Instead of the menu system on the left, how about a visual measure with all the properties and you just click (explanation below)
I am wondering if it may be easier to delete the entire menu palette system, and simply create a horizontal measure that contains all the stuff.....
I tried to give a crude example... but the idea would you be you click on a visual representation of a measure which contains all the palette stuff -- eliminating the text and making it visual.
I actually think this would be a LOT better, more efficient, clearer, and visual as opposed to text based.
It would also free up a lot more space... And the you can add and subtract visual elements on the measure. THOSE are your palettes.