New Shortcut Names
I customize nearly every application i can, especially the keyboard shortcuts. This is usually based on my exposure to and use of other applications which do similar actions.
I have always liked the fact that we can now edit the shortcuts in MuseScore (i think there was a time when we couldn't), but the list of shortcuts seem to be strewn about without much sense, except in a few contexts. Plus, when going thru the list to assign your own shortcuts, there are nearly 400 as of version 2.3.2!
So i wanted to propose that we change the NAMES of the Actions that can have shortcuts assigned. I have come up with a way to logically group these Actions to make it easier for the new or intermediate user to customize this part of MuseScore. By renaming the Actions, then, when sorted alphabetically, the user won't need to sort thru the list to find the corresponding Actions to similar elements, or the corresponding elements to similar Actions.
Attached at the bottom is the spreadsheet of the proposed changes (you'll need an app that can open XLS — common Excel — files). It lists the current names, and the corresponding NEW Action name, sorted alphabetically by the new name, so you can easily the logic in it.
I'm hoping there is a way to link the old names to the new ones, so MuseScore veterans won't need to re-assign their whole list again, should the modifications be adopted.
When creating the new Action names, there were several criteria i used, all of which makes it easier to find the Action in the shortcut list:
- Whenever possible, each new name starts with the context in which the Action would take place. This would group these Actions together when sorted alphabetically. So, for example, we have these list entries:
Application: Reset Preferences
File: Open score
File: Save copy of current score
File: Save current score
Score: Page settings
See the List of Categories at the bottom of this post to get a better idea of how i chose these.
- Use the same, standardized word for the same action on different objects:
ENTER: Input something at the cursor, overwriting anything there
INSERT: Input something at the cursor, pushing forward everything after
APPEND: Input something at the end of the set, without affecting the set
GO TO: Move the input cursor to some other location
ADVANCE: Move the input cursor to a relative location within the same mode
MOVE: Move the selection to a new location
ADD: Include something in the given selection
MERGE: Combine, keeping what's there
JOIN: Combine by append, overwriting if necessary
APPLY: Use a given context setting on the selection or set
RESET: Cancel customization
- Combine objects with same Actions but different results (for example, "Go to element, next" and "Go to element, previous" rather than "Go to next element" and "Go to previous element"). This makes it easier to find and customize shortcuts that do nearly similar actions on the same object, within straying too far from normal English.
- Make sure that MuseScore-specific terms are kept, so they're easy to search for, such as Explode, Implode, Start Center, Inspector, etc.)
- Use efficiency in Action names to briefly describe the Action. For example, instead of Lock Score (which needs more description), i used "Score: Disable editing (Lock)", which is brief, descriptive, and keeps the original keyword. In another example, instead of "Enter notes with a mouse or keyboard," i used "Note-Input begin, current method."
- When possible, assign indexes to note lengths, so that they will list in order of length (when the list is alphabetized). So, a 128th note is note duration 0 and a longa (quadruple whole) is note duration 9.
- Use '...' when an Action opens a dialog window or entry box.
Some Actions i had problems with, listed here:
"Enter rest (TAB)" and "Note Input: Rest (TAB)"
"Enter rest: and "Note Input: Rest"
What's the difference in these pairs? Each pair was listed separately in the current shortcut list.
I couldn't seem to get this to work, no matter what i selected or didn't select. In what context does Find perform a search?
"Move the cursor forward in real-time input mode"
Since i don't enter notes in real-time, i wasn't sure what this was alluding to. Anyone know?
Tried using this in and out of note input, but all it seems to do is delete the measure of the selected element. Is this usable? There is nothing in the manual about it.
Yes, i can surmise the problems that might come up if the changes are adopted.
Help files: Some of the pages in the help file (at least the PDF) may need to be updated to reflect how it may be shown in the shortcut list. For example, "Lock score" is described perfectly in the help file, but it's not listed in the proposed shortcut list. "Regroup rhythms" also has a place in the help file, but you'd have to do a search to find it in this list. (In both of these cases, however, i included the keywords used in the help file so the user can run a search for it.)
Transferring shortcuts from old to new: I don't know how the shortcut assignment table that MuseScore uses is filled, but i'm hoping that veterans of MuseScore won't need to re-assign the shortcuts they've always been using to the newly named shortcut Actions. A new subroutine may need to be set up by the devs to transfer the list.
Also some of you might have a problem with the naming conventions:
TAB: This has multiple meanings and even in the context of music composition, it can be confusing. So i substituted "Tab" with "Chord Diagram". Not as short but very specifying.
