Copy & Paste not always working in v4.0.1

• Feb 19, 2023 - 12:48
Reported version
S3 - Major
needs info
  1. Create new score, type in a few notes
  2. Select a range of notes, e.g. one bar
  3. Hit Ctrl-C
  4. Select other measure and hit Ctrl-V

Actual result: nothing happens
Expected result: selected notes are pasted in new measure

Variant: repeat steps above, but select Copy / Paste from menu instead of using hot keys. Result will be the same.


That's weird:
- it does not work when freshly opened the score
- it does not work when I entered note via keyboard only
- it does works however after I first time entered at least one note via mouse-

Check to be sure you haven't used "Tools / Selection filter" to exclude the voice you are trying to copy. If you continue to have trouble, please attach the specific score you are having trouble, and give precise steps to show exactly what range you are selecting and where you are trying to paste it.

I can't reproduce it anymore. Has been driving me cracy the whole afternoon, but now it seems to be gone. Weird.

Frequency Many Few
Status active needs info

I can't reproduce with 4.0.2, copy/paste from where exactly to where exactly?
You're using 4.0.1 (at least that score stems from 4.0.1), so update first!

I am having this problem with voices 2 and 3. They are enabled in the selection filter. In my case, if the selection contains notes from voice 2 or 3, it will not paste (or into an area containing voice 1. More detail here:

Okay, I did a super simple test. I created a measure with notes in two voices in an empty score.
If I select only notes with one voice, OR the other, they do not paste. If I select the whole measure, it will paste. If I select a region it will paste.

Okay, If I use ctl to select ALL of the notes as individual items, it will not paste. If I select any two notes with ctl they will not paste. But a single note will paste!

I think what is broken is ctl-select maybe?? Anyway, it looks like I cannot paste anything selected using the ctl key.

I just started using the program day before yesterday, so I believe I'm up to date. Windows 10 server 2022.

Still works for me, but indeed only with a range selection, that much is by design, a list selection of notes is not supposed to copy/paste. And not the point of using the selection filter in the first place

wait, you can't copy multiple individual notes BY DESIGN? Why on earth not?

What is this in the manual, then:

Copying a single element or list of elements

MuseScore allows you to copy lyrics, chord symbols, dynamics, articulation, or other markings from one place to another while keeping the notes in the destination intact. For chord symbols and dynamics, MuseScore will preserve the relative beat positions of the markings if possible. For lyrics and articulations, MuseScore will copy note by note.

To copy a single element or list of elements to a new destination:

Select the elements you want to copy
Use the Copy command from the menu or press Ctrl+C (Mac: Cmd+C)
Select the first note or rest of the destination
Use the Paste command from the menu or press Ctrl+V (Mac: Cmd+V)

What would it mean if you select one note from the oboe part in measure 17, plus one note from the viola part in measure 23, plus a rest from the harp part in bar 61, and paste that to the last bar of the contrabass part? Copy/paste is really only meaningful for ranges or for single notes. And the selection filter is how you restrict the selected range to just certain voices while keeping it a range selection. So you can certainly copy individual voices. If you need further assistance learning how to use copy& paste, I recommend first reading the appropriate page of the handbook in the Basics chapter, and if you have further questions, please ask on the Support forum.

Ctrl+click is only for building list selections - which isn't limited to notes, you can also add dynamic markings, barlines, clefs, and other miscellaneous markings to the list selection (that also wouldn't make sense to paste as a group).

No, it doesn't. Read the first sentence again - it specifying mentions by name the exact elements that can be copied as a list: "MuseScore allows you to copy lyrics, chord symbols, dynamics, articulation, or other markings from one place to another while keeping the notes in the destination intact". That is, markings can be copied as a list *while keeping the notes" - very different from copying notes themselves.

For actual notes, you use a range selection, as documented also, and use the selection filter to limit by voice if need be.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Well, if only from a tech support standpoint, I think an indication in this part of the manual that the following applies ONLY to the specific items mentioned (which looks at first glance like a comprehensive list) and doesn't include notes, which need to be selected via a different method (with maybe a link to that method) might be a reasonable idea.

I'm also trying to see why the previous suggestion of a ridiculous copy-paste idea would be any less ridiculous if it didn't involve notes...

Finally for multi-select copy and paste to not work IN ANY PROGRAM is not expected behaviour. I just did a crap-ton of it in Dorico. Don't know how they work around the edge cases, but it worked as expected for me.

