Icon Set

• Aug 22, 2010 - 07:25

A while ago I was trying to make icon sets for MuseScore... that really didn't work out, but I'd like to try again now that I have CS4.

Could somebody tell me how I would go about plugging in my own image files into musescore? I figured if I knew how to do it myself I could do all this on my own and not have to bother programmers with 'could you pretty please plug in these icons for me, not that I'm absolutely sure whether they'll work well, but I'd like to test them even though it may be a pain in the butt for you to keep putting new ones in... thanks!' I can't imagine they were too happy about it, and I felt badly asking for it.

Thanks if you can help! I'm excited to try again. I know it can be done because it has been done numerous times before.


Great! Those icons definitely needs some love and it will give MuseScore a much better impression I think. I'm very excited.

In order to make it extremely easy for you and future designers to test icons, we should consider taking icons out of the binary. We're talking about the toolbar and the pallet icons. It will slow down the software (especially the startup) but we don't know how much. Werner, what do you think?

In reply to by Thomas

I know it'll slow down the software some, but could we make it a theme plugin instead? I'd personally sooner have a slightly slower program if it looks good. That way people with decent computers can use the themes and it wouldn't affect their speed much at all.

The computer I use hadn't been upgraded when we last added custom icons and I didn't notice much difference with startup speed.

In reply to by Calem Bendell_

After a chat with Werner, he has started to move things so it will be easier to create & test a new icon set for MuseScore. In summary: we'll make a MuseScore build which will search at a specific location for the icons. Once you are happy with it, we can commit the icons into the code repository and compile the next prerelease with it.

So works have started, but you'll have a wait some time until things are ready for you. An optimistic estimation is the beginning of next week.

In reply to by Calem Bendell_

Werner's latest update on the code:
- replace dynamic generated icons by static files
- make icon files installable
- new command line option "-i" to load icons from filesystem (icons can be edited and tested without compiling mscore)

So we are on track for next week to give you a 'designer' build

In reply to by Calem Bendell_

Icons are in a separate folder. On my linux system they can be found at /usr/local/share/mscore-0.9/icons.
Many of them are not so important and only used in the style editor. Others used in dialogs created with qt designer are missing. I have yet to find out how to make them configurable .

In reply to by Thomas

Alrighty, will do. May be able to make the play button become a pause button during playback.

Do you care if it's .svg or is it alright if it's .png files? I don't think there would be a significant quality loss.

In reply to by Thomas

Calem, you can now try your icon set in the MuseScore nightly build. You can get the nightly builds from windows at : http://prereleases.musescore.org/windows/nightly/ Take the biggest number.
Then unzip the file. Put your icons in the icons directory and replace the nightly.bat file with the one attached (rename it to nightly.bat). Let me know if you need support or join #musescore IRC channel on freenode.net

Attachment Size
nightly.txt 41 bytes

In reply to by Thomas

Since I can't edit the notes I went ahead and did some toolbar sampling and cleaned up the icons a little. They were great designs already so I basically kept them for now. Only had a chance to work with them for about half an hour, so I didn't really do much to them.

The copy, paste, cut buttons are cleaned now: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3049618/Other/editcopycutsamples.png

The toolbar is still not that much different, but I changed the save button to a darker scheme (is basically exact same icon with slightly different colouring) and made the printer more of a minimalist scheme (made from scratch in a couple minutes so it's messy, but it's the basic idea) to choose between, or if you guys want any other sort of scheme. I'd say to go with a more minimalist color scheme or if you do go darker to go with dark only for the file icons... picture here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3049618/Other/toolbarsample.png (or stick with the original would probably be best and add others as skins for different people to match their tastes)

I would change the colour scheme to this actually but it may seem a bit bright: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3049618/Other/undocolour.png

Undo/Redo are pretty well done, can't think of anything else you'd want to do with them now that they're cleaned.

I've had difficulty finding a bunch of the icons such as the help button and the zoom button. What part of the code would I go to to rename what images it retrieves for certain icons?

I really don't think the toolbar needs to be changed at all though, not between new page and zoom anyway other than cleaning them up a little. It's the note icons that actually need any change.

Sorry that this is a bit of a sprawling reply. I'm not going to have internet for a few days and wanted to figure out what problems were going to be encountered before I really started working on the icons since designing can be done offline perfectly fine.

In reply to by Calem Bendell_

I talked with Werner and you have a clean slate to alter the icons in any sense and to what ever color scheme you want. Actually, MuseScore doesn't have a house style yet, so we might want to settle on a color scheme.

Regarding the icons: I checked the toolbar sample and my immediate thought was that the icons are not unified enough in style. So I don't know what would be possible, but starting from scratch rather than altering the color of the current ones is most certainly an option to me.

Making a great looking icons looks to me like a very tough job. Thanks for taking it up. If we succeed to give MuseScore a more professional look, I'm sure this will reflect in the adoption rate.

In reply to by Thomas

Alright.. I'll just go ahead and make a unified set, but I'm not going to be able to plug them all in since some of them don't seem to be in the 'icons' folder or are under odd names. Sorry that the sample toolbar wasn't unified, I wanted to include samples of a couple of styles.

In reply to by Thomas

This sample set of a couple styles is available now. I can change the colours to whatever you want very easily and can generally change them quickly to suit what you guys would prefer. Personally I like the gray. The top set is actually Black & White; for some reason my screen capture is lying about colours when things are in black and white.
The icon size was increased considerably from what is normal to make it easier to see the icons.


