Copy Part Layout

• Mar 28, 2023 - 21:56

Hi there,

First of all, my sincere and enormous thanks to all those who have put so much work into MuseScore 4. It's very exciting to see the program continue to develop and grow.

There have been requests for a Copy Part Layout function in the past but I haven't been able to find any solutions to the issue. It's an essential function to be added for those who deal with part writing (often choral or big band) because, currently, page/line breaks, customised frame margins and other similar elements have to be manually adjusted for each part, which results in a significant increase in workload. Other notation software, such as Sibelius, allow you to format one part and then copy the layout across to all the other parts with one click of a button.

It has reached the point where I am now looking into going back to Sibelius (which I remember as having this function) because the amount of time that I lose formatting each separate part makes using Musescore not worth it from a time perspective.

How realistic would it be to expect this function to be included by devs?

Thank you.


It could happen if there is strong enough demand. The thing is, most scores wouldn't really make sense to have literally the same break in all parts, because after all, one part might have 20 bars of rest while another has 20 measures of sixteenth notes or whatever. But, it is true that section by section, breaks tend to be similar. So the trick would be to find a way to make it helpful in those cases without forcing literally the same breaks.

Meanwhile, there is a plugin that can copy breaks to all parts - see Seems to me it could use some refinement - like it should require you to select only breaks first, and it shouldn't re-add breaks to the current part - but it does seem to basically work to give a starting point.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc,

Thank you for your reply and for the break copying plugin. I thought to mention a few other areas where copying a part layout would be very helpful (or even having the parts pick them up from the score):

  • Formatting such as adjust gaps of text frames
  • All text formatting within text frames (font size, bold/italics, alignment)
  • Adjustment of spacing of notes in the bar (for text/lyrics spacing purposes)
  • Hiding certain system elements like time signatures

When formatting parts it's not possible to automate the above elements, one has to go through and painstakingly make them happen (which is fine). However, when you multiply that work by 3, 4 or 10, it makes a huge difference to the workload.

In reply to by Sorouthorn

Some of that should already be happening automatically, and some of it probably shouldn't normally be copied since it would need to differ depending on the content of each part. But, a sample score would help in understanding how it might apply to your unique situation. If it seems there is something that does make sense to copy more generally, I can look at adding to the plugin.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc,

First of all, thank you again for the break plugin, it's fantastic. Much appreciated.

Please find attached two sample scores for you to have a look at.

"Test page for support score to parts". This file is a result of me formatting the score and then creating the parts, leaving them untouched. It should show what happens to certain elements of formatting upon part creation. Below is a list of the formatting done in the score:
1. Text frame gap adjustment (text frame 1, page 1)
2. Text frame contents format bold, italics (text frame 2, page 1)
3. Text frame contents centre align and font size (text frame 1, page 2)
4. Text frame gap adjustment (text frame 2, page 2)

"Test page for support parts to parts". This file had some adjustments made to one of the parts, which would then need to be manually re-done for the others. Here is the list:
1. Time signatures changed in the soprano part but hidden from view.
2. Bigger font size needed for lyrics in parts. See soprano part
3. Collisions appear in lyrics. See soprano part. Alto part has an adjusted version with noteheads manually spaced out for intelligible reading. (see last line, in particular)
4. Stave spacer added. (bar 2 soprano part)

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and thank you in advance for your time.

In reply to by Sorouthorn

Thanks for the examples! But, real world would be more useful than constructed test cases, because it's based on real world usage that the defaults are chosen.

For example, normally one would never normally use a time signature like 18/4 for music like this; you'd simply set the actual duration of the bar as desired. And thus, no need to hide time signatures. And certainly, you wouldn't normally hide the courtesy signatures at the ends of systems when you could simply disable them for the special cases where you do want to change actual time signatures a new time signature but not show the courtesy for whatever reason. And even then, most of those real world cases are covered better by section breaks, which suppress courtesy time signatures automatically.

Also normally you'd simply set the gaps on frames as a style setting rather than having lots of different frames with different gaps, etc. The need for different gaps occasionally would be due to content on the staff above/below the frame, which of course will be different in each part. And so on. It's true that there would be certain cases where the gaps are actually frame to frame (although most of those would be solved by using a single vertical frame instead of two text frames), but those would be less common than frame-to-staff gaps.

