Option to completely disable automatic placement

• Jul 27, 2019 - 00:16

I realise that this is a much discussed subject, but...
I have just updated Musescore to Version Revision d2d863f. Whilst checking the release notes for past updates I noticed that on May 28 2019 there was a release:
macOS 10.12+:, Windows 7+ 64-bit:, Windows 7+ 32-bit:, AppImage: 3.1.0. (revision: e26f7c46).
and in the list of 'New' features there is 'Option to completely disable Auto Placement'
I am on Mojave 10.14.5
I have spent some time searching but cannot find any information about how to completely disable Auto Placement apart from the above reference in the release notes.
Any pointers would be greatly appreciated. (I have read most of the discussions as to whether there is really a need to completely disable Auto Placement and despite advice from all the gurus, and I do appreciate what a wonderful feature AP is, I would still rather place everything myself.)


In Edit->Preferences->Shortcuts, there is a shortcut to Toggle 'Automatic placement' globally. I don't remember if there is a default shortcut defined. If not, you can define one.

Life is much easier in version 3 once you learn how to use Automatic placement rather than turning it off. We're here to help you with this if you want it.

In reply to by mike320

mike320 - very many thanks for the info. It works great! I do understand how good Automatic Placement is but I have hundreds of scores which have been carefully formatted and I really don't want them altered. However, I have used AP on new scores and althought it works well most of the time there are still occasions when I want to place things myself.
Thanks again for your very prompt and helpful answer.

In reply to by tubascuba

Hi Tubascuba,
"I want to place things myself"
Well that's a perfectly legitimate requirement and in 3.0 it was not possible with autoplacement.
BUT since then, autoplacement has been greatly enhanced and in 3.2 you can place things yourself WITH autoplacement which really make things a lot easier than without it.

In reply to by DanielR

I generally drag (or use x,y offsets) first. If it doesn't cooperate I press alt and drag the item and I don't usually have to worry about it any more.

I understand a score being imported from version 2 turning off global auto place, it makes it less work to make it look like it did in version 2. For new scores I keep global autoplace on. Pressing alt turns off auto place on a dragged item, though it may not work on Linux.

In reply to by DanielR

I don't think there are any cases where disabling autoplace, moving the element, then re-enabled would accomplish anything different from leaving it enabled.

To be clear: in the vast majority of cases you don't need to disable autoplace in order to place things manually. Prior to 3.1 there were a larger number of cases where this could be necessary, but now it's extremely rare. For those rare cases, you don't want or need to disable it completely, you just would turn it off for the given element, either using the Inspector, the shortcut "=", or Alt+drag.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

" don't think there are any cases where disabling autoplace, moving the element, then re-enabled would accomplish anything different from leaving it enabled"
Marc, you may be right. I was thinking of the special case where a dynamic is auto-linked to its following hairpin. In this case, trying to move the dynamic itself does not work with autoplace enabled, but moving the hairpin does move the pair (dynamic+hairpin) successfully. No problem once you know about that slight "gotcha".

But don't ask me to like how autoplace works with slurs: I feel all the time that I am fighting the autoplace rules! No anchor ever seems to stay put if I adjust one individual anchor... so I am gradually coming to the view that for any manual adjustment of a slur, it's easier simply to turn off autoplace for the slur altogether (and leave it disabled).
[EDIT] ... and I might have to climb down on this latter point as well. After re-reading your post, I tried adjusting individual anchors of an autoplaced slur using Alt+Drag - and it worked fine. Time for me to say sorry, yet again! ;-)

In reply to by DanielR

I agree these two cases are a bit awkward right now.

For dynamic/hairpin combinations, "sometimes" it works to move one of them and the other will follow automatically. Other times not. I'm not sure I can totally say which cases are which even though I wrote most of that code. Feel free to attach a score where this is an issue and I can take a look (best to start a new thread for that).

For slurs, what you are probably seeing is the code to automatically try steeper curves if the default (relatively flat) curve results in the endpoints being too far away from their notes. As you adjust, you change that calculation, so that maybe now the flatter slur does work, so the shape changes out from under you. Not good, I agree, but I'm not sure the best way around this. So far I've simply also chosen to disable autoplace when manually adjusting slurs. In fact, often I disable autoplace and then find I'm perfectly happy with the slur that way - there might be small collisions with accidentals along the way, but ones I can live with.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Completely agree. In a large score I only had to disable autoplace very very few times, and the only persisting problem, the misalignment between different dynamic+hairpin+dynamic groups affecting different note ranges in the same staff, was very easily corrected by selecting one element of one group, for instance the first dynamic, and, from the inspector, changing its vertical position to a common value with the first dynamic from the second group. The only detail to take into account is that if, for instance the vertical offset is by default 3 sp and there are ledger lines below the staff, probably setting 4 as the new offset will have no effect, keep trying by 0.5 sp increments until the group moves to an acceptable position. Then repeat that setting for the other group(s).

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