Horizontal constraint on dragged lyrics, please

• Nov 3, 2020 - 07:03

We can drag lyrics in museScore but I see no discussion of dragging lyrics in the Handbook. So I'm scratching my head and wondering if I've overlooked something therein.

I'm loving using MuseScore ... but sometimes its UI seems lacking or backwards. For example ...

A line of lyrics is like a line of text, where the baseline of a characters are strictly aligned. Therefore a change in horizontal placement is the adjustment I most commonly make, to better center a lyricule beneath a note, or to better situate for two or more long, adjacent "lyricules." (The rare exception is perhaps to move a lyricule vertically to avoid collision with a notation symbol above—but usually I'd rather move the entire line, especially if the adjustment is slight.)
That said,when I drag a lyric horizontally I want its vertical placement constrained. However MuseScore's default behavior is "Drag me any where, Baby" — meaning there the are no constraints, so the addition minor vertical misalignments is practically enforced.

And yes, I know I can select a lyricule and arrow left or right. But like many in certain respects I'm more of a mouse person. And I believe this feature is undocumented on the Handbook's entry on lyrics.

Naturally in looking for constraint control I tried various modifier keys. To my astonishment Shift constrains lyricule dragging vertically! Vertically!! And there seems to be no modifier for horizontal constant.

Does anyone else expect or want default horizontal constraints on dragging lyricules? Or prefer that the Shift modifier key constrains horizontally? If so, please chime in and I'll create a Issue Tracker request.

Chord symbols and Chord diagrams share the same constant behavior.

scorster


Comments

And by coincidence I just noticed that the Line tool has the same constraint behaviors. Yes, I can uncheck Allow diagonal ... but I can't think of another application that handles it this way, without an on-score option for constraining horizontally or vertically.

"... default constraints on dragging..."

On Windows Ctrl + drag (presumably on Mac Cmd + drag) allows horizontal dragging without vertical movement.
[EDIT] Not being a mouse enthusiast, I only gave this a quick test. It seems to work sometimes but not always... It is necessary to click the lyric and hold down the mouse button, then hold down Ctrl / Cmd, and then drag the lyric.

But I would encourage you to use the Inspector, because it allows much finer control of positioning - and for multiple lyric text elements simultaneously.

I'm on Windows 10 and can constrain dragging lyrics vertically by using Shift+drag, and horizontally by Ctrl+drag.

Another impressive thing is that one can Shift click a single column of lyrics (or a block of multiple columns of lyrics) and employ these dragging constraints.

As mentioned, you can already constrain dragging - not just for lyrics, or chord symbols, but for all elements - using Ctrl or Shift. But note, aside from general preference from mouse or keyboard when all else is equal, there i no getting around the fact that the keyboard is far more precise - you know exactly how far you are moving things, making it far easier to get consistent results. Also as mentioned, the Inspector is also nice and precise, maybe not as efficient for single elements but great for groups.

Moving elements is certainly documented, but again, since it works with all element types, not just lyrics, it isn't mentioned over and over on every page where it's relevant.

DanielR > On Windows Ctrl + drag (presumably on Mac Cmd + drag) allows horizontal dragging without vertical movement.

Jm6stringer > I'm on Windows 10 and can constrain dragging lyrics vertically by using Shift+drag, and horizontally by Ctrl+drag.

Thanks guys. Don’t know how I overlooked Ctrl/Cmd drag for constraining x.

That said, I’d REALLY appreciate a preference that would allow me to switch that, so:
* a normal drag is x constrained on lyrics, chord symbols etc.
* Ctrl/Cnd override the constraint by providing free x/y dragging.

Regarding UX: Isn't it logical that users would overwhelmingly want to constrain x when dragging a lyricule, so why not make that the default? Or allow that as the preferrred behavior. Same with chord symbols, chord diagrams.

Plus, on MacOS, Shift is predominantly the modifier that constraints x. Is that not true on Windows?

If lyrics, chord symbols and chord diagrams were in x-constrained "lanes" I would have to use a modifier key for most position editing, and as a Mac user I wouldn't have to remember to use Cmd instead of Shift.

scorster

I thought I'd test the waters here with my comments, requests regarding constraints with respect to lyrics ... and thanks for forgiving my unfortunate oversight!

However, as much as I'm loving MuseScor, there appear to be significant aspects where UI does not seem right or well harmonized, so I started a list of observations. My main concerns are the behaviors highlighted in beige ... and that Chord diagrams don't respond well to arrows or drags:

MuseScore UI drag and arrow.png

This project was fairly tedious and I did not meticulously document all behaviors, but some oddities did surface.

scorster

In reply to by scorster

Thanks for your testing, but I don't really understand the chart, or what you mean when you say chord diagrams don't respect to arrows or drag - they certainly do for me. If you are encountering some sort of problem, best to attach your score and give us precise steps to reproduce the issue.

In reply to by scorster

Maybe my submitted chart I wasn't my best idea ...

Regarding arrow keys specifically, here are some behaviors observed today while working on a few scores.

I imagine some of the results are according to design, when that is clear I've marked NORMAL, but some behaviors are bugs or achieve some result I don't comprehend:

Staccato dot

Down / Up arrow keys: NORMAL moves object vertically
Right / Left arrow keys: Selects next or prior note

Mordent

Down / Up arrow keys: Works for a while that the reaches a limit and sticks 
Right / Left arrow keys: Selects next or prior note

Up bow mark

Down / Up arrow keys: NORMAL moves object vertically
Right / Left arrow keys: Selects next or prior note

Fermata

Down / Up arrow keys: no result
Right / Left arrow keys: Selects next or prior note

Slur

All Arrow keys NORMAL

Triplet bracket

 Down / Up arrow keys: moves only left control point
 Right / Left arrow keys: moves left control point

I would think they would work more line Volta or 

Accidental

Down / Up arrow keys: no result, which is interesting considering that drags are so slippery
Right / Left arrow keys: Selects next or prior note

The Dynamics I’ve tested

Down / Up arrow keys: NORMAL moves object vertically
Right / Left arrow keys: NORMAL moves object horizontally

Tempo

Down / Up arrow keys: NORMAL moves object vertically
Right / Left arrow keys: NORMAL moves object horizontally

SVG graphic

Down / Up arrow keys: 
    a) Selects bottom control point if unselected
    b) Up scale object smaller / Down scales object larger

Right / Left arrow keys:
    a) Selects bottom control point if unselected
    b) has no effect

If right control point is manually selected
    Right key: scales larger
    Left key: scales smaller 

Chord diagram

No arrow keys have any impact

Chord symbol

All Arrow keys NORMAL

In reply to by scorster

It's still kind of unclear what you are doing here, best to leave out the things that are normal and just point out things you believe to be problems.

But - keep in mind, most elements require you to double-click them to enable keyboard adjustment. Text is the main exception, because double-click instead is how you edit the text.

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