I'm not seeing the lyrics collisions you mention, but if that ever happens, it's just a bug - you're not supposed to have to do manual adjustments to avoid collisions. Can you point to where that happened exactly?

Bigger font sizes for lyrics in general should normally be done via style settings, which are synced by default when you create the part but can also be easily updated later.

So while in a contrived example it's certainly possible to demonstrate things that aren't synced, it should be the case that most these things don't typically come up in real world scores - and when they do, often you need them to not be in sync. But no doubt, there are some real world case not currently handled well. hence, the importance of using actual scores as examples, so we can better understand which are which - and we can help you use the existing feature more optimally (e.g., my observations on time signatures).

The one thing that I think is clear from this is the bold face etc on the text. Currently, text formatting is not synced but definitely a case can be made that it should be. The issue is, there are definitely times when you wouldn't want it to be, so until there is a mechanism in place to allow the links to be broken, we tend to err on the conservative side here.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc,

My thanks for getting back to me and apologies for the delay in response.

In regards to your comments about real world examples vs constructed test cases, you're right, but in this particular example I didn't have an un-formatted score to highlight my points so I constructed the test score with precisely the elements that I use in my part-writing. For example:

a) Signatures such as 18/4 are very commonly used in my genre of choral music where there is a lot of recitative-style chanting, so double whole notes are used for extended passages on one note (see attachment), with single notes on either side to fill out the bar according to the requirements of text phrasing/sentences. As such I am continuously going from 18/4 to 15/4 to 10/4 to 16/4. The appearance of all of those time signatures unnecessarily clutters the score but I don't know of another way to tell the software how many notes I want per bar. Would it be possible for the layout plugin that you've created to be given a function where it scans the time (and key?) signatures of one part, and applies the visible/invisible property to the other parts?

b) Text frames spacing. Yes, I agree that style changes will help and I'll look into this. However, If you look at page 2 of the score (attached again for your reference) you will see a heading of "New Scene", with narrator text underneath (again, in the exact same way that my real-life scores require). I need the heading to be centre-aligned but the narrator text to be left-aligned. There is no way of doing this (that I know) with one text frame, therefore I need two frames with different formatting to get this done. That being said, no text frame formatting is copied when parts are generated and this then leads to what you were saying about this font formatting (bold font type, etc.) If your layout plugin could have an option to copy text frame properties (including text formatting) in a similar way that it copies the breaks (by selecting it as an option), then those who believe their score would benefit from this can select it and tweak any exceptions, saving a lot of time (those who don't can simply not use the function and just copy breaks across the parts, for example).

Finally, in terms of the text collision, please have a look at the second page of the soprano part, last line (attached score -"Test page..."). The increased font size (needed by my choristers) together with the recitative style means that the words sometimes get spaced a little too close for easy reading comprehension. I usually just drag the notes apart and the software intelligently re-spaces the bar to organise the notes more in line with the text, but if there was a way to not have to re-space the same bar for each part that would be great (given the homophonic nature of the genre)

In reply to by Sorouthorn

Also, one other thing - other notation softwares give the option of copying layout across to specific parts, not just a blanket "all parts". If this is not terribly difficult to tweak in your plugin, that would go some way to solving your concern that sometimes you wouldn't want a layout applied to every part. This idea would also support the idea of crafting of an actual function in Musescore, rather than just a plugin.

In reply to by Sorouthorn

I think you might be misunderstand my comments about the 18/4. I'm not saying measures that happen to have that duration would not be common. I'm saying, creating that duration using an actual time signature is the wrong way to do it. This should simply be an adjustment to the actual duration of the measure itself (e.g., right-click the measure, Measure Propertiers, set actual duration there - or just use the join & split commands in Tools / Measure). There should not be a need to create actual time signatures for this. The point being, if you do this correctly, there is no extra time signature to have to hide, so it becomes a non-issue.

Regarding the formatting of left vs center, simply take advantage of "user" styles so you can assign them as desired, and again.

I'm not saying there would never ever be a reason to apply manual formatting - I'm just saying that once you exclude the cases that are better handled through styles, it's by no means a given that the remaining cases should be synced between score and parts, which is why they aren't currently, and why any automatic facility to copy this formatting would have to be designed carefully to avoid reproducing formatting that ends up being counterproductive. Hence, my desire to see more discussion based on real-world examples, to help refine any such design.

