Staves are crunched up!

• Aug 23, 2016 - 23:43

My staves have crunched up and the lines and spaces are really small. Somehow I decreased the system size. How do I enlarge the systems/staves to be to a "normal" look? Thanks!


First, check to see that you have not 'down-zoomed' the score by using CTL+mousewheel. If so, just zoom the score up to a readable size by holding down CTL and rolling the mousewheel forwards.

If that's not the problem, click on Layout>Page Settings>Scaling (from the main menu), and adjust the staff space to 1.75 (which is close to the default setting, and should give you a reasonable working size from which you can make appropriate adjustments depending on your particular needs.

In reply to by b2sing4u

It would indeed be best if you attached the score to a message here so we can look at it. Look below the comment input box, just above the SAVE and PREVIEW buttons; you will see a link that says "File Attachments." Click on that, browse to the folder where you store your scores, and then upload the mscz file of the score that's causing you trouble.

In the meantime, there are two possibilities that I can see:

1. There may be a sizing conflict between your pdf driver and the printer's driver; this can cause everything printed to be shrunk. That has nothing to do with MuseScore. If it turns out to be the case, one easy solution is to print from a different PDF reader/editor than the one you're currently using.

2. You may have inadvertently reset the staff space to a very small value. The default staff space is 1.764mm. That generates staves and notes which are quite large. Click on Layout>Page Settings and check to see what value is entered in that box.

staff space dialogue.png

In reply to by b2sing4u


For standard 8.5x11 paper size, staff spacing for scores for small (4-6 instruments) ensembles should be set to about 1.275mm; for parts, a reasonable size is around 1.625mm. You can adjust staff spacing as needed for your particular application, of course.

Remember that different instrumentalists are at different distances from their music stands; give cello players a break and make their parts slightly larger than those for most woodwinds and brasses. A cellist's eyes are over three feet from the music whereas a flute player can set his stand quite a bit closer.

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