A handful of new Feature Requests!

• Jun 9, 2015 - 21:19

I've been using MuseScore for a few months now and love it. But over that time I've compiled a list of 14 features that I would find useful. If it helps, I'm on Linux Mint 17. Thanks in advance for considering this list and apologies if any of them have already been addressed/discussed or if they already exist and I've somehow missed them.

1) In the drop-down list of text fonts, an automatic list of recently used fonts would be useful, rather than having to scroll down each time.

2) Automatically highlight text when going into edit text mode in order quickly to change font, size and style without having to click and drag. Also mass edit of all selected text objects to change font/size/style at the same time.

3) A user-edited library of text expressions to avoid having to write out often used expressions (such as crescendo, ritardando etc.

4) Asterisks to denote pedal lifts, as well as the extendible pedal line option.

5) Ability to reduce space between staves/staffs as well as increasing it; maybe I'm missing something here, but it doesn't seem to be possible. Possibly each staff could have a marker which could be used to move it, rather than the somewhat cumbersome spacers.

6) On the subject of layout, the page settings could be changeable for each page rather than just odd or even pages.

7) Allow page numbers to be changeable (font, size and style) and possibly moveable to inside and outside of page margins

8) Allow all objects, when selected by mouse, to show cross-hairs in order easily to align them with other objects.

9) A grid and/or rulers with click-able gradations to show cross-hairs would be useful.

10) Select and move all objects en masse. This works with lyrics for example, but not with dynamics/articulations etc.

11) The option to choose whether automatically to anchor objects (text, dynamics etc.) to notes/ rests or alternatively to invisible anchor points within the bar (without being affected by layout changes).

12) For repeated use of ornaments, articulations, slurs etc, the ability to select the object in question within the palette and then use the mouse to click on the note rather than having to click and drag which is far more time consuming. It would also be great if you could select a number of notes and add articulations to them all with one click.

13) when selecting a second slur, the first remains in edit mode and the second cannot be edited without unselecting the first slur.

14) Jazz notation for notes as well as text.

Keep up the good work. If I knew how to programme I'd be very active with helping to develop MuseScore!


I'll only comment on a few and leave the rest to others.

3. You can create a custom palette. Enter text onto you score then copy it to your custom palette. I have done this for dynamic marks above or below the stave; cresc., dim. etc.; legato, marcato, più mosso...; some fingering marks.

4. Drag a Pedal and line from the Lines palette, Right-click on it, choose Properties and add the following to the End Text box:

(Note the snigle space before the <)

Now click on the ... button to the right and increase the font size to, say, 16 and choose for the text to appear on the line.

As per 3, drag this into a custom palette.

12. You can select multiple notes and double-click on an articulation (or use a keyboard shortcut for things like Staccato, Staccatissimo, Tenuto). You can also copy and paste articulations from one note to another.

There are some good suggestions. After seeing the comments here, for which ever still seem useful, you should submit separate official feature requests to the Issue tracker (you can use Help / Report a Bug from within MuseScore, and set the category to "feature request") or else these will get lost here. It is not a bad idea to post here first for discussion before deciding which are worth submitting. But threads with a dozen or more suggestion quickly get out of hand; next time, consider starting seeparate threads, maybe grouping a small handful of related requests.

1) good suggestion, I don't think it has come up before

2) If your goal is to change the font for the entire text, then you shouldn't be double clicking in the first place. Instead, you should be using either Text Style (to simultaneously affect all elements of that type) or Text Properties (current element only). This is more effective than applying formatting at a low level, which is what you are doing. "Most" of the time, you wouldn't *want* take pre-selected when double clicking, because applying formatting to the entire text is not normally something you'd be doing.

3) MuseScore provides customizable palettes for exactly this purpose. See the Handbook, search for "custom". To add elements to a palette after following the instructions there, just Ctrl+Shift+drag elements from your score to the palette.

4) Asterisks are available. Right click the line, Line Properties, and change the End text to exactly what you see in the Begin text except for "Up" instead of "Ped" at the end. You can save such a line to the palette just like you can for text.

