Getting used to 3.5 - initial thoughts

• Aug 10, 2020 - 01:00

First, I've been avoiding the forums for several months now so I could concentrate on my other projects. I was spending way too much time here. I don't plan on being as active as I used to be, but I will pay some attention to the forums in the future.

I've been using 3.5 since it's official release a couple of days ago and have found several things that will take some getting used to as well as some things that might be improved. Since I don't use every feature, there will be things that I won't discuss (like chord symbols) but here are some things I've found, some were pleasantly unexpected.

Since version 2.0.3 (which is when I started using MuseScore) I and others have complained about scrolling down in the inspector and settings suddenly changing because the item moved under the mouse and all of a sudden your accent has moved 3 measures away. Honestly I got used to this and have learned to take advantage of this quirk in the inspector. I'm glad it's finally fixed, but now I'll have get used to clicking to change a setting. I read the release notes but I don't remember reading about this. Good

Hairpins now have a new problem. It is impossible to move the end of a hairpin so it overlaps the next note just a little without the anchor point moving as well. Making it anchor to the end of a short note (like 1/4 or shorter) is great, but I wanted to make the end overlap a whole note just a little and the anchor jumped to the end of the measure. Ctrl+arrows now moves the anchor to where MuseScore wants it and there is no way to adjust the endpoints location without the anchor moving if MuseScore thinks it should move. The workaround is of course to use invisible rests in an unused voice and version 3.5 makes this much easier. As has always been the case, you can then make the anchor and display match exactly. I have mixed feeling about this, because I think we should still have the option to change the display without needing to resort to invisible rests, otherwise moving the anchor while dragging the endpoint is a huge improvement and will reduce confusion by users. Perhaps the little known ctrl+arrows could continue to fine tune the hairpins without changing anchors.

Instrument changes - I haven't done extensive testing on this yet, that will come with normal usage of the program, but from what I've seen, this is a welcomed improvement. Couple this with the 3.3.x improvements on being able to change the instrument labels at the instrument change is welcomed.

The ability to select notes on the same beat adds a lot of flexibility to the selection capabilities. I've asked for this for a long time and say thank you for it.

Tremolos - Another thing I've been asking for for a long time is to have the tremolo lines connect like beams and at last they do in some cases. One thing I would like to see improved on this is that they truly act like beams and flip note stems as needed to make them look beamed with the same rules and capabilities as beams. From testing them, it looks like they have been drawn only by extending the existing tremolo lines. I also didn't see a setting in the Style dialog for this. The same option should also be made for shorter duration tremolos as well. People who know what a tremolo is, knows the difference between a tremolo and beamed notes. I have mixed feelings about this. Its a step in the right direction but can be improved.

For #296075: Allow user to choose whether or not hide brackets which span to a single staff when empty staves are hidden it looks like this update was abandoned. I don't see any changes in settings for brackets. From the conversation on github it seems this didn't happen.

Property and style for multi-measure rest numbers. This is something I've rarely wanted to change but is a welcomed addition. Its confusing that when you right click the measure count it takes you to the measure page which only gives you the ability to change the right margin. The style setting to move the measure count is on the score page. I think all of the options for multi-measure rests should be in the same place, or at least have right right click take you to the score page which is what you are more likely to be looking for. Good improvement, user interaction needs some work though.

Double clicking a page number, header or instrument name to be able to edit it is a great improvement. There's no longer a need to try to remember where the setting is. Very good improvement.

Score tabs can now be closed using middle mouse button. I don't have a middle mouse button, but I do have a scroll wheel and pressing this does the same thing. Curious.

I was pleasantly surprised to see my voice 2 rest move out of the way of my voice 1 notes. I haven't tested it sufficiently to see if it causes any new problems. I see you can put the rest right on top of another note if you want to move it. You just have to change its offset rather than turning off auto placement (which should probably return it to its unavoided location). I had to think about it a bit, but it's good that rests don't automatically avoid rests. Closely related to this is hiding rests in another voice. Now, as long as the rests that include the same beat as a voice 1 rest are invisible, the voice 1 rests return to their default location. Previously you had to have the exact rest patter in both voices 1 & 2 to make this happen. All of this is good.

Use shift+click to select multiple items of the same type. Wow! I never thought of doing that, but I see how it could be useful to select all of the accidentals so you could put brackets on them or change their color or even delete them.

Allowing the repeat of a single note by pressing R is a great improvement. I've often wished this would happen but never asked for it.

I haven't tested it, but it's great to be able to have a prefer sharps or flats option for transposing instruments. What's more, it only gives the option if the instrument is transposing. It is displayed based upon the settings in the Staff/Part properties dialog. I thought about the case of non-transposing instruments possibly wanting Gb rather than F#, but local key signatures can do this easily. Great!

This may be my favorite improvement of all. I'm currently working on a score with 22 staves. If the bassoons switch to 2 staves, I can now enter the new instrument below the selected instrument rather than having to put it at the bottom and clicking the up arrow 14 times!

What does the measure number in the palettes do? I tried it both by selecting a measure and a note with no results.

Merge matching rests - Never thought of having that automated, but it's a good improvement. It would be nice to be able to turn this on globally as a default rather than staff by staff.

Go to to top staff/next system/previous system. Hurray! The crash that happens when you're on the last system and press next system needs fixed though. I sent a crash report.

One other thing I think I noticed but didn't see mentioned in any release notes. When I experienced the crash using next system (mentioned above), my palettes had the same ones expanded when I recovered from the crash. It does the same thing when you change workspaces or close then restart the program normally. This is great!

