How to set all measure same width?

• Aug 20, 2016 - 17:40



I want set same width all measure. (ex: red line in picture)
But i can't find that menu.

I can't set measure tight under 1.0.
Any ideas?

Environment is musescore 2.0.3, windows 10.
Thank you.


I keep seeing requests for this. Might it be worthwhile (if easy enough) to have a "freeze bars" capability, say at the beginning, before adding notes, with only whole rests.

The user could set the # of bars per line and "freeze" them, and then add what ever notes they wish.

I completely understand the many reasons why one would not wish to do this, and I'm sure there will then be complaints that the bars are not of a size to contain the notes wanted, but ....

In reply to by xavierjazz

For entirely different reasons, I've asked about the possibility of creating a 'lock-score' tool which would prevent layout changes. As Marc Sabatella has explained (to me, among others), measure layout is done by the program 'on the fly' as edits and new material are added to a score, and to change that would be to change the entire basis of how automatic layout works. So it appears that what you're proposing could be quite difficult, or even impossible given the current architecture of the program.

I happen to be of the school of thought which believes forcing measures to align vertically on a page is not a good thing in general, but I also recognise that there are a few, very specific use-cases where it could be useful. The current graphic controls in MuseScore make this possible (although not easy) without modifying the automatic layout algorithm. But that is a manual work-around, and not what the OP in this case (and other similar requests) wants.

However, thinking a bit outside the box here, it occurs to me that a tablular format might answer. Imagine if MuseScore contained an 'insert table' tool, much as most word-processing and typography programs do. If it did, a user would be able to create a score in tablular format, with each measure appearing in its own column and subsequent systems appearing in their own rows, all aligned according to the user's instructions. It seems to me that this could override automatic layout by presenting the table as a discrete object, something that that the existing layout algorithm could regard as a single unit, only to be broken into groups of rows to fit on a single page.

Perhaps Marc or Nicolas could chime in with their thoughts on this idea?

When I need such an appearance, for canons with 4 voices for instance, I use 4 staves, and fake graphical right bars for the "last" bar.
Ask for an example if needed.

In reply to by Aristein

It is normally considered poor notation practice to have barlines align. In fact, even in cases where the content of measures is identical, or similar enough that the measure widths would otherwise be identical, you are supposed to go out of way to force the barlines *not* to align. It's considered a subtle but important hint in helping you not lose your place. Better to go with the default / correct notation than to work hard to create notation that is xonsidered less good. There are certain very special situations where the context might make it acceptable to break this rule, but I don't see that this fits any of them.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc, I agree with 99.9% of all you said, including that the OP's example does not fit any of the specialised use-cases (almost all of which are for creating excerpts in theory textboks or method books). And as you know, I most emphatically do NOT approve of creating tools which would enable less-informed users to do things they really shouldn't (because in too many cases, they will do them if 'we' make it possible).

But Xavier's point is well-taken, and there are those specialised use-cases to consider, so I was wondering how this might be done without requiring a complete reworking of the existing layout algorith, which I understand from your patient explanations is pretty basic to the architecture of MuseScore.

In a text typography or word-processing program, users are offered tools which enable them to create text in the four basic columnar formats: Flush left, centered, flush right, and justified. In text typography, this covers almost everything, but there are specific use cases (tables of contents, screen credits, mathematic formulæ, recipe ingredient lists, etc.) where other formats are needed, and those are usually addressed by using a table in which each column can be formatted independently. In other words, if I need a table of contents with the titles flush left and the page numbers flush right, I can do that by creating a two-column table with different formats for each column.

Could MuseScore implement an 'insert table' format which allowed this? Without needing to mess with the basic layout code, I mean? It would address the need for these special use-cases quite well if so. You would know if this is possible, if anyone would.

In reply to by Recorder485

Since I do encounter one of the special use cases where this is desirable fairly frequently, I have given this some thought. In principle it would be possible to do something like this. There was formerly code to do it but it worked not very well because it didn't handle a lot of real world issues that come up very gracefully. Similar issues come up if we try to provide a way to force more measures to fit on a line than current settings for staff size and note spacing allow.

I think the new layout algorithms being developed for 3.0 might make this go somewhat better if we were to try again but there are still tough problems to solve, like what to do if someone tryies forcing more notes to fit in a given space than actually can given his current settings. It's definitely worth thinking about though.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I completely agree with this: ... "...or similar enough that the measure widths would otherwise be identical, you are supposed to go out of way to force the barlines *not* to align. It's considered a subtle but important hint in helping you not lose your place. " ...

I can also already hear the howls of protest when those 64 sixty-fourth notes look like a smear.


In reply to by kristi reynolds

in MS version 3.x:

Short operation:
Download Attached style
Copy to Styles folder.
Click Format> Load Style.
select "Equal-Measures.mss"

Click Format> Add / Remove System Breaks
Break systems every "4" measures.
click "OK"

Now every note up to 16'th will be written equally.

Long Operation:

  1. Go to Format> Page Settings.
    Select "Landscape".
    click "OK"

  2. Go to Format> Style=> Measure.
    Set the "Minimum Measure width" to 36.
    and make "Spacing" 1.
    click "OK"

  3. Go to Format> Style=> Page.
    Set the "Last System Fill Threshold" to 10%.
    click "OK"

  4. Click Format> Add / Remove System Breaks
    Break systems every "4" measures.
    click "OK"

Now every note up to 16'th will be written equally.

Attachment Size
Equal-Measures.mss 43.4 KB
Demo-EqualMeasures.mscz 19.67 KB

In reply to by cadiz1

That mss file had been created with a pre-3.6 version, that's all.
It may contain style settings that have been renamed in 3.6 (which then would not be understood and ignored, that's what the warning is trying to tell), it won't contain style settings that are new with 3.6 (and there are a few)

In reply to by cadiz1

Just save it with 3.6 and henceforth use that, no warning anymore

You could avoid that warning by changing the file's 2nd line to <museScore version="3.02">, but that would really be cheating.

Looking at the diff between the original and a 3.6 copy of it reveales that you gain more settings, gain some bug fixes due wrongly named settings. And that there are 2 settings getting lost:


No idea whether that is a real loss or just a bug that got fixed

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.