Save As

• Apr 23, 2017 - 15:03

I know this has been mentioned in previous topic(s) but I can't a satisfactory answer.
When I open a score and work on it and then press Save, it saves the score to whatever folder I opened the file from, no problem.
But if I choose "SaveAs", with the intention perhaps of saving to a new version of the score in the same folder, or saving to a sister folder of the original, or merely checking which folder I wish to save to, it prompts some core Musescore folder somewhere on the C drive.
This only happens on the first visit to Musescore in the current session. But I would just like to ALWAYS prompt the folder that the score came from. This is what you would expect in any software, surely?


"Save As" defaults to the last folder you saved to when using that dialog. So you must have previously done a "Save As" to that folder (perhaps as the result of recovering an autosaved copy of a score after a crash?).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I'm afraid that neither of those are correct. I had only started the session and opened and worked on one score, and - at risk of repeating myself - wanted to check my save options before saving, so didn't just press Save (which works fine) - I pressed Save As, and it defaulted to some core folder in Musescore. It should surely have defaulted to the folder I had loaded from? I had never done a Save As to that folder. That particular folder is the same default (unwanted!) every time.

In reply to by Ali Wood

So you successfully navigate to another folder, do a save as, then subsequent save as operations are fine until you exit and restart? What OS and MuseScore version? How are you starting MuseScore? Anything unusual about your user account / permissions for the folder you are last using? What is the folder it uses instead?

Normally this *does* work correctly, so there must be something unique about your system or methodology that triggers this.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you. Here's my response.

Windows 10. Musescore 2.
Starting Musescore from a desktop icon.
Here's a simple example:

I start Musescore from scratch. It comes up with a Start Centre window and a selection of previously opened files, displayed as Tiles. I open one of them, say "Warmup by Imitation 2".

Without amending the file, I now click Save As.

This prompts the following folder:
ThisPC / Documents/ MuseScore2 / Scores
The folder the score came from was:

which I might have expected to be prompted with, as you would expect with editing Word or Excel documents in WIndows.

In reply to by Ali Wood

Ah, that isn't "some core folder in MuseScore" - that's your very own Scores folder, found within your very own Documents folder, right where Edit / Preferences says should be the default location. You can change that default location to anything you like, although if you don't have some special reason to need to keep your scores elsewhere, it does simplify things to just go with the defaults.

However, as I said, it is also supposed to remember the last place you successfully did a "Save As" to, and use that folder on subsequent "Save As" operations - even after quitting and restarting MuseScore. And it does that as expected for me. So, even if you browse to your preferred folder and complete the "Save As" operation, then quit and restart MuseScore, it still goes back to the default folder? Again, that shouldn't be, sounds liek perhaps some sort of permissions problem preventing MuseScore from saving its settings. Does it remember other settings, like if you go to Edit / Preferences and change the startup options?

I have come to this topic as I am also frustrated with the "Save As" behaviour. I think the frustration arises because as you say, MuseScore "is also supposed to remember the last place you successfully did a "Save As" to, and use that folder on subsequent "Save As" operations - even after quitting and restarting MuseScore." This means that if I save Score A in folder A and then, possibly after quitting and restarting MuseScore a week later, I open Score B from folder B, modify it and want to save it as Score B1 in folder B, the remembered location is folder A; remembered by MuseScore that is, not by me! I just remember where I opened Score B from. If I don't pay attention and just modify the file name in the Save As dialog , Score B1 ends up in folder A. I would expect that the default (and more useful) folder for this "Save As" would be folder B, where the original Score B lives. This is how, for example, MS Word behaves.

In reply to by SteveBlower

The behavior you describe is more useful for some use cases - situations where you often want to have multiple copies of a score in a single folder. The current behavior is more useful for other use cases - situations where you more often have a set of folders and you want each score represented in each folder. The problem is that the optimal behavior for one use case is suboptimal for the other.

In reply to by rmattes

The first case might be more common for you, but the second is far more common for me. Maybe we should get more explicit about our actual use cases.

Mine is simpLe, and it accounts for probably 90% of my work. I have my work divided into folders by projects : one for my string quartet music, one for my solo ok so music, one for a big band I direct, one for a class I teach, etc. Often when I work on a project, I will work on several scores at once for that same project.

For example, if one week I have a jazz concert with an alto saxophonist, I'm going to need a whole bunch of lead sheets in Eb. So I might go about loadings from various sources - my concert pitch lead sheets, my combo arrangements, etc - and adapt them to be Eb lead sheets. I will then Save As to the project folder for Eb lead sheets. Probably *none* of the sources came from that folder - if I already have an Eb lead sheet for a tune, why would I be making a second copy of it? Makes no sense. I want all scores saved to this project folder regardless of the source folder, and regardless if whether I shut down MuseScore between one score and the next. If I'm working on a bunch of scores the same week, it's almost certainly for the same project.

