Page Layout

• Jul 15, 2016 - 21:47

I have searched thrugh many posts in this forum on this subject, but none seem to fit my problem. I do mostly scores of large works usually including one or more vocal staves in each system. Occasionally, I work with piano reductions of orchestral scores (which usually also have one or more vocal staves). I invariably find it very difficult to get the pages to look nice throughout the score. I have searched the documentation to find the correct settings, but many times I've had to guess at which ones I need to adjust. Many times, the settings are universal and any correction I make to adjust the page I'm working on just makes the other pages unpresentable.

The most common problem I have is space between staves and space between systems. Since these settings seem to be universal throughout the entire score, I can't get one page to look right without screwing up other pages.

Am I not selecting the proper settings? For space between staves, I have been using the Staff Properties dialog -> Extra space above staff. For the space between system, I have been using the Style -> General -> Page -> Min System Distance and Max System Distance (although I'm never sure which one I need to adjust). No matter what I do, I always seem to end up with some (if not all) pages (A4) having about 4 inches of blank space at the bottom.


Those settings are indeed glbal for the score. If you'd like further help, feel free to attach the score you are having problems with and describe what you are trying to do in more detail. But basically, min an d max work as their names imply. "min" sets the minimum distance, which basically controls how *many* systems can possibly fit on a page (a smaller value might fit more systems). The systems will be placed that far apart as a starting point. If there is no room for an additional system but there is still some room left on the page (eg, what you describe), then the systems will automatically be stretched to fill the page further, but only up until the "max" value.

Thus, setting max = min will set the absolute system distance - all systems will be exactly that distance apart. You'll normally have wasted space at the bottom of each page though. Setitng max = infinity (or some ridiculously large numebr) means systems will always be stretched to fill the page, even to the extreme of having just two systems stretched across a page. So normally you try to find some middle group.

Page make-up is an art in itself, and although almost all graphics programs today attempt to standardise it by using a complex set of embedded rules, there will never come a time when the designer (read: 'the user') won't have to make some manual adjustments. That is the difference between art and science.

MuseScore offers a good degree of control of the parameters needed to present your material in the way you want it shown; Marc has given you a pretty good primer on which parameter controls what. But large orchestral + vocal scores with 20 or more staves are generally too big to fit on A4 sheets without becoming unreadable. You should consider going to A3 for such scores; there are some quite-affordable desktop printers which can handle sheets this size, but if you don't have (or want to purchase) one, you can take your score in PDF form to a copy-shop on a thumb drive and have them print it for you. You wouldn't want to produce parts in this size because they won't fit on standard music stands, but conductor's desks are designed to handle oversized scores.

In reply to by Recorder485

I have wanted for some time to buy an A3-capable laser printer (I find that ink jets are very costly because of the ink) but all I have found have been in a price range I could not justify. If you know of one that is as you say "quite-affordable" I would be pleased to receive a recommendation.

In reply to by Casa Erwin

Laser printers capable of handling A3 sheets are very expensive; Xerox makes a series of commercial-class laser printers but they start at about $8,000. Ink-jet printers which can handle ledger-size paper can be had for around $200-$300. Look at the Brother MFC-J6720DW (or this year's equivalent to that model number). It handles ledger-size sheets and does automatic duplex printing so you can print your scores in booklet form and bind them with a long-arm stapler. Ink-jets are much slower than lasers, obviously, and yes, the ink is more expensive on a per-copy basis...but unless you need to produce large quantities of your scores and parts, ink-jet printers are much more practical. (They can also print on all types of papers; laser printers cannot deal with textured, coated, or vellum stock.)

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