I was kind of forced to start using version 3.4 for another project and I'm now getting used to the new way of doing things. It's not what I prefer but it's what I have to work with. There were improvements in 3.4 that made me want to upgrade from 3.2.3 and the improvements in 3.5 make me happier that I did.

Feedback and discussion is encouraged. I look forward to see all of my friends here in the forums again soon.


Hey Mike320, been a while seeing that name. Glad to read you like the [select similar beat] function (also added similar measure). Could you provide me with more details regarding the [go to next system] shortcut? I remember extensively testing the shortcuts, but I may have overlooked something. I can't seem to reproduce a crash on my system so I'll need some feedback since I'm responsible for adding that in. Or maybe an issue tracker # would be nice with the specific scenario.

In reply to by worldwideweary

I'll do more extensive testing to see if I can duplicate the crash and give you the conditions that led to it. As I said, I sent a crash report so you should be able to get that. I basically said, "I used the next system shortcut on the last system and it crashed." so you should be able to get the report from Anatoly or whoever keeps them these days.

In reply to by worldwideweary

After further testing here's what I found. The crash happens when the score ends in multi-measure rests. Press the shortcut to move to the the last system and it will be fine, press it again and you will get the crash. It didn't crash for me when mm rests were turned off.

In reply to by worldwideweary

I'm liking the new shortcuts the more I use them. Finding where I left off on transcribing a score is easy using the first empty measure shortcut. Prior to version 3.5 I would turn on multi-measure rests, press end, then spin my mouse wheel a little to see the end of the score with notes. I would then turn off multi-measure rests and continue editing. The find first empty measure shortcut has replaced that procedure and it was also quite timely. I can no longer use the spin the mouse wheel step like I used to, I have to hold the shift key so the scroll will move to the left to see the end of the score. For some reason End has always over shot the end of the score with multi-measure rests turned on.

It was actually a fortunate mistake that I had multi-measure rests turned on when I tested the next system shortcut. I normally keep multi-measure rests turned of in my main scores and the scores I'm currently working on won't have parts any time soon.

In reply to by mike320

P.S. To be sure, the empty trailing measure shortcut works score-wide + staff-wide. To illustrate, if you want the first empty trailing measure for the entire score, have nothing selected and trigger the command, but if you want specifically the first empty trailing measure of a particular staff, you can do that also by having an element selected within a given staff and then triggering the command. Very useful for continuing note entry after some back-tracking or after freshly loading a score.

In reply to by mike320

In a Debug build I get:
Fatal: ASSERT: "tick <= lastMeasure()->endTick()" in file ...\MuseScore\libmscore\score.cpp, line 3811

void MasterScore::setPos(POS pos, Fraction tick)
      if (tick < Fraction(0,1))
            tick = Fraction(0,1);
      Q_ASSERT(tick <= lastMeasure()->endTick());

Never check for error conditions you can't handle?
But clearly a regression, 3.4.1 does not crash there. And the above code hasn't been changed in quite a while?

Great to see you here again, and thanks for the great feedback!

I think most of your observations speak for themselves, but a couple I did want to comment on.

The automatic adjustment of hairpin anchors is something I welcome because many people never figured out they needed to use use Shift+Left/Right. But, to me it's still a flawed model since it doesn't "snap" to the correct default position for the new anchor. You can use Ctrl+R to reset it to the new defaults, but probably most won't figure that out either. And in my opinion, this anchor-changing should only happen for mouse adjustments, not keyboard. Plus there should be an easy override for it, like Ctrl+drag to force anchor to stay still. I believe this kind of stuff is being looked at again for MuseScoere 4, but I would like to see some tweaks for 3.x as well if possible. Worth a separate thread to discuss this one issue and what makes sense.

Regarding the bracketing of single-staff groups, see Format / Style / Score. In the "Hide empty staves" section there is a new checkbox for "Always show brackets which span to single staff" (hmm, awkward wording). Works as advertised for me. For example, a blank score for string quartet has all staves bracketed. Turn on hide empty staves. With the new bracket option off, the second and subsequent syste,s will show only the top violin staff, with no bracket. With the option on, it gets a bracket.

The measure number in the palette basically forces on the "Always show" property for the measure number mode in measure properties.

Funny you mention the palette state being remembered - I've noticed a change here too but could never quite put my finger on what was different.

BTW, I recall you had an issue with the scaling of the palette in 3.3? FWIW, there is now an advanced preference to control this, if that happens to still be a problem for you.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I did call moving the anchor with the endpoints a "huge improvement" because people expect this to happen by default. As I said, I like the idea but the implementation is flawed.

Regarding the bracketing of single-staff groups, see Format / Style / Score. In the "Hide empty staves" section there is a new checkbox...

I remember seeing a different check option in previous versions and didn't even look at that grayed out label. I see it now. I'll have to test it.

The measure number in the palette basically forces on the "Always show" property for the measure number mode in measure properties.

I'm getting nothing when I click on it in the palette. No text, no change in weather I can see measure numbers, no changes in style - I must be doing something wrong.

I fixed the palette scale a long time ago. My items are now reasonably sized.

I'll start a conversation in feature requests on how to improve hairpin anchors.

There is one more thing that I hadn't noticed previously. Rests in compound meters (like 6/8) are now in the correct order. For years I've been reversing the order of 8th and 1/4 rests but no more. Great!

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