I know your project lead has emphasized that it is of utmost importance to him that the program be friendly to new users without consulting the manual, and a situation where a standard computer UI convention is not implemented (even if the reasons are perfectly valid) absolutely fails that test. Indeed, a preference (turned on by default, which opens a modal dialog with a 'don't show this again' button) that says 'can't copy multi-selected notes, use voice select and region instead' would not be overkill, in my opinion.

There is only one chance for a person to use a piece of software for the first time. I think it's a grave mistake in software development to dismiss the issues of those just encountering your work. I'm speaking here as a musician, but also as a professional UI developer.

No doubt, it would be possible to implement copy/paste for list selection by simply ignoring or throwing an error in the edge cases. So if you still feel that is something that would be an important enhancement after learning the way this is intended to work, I encourage you to open an issue on GitHub so it can be considered and prioritized alongside other requests.

Please realize no one is dismissing anything here. My main goal here is to help you actually accomplish the task at hand, by showing you the way it is designed to be done. Secondarily, to help you understand why it is the way it is, so you can then decide if it still seems important to you to have this alternate method and what factors might be involved in prioritizing it. And then you can make the call on whether or not to open the issue.

Thank you! And my apologies if I misconstrued your intent, and also for driving the thread off-topic. I will see if there are situations where the current method doesn't work for me. I would still suggest an update to the manual though ;)

The Handbook, like the software itself, is open source, so just click the "..." menu on the page you'd like to see updated, and make your changes. Please try to keep the structure of the page intact - this should require more than the addition of a sentence or two if I understand your concern correctly.

In order for someone to attempt to confirm, we would need you to give precise steps to reproduce the problem - which measure(a) you can copying, where you are trying to copy to, etc.

I have the same issue. I'm pretty sure I was able to copy and paste yesterday-but not today. Orchestral scores. Trying to copy from one to the other.

For help using MuseScore, please use the Support forum. When you do so, please attach the scores in question and give precise steps to reproduce the problem.

I have the same trouble with a drumset score that worked ok in previous version. I can't copy/paste.
Musescore 4.1.1 What weird experiments are you doing? It looks like some system incompatibity, I'm using arch linux and I downgraded till Musescore 3.6 when copy/paste still worked, but it no longer works on the latest version of arch linux, so it is version independent on the MS side.

In order for someone to help, please open a new thread in the Support forum (this obsolete issue tracker was retired some time ago) and attach your score and give precise steps to reproduce the problem. Then we can investigate to determine if it is bug or just a misunderstanding we can clear up.

One thing I know about Linux is there are some third-party "clipboard managers" that have bugs that prevent them from working with programs like MsueScore where they don't understand the format of the clipboard. So you might need to disable those.

Regression Yes No
Workaround No Yes

Thanks, it solves the problem for me!
I use clipman ( It is an application that enhance clipboard functionalities.
The bug disappear by deactivating it ou at least deactivating the synchronization between mouse selection and clipboard. I think that this is these functionnality that causes trouble with the copy/cut/paste in MuseScore (4.1.1).
I also think that it is worth to indicate this workaround in the documentation for the Linux version of Musescore.

EDIT: the documentation of my app indicate that: "In X11 (all Unix platforms) there are by default two clipboards to exchange any data between the windows. A default clipboard which is modified by manual copies (for instance when you select a file and press the copy button), and there is a primary clipboard which is modified by selections (for instance when you select text in a field)."
The clipman application can be configured to synchronize the both clipboards and this is probably confuse Musescore (but not any other application, to my knowledge of course!)

In reply to by drowo

I tried setting up a new score in 4.1.1 which I downloaded just last week and entered the notes a, d, & f . I then choose that bar and went into 'edit' and 'copy' and then choose an unused bar to try to 'edit' and 'paste' but the notes pasted are all different from the ones copied. How do I fix this?
John C Galway

I have a similar issue with v4.1.1, copy and paste doesn't work at all (using the shortcuts or the right clic selection).
I tried restarting Musescore, going back to factory settings, using the filter selection, I checked my shortcuts to see if the problem came from there but everything is in order, i tried it on several different scores and can't seem to understand the origin of the problem. Copy and paste works fine on my PC outside of Musescore. For information i use Manjaro. Does someone have an idea ?

Attachment Size
Neige - tp.mscz 39.3 KB

For those using Manjaro, I had the same problem. I use Clipman for copy-and-paste but maybe a similar solution exists for other alike software:
I found that resetting Clipman's settings fixed the bug entirely.