More options for symbol/object control

• Mar 30, 2016 - 16:34


When trying to add symbols from MuseScore's 'Z' key option, I've missed some options that would improve a lot the visual aesthetics for every element in the score (just not symbols). So, the suggestion is to add the following attributes to objects - symbols, notes, clefs, articulations and so on:

1) Resize option: the user may choose the size of the object, in percentage;

2) Rotate option: the user may turn the object in 90, 180 or 270 degrees OR turn it freely by entering the angle (logically, it turns the first fixed degree options obsolete);

3) Anchor option: when entering an object, the user may change or choose another object (a note, a clef, a text or anything else) in which the inserted object will use as a reference for its position. This would be very useful even for 'crescendo' and 'diminuendo' lines, in which uses a note and the measure bar as reference for the line size instead of two notes - when you change the line spacement, these lines will become unaligned.

Hope that it may help. Thanks for the attention!


It is already possible to re-size a symbol from the master palette, using the element's properties dialogue, but the procedure involves multiple steps and is not very intuitive.

The object's properties dialogue is only available for symbols which you have dragged to a palette that exists within a custom workspace which you have previously created.

To create a custom workspace, click on the + sign at the bottom of the main palette (F9), next to where it says "Basic" or "Advanced". Name the new workspace in the pop-up. Click OK.

Select the new workspace from the dropdown. Now you can open the appropriate sub-palette and drag-and-drop the symbol onto it from the Master Palette (z).

Right click on the new symbol, and you will be able to choose Properties. The dialogue box will allow you to re-size the object numerically (default is 1.00), as well as set the default horizontal and vertical offsets from the anchor point along the x (horizontal) and y (vertical) axes.

Yes, I know this is more than somewhat convoluted, but it works. I suppose there's a technical reason the image properties dialogue isn't available directly on the master palette, but I don't know what it is.

As for your second request, I agree that, in general, more control of graphic objects is better than less control. I can't think of a specific case in which I'd need to rotate a symbol at present, but then again there are lots of symbols available on the Master Palette which I have not yet used (or even seen before!).

Choosing the anchor point (note, rest, barline) is actually fairly straightforward if you drag the image directly from the Master Palette to the score; you simply keep the mouse-button down until you see the black dot jump to the anchor point you want, and then move the image itself close to where it should appear. Fine adjustment of the position of the image once it's been dropped onto the score can be done using the F8 Inspector.

My own feature request for the images in the Master Palette is that those images should have the musical impact on the score that they imply visually, the same as do the clefs and other symbols dropped on the score from the 'standard' palettes. At present, it is possible for me to make a 19th-century C-clef appear in the score, but that image does NOT affect the music which follows it. It is simply a visual object, with no active properties. If I want the notation following that clef-image to match the clef, I have to 'bury' a standard C-clef underneath the image, and make the standard clef invisible.

I suspect this is one of those 'easier-said-than-done' things, but perhaps the technical wizards here can chime in and explain the issues involved.

In reply to by underquark

Actually, I came back to this thread to edit my original post after having done a bit more experimentation, but since you've replied to it, the post is now 'locked' and I can no longer do that. ;o| Oops.

Anyway, you are correct about the resizing and offset properties not affecting anything but the size and position of the element in the palette itself, which makes me wonder about its actual usefulness.

There are other problems with my initial post that I wanted to correct; I foolishly wrote that quite late last night after skimming through the Handbook sections concerned and doing a quick run-through on a test score. That test seemed to confirm what I thought I had understood from the Handbook, but, as I said above, several more in-depth trials this morning show different behaviours than I described. My bad.

1. It turns out that the element properties dialogue IS available (via right-click) directly from the Master Palette itself, but only for the 'Symbols' sub-palette category. For all the other categories, Properties is greyed-out.

2. It is interesting to note that 'Symbols' is the only category in the Master Palette which does not exist by default in the Advanced workspace of the Main (F9) Palette. The other categories duplicate those in the Main Palette, and as a matter of fact they contain few (if any) elements that are not already installed by default in the Main Palette as well.

3. Most important (in light of my other comments) is that the elements in those categories are more than just graphic image objects: They behave in exactly the same way whether dropped to a score from the Main Palette or from the Master Palette. I had never tested this behaviour until this morning; given that the only things NOT available from the Main Palette are those contained in the 'Symbols' category in the Master, I had never had reason to go to the Master for them. The only times I ever used the Master Palette were when I needed a symbol not in the standard palettes, and I assumed that all the elements in the entire Master palette behaved in the same way. (And you know what they say about assuming.... ;o(

None of this was clear to me from reading the Handbook section on the Master Palette, so I will have a closer look at that, and see if I can improve that page.

In reply to by Recorder485

I'm not sure why Properties is allowed for those. Again, it alters their appearance in the palette but it also lets you do daft things like rename them or delete them which I would have though was undesirable in the Master Palette.

Back to the OP. I think re-sizing makes sense as would anchoring to an element of your choice. Not so sure about rotation, though. Would adding all those properties to each and every element lead to the score re-calculate and re-draw slowing down unacceptably, I wonder.

There is a workaround for getting different symbols or modifying existing symbols and that is to place the symbol on the score, PrintScreen and select the symbol and alter it in a graphics program and save it as a .PNG file. You can then drag this file onto the score and, from there, drag it to a custom palette. If you want a bigger symbol then best to zoom in first before copying the screen as this gives better resolution.


Thanks for the answer! Of course, with the actual state of the program, we may do whatever we want into graphics. It may be changed in an image program (such as PhotoFiltre, Paintbrush or Photoshop), saved, then imported into the program as a image. Even in MuseScore 1 it was already possible.

The suggestion were made for improve the options inside the program, as MuseScore is known for its intuitive as easy GUI access. These 'attributes', maybe only for symbols, could made some operations easier. Of course, it's up for the programmers to do so, if they decide it would be valuable and may not 'eat' significant system resources.

Thanks for the attention!

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