Chord symbol: I have never heard chord names on a score called "chord symbols," and none of my music theory books refer to it as such. They are simply called "chord names." When i think of chord symbols, i think of the chord diagram used for guitars or other stringed instruments (tabs). To avoid my own confusion, i changed "chord symbol" to "chord names," but this is open for debate.
Chromatic/diatonic: In many new Action names, i included the word diatonic in many what would seem to be obvious contexts. When setting up my own keyboard shortcuts, i had to learn thru trial-and-error how certain note Actions affected the score or selection. I wanted to take out the error in trial-and-error whenever possible. The only downside to clarifying "diatonic" in the shortcut names is that it lengthens them, for some of you maybe unnecessarily.
If you see any other wrong or misleading new Action names, comment on them here. I'm interested in the whole community's input, especially the new or nearly new users who have been trying to customize the shortcuts.
I hope we can arrive at some consensus at redoing the shortcut list to something more logical. If any dev needs me to set up a file in a certain way with all these proposed changes, let me know. I want to make it easier to develop the program if i can.
LIST OF CATEGORIES:
Some of you may be wondering how i arrived at the categories to be used in the new Action list. I want to describe my thinking here.
APPLICATION: Actions that do not affect the score or files but cause the application to change what it does or how it does it.
FILE: Actions that manipulate files or treat this or other scores as files, but does not affect the current or any open scores.
SCORE: Actions that affect the score layout in a general sense (but with some particular sets), or Actions that affect other Actions that affected the score (Undo, Repeat last command, etc). Anything involving modifying whole measures, staves, or systems are listed in this category, and only if not found in the Specific Categories (below). A selection does not need to be made for Actions in this context. NOTE: The reason i didn't have Measures or Staves as separate categories is that a broad variety of actions can take place with these sets, from the very general ("append measures") to the very specific ("Full measure rest"), and often without knowing if something needed to be selected ("Decrease layout stretch"). This would have made it harder for users to find the right Action name.
PLAYBACK: Actions that only have to do with all aspects of real-time playback or recording, including display, loops, and navigation.
SELECTION: Actions that will only work if there is a selection. It would be impossible to come up with Action names that described (briefly) WHAT needed to be selected, so the object names would imply what would need to be selected (if it wasn't obvious). This negated the need to overspecify, with contexts like Elements, or Key Signatures, or Notes. Any Actions that affected the selection (that aren't listed elsewhere in the Specific Categories, below) would be found here.
NAVIGATION: All Actions that move the cursor but do not affect the score start with "Go to". It was very important to group the go-to targets together. These may or may not require something to be selected. Any navigation Actions that require the same input mode to remain activated will be found under those contexts (such as entering lyrics and chord names).
VIEW: Actions that only change the display of the score or application window are listed in this context. Most View listings have a sub-context, such as Toolbar, Panel, or Window, to give you an idea of what is displayed when this shortcut is used. All View Actions are toggles (switch between two possible modes), with the exception of the Zoom Actions.
NOTE-INPUT: By far the largest context (over a hundred Actions), these Actions are those that are ONLY used when inputting notes into the score, including the different methods and elements. There are sub-categories to group element types together, like durations, note names, articulation marks, and tuplets, to name a few.
BEAMS: Actions that affect beaming on notes
BREAKS: Actions that introduce breaks or frames, affecting the layout of the score and positioning of the systems on relation to each other.
CHORD DIAGRAMS: Often called (guitar) tabs, these Actions add or modify chord diagrams. Some of these share the same Actions as standard Note Input.
CHORD NAMES: Currently called Chord Symbols in MuseScore, these Actions are all navigation commands to allow chord-naming over many chords in progression.
CLEFS: Actions that add or change the ruling clef in the given staff. In the future i hope we can add more clef type entries.
HANDLES: Actions that affect the movement of handles, which would only be found when an element has been opened for editing (such as a note stem).
LINES: Actions for entering lines of different types (currently only crescendos, decrescendos, and slurs have an input Action associated with them).
LYRICS: Actions for entering into or navigating within Lyrics mode, a special type of note-anchored Text mode. These Actions allow the user to stay within Lyrics entry mode.
STYLES: Actions that affect the current or other Styles that the score is using.
TEXTS: Actions for entering Text into the score.
TRANSPOSITIONS: Actions that allow selected notes (or the score) to be transposed a given amount. These were separated out of other categories because of the universality of this Action. Anything having to do with transposing notes is maintained in this category.
VOICES: Actions that apply or modify voices within a staff or selection.
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