I can't find...

• Apr 6, 2015 - 04:41

... how to scale output for printing on small pages.

Ok - it's probably there and I'm just not seeing it, but a friend just wrote a 16 measure Lamb of God that he wants me to extract the "melody" from and format to put in his church bulletin.

I've extracted the lead line with the text, and saved it in both .mscz and .pdf. Now I want to scale it for printing as 1/2 of an 8.5/11 page. (Yes, I could print it then photo-reduce so it fits, but that's in-elegant.)

Part of that would include changing the layout from 5 lines @ 4 measures each to 4 lines @ 5 measures each.

I've attached the lead line file - I'd appreciate any suggestions, especially "how to" reformat as opposed to "did it for you" ("Give a man a fish, he'll for one night. Teach a man to fish, he'll eat forever.")

Greatly appreciated.


Attachment Size
lamb of god lead line.mscz 10.68 KB


Layout / Page settings, the "Staff space" setting controls not just the luteral space between staff lines, but pretty much everything else scales accordingly. You could then add line breaks as you see fit.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks Marc. I was playing with that but, given how small everything is now, I'm getting a lot of collisions between lyrics. Is there another way to reset them other than to drag each syllable?

And the other idea I had was to reduce the distance between the staff and the lyrics - to tighen up that overall area.

New problem (of course) is that, without specifying the number of measures on each line, I end up with one extra measure. I'd like to force that measure or "a measure" up - I think S* and F* allow that. Does MuseScore?

(I started in the days of DOS - when every change required a re-print. Now I'm so leery of wasting paper I try to do everything on screen....)

As usual, thanks for the help - I think we've got another convert!

In reply to by Roger Priddle

You're right, it's already tiny. I wasn't at my computer and couldn't see the score before. In whihc case, I'm confused - you mentioned reducing it. Maybe you really just want to change the page size (same dialog)?

I also don't know what you mean about lyrics colliding. Can you be more specific about what you are doing that is causing problems?

As for fitting more measures on a line, sure, that's easy. You just need to tell MuseScore to make the measures narrower. Select them and Layout / Decrease Stretch (shortcut "{"). until they fit the way you want.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

My problem arises if I want to put the score (for example) on the inside 1/2 page of a bulletin. All my ratios want to change - the margins need to be narrower, the font size effectively larger, the white space between staff and lyrics smaller, etc.

I don't know if I can adjust all those things in MuseScore - I had trouble finding some things.

I don't seem to be able to drag systems to adjust spacing - not a complaint, just an observation that that's how it seems to work. same thing with dragging a line of lyics (as if I were adjusting the base line) (I know I can adjust each part of the lyrics, but that would be time consuming and, probably, not easy to line up exactly.

(If there is a place to adjust the distance between staff and lyrics, I didn't see it.

I tried the Decrease Stretch - but I suspect the unit of adjustment is so small that I gave up before I saw any difference. Either that, or I wasn't doing it right...

A nice feature would be if one could select a measure and, with a simple command/keystoke, force it into either the system before of the system following, depending on the circumstances. (It seems to me that either F* or S* had something like that last time I used them (il y a a peu pres de 10 ans).

I still love this software, and that support is so available. Many thanks.

In reply to by Roger Priddle

Are you folding a sheet (or sheets) of 8½" x 11" paper, to make a 'booklet'?
Are you stapling a bunch of 8½" x 11" sheets together?

You wrote: 'My problem arises if I want to put the score (for example) on the inside 1/2 page of a bulletin.'

OK, let's assume a sheet of 8½" x 11" paper, folded in half, with the crease in the paper being 8½ inches. Using both sides of the paper would yield 4 pages, each page 8½" tall x 5½" wide. This is a 'booklet', each page in 'portrait' mode.
The other orientation would give 4 pages, each page 5½" tall x 8½" wide - with each page in 'landscape' mode. (See my post below, with the images.)

