Adding a paragraph of text

• Jun 17, 2018 - 20:13

Greetings,

I am trying to figure out if it is possible to add a lengthy paragraph of text to a page. I am putting together a book for music teachers and would like to write a lot of text and also display short notation on the same page.

I tried inserting and appending a text frame (Add>Frames>Append Text Frame) and I do get a text frame into which I am able to type, but when I type there are no line breaks (the text continues being typed outside of the page).

Also, I can't figure out if it is possible to resize/stretch that text box/frame.

Any guidance would be appreciated.

Thanks...


Comments

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thanks! This solved it for the time being.

I do have a related question, though.

My final project is to produce a textbook with regular text, some images and music notation.

Have any of you worked on a similar project? Basically, I would like to get some advice on what software to use to transfer lines of music notation, from MuseScore to a piece of software that works well to produce a book.

I work on a Mac.

Any advice or guidelines would save me some initial research and would be appreciated.

Thanks...

In reply to by Adinol

I would use an editor that is good for the regular text, then save the notation examples as images and insert them that way. But other people may disagree.

If you want to have small texts in a musescore file you can also consider using a text editor/word processor and insert the formatted text into a frame as an image. If you prefer that over typing in Musescore depends on your personal preferences.

In reply to by Adinol

If you work in a text frame you have very limited options for formatting the text. Definitely only something for short texts. Otherwise use an editor for the texts that works for you and insert the text as an image into a frame (the size of which you'll have to adapt around the text).

For a book that is primarily text you would save the Musescore snippets as images and insert them into the text.

The problem is a project that is about 50/50 music/text (like a set of exercises with detailed instructions or a score with detailed comments interspersed). However you choose to do it will be labor intensive (in my profession of chemistry there is the same problem: Text and formulas need to be combined. Everybody I know inserts the formulas as images into the text.)

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

This is absolutely what I'd recommend for writing a book with music in it - that's why I wrote it :-) Even if you prefer to use Word over LibreOffice and thus can't use the extension, I'd recommend using a similar approach - writing in a word processor, inserting the images (using the image capture tool from MuseScore to take the screenshot), then making it hyperlink back to the score if this is a long-term project where you might need to update things later.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you all, again, for adding comments.

I initially did think that I might have to do an image capture to be used for the book, but I was hoping there were some more "elegant" (for lack of better words) options. The ideal option would be if a text editor could simply do text as well as notation.

I am actually still far from that point in time. At the present time I am composing and compiling and writing down some rough passages of text all in MuseScore. In a few months (hopefully) I'll be ready to work on the actual book.

It's also important to keep the expectations realistic, as MuseScore is free, so there will be limits to the expectations. At the same time is is easy to use. I'm sure some of the other expensive software requires users to spend some time learning how to use it.

Thanks again....

In reply to by Adinol

The image capture tool in MuseScore is very simple to use, and can do the cropping for you if you like (if your examples are one per file, as the LibreOffice extension expects as well) or you can set up the crop yourself. So it's actually very painless. Between that and my LibreOffice extension, I find creating these sort of educational materials far easier with MuseScore than with Finale or Sibelius (haven't tried Dorico yet, and my Finale/Sibelisu experience is admittedly a few out of date now).

As for text editors that can generate notation, there are some options, but none I'd recommend for a book. Google Docs has an add-on for flat.io but it's extremely limited compared to what you can in MuseScore and quality is nowhere near as good. FWIW, my LibreOffice extension has a mode where can you can type ABC code (a text-based music representation system used by a lot of folk musicians) and then have that converted to notation using a third-party converted program, but it's been so long I forget how to set it up, and it's really only of interest if you're already familiar with ABC.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

This was all really helpful.

I started my project (which is at a rough stage) as typing text in MuseScore and saving MuseScore files. Now I switched to capturing the images in MuseScore and typing the text in Pages (I'm on a Mac).

Later I will worry about the final product, once I'm at that stage.

It is interesting, though, the no one yet came up with a program that does it all. For sure the demand is there. We wouldn't be humans without music.

Thanks....

I do this a lot. Take a look at my latest best effort:
https://musescore.com/user/1831606/scores/5135642
I wrestle with hand-justifying text boxes every day and long for automatic help. Copying text from word-processors or other apps doesn't help, and doesn't carry typography (e.g., italics). It must be hand-fitted
with each text change.

The gross inadequacies of text-box editing (e.g., no undo, copy/paste bugs, no justification) are "reported and acknowledged" in other threads (see https://musescore.org/en/node/272408 and https://musescore.org/en/node/272131 ).

The MS "snapshot" facility has proven more than adequate and convenient for making examples to paste into documents in other apps.

In reply to by BSG

This is exactly the kind of thing where you would be better off the other way around: Paste screen shots from Musescore into a document prepared by Word or Pages or similar packages (exactly like one does if one writes about chemistry).

You have all the advantages of Musescore for the music (before you screen shoot it at any rate) and also all the advantages of the word processor. There are even ways to make the word processor link back to the picture so you can edit it on the fly while not leaving the word processor (I remember from my chemistry days, but don;t ask me now how it works!). The only down side: You can't publish on Musescore.com.

Thanks for the link though: I'll have to study this!

In reply to by azumbrunn

The image capture works for me, at least for now. I'm still in the rough stages and I'm sure will be stuck at the rough stage for a while.

