Box Select (Shift + Drag Select) selects entire chord when only a note of a chord is selected.

• Jun 16, 2019 - 15:30
Reported version
S4 - Minor
by design

1) Create or open a sheet that has some chords in it
2) Use the box select to select not all the notes in the chord
3) Observe that the entire chord was selected, and that you got more than what you wanted.

Workaround: Individually shift + click individual notes. :(


Status active needs info

That's how it should work. If you want individual notes either ctrl+click to add individual notes or open the inspecter (F8) and click the notes button to only select notes in the selection (works really good when you want more than 2 or 3 notes).

Edit: it doesn't work for only selecting the bottom notes of all the chords. See for some ideas on that.

In reply to by mike320

Yeah, in particular it's super confusing because in the box selection, only the bottom notes of the chord are highlighted before I let go of the mouse button. Then, once I let go of the mouse button, it selects the entire chords for all notes selected.

So is that specific of the feature not as designed then?

I know there are workarounds. Just thought it was particularly confusing due to the box selection showing that only those notes were highlighted but then it selects more.

Status needs info by design

What you describe is by design. Any block type selection will select all chords within the selection area. This is to give leeway if the score is a bit cramped, which was more common in version 2.x. The leeway means you don't have to select the entire chord, stem and flag/beam to select the note, so if you select part of the chord, you get all of it.

A trick to edit the bottom (or top) notes only is to add staves as needed, explode, edit the notes, implode and remove extra staves. You have to decide if this is worth it or if its easier to just click the ctrl+click to select the notes you need.

More tricks, if they're all the same pitch (which is the most likely case) group select the chords, right click a note and choose select>more... check the boxes for the note you want (G4 for example), in selection and in the same voice if applicable and click OK, you can then move them all up to G#, (maybe because you forgot it wasn't part of the key signature any more... not that I would ever do such a thing...) If they are different pitches, you probably don't want all of the bottom notes selected to do the same thing to them. Once again, you have to decide if this is faster than click then ctrl+click a few times.

In reply to by mike320

I'd like to provide feedback on the intended design. I decided to give MuseScore a try for my latest composition a few months ago, and I am frequently frustrated by the fact that control-clicking individual notes is often the least tedious way of selecting the notes that I want. Carefully positioning the cursor over each note head, and having to occasionally go back and attempt to deselect nearby things that I selected by accident (e.g. ties, stems, other note heads, etc.), is much slower than dragging a box. The options under Select>More... are useful, but it's tiresome having to do the following every time I want to e.g. select a single voice in a single bar:

  1. Select a note;
  2. Right-click it;
  3. Go to "Select";
  4. Click "More...";
  5. Locate the "Same Voice" option;
  6. Click it;
  7. Locate the "Same Bar" option;
  8. Click it.

That's already an excessive amount of work. And yet, if the phrase that I want to select spans multiple bars, I have to repeat those 8 steps for every bar.

I understand that there are cases where it's useful for Box Select to automatically include the whole chord, but for me personally this feature has annoyed me more often than it's helped me. There really should be an efficient way of opting out of this feature. E.g. Ctrl+Drag Select does nothing at present, so how about if that action selects only the notes within the box, while Shift+Drag Select continues to automatically expand to include the chords? There should also be keyboard shortcuts for indicating when you want the box to add to or subtract from the current selection.

I understand that by design Shift + Drag select selects a range, which means all notes on a staff in a certain time period.
However: a) in that case there's no point showing a rectangle with vertical limits and just the notes inside those limits being highlighted while dragging, but more importantly b) can we also have a Ctrl+Drag select so we can just select just the individual notes that fall inside the rectangle, which would be incredibly useful for lots of operations (e.g. I have a long passage of music currently in the RH staff of a piano staff, and want to shift all notes below a certain pitch to the LH staff for cross-staff beaming. I can highlight all the notes I want using shift+drag, but releasing the mouse button causes all the other notes I explicitly don't want selected to become selected).

I'd even be happy to contribute a fix for it if getting musescore building is reasonably straightforward. But I'm not sure what the procedure is for random strangers contributing PRs etc.! And there'd have to be an agreement as to what the fix was (e.g. using ctrl+drag - which seems fine as currently ctrl+drag behaves exactly the same as regular drag, i.e. changes the display position of the whole score).