Copy and paste

MuseScore supports standard copy, cut, paste and (from version 2.1) swap with clipboard operations. These commands can be applied to a range of:

  • Musical notes: e.g. to repeat a section of music, or shift a passage by a beat or a measure.
  • Other score elements: such as articulations, staff text, dynamics, fingering etc.

Note: Lines cannot be copied, but they can be duplicated (see →below).

Before carrying out a copy, cut, paste or swap procedure, you should be in "normal" mode—i.e. not note input or edit modes. Press the Esc key to exit into "normal" mode.

Notes

You can cut, copy, paste or swap a passage of music or a single chord as follows:

Copy or cut

To copy/cut a single chord

  1. Hold down Shift and click on a note in the chord.
  2. Chose an option:
    • Copy. Select EditCopy; or press Ctrl+C (Mac: +C).
    • Cut. Select EditCut; or press Ctrl+X (Mac: +X).

To copy/cut a range of chords

  1. Click on the first note or measure that you want to select.
  2. Shift+Click on the last note or measure that you want to select. A blue rectangle highlights the region you selected.
  3. Chose an option:
    • Copy. Select EditCopy; or press Ctrl+C (Mac: +C).
    • Cut. Select EditCut; or press Ctrl+X (Mac: +X).

Paste

  1. Click on the note or measure where you want your pasted selection to begin.
  2. From the menu, choose EditPaste or press Ctrl+V (Mac: +V).

Swap with Clipboard

Beginning with version 2.1 the command Swap with Clipboard is available. Swap with Clipboard is a combination of both cut and paste. If you select a destination area different than the size of the clipboard, MuseScore will automatically adjust the selection area to the size of the items on the clipboard starting with the item on the left. After this command is executed the information on the clipboard will be pasted to the starting of the selection area and the destination will be copied to the clipboard.

  1. Click on the note or measure where you want to begin your swap with the clipboard.
  2. From the menu, choose EditSwap with Clipboard or press Ctrl+Shift+X (Mac: +shift+X)

Note: It is possible to copy, paste and swap the pitch of a note only (and no other properties), by clicking on the notehead and applying the standard copy and paste or copy and swap procedure. The pitch of the destination note changes to match that of the copied note but the duration remains the same.

Other elements

Other score elements—such as staff text, dynamics, fingering, chord diagrams etc.—can be cut, copied and pasted one at a time. Articulations (sforzato, staccatto etc.), in addition, allow multiple selection.

Copy or cut

  1. Select the element (or elements).
  2. Chose an option:
    • Copy. Select EditCopy; or press Ctrl+C (Mac: +C).
    • Cut. Select EditCut; or press Ctrl+X (Mac: +X).

Paste

  1. Click on the note where you want your pasted selection to begin.
  2. From the menu, choose EditPaste or press Ctrl+V (Mac: +V).

In the case of articulations, they are pasted to the destination notes in exactly the same order (continuous or intermittent) as they were in the initial selection.

Swap with Clipboard

Swap with clipboard is intended to be used with sections of music rather than individual elements. The use of this command with individual elements is not recommended because the results are not normally what you would expect.

Quick repeat

To quickly copy and paste a note, measure, or passage:

  1. Select a chord, measure, or passage as described above.
  2. Press R .

Musescore copies and pastes the selected notation to a point immediately after the last note in the selection. Any existing music in the destination range is replaced.

Duplicate

To instantaneously copy and paste a text element, line, or other object:

  1. Hold down Ctrl+Shift (Mac: +Shift), click on the element and drag it anywhere in the score.
  2. Release the mouse button, and the selected element is cloned to the new location.

Selection filter

It is possible to use a filter before copying a selection, to choose exactly what is going to be copied and then pasted.

  1. Enable the Selection Filter with F6 (Mac: fn+F6) or View Selection Filter

The Selection Filter will appear by default below the Palettes. It can be undocked and made into a floating window, and if that window is dragged directly onto the Palettes, or the Inspector, then both will be accessible in the same space via a tab at the bottom.

  1. Uncheck the boxes in the Selection Filter for things you don't want copied
    Example: Articulations and Slurs are unchecked.

    Selection filter, Articulations and Slurs unchecked

  2. Copy and paste as before
    (in the example, copy measure 4 and 5 and paste into measure 12 and 13)

  3. See the result—slurs haven't been copied:

    Result of  copy and paste

  4. The selection filter can be used for the swap with clipboard command also. Before the swap to clipboard command, select the items you would like copied from the destination to the clipboard. They will be copied just as with the copy command. The selection filter does not affect what is pasted while using the swap with clipboard command. The entire destination is always replaced by the contents of the clipboard.

See also

If you want to change notes without altering the rhythm, you may combine transposition or re-pitch mode with copy and paste.

Do you have an unanswered question? Post it in the forum.