And yes, a plugin is a temporary solution, and eventually it will be nice to see it built in. But first step is to understand from good real world usage what the ideal behaviors should be. Hence, again, this discussion.

Definitely it's easy to see that a way to only copy to specific parts would be good. Coming up with a good UI for that is tricky, and implementing any UI at all in a plugin is tricky (for me at least, since I have little experience in that area).

One simple method I could imagine is a dialog with a single spinbox for "number of following staves to copy layout to". This would handle the common case where you format the first trumpet part and want that copied to the next three trumpet parts, so you enter "3". There could be an additional checkbox to say "all parts". Something like the dialog shown previously with a full list of parts is probably how the "real" design should go, but implementing that in a plugin might not be so easy. Or maybe someone else can take my plugin and work on that.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hey there Marc,
This is an absolutely essential feature for engraving that all of the other leading competitors to musescore offer (Finale, Sibelius, Dorico). It’s one of the three reasons I ultimately had to stop using musescore.
The plug-in is cool, but for professional use it is not practical, as you can only apply the line breaks once, and after that it gets messy.
I urge you guys to implement copy part layout / propagate part formatting. Also, 4 bar repeats would be great while you guys are at it.

In reply to by danvibes

Can you explain more about why you need to apply line breaks multiple times? Should work fine even then, though. And in any case, since as noted in professional publications parts rarely have exactly the same breaks, I'm not understanding your use case. Could you attach a score and explain in more detail?

Four-bar repeats are already possible, just see the Repeats palette (click More to display this seldom-used symbol)

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hey Marc!

I'm glad the 4 bar repeats are available now.

This has been expressed in many different ways in this same thread; for a big band, sections are likely to have the same line and page breaks. Attached are four trombone parts, with nearly identical part formatting; and the trumpet 1 part, with a slightly different part formatting. There are endless variables to this, as not all big band arrangers write in sections, sometimes one instrument has a solo or a part that is written to be doubled with a different solo instrument/ section, etc. That is why the plug in for a one part formatting for the entire orchestra doesn't work; the trombones are going to be very similar, if not exactly the same as one another, but the trumpet section will be different, the saxophone section will be different, and piano, bass, and drums will each have their own specifications.

I will be formatting a big band chart later this week, and I can record and send you a video of me doing it for reference.

In reply to by danvibes

Indeed, within a single section, parts are often similar in layout indeed, so yes, an adjustment to the plugin to allow you to specify which parts to copy to would be useful. Shouldn't be too hard if people can agree on how that might actually look. And then this could be the basis for a built-in feature as well someday.

But I still don't understand the part about applying multiple times. Normally you don't worry about any of this until you're done with just about everything else, so you only run it once. And even if you do make changes that require re-running the plugin, you can remove the old breaks first easily, or the plugin could be adjusted to do that.

In any case, given the many hours of work that go into creating a big band arrangement, the few extra minutes manually adding system breaks hardly seems like a significant differentiator to me in the overall experience. So that's what I'm struggling to understand. Surely one spend at least ten times longer on really just about any other aspects of part formatting than simply applying breaks. Again, not to say it wouldn't be great to have this feature built-in some day.

BTW, one strategy to if to manually;y add breaks first at each double bar / rehearsal mark / repeat, and then copy just that much to all parts. Then you have a good starting point for further work.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I appreciate the feedback. I've done all of the above, while using Musescore, and that has served me as a semi convenient workaround. However, part formatting is an extremely time consuming part of writing big band charts. On musescore, it would take anywhere from one to three hours for me to format all parts, depending on the complexity of the piece. That includes page breaks, system breaks, spacing, headings, etc. With the propagate part formatting feature, it converts that time into seconds on a simple chart, or about half hour at most for a complex chart.
The propagate part formatting doesn't just apply to page and system breaks; you choose which features of the formatting that you want to copy over (heading, spacing, etc.)
It's an essential feature that makes musescore a "lesser than" program compared to Dorico, Sibelius and Finale. I know a lot of students, friends, and others that use Musescore who would benefit tremendously from this.

In reply to by danvibes

Hmm, I can't imagine merely adding system breaks taking longer than a minute per part once you have done the first to crib from. Sounds like you are talking about something much more than just adding breaks That's not really anything that's been discussed here. Probably best to start a new thread and discuss the additional types of formatting you mean.

