Adjusting measure width

• Mar 16, 2020 - 05:58

Hi all. I have found that when entering notes the width of the measure will automatically jump wider to accommodate whatever the software thinks is needed. Often when entering say 8 8th notes it will make the measure the full width of the page. This then requires me to readjust its width along with several measures in the vicinity. This is extremely frustrating and greatly slows my work. I have looked for a way to turn this auto adjust off but I am unable to find it. Can someone give me some help here?

Also, is there a way to automatically adjust a range of measures so they are all “balanced” in width? Some would need to be made wider and some would get narrower so that they are all an appropriate width.



I honestly can't help you much. Normally what I'd do to squeeze in the measures that I want would be to right click a measure, press "Measure Properties..." and adjust the layout stretch of individual measures that way. If I'm missing your point and you've already tried that then I can't say much of anything else.

I'm confused - you want eighths notes to just spill past the barline, rather than have the measure get wider to accommodate? How would that help?

It's also not clear what you mean about a measure of eighths being the full width of the page. That would normally happen only if there is a system break on that measure, in which case, simply delete it. Or maybe the measure is unusually long in duration, like a 20/4 measure, in which case, that's pretty normal it might be wide enough to need the full page.

I'm also not sure what you mean about adjusting a range to make them balance - this is what already happens by default if you don't interfere with it via manual adjustments.

Attaching a score that you are struggling with would help us understand and assist better. But most likely, step one will be, remove all current system breaks, then reset all manual adjustments you have made back to the defaults, then one can talk about how to alter the layout from there if needed. Under most circumstances, simply waiting until you are done entering notes and then adding new system breaks where desired is all one should ever need to do.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks Marc. No of course I don't want to spill 8th notes beyond the bar. That would be ?? stupid. What I want is the ability to turn off the automatic resizing (temporarily) until I kick it in. What I was experiencing is this: I was using the braces {} to do some resizing along the way. Say there were 5 measures on a line. The first two were finished with notes. The remaining three are empty except for the whole note rests. To begin the third measure I first split the whole note rest into 8 8th note rests to establish the timing for the measure. As soon as I do this that measure jumps to the next line and stretches to take up the whole line. Very frustrating. (There are NO system breaks. At least none that I added.)

In any case I now have a new but related question. I have finished the score and have reset the stretch to the default for the entire piece. This does a pretty good job with the layout but there are several adjustments that still need to be made, most notably the whole note measures which are far too narrow. So as I go through and hand adjust those, is it better to start at the beginning and work through the project, or start at the end and work backward? Or does it not matter?

Thanks again.

In reply to by dwf2008

What I don't understand is if you say you don't want notes spilling out, but you also want to turn resizing off, what exactly do you expect to happen once you've entered more notes than fit?

Also, I don't understand why you are filling a measure with rests and then replacing them with notes? Why not just enter the notes directly?

In any case, as I said, there is no way a 4/4 measure filled only with eighths will take a whole line to itself unless there is a line break involved. So in order to understand and assist better, again, we'd need you to attach a score demonstrating what you are talking about.

A measure with only a whole note is supposed to be narrower than one filled with eighths. So I wouldn't be in a hurry to override the standard layout. But should the need arise for some unusual reason, the order in which you stretch measures doesn't matter.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc, thanks again. The score I was having trouble with is now finished. So I cannot send you a sample of what I was seeing. If I run into it again I will try and upload a sample. To finish it I removed all previous manual adjustments and set system breaks at every 4th measure. It looks pretty good this way and allows the measures to adjust themselves within each line. Before I added the system breaks the measures with whole notes were only about a half inch wide. This may have been technically ok, but in my opinion at least it looked really bad. Like they were squeezed into almost nothing. In any case I am done and satisfied. Muse is a great program and to have it for free is a special treat.

Can I make a template that would set a minimum width for the measures?

Thanks again.

In reply to by dwf2008

It really looks like you have set/use some strange setting like a enormous note distance or something like that, and that causes your initial problem of having a measure with only 8 notes being full page width.
Due to that you had to use lot of time and energy to make the score like you want while MuseScore was ready to do all that automatically for you.
So really the best thing to do is to post a score here showing the issue.
If I correctly read your initial description, just deleting evrything of your score but the first 5 measures will do? Or reentering the first 3 measures in a white score and post it here as soon as you get the one measure=one page width behaviour.
There are lot of possible settings in MuseScore and until you post your score it is just a frustrating game of guessing.

In reply to by dwf2008

This almost sounds as if you started by setting/increasing stretch on those empty measures. As stretch has very few influence on empty measures, you didn't really notice that until you started putting in content (notes/rests). Doing so immediately blew up the measure size due to the stretch now being able to work on actual content.

Main takeaway is: don't work on layout until after you've entered your content.

If you're bothered by the default spacing being to tight during note entry, consider using Tools → Add/Remove System breaks and for example add breaks every 4 measures.
Then after note entry, run the same tool to remove them and let default spacing run its course.
Only then adjust the spacing by manually inserting breaks where appropriate

For hand adjusting spacing, always work from the start to the end. As changes at the start might result in measures being pushed further down; thus impacting your decisions at the end.

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