Magnetic Layout?

• Apr 11, 2011 - 08:17


Would it be possible to add a Magnetic Layout feature to MuseScore like the one found in Sibelius 6?

I've been finding MuseScore quite fussy for getting scores to look slick quickly and this feature would be a real time saver!


This kind of feature is not planned currently. We are concentrating on more basic features first for the next big version.
Do not forget that Sibelius surpassed 17 years of development before they introduced the magnetic layout.

In reply to by Thomas

No worries. I guess there's quite a lot I can do myself by creating my own templates before I would need a feature such as magnetic layout!

At the end of the day I think MuseScore is a brilliant piece of software and am extremely blessed that it's a free download!!!

Any ideas when the next big release will be?

Keep up the fantastic work guys :)

I'm curious - I keep hearing about magnetic layout, but I don't really understand what it does. I mean, I certainly get that most programs by default do a pretty lousy job of placing things, requiring lots of manual adjustment. Lilypond tries to be better, as does abcm2ps, but then, they have to, because they provide almost no facilities for manual adjustment if they *don't* get it right the first time.

Is there some particular strategy that "magnetic layout" uses, or is it a general term for "does a better job of placing things"?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Lilypond does provide a lot of facilities for manual adjustments and does a very good job of "automatic layout". But it does it "offscreen", rendering a pdf in a non interactive way.
What I understand from the marketting term "magnetic layout" in Sib, it's that when you raise the pitch of a note in the middle of a slur, the slur shape is automatically change to avoid collision. If you lower the pitch, and there is a piece of lyric at the bottom of the note, then the lyric move down gracefully, and the whole lyric lines does as well, potentially moving the staff below if necessary. I would love to see this hapenning in MuseScore too, it will take time but it will happen :)

Yes it would be. Any composer and arranger for bigger ensembles will confirm this.
extracting parts and then having to modify them every time is soo painful - i have spent days doing this.
I am considering using sibelius(and installing windows) mostly for that reason.

In reply to by TromboRafi

There has been some work toward making some things lay out better by default in 2.0, but nothing quite like Sibelius' magnetic layout. Enough to make a difference for some types of scores, though. And also, starting with 2.0, changes to text styles will affect existng text, which will allow for easier mass adjutments in some cases.

I find that even with 1.x, spendng some time up front setting up a template with appropriate defaults for all style settings can make a buge difference. I spend less time fiddling with my parts after creating them than I ever did with Finale, for instance. It could be that you are working harder than you need to because you aren't starting from an appropriate template. You might consider starting a new thread in the support forum with a sample score and part, so others can offer suggestions on how you could set things better in the future to require less manual adjustment. It's also possible that simply making some of the suggested changes directly to your score will allow newly generated parts to come out better.

But no doubt, if you have lots of dynamics, articulations, and other markings, there *will* be cases where manual adjustment is needed.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Yes, using a template sped things up greatly, and also contributing changes back "upstream" to my main score.
main problem is, that there is no control for exporting line breaks in parts. in many cases, i break every 8 or 4 measures until a volta bracket or change of time signature.
also, exporting articulations does work (sometimes), but they are misplaced very often. I.e. there would be staccato marks right in the stave, where they are unreadable. "some" kind of magnetic layout would help greatly here.

I am happy to test the changes made in 2.0 - thanks to Marc Sabatella for pointing it out!

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