Open score as "read only" and/or password protection

• Aug 21, 2015 - 02:32

All the best word processors give the user the option of opening a file "read only" to prevent changes to the file.

How difficult would it be to implement password-protection of a MuseScore file to prevent changes?


In reply to by Isaac Weiss

Playback, or loading it so you can print it or export it to another format, would both be things epople might want to do without fear of accidental changes.

There was an experimental option implemented at one point to lock the score, but I seem to recall there some issue with it, something that it wouldn't let you do that seemed to render the feature useless and no easy way around it. The command is actually still there - "Lock Score", with a default shortcut of Ctrl+Shift+L - but it doesn't actually do much. The moment you click somewhere, the lock is broken.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

For playback, there are audio formats, and if you want have a score that cannot be edited but can be exported to another format then that defeats its own purpose—it could be exported to MusicXML and then re-imported, unlocked. PDF is definitely the way to go here, perhaps with accompanying MP3.

The only other potential advantage to an uneditable score (in MSCZ format rather than PDF) would be watching it play back—but for that, you could use a screen recorder to create a video.

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

Also, looping. slowing down, isolating just a particular spot - all the sorts of things that the mobile apps are really intended for, but people like to use MuseScore for as well. Just with export, I am not thinking in terms of preventing someone from modifying it willfully - more just a matter of wanting a way to prevent *inadvertent* edits. A way of marking a score "finished" so you can still open it and work with in these ways without fearing of accidentally making changes. If you later change your mind and wish to edit the score, you could remove the lock.

Bottom line, it's not an unreasonable request.

I'm looking forward to such a feature, too.

My choir use to rehearse at home, and uses the NoteWorthy Player exactly for those reasons explained by Marc Sabatella
Now that I'm writing with MuseScore, they do some useless (and dangerous) transcoding tricks through .mid in order to get a NoteWorthy file.

I'd love to say, one day: "From now on, the ONLY score is this .mscz file, revision x.y - rehearse, watch, listen to, share and print it, whichever the platform."
and be confident that not only the notes, but the whole lot of dynamics, suggestions etc. will be followed. And that nobody could inadvertently change it.

Since .MSCX files are raw (human-readable text) files used by Musescore and .MSCZ files are essentially just .MSCX files which have been compressed in the same way as .ZIP files you could employ a workaround as follows:

Save score as .MSCX
Make .MSCX file read-only
Compress .MSCX file with a Zip-type program
Change the file extension to .MSCZ

This works in Linux insofar as the file is locked to casual tampering/messing up and saving but it doesn't stop tampering with the file and printing it out or saving it under a different name etc. I think the basic file format of .MSCX is just too open to prevent a determined person from tampering with it but it could stymie the casual klutz.

It would be a very handy feature. I am concerned knowing that many old people in my choral are not that skilled with computers, and many do not have an iPad or a tablet. Why couldn't we get all the features of those apps in a "read-only" mode for PC or MAC ?

In reply to by domric

Possibly that could be done, but for your specific need, I would suggest uploading the file to and sending your choral members the URL of that page as well as providing them with a PDF they can print. They won't be able to modify the playable file on the website unless they download it as an mscz file first and then mess with it in MuseScore.

hi, I'd be interested in such a feature too. May be a "lock" icon preventing from editing (moving) notes and lyrics ?
Sometime I open score for editing, but sometime for all the playback options only !
I'm also in a choir and it helps me learn my part.
A "Lock" button/icon would be great :-)

I'm about to give our choir members access to .mscz files saved in a private Dropbox folder under the Dropbox access authorization category "Can View and Download" as opposed to "Can Edit". Can I expect our members to be able to edit the .mscz files (albeit inadvertently) if they open them in Musescore? I might have to re-think this!

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