5) If you mean, reduce just for one particular pair of staves on one system, true, there is currently no way. But you can reduce space for all staves score-wide via Style / General / Page, or for any individual staff by Shift+dragging it and/or using Staff Properties. Meanwhile, there already exist reqests for this - #61041: Negative staff spacer.

6) not a bad idea, but do you have a use case not solved by use of frames?

7) Page number formatting (font and position) is controlled by Style / Text / Footer.

8) This is a common suggestion (see for example #13346), but note that you can already get precise positioning by using the keyboard or the Inspector instead of mouse dragging to position objects. Much more precise as well as faster. Also, see the "Enable snap to grid" buttons in the Inspector. Plus, be sure to take full advantage of the style options to set defaults that are to your liking, so you don't need to manually adjust things as often. with all the controls already available, one shouldn't really be having to rely on eyeballing elements to grid lines or anything so slow and imprecise.

9) see above

10) This is already possible via the Inspector. Also by dragging if you press Ctrl while initiating the drag (the release or your drag will be constrained to horizontal only). Not sure what you mean about it being possible for lyrics but not articulations? Shouldn't be any difference.

11) I don't understand. Can you show an example? It is already possible to anchor chord symbols and figured to beat positions with or without notes, but I can't think of a use case for that with arbitrary text that isn't solved by simply nudging the text left or right a couple of cursor clicks.

12) You don't need drag and drop to add articulations etc. Simply select one or more elements in your score then double click a palette item, and it is applied to all of them at once.

13) I'm not quite sure what you mean. I guess you are trying to add slurs one at a time by dragging them from the palette? Indeed, since dragging from the palette doesn't tell MuseScore how long you want the slur to be, it has to be put in edit mode, and you would need to edit it, and you would need to press Esc or click elsewhere to end the editing. But that's a very inefficient way of adding slurs. Instead, simply select the whole range you want slurred, and press "S". A slur is add that exactly covers those notes, so no editing is needed.

14) There is such a font being worked on, prhaps we'll see it for 2.1.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks for those replies.

It seems that a lot of my points do indeed have solutions. I suppose I've picked up inefficient habits without investing enough time in research to find out better ways of using this software. My loss, but I shall work on re-educating myself.

OK, I'll soon get round to submitting the relevant points as official feature requests.

Marc, in answer to your specific questions:
6) I don't have any particular case that I've noted, having always found a workaround, but I do think that it would generally give a lot more flexibility to layout issues.
11) If you add text to an empty bar and you place it precisely where you want it within that bar, then later if the layout changes, the text can shift its position because it's not anchored to a particular note.

In reply to by s c standen

What is your use case for wanting specific positioning of text with a bar other than to a note, and if not a note, how would you expect the anchor to be calculated? Eg, a certain number of millimeters from the beginning of the measure independent of the size of the staff or the width of the measure? A certain number of staff spaces from the beginning of the measure so it scales with staff size but is independent of measure width? Or perhaps always some percentage of the way into the measure, so the position scales with the width of the measure? Each of these things can already be done - the first two by attaching to the measure rest and then setting Text Properties as desired, the last by putting invisible rests in the measure (using voice 2, for instance) and attaching the text to them, or by entering notes/rests, attaching text, then deleting the notes while leaving the text using the selection filter.

None of these strike me as something that would come up very often at al all, and there is alreayd a way to achieve of these without a whole lot of trouble. Which is why I'd want to understand the real world use case that adding more features would be necessary to solve.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I would have thought that if you position text in a bar, anchored to a note or rest and then if you alter its position relative to the anchor point, that text ought retain its exact position within the bar regardless of layout changes. In other words as a percentage of the length of the bar. This seems to work fine with notes, but not with empty bars, even if the text is anchored to the rest in that bar. Adding invisible rests or creating notes and then deleting them seems like a bit of a hassle as a preventive measure against potential future layout changes.

When I next come across an example I'll post it for you to see.

