Setting the default file format

• Aug 26, 2016 - 13:21

Can I set the default file format to uncompressed .MSCX instead of compressed .MSCZ? I find that embarrassingly often I want to edit the files by band, and obviously it's a hassle to do that with MSCZ files.



No way to do this, and I don't think it's likely to happen. MSCZ is preferred internally because it also contains other metadata (a thumbnail, any images attach to the score, potentially more). Note you can get at the MSCX within the MSCZ by first opening the MSCZ in any ZIP program.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

It's too bad I have Windows on this machine. If I had a real shell, it would be much easier for me to extract the MSCX file from each ZIP in a batch.

The issue I'm facing is that I often want to make a global change to dozens of documents at once, such as changing all neutral apostrophes (') into proper slanted apostrophes (’), or changing "Eb" to "E♭" in text objects. The way I've been doing this is by saving the document as MSCX, loading it into a text editor (such as Emacs), and doing a search-and-replace.

Speaking of which, what is the preferred way to insert symbols such as ♭ and ♯ into text objects? One feature I miss from Finale is menu shortcuts for inserting those symbols, as well as inserting dynamic text such as the current date and time(as of the moment of printing), the title, composer, part name, page number, etc. Perhaps some of these features exist in MuseScore already but I haven't found them yet?


In reply to by Solomon Douglas

It's easy to enter flats and sharps and other symbols (including slanted apostrophes if your font supports them) into text. The way that works for all symbols is to press F2 (or click the icon at far left of the text toolbar) to bring up the special characters window. But for flat and sharp specifically - and a few others - there are keyboard shortcuts. Eg, Ctrl+Shift+B for flat, Ctrl+Shift+# for sharp. Dynamic text like date is available for the header and footer - normally the only place they are used. See Style / General / Header, Footer, Numbers.

HINT: the slanted quote marks, if present in your font, will be found in the "General Punctuation" block under the Unicode tab.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks for that info, Marc. That's super useful.

For some reason, on my system, all of the accidentals that I've found in the special characters window show up either in subscript or in superscript, which makes them basically unusable. Is there a category of accidentals in that window somewhere that appear as regular-sized non-subscript non-superscript text?

Thankfully, there are literal accidental symbols in the font (♭, ♮, ♯, which are Unicode U+266D, U+266E, and U+266F, for example) which render very nicely.

Unfortunately, the "Musical Symbols" screen of the "Unicode Symbols" tab in the special characters window is very hard to use, and in fact seems to be missing the basic accidentals. Are they in a separate page that I've overlooked?


In reply to by Solomon Douglas

There's something going wrong in that dialog on your maschine,that dialog does look very different on mine. They don't overlap and look that crammed. Still sharp, flat and natural are not in the Unicode section musical symbols, but in a different section (and I haven't yet found them)

However in the next version of MuseScore the unicode symbols for flat, sharp and natural have been added to the common symbols tab see #111856: Add Unicode accidentals to "Common Symbols" section of Special Characters

In reply to by Solomon Douglas

If you're able to, I recommend installing MuseScore on a Win10 machine with a high-res display (such as 3840x2160) and see how everything looks. Lots of UI elements are awkwardly small, making them hard to identify visually and hard to click on (such as the "x" close button on the tabs, etc.) The left-hand side listing the panes of a dialog box (such as in the Style...General dialog) is too narrow to read all the names of the panes, etc. sizes.png

In reply to by Solomon Douglas

Lots of people use MuseScore on high DPI displays,. lots of people use Windows 10, I'm almost positiuve there is a large intersection there and that it works for most people. That is, MuseScore normally scales things automatically, correctly. By which I mean, the physical size of each icon (measured in inches, not pixels) should be exactly the same on any display - any size screen, any screen resolution. Are you saying this isn't the case on your system?

It *is* true that a few things like the left panel in the Styles dialog don't do the right thing, but those are adjustable.

