Is it possible to have two (or more) copies of Musescore open at once?

• Mar 30, 2021 - 12:28

I'm thinking specifically of MacOS here - but this may also be relevant to other systems.

I don't mean having two or more scores open in MS, but two different instances.
In MacOS if I open a file and MS is already open it seems to default to opening a new tab in MS.

This is not always helpful.


Having more than one MuseScore instance (from the same major version) is not supported, so this is not possible, in general.
In special it might be possible with AppImages on Linux and is with PortableApps on Windows (if started in the 'right' order), but that's more of abuse than proper use

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

That's a real shame - and it turns out a bit of a nuisance. I'll have to find workarounds.
I realise that it might mean the code has to be made reentrant, but that's probably not impossible.

Is it possible to have multiple copies if the versions are different - e.g. MS 2 + MS 3.6.2 or MS 3.3+MS 6 etc?

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

4.x - I didn't think that was/is available yet.

Probably not generally so useful to have very early versions open because of too many differences.

However having 3.6.2 plus a development build could be useful - though is it only developers who can do that trick? I would find that useful.

Occasionally it might be useful to have earlier versions open as well, but often compatibility issues will rule that out I guess.

Making this - multiple separate open copies - a feature of the newer versions would still be a worthwhle thing to do, IMO. I'll suggest this as a Feature Request.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Maybe that's something else "I'm doing wrong ...". On my machine I find it almost impossible to get a score to take up ONLY the space that it requires. Then doing note entry can be a real pain, particularly if the Pan option is set to move things around, which although that maybe is essentially a playback feature - it also impacts on note entry. I really want to be able to view one score and then maybe type bits of it into a new version.

Maybe I can run a Linux version in VirtualBox or Parallels, and get round things that way, but it would perhaps be too much of a faff.

However don't always assume that users don't know what we're doing. We probably don't - but that doesn't mean that our objectives are wrong!

It really would be helpful to have multiple versions of MS open and not have files default to a tab in an already open version.

PS: Thanks for the suggestion and links to the new development builds.

In reply to by dave2020X

Assuming the OS supports it - not really sure all do - I see nothing wrong with the suggestion. But I'm also scratching my head to understand what advantage there would be. I don't know what you mean about having a score take only the space it requires - how could it possibly take more? But with two windows, now you have two scores somehow taking more space than required. Something isn't adding up. As always, it's easiest to help if you attach a score (or two) and give precise steps to reproduce the problem.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

OK - here's a simple example, taken from my iMac 27 inch screen.

There are blue bands which take up space on either side. The RH one has been reduced by moving the edge of the window towards the left. In this layout the score - with the blue bands, take up approximatly half of the rather large screen. If there are tabs, in my experience the space allocated increases.

OK - I can close some tabs, but I don't always want to do that.

One problem is not necessarily a MS issue, though I've figured how to deal with that. I have never really got on with Apple's "desktop" model, so I use extra apps to clear the desktop - particularly for when I'm using Zoom or other online comms tools.

It's quite easy to forget that Apple's own multiple desktop system attaches different applications to different windows. Often I'd like to have screens from several different applications side by side or laid out on the same screen. So - in fairness to MS - I had to make sure that MS and whatever other applications I wanted to be visible would not keep jumping off to other virtual desktops. This has to be done by setting Options for each application by a key command menu accessed via the Dock.

So now I should be able to see a printed or hand written score on one part of the display - for example showing in Preview, and then have MS (say) on the LH side and be able to read off anything I might want to base my work on into MS. I still don't want to lose the screen space which in the file shown is filled with the blue bands.

Is it now clear that I only want to see scores which are one page width wide, and with no extra bands within the MS window on the desktop?

I may also want to leave the same score, or indeed several other scores, open within another instance of MS, which may be in the minimised (filed away) mode but which can be displayed again by opening that from the Dock.