BW: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3049618/Other/toolbarbarsamplebw.jpg
Blue: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3049618/Other/toolbarsampleblue.jpg

Was working on a new splash screen but couldn't find a high quality copy of the MuseScore logo and didn't want to attempt to replicate it since it wouldn't be very accurate anyway. Is the png, jpg, or the svg used for the splash screen.

In reply to by Calem Bendell_

I like this second iteration already much better!

Colors: we just need to make sure we don't end up with the same colors as Sibelius, Finale, Notion or other products. Other than that, it's open for experimentation.

Size: Good idea to make the size of the icons bigger. Like it!

Splash screen: here is the high quality logo and the splash screen svg is normally checked into the repository.

One more thing: there is a style css file in the source which we will expose as well. Tweaking this css file, you will be able to style all possible widgets such as toolbars, pop up windows, etc. i'll keep you posted.

In reply to by Nicolas

(note this was posted before the comment above it called 'Toolbars')

I've found a surprisingly few number of problems with the build :D. Actually... probably no problems with the build at all.

Only actual 'bug' about the icons is that the repeats button for example is actually two different icons, or seems to be. I don't understand why.

Now... to the problem. Is there a way to separate the actual notes icons from icons that represent the notes on the toolbar? Sorry if that sounds confusing. I need the icon for the notes to be different from the icons for the toolbars. The notes are working fine and it's really best if they're simply not touched, eh? I'll clean them maybe since they're pixely, but they seem to be working perfectly.

Just letting you know that Werner is currently doing some more ground work to make it easier to style MuseScore. This implies two things:
* expose the internal style.css as an external file so it can be altered by a designer rather than a coder only
* port the kde oxygen style to make it available for windows

We believe the kde oxygen style might be better to start from, rather than the current available styles.

Stay tuned.

In reply to by chen lung

All of these are going to be completely redesigned... again. Thanks for the tip for the next run.

Partly so it can be a unified set that also matches the modified style sheet and partly because my hard drive crashed and I didn't realise the svg files weren't saved online. :D

In reply to by Calem Bendell_

May not be related to design, but can the Play Panel be on the interface?

We'd have both volume and speed at 100% by default. When clicked upon, each one would appear in a drop-down list?

I'm not sure how the play bar would look on the interface, but perhaps it could be ported over.

In addition, the Synthesiser and Mixer could be placed somewhere else (probably not an item for the Display section)?

In reply to by chen lung

To complete this discussion: the widgets currently used like the slider (player, synthesizer) and the knobs (mixer) can also be refactored. It makes more sense to use widgets which display the actual value instead of a widget hiding it. This way it's easier to reproduce certain settings.

Obviously, we need help from a Qt designer/developer.

In reply to by Thomas

Maybe a developer over at Linux could help? I know a couple of people who could probably do it, but I doubt they'd do it for free. The linux people would be more likely to do it for free or a low cost. Some of the MuseScore staff is surely paid, yes?

In reply to by Calem Bendell_

First of all, I have to state that at this moment no one is being payed to work on the MuseScore project. It still is 100% volunteer work. Donations are and will only be used to pay the web hosting bill.

That being said, we are addressing a well known issue for open source projects: the design aspect. While many aspects of open source projects can be successfully crowd sourced, designing a great user interface and improving user experience is often not covered well or sometimes lacking. If we look at MuseScore, we see that the current trunk contains most of the common features in notation software, but the design part needs serious work.

We could conclude that if MuseScore wants to further mature to become a full featured industry standard software package, it will have to grow beyond volunteer work. However, we should never touch the very reason why MuseScore exists and why it has come up to this point: it's free in beer and in speech.

So one option to grow further is to put a business model in place which generates revenues and part of the revenues are used to fund the development of MuseScore. And most likely, this development will include design work.

In reply to by Calem Bendell_

The goal of Musescore.org is to create a healthy community website. Untargeted advertising would not serve this goal so any typical CPM/CPC advertising from ad networks can be ruled out. The challenge would be to find some sort of advertisement which would make sense to the visitors of this website and is not intrusive.

It will take however much more than just some advertisement to bring MuseScore to the next level. We have ideas and will be communicating about them very soon.

In reply to by Thomas

... I don't know if this is taboo or anything, but MuseScore is a pretty invaluable tool for growing talents who can't afford music software (and it is pretty expensive)... Would asking governments for funds be unreasonable? I don't see how it would be against OpenSource ideals unless they make it complicated. And for a government, even in this economy, it'd be like a miser throwing a penny in MuseScore's direction.

Sorry if I said something very wrong.

In reply to by Calem Bendell_

As I am from Belgium, I have only been scanning the opportunities over here. And I must say, I did not succeed convincing government people. The burning platform was simply not there: "there is already good software for making sheet music, not?" But, if you see something in your neighborhood, don't hesitate to post it.

In reply to by Thomas

"First of all, I have to state that at this moment no one is being payed to work on the MuseScore project. "

I think this should be explicitly stated on the home page.

regards and thanks,

In reply to by Calem Bendell_

Yes, Werner managed to expose it. And we have two themes now, a light one and a dark one. You might have seen it already. For more updates, we might speak further in the #musescore channel on IRC starting from Monday. I'll hook you up with Werner.

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