Visual selection with auto-fill

• Apr 12, 2016 - 12:03

With MuseScore 2 it is not possible to visually drag a selection and use the selection to fill a number of staves and measures.

I was intrigued by the question raised in: on how to add a rest.

When I started with MuseScore, I had the same question. Fortunately, there is a lot of information out here to help you on our way.

Recently, I had the need for a use case when transcribing score to add a score pattern over several measures and staves. At present, this can be done using cut and paste. However, if there are many measures and staves to fill, this can become cumbersome, even if you try to be clever with the way you copy and paste.

Use Case

Ability to select a score pattern. Visually select it to drag and auto-fill a number of bars and/or staves with the score pattern.

A score pattern can be anything: a melody, or rests of different duration.

How it can be implemented is shown in the mock-up. The process is very similar to those in applications such as Microsoft Excel's auto-fill feature.

Additional logic/rules

For this to work I think the following logic need to be added to MuseScore:

The area will be filled with the selected source pattern if the targeted area is empty (filled with default pauses). The source pattern can consist of one or more bars.

If the targeted area contains a pattern of rests or notes, a dialog will be displayed to offer the user to:

  1. overwrite the score in the targeted area,
  2. any existing score within the targeted area will be inserted into the same number of bars next to the targeted area. It effectively, moves the existing score over to the next number of bars.
  3. Also it should offer the user to make a defailt choice and never show the dialog again.

One can even think of extending the auto-fill feature to selected some notes to copy the them across staves on the same beat.

Is this something that can enhance the MuseScore functionality?



Attachment Size
MuseScore Selection.png 480.28 KB


click 1st/top source measure, shift+click lsst/bottom source measure, Copy (Ctrl+C, select 1st/top target measure, paste (Ctrl+V), select next 1st/top target measure, Ctrl+V, ...

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thanks for the reply, Jojo.

I think this only works if you want to copy score in an existing number of bars and paste it for the same number of bars somewhere else in the score. In any case, I could not do what I hope to do using your instructions.

Your instructions are what I tried before and it works, but it is a cumbersome process as I have to copy-paste to fill a number of bars with the pattern first.

Alternatively, I wish I could set up a single bar source pattern and copy it to a targeted area as follows:

  1. Crtl-C to copy the single bar pattern,
  2. Shift-Select the target area, and
  3. Crtl-V to fill it with the pattern

However, the process may also be more intuitive and simplified using an auto-fill feature.



Copy paste without first "preparing" the correct number of measure to insert doesn't work because the "cursor" is only in "erase" mode in MuseScore (or do I miss something?).
Having the possibility to set the "cursor" in "insert" mode also would be useful (as does pressing the "insert" key in notepad e.g.).
For example just to reorder parts of a score.

In reply to by frfancha

I am not following this. What are "erase mode" and "insert mode"? And what "cursor" do you refer to here?

To reorder parts, you can use Edit / Instruments, but I guess you really mean, excahnge the *contents* of parts. A propose "swap" feature will potentially be the direct way to do that.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Word processors often have "insert mode" and "overtype mode," the latter being more analogous to MuseScore's behavior—i.e., if you position your cursor in front of a letter and type another letter, the letter in front of the cursor will be overwritten when the cursor advances, keeping everything that follows exactly where it was. The difference is MuseScore has no "insert mode", because of measures and barlines.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

" I am not following this. What are "erase mode" and "insert mode"? And what "cursor" do you refer to here? "

Take a simple text editor.
Type abde.
Put the cursor between b and d.
The cursor is a thin line and if you type c you get abcde
On the other hand, if before typing c you press the [Ins] key you are in erase mode (typically the form of the cursor changes to indicate that), and pressing then c you will get abce (the c having replaced the d) instead of abcde.

To continue the analogy with abde, to get abcde without insert mode, you have to:
-add a blank at the end
-cut and paste 'de' one character further
-put again the cursor on the new blank between b and d
-and finally you can type c

In MuseScore only the erase mode exists, there is no insert mode, in some cases it would also be useful.

But I certainly agree with you that as insert mode is "moving" things, which only makes sense in some circumtances for scores, the default mode of MuseScore must stay "Erase".

And, of course, in 'insert mode' deleting a note or a rest would shift everything also.
In insert mode measure would also be automatically added as you insert notes at the end.
Regarding your remark on how difficult it would be for MuseScore to "guess" how much we want to shift in insert mode, you are totally right and I wouldn't implement any "guess" at all: it would just be all (as a simple text editor).
It would do the job for simple score or basic note entry, and for complex ones for which it is impossible to "guess" as you say, one would stay in the traditional Erase mode using cut and paste as today.

I like the idea of a "paste repeatedly" feature - select a passage, hit Ctrl+C, then select a larger passage and press the Shift+Ctrl+V (or whatever) to paste it repeatedly.

However, I don't see why this should necessarily include an "insert measures" feature - these seem unrelated to me, and adding a dialog and an option to remember just seems to complicate the procedure unnessarily. And in any case, if there is a need to insert measures for this "paste repeatedly" feature, the same need would conceivably exist for regular paste. So it would make sense to solve both problems together.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks again for the response, Marc.

Keeping it short and simple is probably a better approach..

In the short term, I think it may reduce the workload if we can extend the copy-paste process with a paste repeatedly function. Do you think this warrants a Change Request in the Issue Tracker?

In future, how about a visual way of achieving the same using e.g. auto-fill? Will this enhance the usability and lower the threshold for new MuseScore users?

I often start with the GUI features of an application, after which I will use keyboard short-cuts for any frequently used function.



In reply to by Isaac Weiss

That's different from what I am calling "paste repeatedly", though, or what is being proposed. "R" repeats *once*. The feature being discussed, as I understand it, would allow you to select a region, and when you hit paste, the clipboard it would automatically pasted *as many times as required to fill the selection*.

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

True, but another difference is that an "auto-fill" feature could also work *vertically*. Select the contents of one staff, then select the remaining staves, hit the magic key, and that contents of that first staff are duplicated everywhere else. I guess technically Explode can already do that, but imagine now both horizontal and vertical fills at once. I'm not suggesting it would be a game-changer, but I can definitely see the utility.

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