Reorganize Help menu

• Nov 20, 2018 - 16:24
Reported version
P2 - Medium
Ergonomical (UX)
S5 - Suggestion

I'm creating the issue to discuss plans for reorganizing the Help menu. This is based on some discussions on the forum (see for instance, but I am now putting this specific discussion of the Help menu here in preparation for actualy making the code changes and submitting a PR.

My main proposal is to revamp the Help menu to remove the current Ask for Help and Report a Bug items and replace them with an Online Help Center item that takes you to a page where you can access all the help resources that are provided. I also want to move this up more prominently, just below the Online Handbook item. In the forum I also proposed providing a local Handbook but there has been enough concerns raised that I think it makes sense to separate these endeavors, so I will make a separate issue for that if/when appropriate.

I also want to add controls for the Tours here, so you can enable/disable them and also reset them. Eventually, there could be a way to access the full list of tours, but I'm not sure that's so important right now.

So my proposed Help menu looks like this for now:

  • Online Handbook
  • Online Help Center
  • Tours
    • Show Tours (checkbox)
    • Reset Tours
  • About...
  • About Qt...
  • About MusicXML...
  • Check for Update
  • Leave Feedback
  • Resource Manager
  • Revert to Factory Settings

I'm open to further changes - eg, is this even where Resource Manager belongs or should it be under File, Tools, or View? Should the About section be further down?


What do you think about two entries, which leads to "How To's" and "Tutorials", even there are none available at time for 3.0. Maybe it was already discussed in the forum.

Definitely read the forum thread for more background. To me, adding more items to the Help menu makes the problem worse, not better. People already don't know the difference between "report a bug" and "ask for help" even though this might seem obvious to you or me, and the differences between "how to" and "tutorial" are considerably less obvious. So I don't think it makes sense to force people to make that choice before they even know what their options are. I want to send everyone to a "one stop shop" for all help needs, where they can get info on the different options available and browse them all as desired.

Maybe you're right. For example I'm often stuck on job with "Word", if I'm looking for a solution and only see overloaded toolbars or menus ;-). And we've already good ressources for beginners (and intermediates): the "getting started" score, the tutorial videos, the how to's and of course with 3.0 the "tours".

But sometimes I think, the tutorial videos are a good start for a newbie (before the handbook, because they are limited to the most necessary information). And "How to's" offers useful ressources for an intermediate. And both are not really obviously on the first sight in my opinion (also not on the web site).

On the other hand the new tour features is a impressive introduction for an overview in MuseScore. So maybe it could be another discussion regardless of this issue entry, in sense of: as much as necessary, but not as much as possible.

Yes to all of this :-). I want to make the how to's and especially tutorial videos (which will need to be redone) more visible, as well as other resources that are available. To me the way to do that is to get them out of the Help menu - which is limited to short phrases and is static (won't update as new content becomes available) - and onto a dedicated place on where they can see a full listing and description of all their options.

As for the tours that are in place right now, they are indeed a great start, but I'll also want to take a look at these, adding more where needed, streamlining where possible, etc. That's probably better suited for forum discussion though, so I'll start that thread soon.

I think, but could be wrong, that the Leave Feedback button is intended to be temporary, just during alpha & beta. So I figured it would go away when the time was right, independent of anything else I do.

Another thought for the Help menu - a more human-readable shortcut cheat sheet (as opposed to telling people to look at Edit / Preferences / Shortcuts).

Perhaps a newbie's input might be helpful here?

There are a few people on Earth who are not computer-savvy, like me, who might be overwhelmed by the galaxy of info here. I remember balking at using notation software because of this.
I decided to read (not study) the handbook, watch a few vids and proceed to enter notes. When a problem arose, I decided I would always check the handbook, forum history, how tos before asking a question, which I'm not shy about.

Having to know the entire handbook before proceeding and watching countless videos would have been overwhelming for one not at all familiar with the content
Here 3 months I've picked up quite a bit, but there is still so much!

There is no way for a noob to know whether s/he has encountered a bug. I once had a problem with 12/8 over 4/4. I went on "Support and Report Bugs". I did not report a bug; I needed assistance. It turned out to have been an note entry error I made, but there happened to be a bug as well.

How could I have known about a bug if I know...nothing?

No offense intended, but "search" is often useless. One example: I looked for the "piano roll editor" and entered such whereupon pages of info sprung out about all facets of pianos, editors and rolls.

Searching the history of forum threads for answers is a problem at times. Sometimes you find what you seek, other times you go back in history to the Punic Wars looking in vain. The forum gets very busy, often with questions which were answered within the past month. How to make a "search" better aimed at specific problems?

So, perhaps my POV might be helpful for those of you who put all this good stuff together. It's a formidable task you have.

In reply to by neGjodsbol

You mean only the items that have shortcuts defined. I get it now. I'm not sure that's best, perhaps there is a or can be a way to sort them so the items with a shortcut are listed first. Unfortunately sorting by shortcut in preferences either starts with z or those not assigned.

FWIW, I meant something that was nicely organized by function, not alphabetically. This means it wouldn't necessarily be all commands for which shortcuts are defined, but only the ones that fit into the organization scheme. In order to be most useful, yes, it would be best if it were dynamically generated. But even a simple PDF of the default shortcuts (eg, like would be better than nothing.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

since the sorting capabilities of preferences is rather limited, having a list by function, with those defined first in the list would be ideal. To not show that there are shortcuts that can still be defined would be confusing, at least this is what I've been keeping in mind with my comments.

In reply to by mike320

So these steps seems to be needed:
- add categories to the shortcuts, and do a 'makeover' of shortcut descriptions
- allow sorting/filtering by category to the shortcuts screen
- create 'print to pdf' job, that will make the list in the users language
- add 'Show shortcuts' to help menu

or something like that.

Yes, and harbinger has already made a great start on this, I think - see

Could make an interesting project for someone wanting to get started in MuseScore development to try to find ways of using this to generate a nicer shortcut list, wouldn't require knowledge about score representation etc.

I think neGjodsbol's summary is perfect. Is there any table or list i can assemble to make the code for this easy to manufacture? Like maybe the list as i envisioned, but in XML format or something?
Remember, i'm not a programmer, but i can make it easy for a programmer to set up the code if he has the right source...