This is absolutely useful if you do concert band, big band or other large ensembles. It is also useful for small ensembles, for example I often write for 2, 3, or 4 horn sections for R&B bands or other commercial settings. Once I have my first trumpet part layout set, tweaked, and have properly delineated the form, I simply copy the trumpet layout to the other parts, (notwithstanding that sometimes one part will be different due to a solo section or whatever... c'est la vie!) Quite often in a big band, each section's parts will have the different notes but it is nice to have the same layout on the page. Finale calls this feature "copy parts layout", Dorico calls it "propagate parts layout", I'm not sure what Sib's term is but it exists. It is a huge time saver! I have been waiting and waiting for Musescore 4 and when it hit I jumped in whole hog and created a big band composition to force myself to learn most of the features I would need to use. When it came time to format the parts I was surprised to see no such feature. So yes, I vote for a copy parts layout feature!

In reply to by ST Keller

Please see my comment above. It would be useful to understand how you would see this working given that the trumept sction will almost never have breaks in the same place as the saxophone section, etc. Not saying a design isn't possible, but it would definitely require thought and some real-world examples and discussion of how to best handle it.

Meanwhile see the plugin I mention, which does the job if you don't mind a one-size-fits-all approach.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hey Marc:

love your YouTube channel and have learned alot about Musescore through your efforts so a big thank you!

You are correct when you state that trumpets, saxes, and trombones would rarely (probably never) have the same breaks. But quite often a section would. Let's use the example of the trumpet section. If I format my first trumpet part the way I want, I can very often times use the same layout for trumpets 2, 3, 4, (and possibly 5 if there is a 5th part). So if there are 4 parts to be formatted, I only have to hand format one part (trumpet 1) and then "copy the parts layout" to trumpets 2, 3, & 4. Without this feature I have to hand format 4 parts instead of only one. Now add the 4 trombones, and 5 saxophones that need to be formatted and perhaps you can see how useful this is. Now if trumpet 4 has a solo section, or if the trombone 1 is a featured, or baritone sax (which often has some independence from the other saxes), then yes for those parts would have to formatted by hand. I am not sure if I have explained this very well but this feature is a huge time saver for me, There is a reason that all the other notation apps have the feature.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Well different apps do it in different ways. Kinda difficult to explain but In Dorico you go to the layouts tab on the right where all the the different parts are. You right click a part and you are presented with a drop down dialogue, one of the items is Propagate Part Layout. You then see another dialogue where you see two columns one is Copy formatting from: (With all the parts listed) and the other column heading is Propogate formatting to: (again with all the parts listed). Choose what you want and voila! Here's an attached image of what the dialogue looks like... here I am copying the trumpet 1 layout to trumpets 2, 3, & 4. You can see there are two tickbox options to tweak what you want. Quite an elegant and useful feature. Is that what you were asking?

Attachment Size
Dorico Propagate parts.png 96.62 KB

In reply to by ST Keller

Makes sense. A bit awkward perhaps but gets the job done. Right now the plugin framework wouldn't make creating a whole window like that very easy, but it would be possible to do within MuseScore itself. Better, perhaps, would be a way to somehow access this type of functionality directly from the existing Parts window.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hey Marc:

I did already download the plugin you suggested and unlike most of everything else in Musescore I was not able to fathom it or get to work for me. I admit I am still have a lot to learn about Musescore but I have had zero success with plugins I have tried to add. The installed plugins seem to work just fine. Probably my bad!

FWIW the copy parts layout in Finale was originally available as a plugin (the JW plugins suite). The original developer has retired and Finale was worried that development would stop. They feel those plugins are so essential to it's user base that they bought the most popular JW plugins (including copy part layout) and have now incorporated them into it in the latest Finale update (Version 27.3 I believe) But.... I don't want to use Finale anymore! (Haha!)

In reply to by ST Keller

The way to install a plugin is, download it to your Documents/MuseScore4/Plugins folder, restart MsueScore, go to Plugins / Manage plugins, find it, and click Enable. Then you'll find it in the Plugins menu ready to run.

To run the plugin, select a single layout break to copy all breaks of that type, then run the plugin from the Plugins menu.

It works but rather clumsily as I said. If you try running it from a part, that part doesn't get excluded from the copy operation, so you end up with duplicate breaks. Other weirdness too, like the need to select a break first, also undo requires multiples steps.

