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For MuseScore 3 users, see Breaks and spacers
The Breaks & Spacers palette in the Advanced workspace contains the following non-printing symbols:
- A line break forces the next part of the score to start in a new system.
- A page break forces the next part of the score to start on a new page.
- A section break divides the score into sections (see below), and forces the next part of the score to start in a new system. It can be combined with a page break if required.
- Spacers look like down/up arrows and are used to increase the space between two adjacent staves or systems.
Add a break or spacer
A break can be applied to either a measure or a frame. A spacer (up or down) is applied to a measure only.
Add a break
Use one of the following options:
- Select a measure or frame, then double-click a palette break symbol.
- Drag a break or spacer symbol from a palette onto a measure or frame.
- For line breaks only, click on a barline and press Return. Press again to remove the line break.
- For page breaks only, click on a barline and press Ctrl+Return (Mac: Cmd+Return). Press again to remove the page break.
A break is inserted after the marked measure or frame. Blue break symbols are visible on the screen, but do not appear on printouts.
Notes: (1) To add (or remove) line breaks over all or part of the score, see Add/Remove line breaks. (2) To split a measure, see Measure operations: Split and join.
Move a break
To reposition a break:
- Enter edit mode for the break in question;
- Use the keyboard arrow buttons as described in Adjust position of text objects.
Add a spacer
Use either of the following options:
- Select a measure, then double-click a palette spacer symbol.
- Drag a spacer symbol from a palette onto a measure or frame.
Blue spacer symbols are visible on the screen, but do not appear on printouts.
Note: Spacers are designed for local adjustments only. If you wish to adjust the space between staves across the whole score, use the settings in Style → General... → Page instead.
Adjust a spacer
To adjust the height of a spacer, chose one of these options:
- Double-click the spacer and drag the blue end-handle up and down.
- Double-click the spacer and use the ↑ ↓ keys and/or Ctrl+↑ ↓ to move the end-handle up and down.
- Click (or double-click) on the spacer and adjust the height property in the Inspector.
Delete a break or spacer
To delete a break or spacer:
- Single click the break or spacer (it will turn into a darker blue to indicate that it is selected)
- Press the Delete key.
See also: Add / Remove line breaks.
A section break, as the name suggests, is used to create separate sections within a score. Like a line break, it forces the next measure or frame to begin a new system, and can also be used in association with a page break if required.
A section break could be used, for example, to divide a piece into separate movements.
Each section can have its own measure numbering independent of the rest of the score. By default, the first measure of a section is numbered "1" (see image below), though like the first measure of the score itelf, the number is not displayed unless configured in the measure properties dialog. The same dialog can be used to change the numbering according to your preference.
If you change Time signature or Key signature at the beginning of the new section, there will be no courtesy signature at the end of the previous section. See example below:
When you play back the score, the program adds a short pause between each section. In addition, the first end repeat barline in a section always sends the playback cursor to the beginning of the section, so a start repeat barline is optional.
Section Break Properties
Right click a section break and select Section Break Properties... to specify:
- Pause length;
- If the new section's first system shows long instrument names;
- If the new section starts numbering measures at 1.