However, as the creative ideas are evolving in my head I thought of something. At this time I didn't have time to research it, to find out if I'm reinventing the wheel, but here it is.

The book that I am working on would work well in an eBook format that would have nicely laid out text as well as notation that can be played by the user. So, in the printed version of the book the music teacher would have to play out the music for the student, but in the eBook version the student could just click.

So, basically, the eBook would be in a similar format as MuseScore, except that it would be locked, so that students can't accidentally edit the notes (or text).

In reply to by Adinol

It's definitely possible to set up the images in a Word or LibreOffice office document to be links, and to have them link to audio files so they play upon being clicked. The trick would be preserving that in an ebook. There are electronic textbook formats that allow for this sort of thing, but my impression is that the standards haven't really come together yet, so you might end up having to create lots of different formats for different devices.

Right now, the LibreOffice extension is set up to insert the examples with links to the MSCZ files themselves, so they open in MuseScore, and you could then hit the Play button to hear them. An advantage of this is that you are not limited to just playing the score but can interact with it in other ways too. This is especially important for blind users who may wish to navigate note by note, etc, and in fact this was an important consideration for me in developing the extension. But a simple tweak to the code could allow them to link instead to plain audio. This whole area is one I still have much interest in developing further, if I could find the time / funding for it.

In reply to by azumbrunn

I'm doing it this way because (perhaps troglo-stick-in-the-mudly, as it were), I don't have or want a general blog site, and my particular target is MuseScore people, not just knowledgeable friends, but particularly beginners who could remit the national debt in unprepared fourths, parallel fifths, and backward suspensions, for whom i should have something more useful than face-palm moans. This way also has the remarkable advantage that the examples can be played and heard. More chapters in progress....

In reply to by BSG

A laudable goal :-). But maybe there are other approaches to consider.

For example, what if the text were prepared as posts in a group on musescore.com, with the scores then embedded within? A set of group especially for music education is a fantastic idea. Such groups exist already no doubt, but as the community grows and the site matures, it seems this sort of thing will only grow in importance. As the Director of Education for MuseScore, I don't have any direct control over the direction of musescore.com but I do have some insight and influence and the ability to set a few things up. I'd love to talk more with you offline about some of this - feel free to contact me at marc@musescore.com

BTW, short term, it is worth keeping in mind that the majority of people browsing scores musescore,com are probably not looking for instruction, and those that are are probably not looking for chapter-length text. Simple bullet-point type presentation might serve you better here.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I can see how it would be possible to set up mage files, so that they would play a sound when clicked upon. What I had in mind was a bit different. The ideal format would play in the exact way that MuseScore plays the notes, with the visible cursor moving in the direction of time, as the notes are being played. It would also have a tempo adjustment and the option to play the metronome clicks along.

In my book, for example, there would be examples how beginner music students might make mistakes, when learning to write notation. So, the mistakes would be apparent to those students when the metronome clicks would not exactly line up with the accented notes. Further in the text I would explain that the above example is incorrect and that to correctly write notation one has to have a pickup measure, playing only the first quarter note. Then there would be the correct example, the student would play, turn on the metronome and hear how the accented notes are now in sync with the metronome.

This is just one example how I might want to use this capability, for a textbook on learning/teaching music, if this capability existed.

I'm sure if this capability existed it would open up many possibilities for the rest of the creative minds out there.

In reply to by Louis Cloete

That's a very good idea. In fact, now that you mention this solution, perhaps a flash file would also work. I don't know much about Flash but I know people that know people that I can ask.

This might be the solution for the time being. In the future, however, I hope someone develops a piece of ePublishing software that can just edit text layout and playable notation. I'm sure it would be a useful tool for many.

In reply to by Adinol

I think chances of that are close to zero, and even if someone tried, I'd recommend against it - it's not the right solution. You want a whole application and file format that can only handle music textbooks? What about geography textbooks, math textbooks, graphic design textbooks - all sorts of textbooks that might want interactive embedded content. You can can't have 20 different applications and 20 different formats to handle 20 different use cases. What is need are open standards for how integrating things. So that a word processor doesn't have to know how to do notation, and maps, and line drawing, and math, and a hundred other domain-specific things, but knows how to talk to programs that do.

In reply to by Adinol

The idea of interactive embedded content is indeed very compelling. The technology itself is actually quite old although it has been abandoned and resurrected many times over the years and somehow never really taken off. For example, Microsoft used to offer something called "OLE" within Word and other products that would essentially allow a MuseScore score to be embedded directly within a document in that type of manner, if an OLE integration were created for MuseScore.

Realistically, what you want is more an app than a book. At the very least, a web app. You can already embed scores from musescore.com in posts here and elsewhere:

https://musescore.com/user/2975/scores/47000

Thiis is just a player, not an editor, so while you can hear the playback with the score properly animated, you can't edit it. That's not a technological barrier, though - there is also that kind of integration between flat.io and Google Docs, for instance.

To me, it's ridiculous that these problems need to get solved one at a time. There should be a universal format for text documents with interactive embedded multimedia and how communication between the presenter app and the handler apps is done. Right now unfortunately it's just a hodgepodge of individual solutions to specific problems for specific markets rather than anything as general as, say, epub.

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