Easy navigation around a large score

• May 22, 2020 - 16:26

I have started using Musescore and find it amazing, especially for an open-source programme. I have found answers to most things on YouTube. But... Once the piece gets longer than one page, it starts getting really hard to move around the score.

I have found 'view + Navigator' which is already a big improvement. But moving around the page is hard, because (in default mode) anywhere you click you are liable to either accidentally modify a note or stretch the bar, or add some crazy high note, when all you wanted was a hand tool to move around freely without accidentally editing the score. This problem happens as much when dragging with cursor as when moving using arrow keys... (A 'jump to bar X' would also be useful).

There must be a better way of moving around a page or from page A to page B and back. I just can't find it.

Please help.

Simon Daisy.


The best way is normally to using your mouse scroll wheel, or equivalent gesture (e.g., two-finger swipe). Also the standard navigation keys like PgUp/PgDn, etc.

Really helpful, thanks... already using 'jump to'... command.
As for other tip about using mouse, I don't have access to mouse when I'm working at my keyboard. I have tried the navigation options you mentioned and they still result in unwanted edits to my score. Is there no way of turning off the score edit function during navigation (as would be the case if there was, say, hand tool)?

In reply to by Simon Daisy

When you say "keyboard" here, do you mean your computer keyboard or a MIDI keyboard? If computer keyboard, and you have no pointing device like a touchpad where you can use two-finger swipe, then PgUp/PgDn definitely work and never modify the score in any way. If MIDI keyboard, well, I'm not quite sure how you would want to navigate if you have neither mouse nor computer keyboard. But I'm confused you mention clicking, which implies to me you do have access to a mouse or other pointing device. Are you perhaps using a touch screen and trying to drag the score that way? MuseScore is not well optimized for touch screen interfaces indeed, and really, this would just be the tip of the iceberg as far as that goes.

In reply to by frfancha

I'm not sure I'd agree it would feel that natural, after all the cursor keys normally do something entirely different (eg, change pitch). So if people got in the habit of relying on cursor keys just to drag a score, it might actually exacerbate the problem of accidentally moving things when they are just trying to navigate.

But anyhow, I can't say I remember this specific request coming up much - do you have a link to an issue with prior discussion?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hey. Thanks for all the help folks. Confusion arose when I said I was at my keyboard. I meant at my midi keyboard. All I meant was that when I'm writing at my midi-keyboard, my little laptop is more or less sitting on top of the midi keyboard. No ability use a mouse. But I was using the trackpad and arrow keys. And, yes, it does modify the pitch of the note if (when navigating) you accidentally highlight a note in blue ... which happens all the time. I have no problem with using arrows not being available, but something like a hand tool, or basically anything that allows you to navigate without accidentally changing something would be great. ... Unless there is already some way and I haven't found it (I'm a newbie to this). Thanks to those who replied.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I use a mouse and roller, but I have the same problems as the above user, because I'm trying to go sideways, not up and down a lot of the times, which requires click and drag. Navigating around the large score I'm working on has 23 pages and a lot of instruments. Somehow, it keeps going back to the beginning of the score when I'm using the arrow keys to move pitches up and down. Very frustrating, especially when I'm on measure 244. And when I use my mouse to maneuver, I have to escape out of input mode. I have put stray stuff in my score so many times due to this.

I also have issues with working on the last measure on a page where I'm inputting a chorded figure (say a whole note) and it keeps jumping to the next page every time I add a note and I have to use the back button).

I don't want to complain, though. I love MuseScore and I'm patient for updates and even if they never come, I'll deal, because this is a wonderful program and I am thankful for all the resourceful people out there who write the code, which is something I have no desire to learn to do.

In reply to by quinster

You should never need to use click and drag if the score to move horizontally. Every device should have a direct scroll gesture for that - Shift with mouse wheel, for instance. You might want to consult the documentation for your device if that doesn’t work. But also, there are scroll bars as kind of a last resort also.

You also can simple press the left cursor to move backwards while in note input, or just add notes to the chord with Shift+letter even though the cursor has moved on. Or switch to continuous view. Tons of options here!

But I have no idea what you mean about the score jumping to the beginning when changing pitch of a note. That should never happen. Best to open a new thread, attach your score there, and describe that unrelated issue in more detail, since it’s not something we have ever heard of happening before.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I've never known that you could shift click and scroll horizontally with the wheel. This may be one of the few applications where I've needed to do that. Amazing! Thank you! I wish I knew about this before. I am aware of moving note to note with the arrow keys. I don't know what continuous view is.

I cannot post my whole score to a thread, but I don't think the jumping to the beginning is a problem with my score, per se. Probably a keystroke issue, but since I'm not sure what is causing it to happen, I'm not able to avoid it. It occurs sometimes when I'm using the arrow keys to manipulate pitches. I can understand accidentally hitting the page up or page down since they are close, but is there a sequence of those buttons that would create a "home" command, perhaps? That's the only thing I can figure. In any case, at least I can now shift/scroll quickly. Thanks, Marc. You are a treasure.

In reply to by quinster

Glad to be able to help!

Continuous view is what you can select instead of page view using the dropdown menu at the bottom of the window. it displays the entire score in one long horizontal strip, so there are no system or page breaks. Meaning if the cursor moves to the next measure, the previous measure is still in view as well.

The Home key, of course, is what positions your score at the beginning. On most keyboards, Fn+Left acts as an alias for the physical Home key.

If you continue to have problems, please, again, start a new thread. It's highly unlikely your score is too large to attach, but if so, try saving a copy with some measures deleted. But in order to assist. we'd need you to be able to give precise steps to reproduce the problem. But I suspect you might be accidentally hitting Home.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.