Enlarging a few systems AND Horizontal and Indentation issues

• Jun 14, 2021 - 21:37

First, I want to add my thanks to everyone who has been creating MuseScore. I used it a number of years ago and now am back hoping to relearn and settle into this as my primary music engraving program.

As an educator I'm working on a few books for my youngest beginning students to help with learning piano and to support the vocal range of the young voice.

Two problems I can't solve and am hoping for some suggestions:

  1. Enlarging a few systems at the beginning of each unit so the kids can comfortably write. Then returning back to a size probably 2.550 mm for the songs and studies.

  2. Horizontal changes to systems. The very first system, one for writing, I would rather not indent. Using the Format-Style-Score doesn't seem to be working on my 3.6.2. Again, maybe I am not clicking some save feature, but the S doesn't show up to allow me to do that.

I'm uploading both a document of pictures from my MuseScore work and my Finale examples of what I want to be able to do. I understand MuseScore is a work in constant progress, so if there is a work-around or something I did wrong, then it will be great to get that corrected. If you haven't made these features yet, then I'll have to do something else or print two books for every one. Something - just appreciate all your programmers have done!


  1. You can have normal and small staves, right click into the staff, staff properties.
  2. You can disable the indenting of the first system in Format > Style > Score or Page

In reply to by Sora Jederan Shpack

There is no "S" in the dialog - maybe you are thinking of the Inspector? The dialog just has OK (well, others too, but that is the relevant one), and as mentioned. If you currently can't see the OK button even after resizing the dialog to be as large as possible, probably your monitor resolution is too low, or the OS isn't communicating it properly to MuseScore, causing it to display things too big. If you are on Windows, you can fix this by going to the Properties on the ".exe" file and playing with the compatibility / high DPI settings, but the right settings depend on the specifics of your system, so it's hard to say for sure. "System (enhanced)" is often a good choice, though.

BTW, even when you can't see the OK or Cancel buttons in a dialog, pressing Enter is the same as OK, Esc the same as Cancel, in pretty much any dialog in any program. I've got a number of programs on my Windows system that have similar issues that I haven't bothered to fix using the exe properties; I just hit Enter or Esc as necessary.

  1. does work, but you need to press the OK button of the style dialog after making the change. On your screenshots that button is out of view, try resizing the style window.

For more horizontal system layouts have a look at Horizontal Frames and be aware that you can apply system/section breaks to them. Also keep in mind that you can give them explicit widths using the Inspector, making it easier for those cases where you need to align them exactly.

In reply to by jeetee

Still no OK button showing up after resizing the style window. But rereading the Horizontal Frames and then trying them did work! I guess I didn't understand it in the Tutorial either. Below is a picture of the Horizontal working both directions and the still missing OK button. Thanks again, thrilled to finally be figuring this out!

Issue with Bracket when changing staff scale

The issue that is still not resolved is the bracket which seems to be stuck at the first Staff Type Change to 1.40%.

I also tried the Staff – Staff/Part Properties for Normal and Small, but I could only get that to work as a global change. I couldn’t stabilize it in Staff Type Change or any other place since I’m still not familiar enough with the program.

Thanks again for your help.

In reply to by Sora Jederan Shpack

Brackets scale when changing the scaling for the whole score, but not if you do it for individual staves. So maybe consider turning the overall scaling up, but reducing the scaling for the staves you don't want large, if it works our those don't need brackets?

I personally don't recommend the staff type change for doing what I think you are doing - I think you are better off keeping the staves separate but using the hide empty staves facility to only show the ones you want.

Also it seems you are hiding courtesy elements individually rather than using section breaks to separate the example, and I also see other strange effects.

If you attach your actual score, we can understand and assist better.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Ok. You suggested the Hiding staves before. It doesn't really make sense to me. What would I hide? So here... I'm attaching my file and hopefully you can help me understand this. Seems like I'll have to start all over again. That's okay.

