Selecting the current ink colour

• Jan 28, 2020 - 04:04

It seems from responses to my "Red pen" query that this is not currently possible. For obvious historical reasons we generally think of musical typsetting as a monochrome activity, but if I want to annotate an existing (completed) score, I would like to use a different colour. What this would mean is to allow a different [default ink colour] to replace the default default, which is black, replacing black for all elements not having any explicitly set colour.

This is a non-urgent request, but should not be very difficult to implement.


Please add this as a feature request in the issue tracker. I think it goes a significant part of the way to implementing something like "track changes" in Word which I would find useful.

In reply to by SteveBlower

I correct/annotate a lot of learner scores here; I use a "make note(s) red plugin" I created for this purpose, but being able to write in red consistently would be a lot more useful. I have also found making parallel staves (e.g., for piano, four instead of two, with the upper two "original" and silent) to be a valuable technique. I can't imagine anyone trying to learn would find the score comparison tool, or the need to use it, more reasonable. I've never used it myself, although I've at times in the past wished it was there -- it seems ideal to determine accidental "pilot error" damage to a score, but much less so as part of a learning workflow.

[default ink colour] to replace the default default, which is black, replacing black for all elements not having any explicitly set colour

That would also affect all already entered items using the default color. As I gather this was not what you were aiming for. But rather use the new pen color from that moment on to enter new elements with that color.

but should not be very difficult to implement
Please elaborate on why it shouldn't be. You know, aside from having to override something in all existing add functions to explicitly set the newly chosen ink color.

[EDIT]: to further clarify; I support this request and it shows to me a lot of value as either a review or an editorial tool.

Hmm, here's another thought:

A common request is for us to implement a "read only" mode for scores, where you could make changes at all. What if this were an adjunct to that, where instead of saying "no changes at all", any additions would all be in a selected color? Once upon a time there was an experimental feature in the code called "layers" that allowed you to define a layer for annotations that could be all enabled or disabled at once. I kind of doubt that code still works but probably could be restored. The idea would be, by switching to a new layer, all changes would only be on that layer and could be toggled on and off, and you could specify a color for the layer (I don't think color was a feature of layers originally).

In reply to by BSG

@Marc. Can you clarify how this might work? I think you are suggesting a (transparent?) layer for annotations with the original score on a read only layer behind it. I can see that this might be also useful, but not in the same way as having modifications rather than annotations, differently coloured. I can already keep a version of a score as it was before I edit it. The facility I am trying to formulate is to see where and what i have edited.

To give a bit more substance to the use case I am thinking of. I am (rather presumptively) editing the Mozart Clarinet Concerto K622 in an attempt to preserve more of the melodic contours that exist in the reconstructed "original" (but now lost) basset clarinet version but which have been somewhat butchered in the non-basset clarinet version that was published after Mozart's death. What would be useful would be to have the published clarinet version with my edits highlighted as I make them, rather than having to edit and use the compare tool.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Don't think of the layer as a physical thing laid on top of the score, so talking about it being "transparent" doesn't really apply. It's just a tag that would be applied to to the marking you add that says "this marking is on layer X", so you could then go to a menu and turn layer X on or off any time you want, and everything with the "layer X" tag would appear or disappear.

If by "edits" you mean actually note changes, there would be no way to do that, and nothing about the proposal given above would voer that. It only had to do with adding markings as far as I can tell, not changing notes. That would be something else. Not impossible, but different.

In reply to by BSG

As positive as I am about that idea, I'm not sure it encompasses the basic need of someone marking up a score, i.e., to mark some notes or other elements specially ("red"), because there is no way to overlay a new (colored) note on top of an extant one (as you (Marc) say, layers can't encompass "changes").

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

It used the layer feature indeed for this, but it was not as general as what is proposed here. Really it just created a new text element type and placed it on an annotation layer automatically. The layer facility is what did the real work, and that's what would be needed here more than the new text type.

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