So, I spend a little while debugging, and here's a new version to try out - let me know how it works for you! Just run it, no need to select anything first. Breaks are copied from score to parts, or from one part to other parts. The plugin can now be found in the "Composing/Arranging tools" submenu of Plugins.

EDIT: I updated this since the original post; the first version still required a selection

Attachment Size
movesBreakstoParts.qml 7.51 KB

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hey Marc:

I ran the plugin and it did work as intended but it will not be too useful for me. The plugin seems to format all the parts from the layout of the score. I guess in Musescore each part must be hand formatted. Thanks again and hey, at least I learned a bit more about manipulating elements in Musescore!

In reply to by ST Keller

No, as I said, it will also work if you start from a part. So, format one part the way you like, then run the plugin while viewing that part, and instantly the other parts will be formatted the same.

Again, though, be sure to use my version not the original, as the original had a bug where if you tried that, you'd get duplicate breaks in the original part.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hey Marc:

I was trying to run the plugin but I ran into a wall at the step:

"To run the plugin, select a single layout break to copy all breaks of that type"

Where in Musescore do I do that? In other words what keystrokes, file menu, or function do I use.

It's probably right in front of me but sometimes the obvious is not so obvious to me! haha!

In reply to by ST Keller

As I said, that was clumsy, so I removed that requirement in my version. No need to select anything. Just run it and everything should work.

But for the record “select a single layout break” simply means, choose any break in your score and click it. In the original version, you had to do that before running the plugin.

This is a must !!
I was about to write a Feature Request for having more text align options, guidelines, ... in order to help layout parts quickly and efficiently. Because formatting parts of a piece is so time-consuming.
When I'm working on (e.g. jazz pieces) I like all parts having the same layout. In most case, the benefits of having the same layout for every parts is far higher than the ones of being able to tweak the layout of each parts independently.
For a 5-tet, the work of making the layout for all parts is just crazy.
This feature will a huge time-saver !!

PS: if more example are needed, I can share my last piece.

In reply to by parkingb

Examples definitely help. The plugin here solves the break problem to some extent. Most things that need alignment would need to be different for each part, and of course most things that should be aligned already are automatically. But FWIW I have plugin that can help there too.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

This is the score I'm working on for now. A jazz piece. With 2 instruments having a really similar part (but a C instrument and a Bb instrument). The layout of "ligne 1" (i.e. "(melodic) line 1" in English) and "ligne 2" must be the same.
If you look at the 3rd part ("Contrebasse"), I want it to have a similar (if not identical) layout to the ones of the lines 1 and 2. And you'll see by yourself, I haven't laid out this one yet : I will have to touch, move, arrange every single piece.
A "copy layout" feature would be so helpful here !!! Even if not 100% correct.

Attachment Size
J001_Thématiques.mscz 47.13 KB

In reply to by parkingb

Can you be more specific about what you would need to adjust? As far as I can tell, it would just be the system breaks, and the plugin handles that. You also have all these unnecessary spacers in there, those should simply be deleted. Unless they are meant to serve some function I'm not understanding? MuseScore can certainly spce out your systems automatically - you shouldn't be resorting to those sort of manual tweaks even for the score, but of course,e they will be completely counterproductive in the parts.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

(Unfortunately (I guess) you opened the score with MS4 that messes up all my MS3.6 layouts. That's the reason why the differences between my expected layout and the automatic layout were not obvious. So let's compare screen shots from both layouts.)

What do I need to adjust manually ?

Let's compare my original (and manual) layout and MS4 default layout of the same part. That are plenty of stuff that are not up to my taste in the automatic layout: Rehearsal marks are not aligned, some texts are too close from the upper or lower staff, ...
I don't say that the automatic layout is wrong. I just say that it is not like I want my score to be laid-out.
That's the reason for those manual adjustments.

Why do I use spacers ?

With spacers:

Without spacers:

Look at the "To Coda" and "DS al Coda" without the spacers. Far too close from the upper element. And even confusing for the "DS al Coda" that may look as it belonged to the previous system.


The ideal layout is a matter of convention and taste.
Today, when I layout a piece, I do the layout of the conductor score and all the parts individually.
With this Copy parts layout I could, do the layout of the conductor score and of one part. Apply that layout to the other parts (when applicable). Tweak where necessary. And layout the parts that don't fall into a same layout.
For the layout action, this is a gain in time of 50%. So pretty valuable.

