How about an assignable keyboard shortcut for toggle automatic placement?

• Dec 7, 2018 - 15:24

I don't currently see a global option for turning off auto placement (and I think this has been addressed in a prior forum thread I can't currently locate). The answer to a lot of MS3-specific problems, presently, seems to be "turn off auto placement for that element."

In some cases I'm having to turn off auto placement on four or five separate elements to get the score to behave as desired (admittedly, I am largely doing rhythm / "slash" charts that require a lot of 'cheats' to conventional notation practice). I'm also having to remember to turn AP off for such elements BEFORE I attempt to place them, now that I'm figuring out where potential issues could lie. Manually trying to place something, having it bounce back due to auto place, and THEN turning off auto placement tends to create even more problems and unpredictable behaviors and cleanup work.

Accordingly, it would be very, very helpful to have an assignable keyboard shortcut for the Inspector toggle for auto placement of a selected item.


Why is auto-placement of staff texts, symbols, etc., EVER right (esp on reading a V2 score)? Auto-placement of notation artifacts (note heads, accidentals, etc.) is a really powerful and generally great advance, but it seems to me that the whole purpose of texts, symbols, etc., is to mark scores manually.

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what I mean, as I am just scratching the surface of MS3. It just seems an extra step to remember to turn off auto placement. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it eventually, but there are other (larger) elements of the Beta that I'm trying to learn for now.

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

I'm still trying to grasp all of the new features of version 3 also, and I've found times when I want auto placement off and others when I want in on. I'm not sure if i would rather it turn itself off or make me turn it off. I'm leaning a little toward making me turn it off if it doesn't do what I want when I move something.

In reply to by mike320

There is always reset for that.

Granted, at this point, I'm working with scores created in 2.3.2, but it seems there is always something that needs to be adjusted. The added step of turning the feature off for every element is something I seem to remember AFTER I try to edit something.

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

No. Please keep the current behaviour!
I understand that you need no autoplacement at all for your needs, but the way it is done is very very smart for me.
I don't have the time right now to explain it correctly, but e.g. moving chord symbols up AND keeping them autoplaced is EXACTLY what I need.
And that doesn't prevent you to turn autoplacement off.

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

For an example of what does not work.

If you have a staff text and system text on the same note and you decide you want to reverse the order of them (the other one on top), moving one will keep the other in the same relative position, unless you turn off auto placement on one (or both) of them. You can then move them both the way you want, assuming nothing else interferes. There are other ways to fix this, but this is only an example.

For an example of what does work.

If you have a crescendo that overlaps dynamic at the right end, shortening the crescendo will allow it to move where you want it automatically. Turning off automatic placement in this case is not desirable.

Turning automatic placement off, makes MuseScore pretend it does not exist for automatic placement, which in my opinion is a design flaw, but we have to live with that. I've see other cases where moving an item with auto placement still turned on works well and some where you need to turn it off to make things look right.

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

I would prefer this to not be the case, actually.

Ideally, the auto-placement logic will grow and improve to the point where, if you move an element, it tries to auto-place the element into the general area where you moved it, and if you move it again immediately (i.e. I haven't gone on to any other task other than pushing that element around the page), it will then leave you alone.

For instance, if I want a text element under the staff instead of above, once I drag it where I want it I still would like MuseScore to try and maintain some semblance of sane and smart control over that placement and attachment once I bring it underneath. If I do this and it's just really not getting what I'm trying to do or is clearly in disagreement with me over what is right in that situation, then sure, I'm ready to give up on AP for the moment, and a second action along similar lines should probably disable it.

The main advantage of auto-placement in general may become apparent when you start modifying system and page layout after having placed a large number of note-attached elements, especially in multi-instrument arrangements. This is where the big commercial products (or, at least, one of them... some of the time) still have significant advantages in headache minimization and needless mouse-drudgery over MuseScore.

As it stands, auto-placement is still clearly a work in progress and seems just as likely to blow stuff up horribly vs. its intended job of keeping everything looking good when measures start moving around the page. Eventually, though, this will not be the case and you'd want to use AP more often than not as you progress through a score.

In reply to by dt5rb

I very frequently employ MS as a didactic tool, either correcting people's work or writing "tutorials" (see that set in my profile) and analyses that have texts, lines, and other marks splattered all over the place, not at all instructions to performers. What AP would do to one of my extant scores in this regard is worst-case; yet, the AP of notes is highly welcome. Note- and measure-anchored manual placement as it exists in MS2 is just fine. Some people prefer manual-transmission automobiles.

In reply to by mike320

I think having auto placement default to on is perfectly fine. It's something we have wanted for a very long time.

I do think, however, that if you try to edit an element, by dragging, clicking an increment or typing a value in the inspector, that should toggle auto placement for that single element to "off" without having to turn it off yourself.

In reply to by toffle

Hi Toffle,
Again, not always.
Adding manual offset to an element AND keeping autoplacement is crucial for some workflow.
But that could be a general option though: does manual change autoplacement off yes/no, possibly by type of elements as well.

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

I love, love, love me a stick shift.

This does raise another good point, though - I haven't tried opening a detailed arrangement completed in MS2 in MS3, but I wonder if trying to edit something like that would quickly create a disaster. If the new behavior would affect scores created in older versions, maybe it would be good to have auto placement turned off by default on opening an older .mscz file.

I've already seen 3.0 do some pretty crazy and hard-to-fix things with mixes of auto-placed and manually-placed objects in its own files when something like, say, staff size is changed on an otherwise completed score.

In reply to by dt5rb

It is essential (if you wish to help) that you process MuseScore2 (the only kind the world has right now) scores in MuseScore3. It seems to evoke legions of heretofore undiscovered bugs, in unexpected places, and until these are found and quashed, MS3 will, er, "not succeed" when released and scare away users for a long time.

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

Heh, yes, I already have this on my to-do list. As it stands I've got an arrangement I need to get completed this weekend that I'm intending to do start to finish in MS3 (risky, I know), but I do have quite a few older v2 arrangements I intend to try and torture in the v3 beta and will be happy to report those outcomes.

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

As should be clear, different scenarios can call for different workflows. The autoplace system in MuseScore is pretty simple, actually: first it tries to place an element according to its style setting and offset (from Inspector), but if it collides with a previously-placed (by the autoplace algorithm) element), the element is moved up until there is no more collision. Once you grasp that this is what is going on, things become quite predictable and easy to work with. That's why you can't simply switch the vertical order of things - the element placed first (by the algorithm) is always on bottom, anything after goes on top. So if you want to switch order, simply disable autoplace for one or the other.

After autoplace, dragging an element a short distance has no need to disable autoplace, which is good, because you may well want other elements to continue avoiding this one. If not, then again, simply disable autoplace yourself.

And yes, a shortcut will be good, I can see it being used more than "V"...

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