Updated 4 years ago
This page shows old instructions for MuseScore 2.
For MuseScore 4 users, see Lines.

    The Lines palette of the Advanced workspace includes the following types of lines:

    • Slur
    • Hairpins (crescendo and diminuendo)
    • Volta brackets (1st, 2nd, 3rd time endings etc.)
    • Octave lines (8va, 8vb, 15ma etc)
    • Keyboard pedal markings
    • Extended ornament lines (Trills etc)
    • Guitar barre line
    • Straight line
    • Ambitus (early music symbol)

    Lines palette, Advanced workspace

    Applying lines to the score

    Most lines (except Slurs, Volta brackets and the Ambitus) can be applied from a palette in the following ways:

    To apply a line to just one note

    1. Click on a note, then Ctrl+Click on the next note;
    2. Double-click a line.

    To apply a line across a range of notes

    1. Select a range of notes;
    2. Double-click a line.

    To apply a line from a note to the end of that measure

    Use any of the following methods:

    • Click on a note, then double click a line.
    • Drag and drop a line onto the score.

    To apply a line across a range of measures

    1. Select one or more measures;
    2. Double click a line.

    Adjust vertical position

    To adjust the vertical position of one or more lines:

    1. Ensure you are not in note-input or edit mode.
    2. Use either of the following:
      • Click on one or more lines and change the vertical offset in the Inspector;
      • Click on a line, press and hold Shift and drag it up/down with a mouse.

    Note: You can also adjust the vertical position in Edit mode.

    Change length

    1. Ensure you are not in note input mode (press Esc to exit);

    2. Double click the line that you want to change to enter edit mode;

    3. Click on an end handle and use one of the following shortcuts:

      • Shift+ to move the end handle, and its anchor, right by one note (or, in the case of Voltas, one measure)
      • Shift+ to move the end handle, and its anchor, left by one note (or, in the case of Voltas, one measure);
    4. To change the position of an end handle without changing the position of its anchor, use the following:

      • to move the handle right by 0.1 sp (1 sp = one staff space = the distance between two staff lines).
      • to move the handle left 0.1 sp.
      • Ctrl+ (Mac: Cmd+) to move the handle right one sp.
      • Ctrl+ (Mac: Cmd+) to move the handle left one sp.

      Note: You can also drag the endpoint handles with a mouse.

    Text lines

    A text line is a line that has text embedded within it—such as a volta, ottava, guitar barre line etc.

    When you apply a text line to the score from a palette, the line properties (see below) always remain unchanged, but the properties of embedded text may vary depending on circumstances. See Behavior of applied text and lines for details.

    Custom lines and line properties

    Lines may contain features such as embedded text or hooks at the ends (e.g. ottavas and voltas). They can be customized once they have been added to the score, and the results saved to a workspace for future use:

    1. Right-click on a line and select Line Properties…;

    2. Add any text you want to appear in the line;

      • Begin: Text added here appears at the beginning of the line.
      • Continue: Text added here appears at the beginning of a continuation line.
      • End: Text added here appears at the end of the line.

      Click on the ... buttons to adjust the Text properties at each position as required.

    3. If a hook is required, tick the appropriate "Hook" box, and adjust the hook length and angle;

    4. Select an option from "Place": "Above or "Below" positions the text so that it overlaps the line; "Left" places the text to the left of the line;

      Note: Additional placement options are available in the "Text properties" dialog (see step 2, above).

    5. Click OK to exit Line Properties;

    6. Make adjustments to Color, Thickness and Line type (solid, dashed etc.) in the "Line" section of the Inspector. Ticking "Diagonal" here allows you to create a diagonal line by dragging the end handles;

    7. If you wish to save the resulting line for future use, see Custom palettes.

    Copying lines

    Once applied to the score, lines cannot be copied using the usual copy and paste procedures. However, you can duplicate lines within a score: press and hold Ctrl+Shift (Mac: Cmd+Shift), click on the line and drag it to the desired location.

    Extended ornament lines

    To add an accidental to an extended ornament, such as a trill line, select the line and double-click a symbol from the Accidentals palette.

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