Layout and formatting options for the score can be accessed mainly from the Layout and Style menus.
From the Layout menu:
Page Settings: Adjust the overall dimensions of your score such as page size, page margins, and scaling.
Increase Stretch/Decrease Stretch: Adjust the score spacing by stretching or squashing selected measures.
From the Style menu:
Score Style: Set overall score details, such as music font, display of multi-measure rests, and whether to hide empty staves.
Page Style: Adjust staff and system spacing, score and lyric margins etc.
Measure Style: Set the measure spacing, which affects the number of measures per line.
Sizes: Set the default size of "small" and grace notes, small staves and small clefs.
Add/Remove line breaks: Set the number of measures per system.
Breaks and spacers: Apply line, page or section breaks. You can also add extra space between particular systems or staves where needed.
See Page settings.
The Reset command restores all selected score elements to their default position. It also restores the default directions of note stems and beams. To apply:
Increase or decrease the horizontal spacing of notes within selected measures. To apply:
See also Measure Properties: Layout stretch. This allows you to set the stretch more precisely.
To reset stretch to the default spacing of 1:
To restore beams to the mode defined in the local time signatures:
See also Beams.
Any notes that are tied and are the same length as a dotted note will be changed to the dotted note with two limitations. (i) Only the last note of a group of tied notes will have a single dot. Notes with more than one dot are not produced using this option. (ii) Dotted notes will not span from one group of beamed notes to another unless their duration is the same as all of the beam groups it covers. Any notes with more than one dot will be regrouped according to the above rules.
Note: This is an experimental feature and there are known bugs. Articulations and ornaments are deleted and some pitches respelt. Ties across barlines may be lost on UNDO.
To open the Score dialog: from the menu, select Style→General...→Score.
This dialog allows you to set global properties, such as the music font, display of multimeasure rests, whether or not to hide empty staves, "swing" playback etc.
Musical text font: Choice of display in Emmentaler, Bravura, Gonville or MuseJazz fonts.
Display in concert pitch: Tick this option to display the score at concert pitch. If unticked the score is displayed at written pitch.
Create multimeasure rests: Tick to display multimeasure rests.
Hide empty staves: This option saves space by hiding those staves in a system which consist of only empty measures. Used for condensed scores.
Don't hide empty staves in first system: Always display staves in first system even if they consist of empty measures.
Display note values across measure bar: A feature useful for notating early music. See Unbarred notation.
Hide instrument name if there is only one instrument: You don't usually need to display the instrument name in this case.
Swing setting: The default is off. Choice of swung eighth or sixteenth notes.
See also, Swing
To open the Page dialog: from the menu, select Style→General...→Page.
This dialog allows you to adjust the space above and below systems, staves, lyrics, and vertical frames; and between the score and the top/bottom page margins. You can also control the display of key signatures, time signatures and clefs.
Note: To alter the space above one particular staff see Extra distance above staff (Staff properties).
Ticking the following boxes, allows the display of courtesy elements at the end of systems:
Open from the menu: Style→General...→Header, Footer, Numbers.
You can show the content of a score's meta tags (see Score information) or show page numbers in a header or footer for your score. To create a header or footer for a score with linked parts, make sure the main score is in the active tab. To create a header or footer for an individual part, that part needs to be the active tab.
If you hover with your mouse over the Header or Footer text region, a list of macros will appear, showing their meaning, as well as the existing meta tags and their content.
You can create different Headers and Footers for even and odd pages, such as putting page numbers on the right for odd-numbered pages and on the left for even-numbered pages.
You can also edit whether and how often measure numbers appear.
Open from the menu: Style→General...→ System.
This dialog allows you to:
See also Brackets.
Open from the menu: Style→General...→Barlines.
Open from the menu: Style→General...→Notes.
This page can also be accessed direct from the score by right-clicking on any note and selecting "Style…" Here you can adjust the distance and thickness of note-related objects (stems, ledger lines, dots, accidentals). Changing these would be unusual.
Open from the menu: Style→General...→Clefs.
You can choose between Serif and Standard clef for your tablature sheet.
Open from the menu: Style→General...→Arpeggios.
