Getting used to 3.5 - initial thoughts
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.