MuseScore's definition of 100% zoom

• Aug 24, 2015 - 15:08

I've often wondered about how MuseScore calculates what size to display the score. All levels of zoom are defined in percentages of a default "100%" zoom, but how is that 100% defined?

In LibreOffice, when zoomed to 100%, the page displayed on the screen is life-size—i.e., if the page is supposed to be 8.5" wide, you can hold up an 8.5"-wide piece of paper in front of the screen and it will line up with the displayed page.

Not so in MuseScore. An 8.5"-wide score zoomed to 100% displays as 6.375" wide. Essentially, MuseScore displays at 75% instead of 100%, and all other zoom levels are proportionally affected. Why?


100% is what it says, *if* your display uses a standard resolution of ~100dpi. Displays that use higher screen resolution may not scale correctly. Different OS's hande higher resolution displays differently, and none do it perfectly, so you end up with these anomalies where some things scale as expected but others do not. I added the "-x" command option so you can tell MuseScore how it needs to scale things for your particular display, but since different OS's handle the scaling differently, the option may or may not do good things on your particular system. It might scale some things that the OS already scaled for you, thus making them too big; or it might fail to scale some things that other OS's do scale for you. But anyhow, it's worth a shot - try giving "-x 1.33" (or whatever scaling factor your particular display needs) on the command line and see what happens.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Actually, it gets weirder, because I measured incorrectly before—it's 5.375" wide, not 6.375". So it's actually even smaller, and also not a nice convenient proportion like 75%.

As far as I can determine, my display is 113.49 PPI.

Anyway, I was able to achieve something very close to a real 100% zoom by running MuseScore with "-x 1.58", and it occurs to me that there may be a deliberate cause for the small scaling—on this display, if the page is 8.5" wide, it doesn't fit unless either the palettes or the Inspector are closed.

On your display, is 100% genuinely 100% by default? (The best test is to hold a sheet of paper up in front of the screen.)

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

My display is also high resolution, so no, it's off by the amount by which my resolution exceeds 100dpi. That is part of my I implemented the "-x" option. Also the contents of the palette were off by the same amount, and some other controls as well.

From what I understand, Mac OS does some interesting things to try to fool programs into behaving well in the presence of high resolution displays. It "pretends" the resolution is half of what it is and then scales things for you behind the scenes. Problem is it does not seem to be terribly consistent about which things it scales for you and which it does not.

How did you arrive at the figure of 113.49 PPI? Did you actually divide the number of horizontal pixels by the horizontal dimension of your monitor? I would have thought most Macs far exceeded that. But maybe the pretend-2X factor is fooling you.

BTW, MuseScore does not do anything special to make your score fit within the space between palette and inspector, so no, that is not why you are seeing what you are seeing.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Current model Macs do have the supremely high-resolution "Retina" display, but mine is a 2009 model from before that was introduced, so most of that doesn't apply. I used —my monitor is 13.3" diagonal, 1280x800 pixels.

On closer examination, the palette contents become unusably huge when running with "-x 1.58", along with the webview in the Start Center. I can get by well enough with the smaller default zoom.

I might mention that I remember something similar from Microsoft Word (on OS X)—100% zoom yielded fairly small pages, and I was surprised and pleased when I switched to LibreOffice by the fact that 100% really was full size. I can check and see if that's still the case with current versions of Word later.

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