Here you can change the thickness, spacing and hook height of the following arpeggio and strum symbols:
Changes to these properties would be unusual.
Open from the menu: Style→General...→Beams.
Open from the menu: Style→General...→Slurs/Ties.
Open from the menu: Style→General...→Sizes.
Sets the proportional size of "small" and grace notes, as well as small staves and clefs. Changing this would be unusual.
Open from the menu: Style→General...→Hairpins, Volta, Ottava.
The button returns the setting to the original value.
Open from the menu: Style→General...→Pedal, Trill.
Open from the menu: Style→General...→Chord Symbols, Fretboard Diagrams.
Appearance: Chose a default chord symbol style—Standard, Jazz or Custom.
Note Spelling: Chose the spelling convention for chord symbols and whether to use capital or small letters.
Capo: Enter the number of the capo position at which you want to display substitute chords, in brackets, for all chord symbols in the score.
Open from the menu: Style→General...→Figured Bass.
Options about figured bass font, style and alignment.
See also Figured bass
Open from the menu: Style→General...→Articulations, Ornaments.
Position of articulation with respect to the notes and staves
Open from the menu: Style→General...→Accidentals.
Options about naturals at key signature changes
Open from the menu: Style→General...→Tuplets.
By pressing the Apply button you can see how the changes you have made in the dialogs affect the score without closing the window. Press OK to save your changes to the score and close the window.
When in a part tab while changing layout and formatting, you can use the Apply to all Parts button to apply all changes (either in Layout→Page Settings.... or Style→General...) to apply the new settings to all parts in just one click.
To save a customized style:
Note: You can also define a preferred style for scores and parts in the Score section of MuseScore's Preferences.
To load a customized style:
All existing styles in the score should update automatically.
Style → General → Measure allows you to adjust the distance between various items within measures.
If you change a measure style property (see image above), MuseScore automatically adjusts the score to maintain the correct spacing between notes and rests according to best music engraving practice. It will also correctly reposition any elements attached to notes or rests, such as fingerings, dynamics, lines etc.
All settings related to measure width and note spacing are minimum values. Measures are automatically stretched, if necessary, to maintain existing page margins.
All the properties listed below use the staff space (abbreviated to "sp") as the basic unit of measurement. See Page settings: Scaling for more details.
Minimum measure width
Sets the minimum horizontal length of measures. In measures containing very little content (e.g., a single whole note or whole measure rest), the measure will only shrink as far as this minimum.
Condenses or expands the space after notes or rests. This setting thus affects not only space between notes but also between the last note and the ending barline. For the space between the beginning of the measure and the first note or rest, see Barline to note distance (below).
Note: Changes to an individual measure's Stretch (under Layout → Increase Stretch, Decrease Stretch) are calculated after, and proportional to, the global Spacing setting.
Barline to note distance
Sets the distance between the barline which begins a measure and the first note or rest in that measure. For the initial measures of systems, which start with clefs instead of barlines, use Clef/key right margin (below).
Barline to grace note distance
Sets the distance between a barline and a grace note that occurs before the first actual note in a measure (independently of the "Barline to note distance" setting).
Barline to accidental distance
Sets the distance between a barline and an accidental placed before the first note in a measure (independently of the "Barline to note distance" setting).
Note to barline distance
(To be added).
Minimum note distance
Specifies the smallest amount of space MuseScore will allow after each note (depending on other factors, more space may be allowed).
Clef left margin
Sets the distance between the very beginning of each line and the clef. (This option is rarely needed.)
Key signature left margin
Sets the distance between the key signature and the clef preceding it.
Time signature left margin
Sets the distance between the time signature and the key signature or clef preceding it.
Clef/key right margin
Sets the distance between the material at the beginning of each line (such as the clef and key signature) and the first note or rest of the first measure on the line. (Note that, although not named in the option, if a time signature is present, it is the element from which the spacing begins.)
Clef to barline distance
Sets the distance between a barline and a clef change preceding it.
Multi-measure rest margin
Sets the distance between a multi-measure rest and the barlines on either side.
Staff line thickness
Sets the thickness of the lines of the staff, which allows you to make the staff thicker and darker, if you need greater visibility on your printouts.