Issues with the rest entry button

• Mar 10, 2018 - 00:04

Issue 1: If the rest entry button is selected, then another note length is selected or keyboard-shortcutted, the rest gets unselected. This makes inputting rests by mouse quite difficult as it requires the rest button to be clicked every time the note length changes. This is especially time-consuming when using the keyboard to change note lengths.

Issue 2: If the rest entry button is selected, the keyboard shortcuts for inputting specific notes input rests. ‘0’ is already a shortcut for rests, so the other keys producing rests isn't necessary. As a use case, if I want to put in a phrase that starts with a rest, I'd want to click the note value, click the rest entry button, click on the location I want that rest to be, and then type the rest of the phrase by keyboard.

I don't know if changes to this would break any workflows. But at the moment, if I want to input a rest somewhere that requires mouse intervention, I click the note in, press delete, press N to leave note entry mode, and enter the correct duration.


Entering anything by mouse is time-consuming :-). Much better to use the shortcuts - that's why they are called that :-). And I suspect that more often than not, having the duration buttons cancel the rest saves time, as it is probably more common to enter single rests than multiple ones of different durations (would be interesting to see a study on that). So probably the proposed change would be a step backwards overall, or at least not really be of much help because of the number of cases made harder.

FWIW, I did a trial implementation of allowing rests to be entered without the rest button by simply right clicking and asked for feedback here on the forums, but got very little response. Do you think that would be helpful?

Not following the last part. What would it mean to "require mouse intervention"? I've entered literally thousands of rests over the years and never needed the mouse.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The “mouse intervention” being to choose a place on the score to start inputting. So, instead of using keyboard shortcuts to navigate to the right bar, just clicking. I think you are right in saying entering with the mouse will take too long, and I'll try to get in the habit of leaving note entry mode when clicking.

Right clicking to put rests in sounds intuitive. That would solve my use cases. I'd recommend making it customisable to things like Ctrl+click if possible in case other users would find that more efficient.

In reply to by to7m

Yes, absolutely, you always should not be in note input mode when selecting things, otherwise you enter a note or rest. That's kind of unrelated to the issue of the rest button. If you need to change locations during entry in a way that you can't do with cursor keys (eg, left/right, ctrl+left/right, alt+up/down), then you should indeed leave note input mode first.

Ctrl+click already is a synonym for right click on most Mac's. But as mentioned, it means something else on other systems, and it's best not to violate the usual OS standards. In any case, to me, needing Ctrl+click defeats the purpose. If you're going to need to reach for the keybaord, why not just simplify further and use the shortcut 0? Way better than Ctrl+click which requires keybaord and mouse.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I would always use the keyboard when using the mouse. Ctrl+scrolling, switching note durations, and so on, while using the mouse to jump around easily. The mouse is necessary for things like voicing chords for many instruments efficiently.

I don't select with note entry mode. But whenever I input a phrase, unless it starts at the beginning of a bar/on a current rest, that means the first thing I want to put in is a rest. Usually multiple rests. Right-click rests would sort that out more efficiently for me than pressing N once to click the bar and then again to start putting rests in.

Right-click seems like a good default. The Ctrl+click suggestion is just something a user might want to set when a right-click isn't an option.

In reply to by to7m

Not sure what you mean about the mouse being necessary for voicing chords. Again, I've entered thousands - probably tens is not hundreds of thousands - of notes without ever touching the mouse. There is literally no scenario I can think of where it is more efficient. If you are concerned with efficiency, you really owe it to yourself to get more familiar with the keyboard.

What I'm saying, though, is that if you're using the keyboard anyhow, wouldn't simply pressing 0 be easier than having to press Ctrl while simultaneously clicking? The point is, if you are using the keyboard anyhow, then you can already enter rests far more efficiently, no changes to MuseScore required. But at least right-click can help for those cases where a user is literally not wanting to touch the keyboard at all for whatever reason.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

@Marc, if I understand correctly, then this is indeed a case where mouse input is more efficient. Imagine a lange orchestral score with many instruments per system. Now, imagine entering a C major chord by giving the flutes a c, the oboes a c, the clarinettes an e, the bassoons a c, the horns a g, the trumpets a c, the trombones a g, the first violins a c, the second violins a g the violas an e, the celli a c and the basses a c. Much more efficient to die the mouse to enter the note than having to click on the flute staff, enter a note with the keyboard, click on the oboe staff, enter a note with the keyboard, etc.

In reply to by Louis Cloete

No, this is not true. Even if you are truly entering only a single chord, it's still as fast or faster to do so using the keyboard - the key is to actually use the keyboard fully, not some weird hybrid of keyboard and mouse. It's the constant switching back and forth between keyboard and mouse that slows things down in your example, but the mouse is completely unnecessary. Enter the C for flute, press Alt+Down, enter the E for clarinet, Alt+Down, C for bassoons, etc. It's still likely to be faster than carefully positioning the mouse to enter the correct pitch on each staff one by one, especially given you'll also likely need to manually adjust the position of the score to enter notes on staves that are off-screen (with Alt+Down, this happens automatically).

And of course, as soon as you try writing a piece that is longer than one single chord :-), the advantages of keyboard entry become that much more magnified.

In reply to by Louis Cloete

The thing is, while there is no denying the greater efficiency of keyboard entry, that doesn't mean there aren't cases where mouse entry might still make sense for other reasons. For one thing, people who don't read music well might not know the note names - or maybe they know treble clef well but not bass or alto or tenor. Also, in some countries, they don't use letter names but instead use Do-Re-Mi et al, which is possible but you'd have to customize the shortcuts. Also, if running on a tablet or smartboard with no keyboard attached, keyboard entry usually isn't practical (the on-screen keyboard takes too much real estate, or blocks the music, or takes extra effort to enable/disable). Plus, for beginners to the program, keyboard input won't be as easier to discover, so most people probably use the keyboard for at least the first few minutes or days or whatever

So, even though the keyboard might be objectively more efficient, it's still worth thinking about ways to make mouse input better. Hence my idea for using right-click (or whatever your particular system offers as an alternative, e.g. ctrl+click or two-finger tap). it probably won't help too much for the absolute beginner who doesn't consult any documentation, but at least it does help with efficiency once you learn it, if you have other reasons for not using the keyboard.

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