Next week I might be doing a concert with a brass choir. So again, I scour my other folders looking for source material, and then save them all to the brass choir project folder. Again, in none if those cases could I imagine wanting to save to the same folder I loaded from - there would be no point in that.

Again, I can certainly imagine workflows in which saving multiple versions of a score to the same folder might make sense, but I am having thinking of a reason why I might actually choose such a workflow.

So after all this, where are we?
Surely most of us agree that the behaviour of the SaveAs is odd:- you open a score from folder X, work on it, press SaveAs, and it prompts the default MS scores folder. You carelessly hit the button and exit and your score has gone into the default folder and a week later you wonder where all your amendments went!

Could this be looked at as a modification in the next release, for MS to prompt the folder where the score came from? Just like Word. Just like Excel. Please.

In reply to by Ali Wood

See my comments above. The prompt is *not* some arbitrary default, it is where you personally last saved. For some use cases, this feels odd. For others it is pretty much ideal. Until everyone recognizes this, it will be hard to find any sort of common ground or compromise.

I have also seen this behaviour. I agree with the OP that, when saving an existing score with "Save As" instead of "Save", it should always default to the last saved location. This is the case for pretty much all other programs. The scores folder should only be the default for a new score which has never been saved before.

In reply to by shoogle

That is not what the OP is requesting; that is the current behavior. The OP is asking that we ignore the folder last *saved* to and instead used the folder the current score was *opened* from. Both are valid possibilities that for different use cases well, but indeed, I find the current behavior more common and also preferable as well.

In reply to by shoogle

Ah. In that case you're right, you are agreeing with the OP. Personally is virtually never the case I would be using a workflow in which that behavior would be desirable. Would be interestingn if people shared descriptions of their workflows to help understand better.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

To me it's as simple as this. You can save your Scores folder as a favourite location so it's always appears on the left of the Save As dialog and you can get there with one click. You can't favourite the location the file was opened from (which could be in anywhere on the disk, or even on removable storage), so this should be the default location for "Save As".

In reply to by shoogle

I could, true, but I have a pretty long lsit already and that's definitely more work both to add it and then keep finding it. right now, for my workflow, it ain't broke. Still trying to understand the types of workflow that result in people regularly doing "save as" into the same folder.

In reply to by shoogle

"Would be interesting if people shared descriptions of their workflows to help understand better."

Here are a couple of examples of my workflow which demonstrate why it is a "Good Thing" to "Save As" to the folder from which the original score was opened.

  1. Composition: One of the joys of using MuseScore is the ease with which one can try out ideas. However, they don't always (hardly ever?) work, but there may be a germ of something that it would be a shame to lose and which may not even be recognised at the time. I always save what I have been working on, even if I am not satisfied with it, and I save it as new version. When I start a new project, after setting up a new score I save it to a new folder (called e.g. Ditty in D) with the file name "Ditty in D V01.mscz". The expectation is that there will be "Ditty in D V02...", ...V03, ...V04, ...V05 etc. Sometimes a piece just writes itself and I work on it continuously, saving at intervals until it is finished, but often I hit a block and need to leave it to fester for a while, running themes and harmonies around in my head until a new idea crystallises. This can takes weeks or months, during which time I am working on other things (saved in different folders). When I go back to pick up the piece I was working on I may well run through the previous versions and find an idea that I previously rejected but now realise was not so bad after all. I open the old version, modify that old idea using my brilliant new treatment and then I want to "Save As" back to that same folder.

I usually have several pieces underway at any moment, in various stages of stuckness. It is difficult to predict when any of them will come unstuck and I can re-start writing and generating new versions. Thus it is difficult to predict which folder I will want to save those new versions in, other than it being the folder where all the other versions of that piece are.

  1. Rearrangements: I arrange for various instrumental groups. I get requests like, "Our euphonium player is missing for the next gig, but we have a spare alto sax player, can you do something?". I need to go back to the score that I worked on last year, add a new instrument and make any necessary adjustments (e.g. that bit is too low for AS, I'll cue it for tenor sax or perhaps a horn or tuba can handle it). Then I want to re-save that score as a new version (with added alto sax). Again, I want that to be saved in a folder alongside the previous version. And I am in a hurry as the gig is this afternoon, so it is a frustration having to navigate from the folder where I last saved something else to the folder where I saved the previous arrangement a year ago.