Of course, the 8½" x 11" paper could also be folded along the greater dimension, with the crease in the paper being 11½ inches. In this case, each page would be narrow, 4¼", and long 11". I don't think this is what you mean.

If you are stapling 8½" x 11" sheets together, what exactly do you mean by 'the inside 1/2 page'? The top 1/2, bottom 1/2, left 1/2, or right 1/2? (See my post below, with pictures.)

In your original post you wrote: 'Part of that would include changing the layout from 5 lines @ 4 measures each to 4 lines @ 5 measures each.'
Such a change would tend to make the score 'wider'; so, in order to fit it in less space (e.g. potrait mode as opposed to landscape) might require the score to be scaled down to fit the page size and orientation.
Again, see the images below.


In reply to by Roger Priddle

All the things you list can be change. You can change the margins the same place you change the page size and staff size: Layout / Page Settings. System spacing is controlled by "Minimum" and "Maximum" settings in Style / General / Page. MuseScore will place at least as much space between systems as the minimum, but will increase up to the maximum in order to fill the page. The Lyrics upper margin is set in that same dialog; for Lyrics as well as other text there is also Style / Text to control font and position.

Decrease stretch will appear to nothing at first because each system is right justified. You might have to press it several times before you have reduced it enough to fit another measure. It will work the same as the old Finale command, but it is more flexibile.

An option like Finale has, to push a measure to the previous system, is not a bad idea, but merely saying you want another measure on the previous system doesn't say *how* you want this accomplished. If it would fit given your current spacing settings, it would already *be* on the previous measure. So you are really asking Finale to decrease the spacing for you. MuseScore just has you do the same thing more directly.

Hmmm... Looking at your attached lead line file, I see 5 lines (systems) @ 4 measures per system - which totals 20 measures, not 16.
Also, when you say you wish to print on half of a sheet of 8½" x 11" paper, do you mean the top (or bottom) half, in portrait mode 8½" x 11", like this:


the left (or right) half, in landscape mode 8½" x 11", like this:



Attachment Size
Top or Bottom Half.png 49.71 KB
Left or Right Half.png 74.57 KB

In reply to by Jm6stringer

My Lord, you guys are good! (Ok, slightly sexist, assuming that all the respondents are male )

I've shrunk the file - but now the lyrics are so small that I'm not sure the older parishioners will be able to read them. so I'm trying to select all the lyrics to increase the font size. I selected a word, tried to get to < select> but the option isn't there.


In reply to by Jm6stringer

Hi. Ok, I feel like an idiot. I don't have a copy of the bulletin at home - and it's not a church I've attended before so I have no sense of the actual size. The composer is a friend - I sent him an email asking for clarification.

But I wanted to get back to you to thank you for your help - I hope there will be a time when I can format in MuseScore with the same facility so I can help others, but that time is not here for me yet!

When I hear from the composer, I'll try again to format it and let you know how it turned out!

Again, many thanks.


In reply to by Roger Priddle

This is coming together nicely - but...

(Interesting how tackling a new project/programme/whatever forces one to think and re-think. Presumably, it's good for the brain, especially at my age, to continue to challenge...)

I've left this in 5 lines, even though th 5th line is so empty. It seems to make more sense to me to have each line be a complete musical phrase with just the two "pickups". Should make it easier to sing - even if it doesn't look quite as nice.

What is the "right" way to do this?

How much of music publishing is about making it "look nice"?

And how do we define "nice"?

(This is why I'm a singer, not a publisher!)

Attachment Size
lamb of god lead line 5x4 - 2.mscz 14.08 KB

In reply to by Roger Priddle

"Making it look nice" is indeed a big part of music publishing, and yes, "nice" is subjective and genre-dependent. I'd say you are asking the right questions. One thing I like to do is look at published examples of the type of music I am creating to see how they tend to do things.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc:

Yeah, I actually printed it. I agree, it looked find on the screen, saved it as .pdf then tried to print through Acrobat. Acrobat says the page is 5.5 x 4 but the print out fills a letter size minus 1/2 iin margins.

