Automatic "Fit-to-Page" Setting

• Jan 27, 2020 - 15:44

Hi all,
I've browsed about 10 threads on the subject and I'm still confused. My goal is to have a setting automatically fill a page to full length regardless of measure numbers (within reason). Most of the suggestions involve manually going in and increasing stretch everytime. I'm just wondering if I have perhaps misread any of that and there is a way to make measures automatically fill up the whole page, or if I should just get used to doing it manually every time.


Define within reason.

There are quite a lot of factors that come into play when "forcing" a set of measures on a system or a page; including stretch, system breaks, all kinds of style settings (minimum note distance, min/max system distance, (grand) staff distances, …), page margins, score scaling, …
All of which are subjective depending on the goal one wishes to achieve.

That's too many variables with too many combinations leading to too many desired "correct" results.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Manual line break are put where it makes sense musically.
It's a pity that MuseScore doesn't distribute the measures between manual line breaks.
When you write a long piece where you don't need lot of manual breaks it doesn't matter.
But when you write dance music pieces where musical breaks are necessary about every 16 measures, then it forces you to put line break almost every line to avoid (e.g.) to get the awful "5 5 5 1" measures by line scenario.

In reply to by frfancha

You should be adding breaks to every line in that case for sure. An automatic system couldn't be smart enough to, say, avoid breaking a musical phrase. You should looking at the musical content and deciding for yourself where your breaks go in that type of setting. Eg, every four bars, maybe 5 bars on the first system for the pickup, 5 or 6 on lines with voltas, etc, but also looking out for music phrases that aren't multiples of 4.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Line breaks ARE ALREADY added between musical phrases, where it musically make sense.
Then ON TOP OF THAT, you have to do a long manual exercise to add breaks at every line to manually balance the measures between musical breaks.
I wanted to add a sample score but MuseScore has just updated to 3.4.1 and doesn't start anymore (Windows 10). Will try to reboot first.

In reply to by frfancha

Ok after reboot MuseScore 3.4.1 is starting. So see attached score, where the "musical break" has been added at measure 8. See the "alone" measure on line 2, while MuseScore could (optionnaly, perhaps not by default) balance the 8 measures on the two lines.
And yes I know, in this specific case just one '{' fixes the issue, getting the 8 measures on 1 line. That's just a quick and dirty example.

Attachment Size
test.mscz 5.87 KB

In reply to by frfancha

16 bars is not a single phrase, it's many phrases. In order to create readable music, standard engraving practice calls for you to optimize each and every line break according to the phrasing of the music. That is, it's not just about "balancing" lines - that is not how standard engraving practice works. It's about musical structure.

As for the failure to start, probably you accidentally covered up the Telemetry dialog. You'll need to manually close windows to expose it, unfortunately. We're aware of the problem and working on a fix.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I disagree with that.
Obviously we agree on the fact that manual breaks must be human set between musical phrases.
Where we disagree is when you say that doing so is enough to force human intervention on every line.
That's not true, in the type of music I write using MuseScore, phrases typically need between 2 and 3 lines.
Being forced to manually split the phrase in 2 or 3 is very inconvenient, and not only for the lost time, but mainly because once you have split in 3 lines, if after a small change two lines only would be enough you don't see it. While if you could add only the musical break, MuseScore would balance on 3 lines as long as three lines is the minimum required, and automatically balance on two lines only as soon as possible.

In reply to by frfancha

Check any source on good engraving practice, they will all agree: all line breaks should be placed according to the musical phrasing. Nt just the "big picture" phrases that occur every 16 bars or so.

So, I'm not saying there couldn't be a "I don't really care how good my music looks, or how readable it is in practice, I just want the lines balanced" command. Probably could be done via a plugin, actually. And it shouldn't be confused with actually producing better engraving.

It's true there is no fully automatic fit to page settings, because there are just so many possible variables involved, there would be no way for MuseScore to know which of the many settings (staff size, measure spacing, staff distance, system distance, etc) to adjust for you.

But FWIW, adjusting stretch really wouldn't be my first recommendation, not sure where you got that advice. If one way you wish to see the page filled is to have fewer measures per line, just add systems breaks. Far simpler to do, simpler to reverse too, and the results are more consistent. Once you have enough systems that they reach the bottom of the page, you're done. So, normally it's no more than a handful of presses of Enter to do the job.

If you find the default spacing too tight in general, you could start by increasing Format / Style / Measure / Spacing, which is kind of like increasing stretch but it does so more consistently.

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