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ligne1_default-Flûte-1.png 629.47 KB
ligne1_expected-1-1.png 651.9 KB

In reply to by parkingb

I opened with both MU3 and MU4, actually, and looked both at the default layout and the adjustments you had

The MU4 default layout for is far better and takes less adjusting of style settings to improve further especially in the score, but the parts do indeed take a bit of work to get looking good because they are so crowded. Overall, as someone who worked professionally for years editing jazz charts for a major publisher, I would say the automatic layout shown above is actually noticeably superior to your manual version in terms of overall vertical spacing, but even if you wanted the more crowded spacing of your version, that is better achieved through style tweaks than all those manual adjustments. For instance, if you really like tempo markings that high above the staff, make that a style setting, not a manual adjustment.

BTW, I'd also recommend you consider placing the repeat text below the staff. It's a bit unconventional, but pretty common in situations like this because the chord symbols do indeed often push it up high enough to cause problems.

A few of your adjustments do make sense, like lining up the rehearsal marks - but here, there really should simply be a setting to do that more automatically so these adjustments wouldn't be necessary in the first place.

When I mentioned the spaces, btw, I was talking about the score, not any part. Those spacers are entirely counterproductive. Removing them and resetting the page style to the default but adding a page break to balance the pages instantly improves the score very dramatically.

Anyhow, also, as mentioned, realistically many if not most manual adjustments won't make sense to repeat across parts because the musical content differs. So unfortunately it's not as simple as just copying all adjustments and assuming that will make things better. It's natural to focus on the few that would make sense but not notice how many wouldn't, or how many wouldn't be necessary at all with better style choices.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

(The spacers are a bit off-topic in this Copy Part Layout discussion. Let's discuss this somewhere else).

And I do agree with you on:

  • MU4 automatic layout is by far superior of the one MU3.6
  • this score is a complicated one that forced me to take some decisions that are not ideal (I should have posted an easier one)
  • The need Copy Part Layout function would be less crucial if a MU had new style and formatting options (see below).

But I don't agree with you that this Copy Part Layout function has little added value.
If its usefulness will definitely decrease as the options for a tailor-made layout increase, they are some cases where being able to copy all/some formatting decisions from the conductor to the parts, or from parts to parts will remain useful (such as the big black line I put in the "free impro" section that I had to configure 8 times (4 times in the conductor and once in 4 parts))

Those new style/formatting options could be:

  • option to place any "Rehearsal mark" at a certain distance of the margin, when in a measure which is at the start of the line
  • new text style "Repetition indicator" (for the "3x", ...) anchored to the next repetition sign instead of anchored to element they have been added to.
  • option to keep a certain Gap under the headers (or above the footers) (like for text frames)
    header margin.png
  • option for all text elements/styles to define a gap around them. Especially useful for the text elements having a box. Because the "margin" is between the distance between the text and the box. There should a distance between the text and outer elements (like the CSS box model)
    text gap.png
  • more formatting aids or options could also be useful. Like the ones I proposed in this Layout aids - guidelines, anchors, ... topic. Such as at this one:

(*) E.g. the big black line I put in the "free impro" section : I had to make it "No automatic positioning, thickness=0.6, OffsetY=2.0" 8 times (4 times in the conductor and oince in 4 parts))

In reply to by parkingb

The spacer discussion isn't off-topic since it is part of copying layout and specifically something plugin cannot currently do. So a discussion of whether it makes sense for this to be included in this facility - whether plugin or built-in - definitely is relevant.

Anyhow, I never said that a copy part layout function would be of little value. I said, defining exactly what it should look like is difficult, and that's why having this discussion here with real world example and integrating it with a discussion of best practices (e.g., style settings vs manual overrides) is vitally important if the idea is to move forward.

For the "repetition indicator", what you're really describing is more generally, measure-attached text. This is of course already supported for coda/segno (left algined) and Fine/DS/DC (right aligned). You can currently use one of these and then do what you need in properties to make sure it doesn't interfere with playback. In the future, a generic measure-attached text type would solve a number of issues.

