Text basics

Updated 4 months ago

Add text

To add a text-based element to the score, use one of the following general methods:

  • Keyboard shortcut: For example, press Ctrl+Tto enter Staff text , Ctrl+L to enter Lyrics, and so on.
  • Menu command: AddText allows you to choose from a range of text-based elements.
  • Workspace: Select a note and click an icon in one of the palettes (double-click in versions prior to 3.4); or, alternatively, drag a symbol from a palette onto the staff. E.g. Swing text, Tempo text etc.

Notes: (1) The exact method depends on the type of text you are adding (see Text). (2) For general-purpose text boxes attached to staves, see Staff and system text.

Text formatting

When a text object is created in MuseScore, it assumes the corresponding Text Style: all staff text, for example, has a unique Text Style, as have tempo markings, dynamics, chord symbols etc. Each Text Style consists of a number of text properties (font-face, font-size, font-style etc.), which can be viewed, mainly, in the Text Styles dialog (FormatStyle…Text Styles).

A newly-created text object starts off with identical text properties to the Text Style. These can be viewed in the Inspector:

Text properties displayed in the Inspector

However, these text properties are not limited to those of the default Text Style: if need be, you can edit them in the Inspector independently of Text Style.

Finally, if you want to apply formatting to specific characters in a text object (font-face, font-size, Bold, Italic, Underline, superscript, subscript), you can do so in text edit mode.

Adjust position of text objects

To position a text object, use any of the following methods:

  • Drag the object.
  • Select the object and adjust the X or Y offset values in the Inspector.
  • Select the object and apply any of the following keyboard shortcuts:
    • : Move text left 0.1 staff space.
    • : Move text right 0.1 staff space.
    • : Move text up 0.1 staff space.
    • : Move text down 0.1 staff space.
    • Ctrl+ (Mac: Cmd+): Move text left one staff space.
    • Ctrl+ (Mac: Cmd+): Move text right one staff space.
    • Ctrl+ (Mac: Cmd+): Move text up one staff space.
    • Ctrl+ (Mac: Cmd+): Moves text down one staff space.

Text anchors

When you apply a text element to the score, its anchor position will depend on the type:

  • Title, Subtitle, Composer, Poet: Anchored to a frame.
  • Fingering: Anchored to note heads.
  • Lyrics: Anchored to a time position (a note/chord, but not a rest).
  • Chord symbol: Anchored to a time position.
  • Staff text: Anchored to a time position.
  • System text: Anchored to a time position.
  • Sticking: Anchored to a time position.

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