In reply to by s c standen

Manual adjustments to text are in "sp" units - the size of a staff space. So they scale with staff size, but do not have anything to do with measure width. THat is the only definition for "exact definition within the bar" that makes sense: a combination of which beat it is attached and how many staff spaces left or right of that beat it should be. There is no concept of "percentage of bar width", and I can't really think of a real world use case for that. Most text should and can be attached to a specific note or rest, which actually results in the text being attached to that *beat position* rather than the specific note, so it can survive changes to the notes after adding the text.

The only real-world situation I can think of offhand where you would need to manually adjust the position of a text item that is attached to the correct beat already would be to avoid collision with some other element. But in these cases, making the adjustment be proportional to the width of the measure is exactly the *wrong* thing to do. Consider, if the measure gets wider later, that means there is more space around each beat, so you need *less* manual adjustment, not *more*. Conversely. if the measure gets narrower, you probably will need *more* manual adjustment to avoid collision rather than less.

So again, I'm struggling to understand the use case you have in mind. I can't think of a single instance where I've ever needed text specifically attached to a percentage position within a measure rather than to a *beat*. And when I've needed to apply manual adjustments to these positions, the degree of adjustment is never in my experience tied to the width of the measure except in the backwards way I just described - wider measures need *less* manual adjustment, not more.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Xavierjazz, I've just tried anchoring text to the barline, but that doesn't work: you need to have selected a note or rest.

Marc, OK I take your point entirely. I think maybe my problem is less complicated than I initially assumed; it seems in fact that if you have an empty bar you have to enter invisible notes or rests in order to anchor text where you want, whereas if you try to anchor text to an auto rest in an empty bar, it doesn't work. To give an example, let's say you create a new score on a single staff in 4/4 time: there are 17 empty bars in one line and 17 in the next. You select the semibreve rest in the first bar and enter some stave text. You then move the text so that it aligns with that rest in the exact position that you want (let's say aligned centrally with the rest). Then you put a line break after let's say the 3rd bar to enable the 1st 3 bars to span the entire line width. The text is now at the beginning of the first bar, no longer in the middle. But if you do the same thing by anchoring the text to an invisible rest, it works. I still see this as a problem in empty bars, although the use of invisible rests is certainly a workaround.

On the same subject, I've noticed that whereas certain objects show their anchor points when you move them, this doesn't happen with text, so you may lose track of where it's anchored.

In reply to by s c standen

I definitely agree showing the dotted line to the anchor for text would be nice. That used to work, not sure why it was removed.

Anyhow regarding the text in the middle of the bar - I'm still struggling to understand the use case. One reason I keep harping on this isn't to brush off the request, but to make sure that if a new feature is added, that it actually solves the real world problem that it is supposed to solve, and does so in an efficient manner.

Right now, it seems you are talking about one specific special situation: trying to align text over the centered full measure rest. Is there a real world use case for this? I can't recall having ever seen this in published music. Text in an empty bar is displayed at the beginning of the bar, and the clearest reason for why this makes sense is to consider the case of multiple staves that have simialr text. If the other staves have notes, then the text will be at the beginning of the bar for them, and I can't think of any special reason it shouldn't all be aligned.

So *if* there exists a real world use case that demonstrates a situation where it would be proper to align text with the centered rest rather than at the beginning of the bar, the simplest solution would to just have an option that said "align with full measure rest". Either a style option to make it score wide, or a text property. Then you'd get this result in a single click.

But then the question is, are there *other* real world uses cases you would also need to solve? For examplke, if there exists a real world use case where it is important to position text at exactly 19% percent of the distance between the barlines, then maybe it makes more sense to sovle the problem differnetly - with a set of controls that would be more general and thus more powerful, but it would takle more than a single click to get the effect of aligning the text with the measure rest. If there is no real world use case for this more general solution but there is for the special case of aligning text with a measure rest, it would be a mistake to implement the more general solution rather than the simpler one.

So ocne again, seeing the real world use case that shows the need you are describing would help put all this into context.

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