In reply to by shoogle

That makes sense. But perhaps the better solution for that use case is a more direct command to save a backup, perhaps automatically adding versioning info, etc. Something to consider as we collect more data here on the different workflows people want to support. Thanks

In reply to by shoogle

O.k. - just one case where I recently experienced that strange behaviour:
Preparing material for online music theory teaching. We need the same score in several versions (a "full" version, one or more versions with parts of the score hidden) plus several export formats (svg, midi, audio). Usually, we keep each example in a project folder, start working on the full score, then work on the reduced versions and finally export from all versions to all export formats. It's rather common to work on more than one example/project at the same time. No every time we 'save-as' in one project, MS remembers that location and the next time we 'save-as' in the next project there's a fair chance of the
file being accidentally saved in the first projects folder - rats!

We seem to have a pretty good consensus that it needs to work as I originally proposed, except for Marc S, who says "The behaviour you describe is more useful for some use cases - situations where you often want to have multiple copies of a score in a single folder. The current behaviour is more useful for other use cases - situations where you more often have a set of folders and you want each score represented in each folder. The problem is that the optimal behaviour for one use case is suboptimal for the other." ....
I really struggle to understand what he is getting at, and it appears that many of you feel likewise.
I have several folders (one per month in fact, and more for special events) where I store and edit music for my choir. I have several folders because otherwise organising the files would be a nightmare!
My 'use case' is typically that opening a file from one of these folders is fine, but I would want to work on the file and then save it to the same name or slightly different name in the folder from whence it came. If I were to press Save then fine, if I am confident I can override the previous version. But I don't always want to overwrite the previous version, so I hit SaveAs. The problem is, that I keep on going on about, is that SaveAs behaves inconsistently to Save; it prompts - as I think you now concede, Marc, it is designed to do - the default scores folder. Marc, how can this be sensible? Surely you don't want to spend time navigating from the scores folder back to the folder that suits this particular score?
Sorry for all this repetition, and I know I shouldn't be getting het up about it.

In reply to by Ali Wood

Again, no one has ever advised we change the behavior to save to a generic folder. The current behavior is not to save to a generic location, it saves to the folder *you yourself last used*. The assumption is that is likely you will want to save other files to that same location, which is in fact quite likely in the workflow I described.

In reply to by Ali Wood

I would suggest you re-read my description of my extremely common workflow you are still having trouble understanding the use cases served will by the current method. And as I have suggested, post examples of your own workflow highlighting why the proposed change would be beneficial. You mentioned that you want to save a file to the same folder as the original hut haven't described *why* - your reasoning for wanting multiple copies in the same folder. I certainly we understand that, and everyone understands the different workflows people have, then we can begin to work towards solutions. Trying to implement a solution before a full understanding of the problem is never a good idea.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Your 'extremely common' workflow does not seem to be extremely common to the contributors to this thread.
Here is a typical Use Case illustrating my problem, and maybe that of others in this thread.
I open Musescore, and click on Open Recent. In the list that is offered are twenty or so different scores, from different folders, a variety of projects. I wish to work on one of these, which I have been gradually developing for a number of days. I click on it to open. I work on it. I click on Save As, wishing to save it (no version control involved, but that is my choice) back to the same folder it came from. I hit Save As instead of Save because I want to have peace of mind ( a quick sense check) that I am working with the right score etc. etc., or maybe I want to save it with a new version number. Instead, it prompts the folder that I have defined under Preferences. Even if I remember to hold my horses and not save, I am dislocated from my old work area, and have to navigate to it.
Your own workflow seems unusual in that you are working with the same preference folder over a period of time. Me, I have a number of projects on the go at any one time.
Your suggestion that the problem is due to file permissions or version of Musescore or how I started Musescore has surely been discounted.
You say that there might be a problem with Musescore's storage of my last Save As folder. But it seems to remember it on a 2nd or 3rd Save As in the same session, rightly to the correct folder!? Anyway, that is of little help - the 1st Save As is always a problem. Because I work on several different projects I flip about from folder to folder ALWAYS wanting to Save As to the folder where each individual file was opened from.
Open score S1 from folder F1, Save As to prompt F1, not my preference folder!!
Open score S2 from folder F2, Save As to prompt F2, not F1!!

In your post of 4:47pm 26/06/2017 you said "Post examples of your own workflow highlighting why the proposed change would be beneficial". But SteveBlower had already done this par excellence. I thought I had also, but perhaps my latest use case is clearer ;-)

In reply to by Ali Wood

It is somewhat clearer, thank you. Basically, you are talking about making a backup versions of a file - a form of "poor man's version control". So, a new facility that explicitly handled version control directly would be an even better way of addressing this use case, no? Not saying we would definitely do that, but this illustrates very well why it important to understand the use cases - so we can find the *best* solution for each, not just assume that a tweak to one dialog that might affect *multiple* use cases - some of them adversely so - is necessarily the way to go.

