I can’t figure out what.

Kind regards and many thanks for your help.


PS there are a quite a few Classical piano students here using MuseScore (I’m in Vietnam) but they don’t speak English and I can’t speak Vietnamese. So frustrating and a bit humorous.

In reply to by

Entering a system break and splitting measures are two different things. The system break should force everything after the next bar line onto the next system, keeping the correct number of beats in the measure. Splitting a measure breaks it at some point between the bar lines so that you make one standard measure into two shorter measures with few beats in each.

If you have one long measure on a system, it is either because it contains too much music to fit another measure on that system or because there is a system break at the end of the measure. If the former, reduce the scaling to make everything smaller; if the latter remove the system break by selecting it and pressing [Delete]. I personally found it difficult to see system breaks (light grey on a white background) and so I changed the colour of ui/score/layoutBreakColor to bright pink in [Preferences]>[Advanced]. They are certainly more obvious now.

If that doesn't help, it will be easier to understand the problem if you attach your score here.

To be clear: MuseScore doesn't choose a specific number of measures to put on all systems, any more than a word processor chooses a specific number of words to put on all lines. They both simply fit as much as they can one system / line at a time, then wrap around and do the same again and again. And just like with a word processor, you can use system breaks
to get fewer measures / words
on every line
but that doesn't make it bigger or necessarily easier to read.

The way to get things bigger is Format / Page Settings, increase the "Staff space", which scales everything accordingly. If this happens to result in fewer measures fitting on a system also, then MsueScore will adjust automatically, but it isn't necessarily the case that just because the music is bigger, that fewer measures will fit on systems. It might have to get a lot bigger before that would be true. Or not, totally depends on the music. But anyhow. if after adding the breaks, you also want fewer measures per system, then you can add breaks - either individually, or using Format / Add/Remove System Breaks if you do want it to literally be the same number of measures per system rather than just wrapping where it otherwise naturally would.

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