How to "force" select a measure?

• Jun 10, 2021 - 22:38

Probably the biggest single frustration I've had with trying to typeset a large orchestral score recently is how hard it is to select a whole measure if it's already full of notes. Is there really no key combination or something you can use to force MuseScore in to 'whole measure selection' mode when clicking?
I know you can just click the first note in the measure and use ctrl+shift+right arrow (which requires moving your RH from the mouse to the keyboard), but for such a common operation (it's probably the most single frequent type of selection I do) I'd've thought there would be a simpler way...


I can't think of any special tricks aside from zooming in. Well, maybe Shift+drag - I guess that could be useful for this. OK, or click first note, Shift+click last, if that's easier. I could imagine "middle button" working for devices that support it, although I think there are at least two other competing proposals for what should do.

But I'd also turn this around - you say it requires "moving your RH from the mouse to the keyboard", but that's only true if your hand is one the mouse anyhow, and it's only a problem if the thing you were going to do next required you to move back to the mouse. There is no reason either need be the case most of the time. You say it's a frequent type of selection - coming from where and followed by what? I can't think of many operations I'd be likely to perform on a selection that require me to move to the mouse.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

We all have different ways of working - I use the keyboard exclusively for entering unique passages in single staves, then add articulations etc. then use the mouse to select measures to copy/paste them into other staves. This is on a big orchestral score (I just uploaded my first draft to btw).
To be honest I think the problem is that the "selectable" area for many items (esp. diagonal gliss lines, as previously notes) is too big and hence there's often very little empty staff to click on. But if you could assign some combination like Alt+click to mean only select measures, that'd do the trick

In reply to by Dylan Nicholson1

There is a setting to control the proximity for selection, in Edit / Preferences / Canvas. Reducing that might help with this, although I'm not sure if you'd find the tradeoff worth it (small things become harder to select). Diagonal lines are indeed especially problematic as we don't really have a good read on their true shape.

Click the first note in the measure or rest, then press the right-arrow key while holding down the Ctrl+Shift keys.
Or vice versa: Click the last note in the measure or rest, then press left-arrow while holding down the Ctrl+Shift keys.

Usually if you click on the bottom (E) line you can select the bar. If space is so tight that you can't do this, try right-clicking on any note or rest, choose Bar Properties and hit Escape (with your left hand).

In reply to by Dylan Nicholson1

Well, not completely unselectable - you just need to click somewhere outside the bounding box of the line. Between the barline and the note should work. But, it's a tough target, and an alternative would be useful. A trick would be making such a method easily discoverable, but realistically, these cases aren't that common.

>> Dylan Nicholson1 wrote>> [It's frustratingly hard] to select a whole measure if it's already full of notes.

I strongly agree!

An excessive amount of time and effort is often required simply to select a note-filled measure.

I see this all the time on Zoom with my students when they want to hear a selection of full measures in loop playback mode. To create the selection they have to successfully select the start measure and end measure of the loop. And they often fail at this "really ought to be super easy" task.


Any progress on simplifying full measure selection in Musescore 4? Perhaps via a modifier key/click combination? Or via a simple keystroke once any child object (of the measure) is selected?


In reply to by scorster

@ Dylan.
For your anchored example, try this:
Select the first whole note. With your left hand hold SHIFT then---
If the note is on the top staff, hit the up arrow. Measure selected.
If the note is in the bottom staff, hit the down arrow. Measure selected.
If the note is somewhere in between, hit either up or down, then the opposite. Measure selected.

It seems to me that if you are in a large score, you are already zoomed in. If you know you want to select a measure with a lot of notes, how much harder is it to zoom in another notch, make the selection then zoom back out and be done with it? At least that's all doable with the mouse.

In reply to by bobjp

Even if using the up arrow trick worked for all cases, it still requires taking your RH off the mouse and picking a much small target area.
The point is it's an operation I do all the time, and yet there's no simple/reliable/efficient way to always select the whole measure just by clicking somewhere on it, and it just breaks your flow. Zooming in and out all the time is not a smooth & efficient way to operate either.
If you could assign an action to the middle mouse button that'd be ideal for me but obviously a lot of people don't have access to that.
BTW I am more than happy to contribute an implementation for this, if we can get an agreement on what would be the ideal method.

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