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    To the left of the document window is the palette area. A Palette is a folder containing musical symbols (usually related) which can be applied to the score. Together, the palettes form the main part of a workspace.


    Musescore comes with two sets of preset palettes—a Basic and an Advanced set (contained in similarly-named workspaces). But that is only the start. You can add your own symbols and text either to the existing palettes, or to new workspaces. In other words, you can set up each workspace to meet exactly your scoring needs. See Customize palettes (below).

    To view or hide the palettes:

    • From the menu, select ViewPalettes; or use the keyboard shortcut, F9.

    Single Palette Mode

    If you only want to allow one palette to open at a time, right click at the top of the workspace and check the "Single palette" box. This will cause a palette to automatically close when you open a different one.

    Open/close palette

    To open or close a palette:

    • Click on the arrow next to the palette name, or double click the palette name (in versions prior to MuseScore 3.3, click once on either the arrow or the palette name).

    Apply symbols from a palette

    Versions 3.4 or above

    • Select one or more score elements, then click the desired palette symbol.
    • Drag and drop the symbol onto the desired score element in the staff.

    Versions prior to 3.4

    • Select one or more score elements, then double-click the desired palette symbol.
    • Drag and drop the symbol onto the desired score element in the staff.

    Tip: To prevent accidental rearrangement of contents during use, right-click over a palette name and untick "Enable Editing."

    Once added to the score, objects can be copied, pasted, and duplicated—see Copy and paste.

    Customize palettes

    Customizing is the process of modifying an existing, or new, palette. New symbols may be added, existing symbols deleted, contents rearranged, and so on.

    From MuseScore 3.3, all preset palettes in the Basic and Advanced workspaces can be customized directly (if you are using a previous version you will need to create a new workspace first).

    Before customizing a palette, you need to enable editing:

    • Right-click on the palette and make sure that "Enable Editing" is checked.

    To add an existing score element (such as a line, text, dynamic, fretboard diagram etc.) to a custom palette:

    • Press and hold Ctrl+Shift (Mac: Cmd+Shift), then drag the symbol onto the palette.

    To add a symbol to a custom workspace from the Master palette:

    • Drag the symbol from the Master Palette window into a custom palette.

    To re-arrange a symbol in a palette:

    • Drag the symbol to the new cell which you wish to display it in.

    Right-clicking on the name of a palette in a custom workspace brings up this menu:

    • Palette Properties...: Adjust the appearance of the open palette:

      Palette properties

      • Name
      • Cell Size: Width, Height
      • Element Offset: Adjust the vertical offset of all elements in the palette.
      • Scale: Make all palette elements appear larger or smaller.
      • Show grid: Visually divide the palette into cells, one for each element.
      • Show ‘More Elements…’: Create a cell which opens the Master Palette.
    • Insert New Palette: Create a new empty palette.
    • Move Palette Up / Move Palette Down: Reorder the palettes.
    • Enable Editing: Allow modifying the contents of the palette.
    • Save Palette: Save as an .mpal file.
    • Load Palette: Load an .mpal file.
    • Delete Palette: Remove the palette from the workspace entirely.

    Right-clicking on an element within a palette (if editing of the palette is enabled) brings up this menu:

    • Clear: Remove the element from the palette
    • Properties...: Open the Palette Cell Properties dialogue:
      • Name: The tooltip that appears when you mouse over the element.
      • Content offset (X, Y): Adjust the position of the element in the palette.
      • Content scale: Make the element appear larger or smaller in the palette.
      • Draw staff: Draw the five lines of a musical staff behind the palette element.
    • More Elements: Open the relevant Master Palette section.

    Note: Changing values in "Palette Cell Properties" only affects the appearance of elements in the palette. It does not change their sizes or offsets on the score page.

    Behavior of applied text and lines

    If the symbol you are adding to the score from a palette contains a text element (e.g. staff text, dynamic, fingering, volta etc.), then properties such as font-type, font-size, text color, and alignment will adapt according to the following rules:

    1. Text properties which have not been altered by the user will adopt the relevant, prevailing text styles.

    2. Custom text-properties—i.e. those changed by the user before saving the symbol to a custom palette—remain as customized.

    By contrast, the line properties of lines applied from a palette always remain unchanged (i.e. as set by the user before saving to a custom workspace, or as predefined in the Basic/Advanced workspaces).

    See also

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