As for the idea that my use case is not common, I think you are being fooled by the fact that forum threads are self-selecting. That is, most people posting to this thread are doing so because they have issues with the current behavior. They either experienced it as a problem and went looking for information and found this thread, or were skimming through forum thread titles, saw this one, and it triggered a memory that they too experienced a problem. But people who *don't* have a problem with the current behavior would not go looking for threads like this, and would very likely skip right past if browsing the forums unless they had lots of time on their hands.

Anyhow, the bottom line remains - there are multiple valid use cases here, and the more of them we here about and understand, the better we can find solutions. So far we've heard about a project-oriented use case and a version control use case. What else can anyone suggest? Why do *you* find yourself using "Save As"?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Another case hit me just now. I had a score open in MuseScore which I needed to access in the file manager but I had forgotten where it was located on my hard drive. I went to "Save As" to find out, but of course it just took me to the Scores folder so I had to look for it manually.

Thanks as always for the great service that you, Marc, and many others provide in maintaining and enhancing Musescore, which is such a wonderful piece of software!

I want to cast my vote here along with others for "Save As" defaulting to the folder from which the current score was opened. Or at least make that an option in Preferences. Similarly, I would vote for "Open" to default to the folder from which the currently selected file (or score, in Musescore's case) was loaded -- not to the folder from which any score was most recently opened. My vote is in line with the standard default behaviors for programs that run under Windows!

The current behavior -- "Save As" to the folder most recently used for a save -- is one I do not see in any of the other programs I use (or have used in the past 30 years of working intensively in Windows). I still get tripped up by it after three years of working daily with Musescore! I've always just assumed it to be a behavior that must mimic the standard default on a Macintosh (which I don't use), because I couldn't think of any other reason for it to be different than every other program I work with.

The amount of time these two odd behaviors chew up for me (finding misplaced files, etc.) is really quite significant, even after all this time using Musescore.

IMO, questions of one's individual workflow with respect to this issue are quite secondary. The driving issue, I would think, would be that of what the standard convention is for programs running under the operating system one is using. Having said that, radically different individual workflows could indeed be nicely handled by providing a choice of File/Save As and File/Open behavior in Preferences. I wouldn't think this would be a difficult enhancement.

In reply to by manonash

I have exactly the same opinion: The most important fact is the standard convention of other programs - I don’t know any other program that uses Save As like MuseScore does. This unusual behavior often causes irritations.
Therefore please change the behavior of MuseScore finally!

In reply to by KHS

I agree that consistency is the most important factor. I find MuseScore's non-standard Save As behaviour to be incredibly jarring. @Marc's preferred behaviour can always be made available as an advanced preference.

Hello again Marc, really appreciate your diligence in the production of this wonderful piece of software.

I'm sorry to appear impatient, but to be honest I'm at the point of despair (and I think I'm speaking on behalf of virtually all the contributors to this thread - SteveBlower / rmattes / shoogle / xavierjon / isaac Weiss / manonash / KHS)

Obviously you are not being deliberately obtuse in regard to this confounded issue. Maybe you have been using your own method for such a long time that you may have lost sight of the fact that the behaviour of the SaveAs is so unnatural!

We've gone round the houses a 100 times with respect to "Use Cases", and to me you still haven't provided convincing evidence for your current rule. On a regular basis I find myself being tripped up by it, ending up with scores vanishing until I realise I have not specified the SaveAs properly (see one of my earlier contributions). So annoying!

Rest assured, altering the SaveAs behaviour to our way of thinking would not destroy the way you personally work. As a comparison how do you ever manage to work in Windows or any other common software?

Keep up the good work.

In reply to by Ali Wood

For the record: I didn't come up with the current behavior, and I am not in control of these decisions I am just pointing out some valid reasons why this behavior may have been chosen and why it does help with some use cases, including mine. Of course I can also see there are other valid reasons why a different behavior might be preferred by some.

So although it would be to my detriment personally, I have no problems with any developer who feels strongly about this going in and making the proposed change. There are over 100 developers who have contributed to MuseScore thus far, and since MuseScore is open source, there is always room for more. Anyone who is despairing over this is welcome to submit a PR, and if the powers that be approve (as I said, I am not in control of such decisions), you will have your wish. I am in no way whatsoever standing in your way.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.