I think it would look good (proportions) if the printout were really 5.5 (or 5.0 with margins) vs. 7.5 (7.0 wiht margins.) Right now it just looks stretched horizontally.

I went through all the Acrobat settings - can't see anything that would make it "fill" horizontally. Can't see anything iin the MuseScore Print menu that would impact this.

OK so while I was typing this, Adobe (i guess) sent it to the printer, having shrunk the output to about 70% both L and W.

Whereas I thought that by defining a width, it would just compress everything horizontally - then it's up to me to decide if it's too compressed or spaced.

I guess it's a fixed ratio - L:W - and if I change one the other must change proportionally. What I'd like is a way to slide the (probably) right margin in, compressing the music and lyrics, but only horizontally. It's still my fault if I make it look really stupid, but I could have a little more control, I think.

I'm looking at the file and the output and thinking - each line has lots of open space (3rd line not as much but still enough). The text is a sort of problem if I shrink it, but I could probably work around it, but I want my staff to be the same height in the 5.5in as it is in the 7.5in.

Notes would be a bit more jammed together, but it would fit and be legible. As it is, I'm going to have to print this on a half sheet, cut them and manually insert into each bulletin.

(Ok, it's not that big a congregation, ergo not that big a job, but it bothers me that the software I have can do everything EXCEPT squish it to the left a bit.)

I keep thinking that "add less stretch" to each line would let me do it by eye then trim the page to size before printing, but I've never seen anything
happen when I use {, I expected selected text to compact 1 pixel at a time - or at least 1 "something" at a time. Nada. Is that functionality enabled yet, or pending?

I don't know if detailing all my issues is helpful or just whining excessively. I don't mean to sound negative -I've told 4 fellow musicians how great it is, and they're excited to d/l it soon - and I've always tried to push software to do "more". (My wife comments, "Typical guy - never satisfied!")

Many thanks for your help and your patience.


In reply to by Roger Priddle

What I am saying is, it appears to be fine in the PDF, meaning MuseScore ddid it's job correctly. if your printer is not producing an accurate rendition of what it's the PDF file, that's a problem with whatever softwqare you are using to print the PDF with, or with the settings you are using in that program. But as far as I can tell, nothing you do within MsueScore will have any effect on this - MuseScore has already produced what appears to be a proper PDF.

I can't tell if what you are describing trying to do within MuseScore is something different or not. Again, MuseScore has already correctly told the PDF to be 5.5" as far as I can tell. If you have now changed your mind and decide you actually *do* want it 7.5", that's fine, and indeed, you need to tell MuseScore to do that. Just set the paper size appropriate. if you don't want the staff size to chang,e then don't change the staff size.

Add less stretch has nothing to do with paper size, margin size, or staff size. It is simply to make each measure a little narrower. It makes each measure 10% narrower, but as I said before, you won't see the effect at first, because even though the measures are narrower internally, they are still ight--justified. Only once you've made each measure narrow enough to fit another measure on a system will you see the effect - another measure will jump onto the system. Or at least, it would if you delete the line breaks that are currently locking in a fixed number of measures.

In reply to by Roger Priddle

If you will be printing the scores yourself, it's not necessary to convert to .pdf and then print.
The conversion to .pdf would normally be used, for instance, if your friend's computer did not have MuseScore installed, and therefore the native MuseScore (.mscz) file format would be unreadable.

Also, you wrote: "I'm going to have to print this on a half sheet, cut them and manually insert into each bulletin."
So... just as an example, see the attached file - which can be printed directly from within MuseScore using the 'Print score' button on the toolbar (or use the menu item: File / Print). There's really no need for .pdf export.

Hmmm... Your experiments with 5.5" x 4" size makes me think that maybe you are trying to put 4 scores on one 11" x 8.5" sheet of paper??


Attachment Size
lamb of god lead line 2up.mscz 20.06 KB

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