Attachment Size
MS example.png 262.84 KB

In reply to by dave2020X

The blue bands are because you are currently zoomed to 100% - meaning, score displays on screen the same size as when printed - but your window is larger than necessary. So, simply resize your window to be smaller. Or zoom the score in more - choose Page Width instead of 100%, for example.

But I'm still not seeing how having a second window would help. now you have two windows each with their own blue bars unless you resize the window or change zoom. Maybe this somehow connects to some special macOS-specific thing I am unaware of, but somehow the actual problem here isn't clear, nor how you are expecting having two separate larger-than-necessar windows would solve it.

I think there is really some basic misunderstanding going on here but I can't tell what it is.

Now, as for having the MuseScore window and a different window visible at once, that makes perfect sense - very useful when transcribing. but you don't need any new features for that, just sizes your windows and put them where you want them.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

@Marc Sabatella

I'll have to check that - re MS - but in any case that wouldn't have to be a problem. I could print off a score of anything I wanted (Export to file, or Print - and save as PDF) and then display that with another application.

There are some specific MacOS issues which do get in the way re tiling screens etc. In theory they're a good idea, but in practice they're not so simple

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "resize the window" - do you mean specific commands within MS, or OS resizing. Resizing the window in MacOS doesn't do quite what I think you mean it to do. The LH blue margin stays, while the RH margin shrinks and will continue to shrink IIRC and eventually eat into the RH edge of what I want to see on the screen.

However, I will look into it again.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Ah - now I see what you mean. I was assuming that MS would re=centre the page in the window, which it clearly doesn't. I would like (at least an option to) the active page to snap to be centred in the window. I realise that this might present further problems if several scores are open in different tabs.

One problem with making the on screen page around the size of an A4 sheet is that some of the toolbar items above the music page then run out of space. For me personally I don't need the different note lengths down to 128th note up to longa shown, certainly not all of them - as I now almost always use the number codes. Those could be replaced by a drop down menu for those who want them.

The additional "dot" options might be useful, though personally I don't recall ever having seen or having used any music with quadruple dotting. Double dots I have seen and used, and for playing in baroque style one might just do double dotting anyway - depending on taste.

I do switch between Concert pitch and written transposition parts.
Essentially the layout and functionality of the toolbar might need to be redesigned if the tools are to be visible over the top of an A4 page on the screen - or maybe have a pull-out tool bar pad.

One thing which has previously bothered me and which might still do so is that the top line of tools contains the Play repeat and Pan score automatically tools. If the window shrinks from the right hand side these are no longer visible. I have had problems with the page moving while trying to enter notes - which I understand was perhaps due to the operation of the Pan function.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Example, I am using my own shortcuts, but different for lute tabulature and standardnotation. I would prefer for tabulature a different organisation of the workingspace than for standard notation. Working parallel would be easier. Also I am using differnt soundfonts for ddifferent kind of music.
Speaking in general, working parallel with the need of a different organisation of UI and sound would be easier.

I'm on of those crazy users that is hoping for a multi-instance possibility as well; but kind of like how visual studio does it: It defaults to opening new files to the existing session; but if you explicitly launch it again without an argument, then it'll open up a new instance.

My reason for wanting this over a documents side-by-side option is that I use a multi-monitor setup (always 2, usually 3 and occasionally 4 screens). Due to the monitor setup, stretching the main window across two monitors and then still decently align the side-by-side separator is a rather unpleasant experience.

In reply to by jeetee

I'm trying to figure out why I might need two instances of MuseScore open at the same time. Are they somehow connected?

I might be interested in having one version being my experimental version. And one being the real version. Experimental as in the one I might mess with different sound fonts in. But even those wouldn't be open at the same time.

In reply to by frfancha

Unfortunately for me, and I suspect to Jojo, the GUI is being largely reimplemented in QML (which is a foreign language to me), and actually perhaps ultimately completely de-Qt-ified (jury is still out on this as far as I know), so it's really difficult to speculate on specifics of things like this.

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