I like the idea of defining additional gaps (which, BTW, are likely to be named margins, for consistency with CSS naming scheme). These would indeed help get better results form automatic placement and vertical justification. Do note there is already "min distance" at the element level and "min vertical distance at the score level that can help. Like in your case, a larger min vertical distance in Format / Style / Score would ensure the systems are separately enough to prevent the DS above one system from looking like it applied to another system.

The black line, BTW, could more easily have been made a multimeasure rest with the number hidden, since that's basically what it is. But also, if you use lines like that often, just configure one and add it to your palette. Then you only need to position it per part. If palette items preserved their offset- a reasonable request - then you wouldn't even need to do that.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

> with a discussion of best practices (e.g., style settings vs manual overrides) is
> vitally important if the idea is to move forward.
I partially agree with you. Using best practices would definitely help every user to ease his layout task.

But if someone decides to work in some way, be it a best practices or not, the feature Copy Part Layout should be able to deal with it. And shouldn't say "Sorry, you are working against the best practices. This function does not apply to you".

> The spacer discussion isn't off-topic since it is part of copying layout
> and specifically something plugin cannot currently do
This discussion is not about making plugin, but about building a new feature in MU.
So considering what is achievable or not via the plugin API should count (in this discussion). (Plugin should remain workarounds. With limited features if not possible otherwise).

> The black line, BTW, could more easily have been made a multimeasure rest with
> the number hidden, since that's basically what it is
Indeed in MU4. But I'm still using MU3.6 (until the pluginAPI be stabilized)

I had made an identical request in May 2018 :

That request must have seemed very exotic and many were diligent in tearing down. Alas, the same scenario seems to be happening again on this thread.

However, the problem remains. The plugin 'Export Layout Breaks to Part' seems to bring a beginning of solution, but it is not satisfactory because it applies the same layout to ALL parts, according to the system breaks of the main score. The original request was to duplicate the layout of a "chosen" part - already carefully laid out - on the other pages for the other horns of a big band section (a frequent case). Sibelius - which I haven't used for several years - allowed this and did it very well. As mentioned somewhere in this thread, this shortens the formatting time considerably.

Very selfishly, I confess that this problem does not concern me much anymore because I do not have the opportunity to work on big band scores, and, therefore, I don't care much. In consequence, and given my advanced age and failing health, I no longer have the desire or the strength to fight, but the frustration remains.

That being said, and considering the current operation of Musescore 4, I am willing to hear that there are more urgent things to do! :->> But it would be interesting if this feature request was at least understood and noted for the future (which I probably wouldn't see).

In reply to by mikosax

Miko! I certainly hope you have more scores in your future.

Also, I want you to know I feel the same way you do about "the proposed feature" here.

Of course there are those who have no need for this "copy part layout" feature, but those of us who do need and want it know it to be very useful and time-saving when available.

I don't see the benefit to Musescore or it's users in persons attempting to reason against something many want/need. What's the point? Just add it, please. Maybe a bit like a diabetic trying to fight against the use of sugar by Dairy Queen Corp.

If you don't understand, thats not the end of the world. There are many styles/paths of musical notation. No feature is going to be useful to every Musescore user.

In reply to by frontdrumpogo

No one has ever argued against the eventual design and implementation of such a feature. On the contrary, much of the discussion here has centered around trying to get people to propose more specific ideas and come to a consensus on how such a feature should work. I encourage you to free to contribute to that effort with your ideas here!

Meanwhile, the plugin does a pretty good job already.

@sorothourn, &co
May be an exact list of what should be incorporated into that Copy Part Layout function would help and what would be the new style options/features that would help the layout part job.

Listed from the above discussion:

Copy Part Layout

  • page/line breaks,
  • customised frame margins
  • elements offsets
  • text options such as position, font, bold face, ... (the purpose is not to make a separate text style for every texts)

New style options and layout features

In reply to by parkingb

All of this sounds really good to me. In addition to the arguments put forward in support of the "Copy Part Layout" function, I think an important point to also consider is the existence of this function in all of the other major notation softwares. There is clearly enough interest in something like this for it to be uniformly included, which gives much further weight to the supporting arguments.

I agree this function would be very helpful to workflow involving the formatting of many instruments in a section! I do a lot of big band / jazz writing where many parts are harmonized throughout a section, rather than having independent parts all the way throughout. I find myself repeating the same formatting changes part by part and feel there should be something to streamline the process.

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