I really want to make MuseScore work - for me it's not money, I own a Finale version...rather, it's about ethics. Similar to why I'll be changing to Linux - as soon as I figure out how to use MuseScore. So I do want to support this work and learn to use it. Thanks for your help. Sora

Attachment Size
Songs to Sing and Play Book 3.mscz 263.26 KB

In reply to by Sora Jederan Shpack

Say you want some measures bigger, alternating with others that are smaller. So, create two staves, one set big, one set small. Enter notes on the big staff where you want them, leaving the small staff empty for those measure. Then enter notes on the small staff where you want them, leaving the big staff empty for those measures. Turn on hide empty staves (in Format / Style / Score) and the empty measures all disappear - you have alternative big and small without the fuss of all those staff type changes.

So I really do recommend that over thwat you're doing here. but also, I strongly recommend doing the other things I mentioned. Like you have your courtesy time signatures hidden individually. Instead, add a section break from the palette at the end of each example and they go away on their own. If the big staves are exclusively for blank measures, you can also go to Staff/Part Properties for those staves and turn off clefs, time signatures, and key signatures completely for those staves (although in your example, I see some big staves with music, others empty - that's more for future reference).

Another alternative is to simply make the pages with large staves in a separate score, export both to PDF, then use a separate utility to comnbine the pages as desired. That's probably the more Linux-y method, but I would perservere with the hide empty staves approach personally.

You don't need to start over, just add the new staves to your existing score (above the current staves).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Okay, I actually did this and it worked...YAY!!!! Please read my process, make corrections and then see my next questions. I'm attaching my file again. Thank you so much...one step closer to a Linux platform :)

What I did: Please suggest any corrections to my process.
1. Made first instrument size I wanted. Then I added 2nd instrument staff.
2. Enabled indentation on first system so that MS would automatically indent on all new section breaks. This way it’s ready for the songs in the unit.
3. Placed rests on staves that don’t have music so that when I hide all empty staves these stay visible.

1. How do I hide the Brace across the first empty hidden grand staff (page 6)?
2. Is there a way to recover a lost staff after globally hiding empty staves (page 9)?

Next step:
Next I’m going to make a template. Do I need to bring back all the hidden staves on this? Or maybe it is better to remake just a small version of this without hiding any staves and save that to template?

Attachment Size
Songs to Sing and Play Book 3-1.mscz 263.62 KB

In reply to by Sora Jederan Shpack

Definitely better. But a few issues. Most obviously, the stray bracket on the first page of music. That's because you hide the individual measures of the second system. Don't do that that. Instead, be sure to *uncheck" the option to not hide empty staves on the first system. You shouldn't be needing to hide measures individually when using this approach.

To "recover" staves, just turn the hide empty staves option back off. You can define a shortcut for it in Edit / Preferences / Shortcuts. Really, I find it's best to not bother enabling it until you're basically done with note input. And I'd recommend leaving it off in your template, otherwise the first you'll need to do is turn it back on every time you create a score.

In reply to by Sora Jederan Shpack

Ok. Fixed everything. And I'll follow your instructions to not hide until all notes are in. And safe template w/o hiding.

Only one issue I can't resolve. On first system last measure bass clef, C1 doesn't have a stem. Not sure what I did or if it can be resolved at this point. I tried removing and adding a note again. Maybe it will have to be part of a game...find the note without a stem...what is a stem...teaching moment... ;)

Thank you again.

Attachment Size
Songs to Sing and Play Book 3-1.mscz 263.41 KB

In reply to by Sora Jederan Shpack

Lost the copyright on Landscape.

Thanks for today...a number of questions were resolved.

Next...I decided to use Landscape for this Pre-1 book...but I can't get the copyright on the page. I know that when I turned the book into Landscape I couldn't get the inset to resize, not sure if this is the problem.

PS this book doesn't need 2 staff sizes...just the largest size I could get on the page while keeping 2 systems and some pictures. Changing the bottom margin helped a lot.

Attachment Size
Songs to Sing and Play Book Pre-1.mscz 3.75 MB

Also. After creating a system that is Scaled larger, is there a way to copy that system with it's larger scale and paste it onto another system that is at normal scale and yet still retain the larger scale? Again, thanks.

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