Invert the score colors in dark mode

• May 18, 2020 - 15:46
Reported version
Ergonomical (UX)
S5 - Suggestion

Dark themes are really useful in low light context, for instance at night. In musescore, with the dark theme switched on, the menus and controls are dark, but they only occupy a small surface in my screen. The major part of the screen is the actual score, and it is mostly white.

I suggest an inversion of the score colors when the dark theme is used, maybe optionally. Something like this could be great, though someone with design skills will probably be able to find colors with better contrast.


What do you think?


I did not know this menu.
I played a bit with it and I could not change the white background, did I miss something?

What do you think about providing a coherent color theme by default with the dark theme?

Glad to see I can manually do this.
So my request is about providing good defaults and making the switch automatic with dark theme :)

Even with a new "extra dark" theme, it seems the settings in "Edit > Preferences > Canvas" do not depend on a theme.
Is there any plan to move "background" and "paper" colors to "Edit > Preferences > Advanced"? Would a patch toward this goal be welcomed?

Technically they have an access to these settings, but inverting all colors would require also changing colors of elements and staff lines. Since those colors are properties of elements such plugin would produce a score with most colors being actually inverted so colors would have to be inverted back prior to printing or publishing a score. Also some elements (at least measure numbers) don't seem to follow settings on new elements color so those would require additional workarounds in plugins (or perhaps even some fixes in MuseScore).
Other than those limitations, I see no reasons why this cannot be implemented as a plugin.

Workaround No Yes

I am legally blind and cannot use any computer or cell phone app unless in some sort of dark mode or inverted color mode. I can not find any real easy way to switch from a white background to dark mode and back again. in the musescore software. I need a dark page whith white or yellow text in order to read and use anything. As a windows user, I use the high contrast inverted color mode with many apps but it does not work with musescore. I need to switch back to white background so others can see my screen, capture images for videos, to copy and paste in documents and to print. The best solution I have found is to use windows magnifier in full screen mode and invert the colors in the magnifier app. If there is a way to quickly switch between modes in musescore I have not found it yet.

Minton J Miller

In the forum thread I gave you a workaround involving using a custom workspace and setting an advanced preference. It handles everything except the staff lines in the score, since that color is actually part of the score. Probably we should consider amending the staff line display code to do something like, if the staff line color is set to to black (the default), then instead use whatever the score display color preference is.

Then it would be a single click to switch modes. but as it is, it can be done by switching workspace then changing staff line color.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Yes Marc I appreciate your efferts and like I said in the other thread the quickest way with the least amount of fuss for now is windows magnifier in full screen mode and then inverting colors is just one click. As I find other threads on this subject I will also post on them as well just incase someone is not aware of other threads on the subject.

This is not intended to be a criticism of musescore. This is all about helping as many low vision users as I can, get the most out of this amazing software.

It is a subject that is hard for most people with relatively normal vision to understand. Unless you have to read using high power magnification, have light sensitivity issues, have blind spots, have some form of tunnel vision, or in my case all of the above: you are going to have a hard time understanding what all the fuss is about. In fact, it is sometimes hare for people in the low vision community to understand what another's needs are because the variables are many.

Most people in the low vision community have multiple tools they use depending on the application and none of them are totally adequate but they do help. What might work for me in one instance might not work in another. To make it more complicated, what works for me may be totally useless to another person.

Again, I appreciate all your efforts and please keep in mind that these discussions are all about helping as many people as we can get the most from musescore and are in no way meant to be a negative comment on this incredible product.

Minton J Miller

Even though the workaround works great (maybe putting aside the topic of the staff lines which is more cumbersome), this suggestion would be quite a nice touch and really appreciated by people that are used to work with dark themes or at night. It would also enable users to get a much nicer default colorscheme than naively replacing black with white.

Is there a way to change ALL the elements’ (title, subtitle, composer, staff, lines, text, notes, dynamics, etc.) default colours to white after changing the background or canvas colour to black? Or is there a way to set MuseScore to be just like the picture at the top by default, especially on Windows? Cuz I could easily do w/ that.

Glad it helped! But meanwhile, MuseScore 4 was released in December, so no more need for workarounds. The invert option can be found in Edit / Preferences / Appearance

Status closed active
Reported version 3.4 4.0
Workaround Yes No

It would be better if inversion was optionally automatic, like dark theme already is.

(This is my first comment, so I have no idea what to set "Frequency" and "Status" to on this form.)

Fix version