Seeing complete filenames

• Jul 30, 2018 - 19:04

I find myself getting in a mess because I have inadvertently saved two copies of a file in two different places. Can I have filenames displayed properly? Something like /home/brian/music/piece.mscz or /home/brian/music/magnumopus/piece.mscz. I can only see the end of the filename (piece.mscz), which is not enough.

Next question: how do I "diff" two copies of the same score saved at different times as a result of the above problem?


File > Score Properties will display the full Path of a currently-open MS file.

What do you mean by “diff”? If you mean to resolve or merge them then you'd need to do it manually (maybe rename one version first).

In reply to by underquark

I guess he means the Unix tool of that name, which compares two (text, usually) files and reports line by line where there are differences.

There's nothing like that currently for score, although if you save the score an MSCX file, that's plain text (an XML-type format) and you can therefore use the standard Unix "diff" if you like. Due to the way the file format is structured you're likely to get a lot of false positives. But see for discussion of work being done in this area as part of Google Summer of Code.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks for responses. Yes, I realise that the idea of a "diff" is immensely more complicated than a plaintext diff. And yet, if only "musical" differences (difference pitches, different durations, not different font sizes etc etc) were shown, it would be relatively easy to get useful results where two scores were just different revisions of the same piece.

I eventually found the "Score properties" thing that tells you where the file is on my own; well, the problem seems to be that if you "Save", the old file is overwritten; if you "Save as" you get dumped Somewhere Else. I don't think this is standard behaviour: normally you see the directory where the original file is, and can easily choose a variant (versioned) filename. With MS, it seems, you have to go to File Properties to check the location, then "Save as", then navigate to where you were originally. Is this by design?

In reply to by Imaginatorium

As noted in other discussions, "Save As" remembers the last-used folder by default - that's the Somewhere Else. This allows you to easily use Save As files to create copies of files from different source folders all in the same destination folder, a very useful workflow. But indeed, some others find this surprising, and there is a pending PR to change this.

Either way, the whole point of Save As is that you get to control where the file gets placed. So regardless of the folder that is suggested by default, you can always save your file wherever you like. Are you saying you are often working on files that you don't even know what folder they came from? I'm having trouble imagining how that comes to pass. But indeed, if you find yourself in that situation for whatever reason, then Score Properties will bail you out.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

You say you have difficulty imagining, but it is extremely easy. You open MS (after a gap, which in my case might be months), and use "Open Recent" to access the file you remember working on. Does it tell you where this comes from? (No, of course not, which is my complaint.) Then you decide to save with a slightly different filename so as not to overwrite the last version, like "mypiece_aug.mscz". Unfortunately, you forgot that last time you decided to put these pieces in a subdirectory; now you have two copies in different places, and at no point in the procedure were you offered any hint that this is happening. Can you at least now understand my point?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

No. To be offered a hint that there are two directories in play, you would have to be shown two. But you are only ever shown the directory that "Save As" proposes to save in, and not the one that the file came from. This really overlaps the other thread, where it does rather seem there is a consensus to change the behaviour. That is fine, but to return to my subject: the partial filename of an open file appears in the window title bar. This is the full width of the screen, so why can we not have at least the option of showing the complete filename? (/home/brian/whatever...)
Once upon a time, after the invention of hierarchical file systems in the 1970s, files were always shown by their full names like this. Hiding as much as possible from the user has been the trend for the last 20 years, but I don't see any reason not to buck it.

In reply to by Imaginatorium

True; I thought you saying there was no hint as to where the file was being saved.

Interesting that you mention the 70's. Pretty sure files were never "shown" at all back then, not until the advent of GUI's in the 80's :-) And even then, it was quite common to not show full paths. But it's an interesting question - where, other than Score Properties, would it make sense to display path info? The title bar of the window? I think most people would find that overkill and quite annoying, obscuring the most useful bit of info behind a lot of junk that most people know most of the time anyhow. On the score tab? That would make them uncomfortably wide. I guess within the Save As dialog itself there could be a field showing the current path, although I've never seen another program do that as far as I can recall, not even the other programs I've used that remember the "save as" folder like we do. I guess if it didn't feel likely that the "Save As" behavior will be changing, this would be more worth thinking about, but would it be fair to say this becomes a non-issue if "Save As" changes to default to the same folder as the current file?

In reply to by jeetee

I fully support jeetee's request.
It happens regularly that I open an original file and an edited copy side by side in two tabs to check how my edits look like. The only difference is the path, filename and title are identical.

My favorite text editor Notepad++ shows a nice example how that could be implemented. There's not only a tooltip showing the full path but also a context menu that offers copying path and/or filename to the clipboard (besides several other useful actions to handle tabs), see screenshot:


There are many other programs where you can choose (in the settings) if you want to display the full path in the top of the window (don't know the english word) or not.

In reply to by Pentatonus

I'm also strongly in favor of more complete path listings, in multiple places, but I'm with Pentatonus: the full path of the current score (rather than its title) should be shown in the MuseScore title bar (at the top of the window), at least optionally. Currently the title bar displays whatever text is in the score's Title field. There's plenty of room for both data items, and more, in the title bar. Sure it's possible to track down the path of the current file, but why not eliminate those steps, at least optionally for those of us who don't mind a little bit more screen clutter?

It's pretty common for me I do a Save As and forget to change the title. Ten minutes later--after wholesale edits to the previous score have been saved in the new file--a glance at the title bar may throw me into a mild panic. Have I just wiped out a day's work? Will the autobackup be there? Oh, that's just the title of the original piece that I forgot to change...

I agree that the path should also appear, at least optionally, in the File->Open Recent menu, and as a tooltip on tab hover. And that 'copy path' options on a tab context/right-click menu, per SqueezeBoxer above, would be great.

In reply to by Stephen Cummings

I don't know if anyone noticed this, but the title in the title bar of MuseScore is the title as entered into the score, not the name of the file it's in. For example, I currently have Shostakovish Symphony 11 (Movement II).mscz opened and the title bar says MuseScore 2: II. The 9th of January. The tab has the name of the file. I am greatly in favor of the title bar having the complete path of the file and the score's tab show the title from the score or file name without the path if Title is empty in the Metadata.

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