This thread kinda wandered off-topic but recent posts regarding corrupt or damaged-beyond-repair MSCZ files prompt me to request again - can the default Save-As format be set to either MSCX or MSCZ at the User's discretion? I get the impression it doesn't matter too much in Linux (and maybe not in Mac either) but there seem to be many recent posts from Windows users where something has clearly gone wrong in the saving process or because Windows hasn't fully processed the file at Shutdown. No excuse for not having backups, I know, but...

I'm replying to voice my support again for allowing the default file format to be changed to MSCX in Preferences.

I haven't yet run into any corrupt MSCZ files, so thanks for the heads-up on that. My main reason is that I often want to do global textual processing on a large batch of Musescore documents, for example, changing them all from 8.5x11 to A4 paper when I'm travelling overseas, or changing all occurences of "dim7" to "o7" when I change my mind (which I frequently do) about my preferred chord nomenclature. I do this with a "sed" script, but before I can do so I need to make sure to save the file as MSCX.


In reply to by Solomon Douglas

A reason why I would be hesitant to want to offer such an option is that MSCX cannot handle some things - like embedded images - that MSCZ can. So people might unwittingly lose information if we made it too easy. Of course, you can ask why we offer the ability at all, and in fact at one time I think removing the ability to save as MSCX *was* considered, but enough of us expressed reservation that the idea never got off the ground.

Meanwhile, if you're comfortable with scriptions, you could write one to invoke MsueScore to do the conversion for you: MuseScore foo.mscz -o foo.mscx.

A use case that does not seem to have been mentioned is document version control. This might not be a common (musician's) workflow but I have considered using a version control system (like subversion / git) to store my scores. Using the uncompressed version of the score allows a version control system to store just the differences which makes it easier to identify when a score has material differences requiring backup and may allow simpler comparison between versions.
Of course, if the uncompressed version actually lacks content then maybe it is inappropriate to provide it as an option!

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Still, it would be good to have the option. Guess most would choose to leave it as mscz, but the option would be really useful - especially working in a school where students keep forgetting to change the extension. Unfortunately when a student emails their file to me, Office 365 assumes it's malware and refuses to let me open it. Not sure what the downside is of allowing users the option to change the default (with the knowledge that images would be missing)(.
I know this is an old thread, but I'm assuming that this facility is still not available - I've had no success finding it thus far.

In reply to by gpod

Better, I think, to report the bug in Office 365's malware detection to Microsoft. One or two others have reported this Office bug here, but we really need someone to report it to Microsoft, since it's their bug and they would be the ones who would need to fix it.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

On the subject of saving uncompressed .mscx files, would the following be a compromise to satisfy everybody?

How about if in the case of documents that would fail to save certain objects (such as images), the option of saving unpcompressed were grayed out completely and the format would automatically be promoted to .mscz. (Either that, or attempting to save a file containing images to the uncompressed format would pop up a warning dialog such as "Warning: saving to a .mscx file will cause data loss due to the linked images in your document. Are you sure? Yes / Save to .mscz / Cancel")

Then, an option to allow the default format to be set to uncompressed could provided, and there would be no risk of lost images confusing or upsetting users.

I understand that from the point of view of the developers, this might be a very low priority. If you guys were to respond with "That's a great idea, which admittedly would be quite useful to a certain subset of our userbase, but don't hold your breath because we probably won't get to it soon if ever", it would be more honest and less of a put-down than "Your idea is actually very bad", which is what I've been hearing so far. ;)

In reply to by Solomon Douglas

I don't think about said it was a very bad idea, sorry if I gave you that impression. I think it's a very natural thing to want, but I also tried to explain what the issues were with it. But lots of good ideas have issues with them, and either the issues get worked out, or they get implemented despite having some issues, I think your proposal here sounds fine. That or, a simple warning that appeared if you tried a save that would lose data.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Cool! :)

Yeah, nobody literally said it was a bad idea. I guess I'm specifically referring to Jojo-Schmitz saying "It would miss images" as if that were a reason to cease considering the idea, where he could instead have said "As things stand, it would miss images, but maybe we can find a middle way where everybody wins." One option serves to shut down discussion, and the other option serves to further discussion. I'm here to promote the furthering of discussion. :)

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