How to move score/canvas in note entry mode

• Feb 9, 2018 - 21:11

Hello everyone
I often find that MuseScore guesses incorrectly what part of the score I want to be displayed while in note entry mode. Then I have to exit note entry mode, move the canvas to the right place by grabbing it with the mouse (of using the left/right arrow keys), and re-enter note entry mode. Is there a way to move the score left/right/up/down while in note entry mode, i.e. without having to exit and re-enter note entry mode every time I need to move the canvas?
(Alternatively, is there a way to tell MuseScore in continuous view to always keep the active note in the centre of the screen? I find that when I reach the right side of the screen, and then enter one extra note, the active note moves all the way to the very left side of the screen so that I can no longer see the notes that precede it. Pressing left/right works if the zoom level is just right, but not always.)


First, MuseScore shouldn't have to guess - you are supposed to tell it, by first clicking in the measure you want to start in. Only if you neglect this step will it resort to guessing. So keep that in mind.

Anyhow, to move the canvas in note entry mode, virtually all of the same techniques that work in normal mode work: mouse wheel (the usual/preferred method), the Navigator, the PgUp/PgDn keys, etc. You should practically never need to resort to dragging the score with the mouse. As you are seeing, it doesn't work in note entry mode, and even in normal mode, it is awkward, slow, and error-prone.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks. My question relates to what happens after I've already started entering notes, and what happens when I reach the edge of the screen, so the comment about first clicking the measure I want to start in does not apply. But thanks.

Yes, moving the canvas by dragging is "awkward, slow and error-prone". I never thought about the mouse-wheel... silly me.

In reply to by ugcheleuce

Well, you started by saying "I often find that MuseScore guesses incorrectly what part of the score I want to be displayed". I took this to mean, where MuseScore puts your cursor when you first press "N". If you just mean you want to fine-tune how the canvas moves about as you enter notes, then this is indeed not relevant.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Dear Marc, my two cents: Musescore still doesn't keep the focus right when inputting notes in a score with a smaller notation font (and zoomed in). After inputting a note the screen jumps to another place (Musecore 3.6.2). I rediscovered the navigator (thanks!). That's for me the most convenient way to go back to the right location on screen.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc, it's very simple. I see only a part of the score of several instruments on screen and enter a new note in one of te staves. After entering the note Musescore jumps to another part of the score and the location where I have to enter the next note is not visible anymore. With the navigator in the lower part of the screen I can navigate fairly quick back to the place where I have to continue entering the next notes. Musescore could do a better job maintaining the focus on the location where the last note was entered. The navigator shows me clearly where the visible part of the score 'is' at the very moment. Dragging the score while holding the mouse wheel button give me RSI after some time, so this not my preferred way of navigating. Pressing the space bar and moving the mouse to move the canvas (as in several graphic programs) would be a great option, but I understand this interferes with playback/stop, so not an option for Musescore.
Update: I just discovered this is possible after all with Ctrl + Spacebar! So this conversation has been very useful for finding this out :-).

In reply to by Diderique

What I don't understand is the part about "After entering the note Musescore jumps to another part of the score". That's not supposed to happen and certainly doesn't for me. The score moves ahead as you enter notes, certainly, but it does so in a way where the cursor always remains in view. I've never encountered a case where the next note is not in view. Could be something very specific about your score that is causing problems. Best if you attach it and give precise steps to reproduce the problem so we can investigate further.

Not sure what you mean about dragging while holding the mouse wheel button, either. You aren't supposed to drag or hold anything, simply turn the wheel. Or, on a touchpad, two-finger swipe. Dragging is indeed a drag :-)

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Dear Marc,
I tried again today. Same score, same situation. Now Musescore did retain focus on the location where the notes were input or edited. During the session before the program really didn't behave as expected after several attempts, but that must have been an off day.
I know I can scroll vertically with the mouse wheel (and zoom in and out with Ctrl) but I also want to go the the next page. I've been digging in the preferences and found 'scroll pages'. Now I discovered that with shift held I can scroll horizontally with the mouse wheel too. So this conversation has again been helpful in exploring the functionality of MuseScore :-). No dragging needed indeed.

However I still would be more comfortable with rubber band note selection with just the left mouse button, without shift. It would be great if that would be an option in Preferences for the user to choose, as selecting several notes has to be done so often. So the options to choose would be:

  1. rubber band selecting notes with shift and dragging the score canvas only with held left mouse button (like it is now)
  2. rubber band selecting notes without shift and dragging the score canvas with shift (like in Dorico).

BTW: "Not sure what you mean about dragging while holding the mouse wheel button, either."
FYI: The mouse wheel is a button too that can be pressed and held (don't know if that's the same on Mac). When doing so the score canvas can also be dragged around, but holding the mouse wheel pressed is quite fatiguing as the required pressure to hold the wheel pressed is higher than for a normal mouse button (otherwise it would be pressed accidentally while turning the wheel). But as I discovered it's is a superfluous action and not needed in MuseScore!

Kind regards.

In reply to by Diderique

For the record, scroll wheel (plain for vertical, with Shift for horizontal) is the standard way to scroll in all applications, not just MuseScore. It's usually built into your OS and/or mouse driver.

MuseScore also uses the standard methods of selecting things that are common across all applications - eg, instead of having to drag to select a large range, simply click the first element, Shift+click the last. Or hold Shift while navigating with the cursor keys, Home, End, etc. These are almost always more accurate & efficient than dragging.

But I personally would be happy to see dragging the canvas go away entirely since it is so error prone (easy to accidentally move something on the score) and be replaced with selection.

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