Navigation improvements?

• Feb 9, 2020 - 14:34

Once a score grows to more than a few pages, I find it awkward to navigate to the page I want to work on. If I have overlooked some method, please let me know (and my apologies).

I know about the Navigator, which is a great idea; but the pages are so small that I can't read the page numbers unless the page is blank, and even then they are pretty small. (I use a laptop with a 15" screen.) Could there be an option to make the preview pages a little larger and/or the page numbers bold?

Some programs, such as the PDF viewer I use, remember the last page you were on. This would be a good option for MuseScore (some might find it annoying, so it should be the user's choice).

The word processor I use has the following navigation aids, missing (AFAIK) in MuseScore;
a) a vertical scroll bar; as I drag the slider down, it displays the page number that corresponds to the slider's position.
b) I type Ctrl-G, a box pops up where I enter a page number, and I go directly there.

Thanks for considering these ideas.


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thank you! I suggest adding directions for how to resize the navigator to the first page you linked above. I finally found the mouse position to drag the navigator edge up. This page also shows a screen shot where the page numbers in the Navigator are in a medium blue which is much more visible than the light gray I see, especially at a medium-small size for the Navigator. Not sure what's going on there.


Sorry for overlooking the Find function to go to a specific page. In my workflow, having the option to re-open a score to the last page I was on would be a real plus, if that might be considered.

In reply to by redux02

I did some experimenting and discovered that the page numbers in the Navigator are rendered using the same color used for the layout break elements. I don't know why this is so, but the good news is that you can customize the color:

  1. Go to Edit | Preferences….
  2. In the MuseScore Preferences dialog, switch to the Advanced tab.
  3. Scroll down to the ui/score/layoutBreakColor preference and select it.
  4. Click the corresponding gray color swatch at the right.
  5. In the Select Color dialog, select your desired color, then click OK.
  6. Click OK again to close the MuseScore Preferences dialog.

In reply to by Spire42

Thank you! Now I can see the page numbers even if I make the Navigator a little smaller. A side benefit is that page breaks etc. are also now more visible. I have a vague memory that those used to be blue, but now by default they are light gray -- that might account for the blue numbers in the screen shot on the handbook page.

In reply to by Jm6stringer

To me seeing the numbers so prominent isn't very interesting, as I can already jump to a page via Ctrl+F with no need to waste time or screen space with the Navigator., Seeing a more accurate rendering of the score itself is far more valuable, as I can perhaps get some sense of the actual structure of the piece. As mentioned, I'm not a heavy Navigator user, and was not part of the decision-making processing. Had anyone asked my opinion, though, I'd have supported it as a pretty obvious big improvement.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

My Navigator images were clipped from the handbook and from this thread - i.e., the OP's image.
I shrunk everything for display here - my point being about the color contrast, and not about size, or even Ctrl+F.
In actual use, the "Old look" did have an accurate score rendering (same as the "New") with enough detail to discern structure; plus it had good contrast between the score and the page number (unlike the "New"). This is what the OP noticed - and which led to Spire42's 'fix'.

About Ctrl+F...
To "already jump to a page via Ctrl+F with no need to waste time or screen space with the Navigator" reqiures prior knowledge of the page number to enter into 'Go To' box.
With large scores, that is precisely why the Navigator is handy - to locate the page without needing a photographic memory (for Ctrl+F). Plus, one can click into the Navigator to instantly go to that page. No need to waste time or screen space with the 'Go To' box. ;-)


In reply to by Jm6stringer

Well, my understanding of the original report was about a case where the page number was known - maybe from a printed version. That is indeed not common in my world either. I prefer to judge what is going g on by looking at the score. Which is why I prefer a clearer rendering of the score and less distracting page numbers.

Although as I said, I do t typically work on scores that are all that long - 25 pages max - so I actually tend to jump by rehearsal letter (which I often know) or even just zoom out on the score to get a “bird’s eye” view, then scroll, then zoom back in.

As mentioned, Ctrl+F works to go to a specific page. But since you mention wonder if you've overlooked some method, and you don't mention what I cosnider the single most useful method, the mouse scroll wheel (or two finger swipe on most touchpad devices), I figured I should make sure you were aware of it. Also the PgUp/PgDn keys should work normally. So I virtually never see any need for the Navigator. FWIW, there is also the Timeline, which is a more generally useful variation on the idea that lets you navigate according to the structure of your score - rehearsal letters, key changes, instrument entrances and exits, etc. Probably if I worked on more large orchestral scores I'd rely on that more.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you, Marc. I have been using the scroll wheel and PgUp/PgDn to get around, along with the Home and End keys (the latter is convenient when MuseScore opens on the first page and I want to add material at the end). But these get tiresome once the score grows to more than a few pages; Ctrl-F will address most of my needs. I work almost exclusively with keyboard music, so the Timeline is overkill for my needs (I did look at it in my search for better navigation). My work involves a lot of editing, proofreading, correction, and making sure that things look as perfect as possible on the page before being finalized, so I probably need to jump around to specific pages more than many users.

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