Finger numbers on Fretboards?

• Aug 14, 2019 - 14:46

Someone in the Brazilian forum asked if it is possible to put finger numbers on a fretboard diagram. I know this is not currently possible and my initial thought is that you would need eagle eyes to be able to read them. Anyone else have thoughts?

Barizilain discussion is at


In reply to by mjbartemusica1

"Yes, from GP6.
The first pic is the UI for setting up diagrams and so the finger numbers can be shown on the dots."

Not exactly, as far I know, and except if a custom setting escaped me.
Indeed, the dialog shows the finger numbers on the dots.
But not when you apply: finger numbers are displayed below the fretboard diagramm. It's what you see on the score.
An option exists for not displaying them at all.
Same for GP6 and GP7

In reply to by cadiz1

Fingering below the diagram or inside/next to/instead ofthe dots should all be made possible, I do have books using the latter (finger numbers next to/instead of dots in the diagrams). Those books BTW also have the diagrams turned 90° counter-clockwise and also show different string thickness depending on pitch (i.e. the left/bottom string thickest, the right/top one thinnest)

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

To clarify:

In the chord diagram setup dialog, finger numbers are shown on the dots because the dots are big enough.

When a diagram is inserted into a score the numbers are NOT shown on the dots, presumably because the text would be too small. The setup dialogue has a tick box to allow the finger numbers to be shown BELOW the chord when inserted into a score.

The relates to GP6. I haven't used GP7 but I expect it's similar.

I prefer not to show them at all since guitarists don't all use the same fingers for a given chord.

In reply to by yonah_ag

I prefer not to show them at all since guitarists don't all use the same fingers for a given chord.

I was thinking this was the case. For instructional purposes the OP would need to modify the fingers for a given chord if different than the one selected.

In reply to by yonah_ag

If someone for educational purposes really MUST have fingered Chord Diagrams in MS he can import it as graphic (png or svg) until MS maybe will support it in future (?).
There are different programs out there to create such a graphic. For LibreOffice there is an extension that is quite powerful for creating Chord and Scale Diagrams with a high degree of control of the Layout. It can export to SVG and PNG. Although SVG is usually to be preferred I recommend using png for MS because of its not-too-good SVG import filter.


In reply to by kuwitt

This looks great. I installed libreoffice and this extension but I'm stuck as to how to use it. I can't seem to find it anywhere in the the program. Nor can I find any help on line. What is the first step to accessing this extension once you have it installed? Is it somewhere in the Draw program?

In reply to by Jeff Belding

Hi, the instructions are only here:
It's for Writer, not for Draw but you can copy and paste if you want.

After you restarted LO you get the Toolbar. Then click on "Input" and type eg.: dm7
If you want to make changes then select the diagram and click on "Edit".
There are lots of possibilities with the extension (to succed and to fail :-) ) and the instructions are very short and dense.

As far as I can see, it's not possible to add fingering in the chord diagram. but maybe I am wrong...?
For teaching purposes I think it would be good if that was possible. Its possible to enlarge the diagrams, so it would be possible to read.
Maybe It's an option to place free text under diagram with finger numbering, but that's not an easy solution.

in the course of writing a guitar score i came up with the following solution for adding finger numbers under the fretboard diagram:

1) i added simple text anchoring on a nearby note (in my case the g above the 5th line)
2) decreased the text's font size to 6pt,
3) added a space between each two numbers in my 'text' (that is: 3 2 0 1 4 ...) and
4) increased the fretboard diagram's scale factor to 1.40 (default is 1)

and... it looks good !!!


hope it's useful for you too!

In reply to by [DELETED] 840531

Indeed, the result is cool. But probably annoying if you have to do it in a score with a lot of chords of all kinds. Of course, the improvement would be that it would be automated somehow.
In the meantime, we can add that it can be useful, too, to put the serie of finger numbers in a palette, so that you don't have to retype the text + space + size change each time.

In reply to by cadiz1

it is a temporary solution. it would be nice that this somehow gets incorporated in ms in a more efficient way.
in the mean time, you don't have to go through the process described all over for each chord!
just copy paste the '6 finger numbers' text and only edit this according to the 'new' chord added.

In reply to by [DELETED] 840531

"just copy paste the 6 finger numbers and only edit this text according to the 'new' chord added."
Yes, another way, I understand. But this shouldn't prevent you from placing the different sequences of finger numbers in a palette for reuse (if these chords come up frequently in your practice, of course), in which case a single click would be enough to add them later.

In reply to by mjbartemusica1

i think 6pt is better because the numbers fall right under the lines (that represent the 6 strings). that's kind of a universal thing in finger diagrams (that's how it is in guitar pro as well) your eye doesn't need to interpret the number of fingers actually playing the chord and assign the closest number under the diagram to each finger. it goes automatically to the number under the string. anyway if it suits you better just use 7pt.

peace amigo!

In reply to by mjbartemusica1

"What would be the shortcut on the palette, cadiz1 and how is this procedure performed?"

I personally didn't use the term Shortcut (it's not one in the expected sense in MuseScore - there's no specific shortcut of course).
But once the Finger Numbers have been dropped into the palette, it's then relatively trivial to select a note from a chord -> click the fingers sequence in the palette -> replace it as desired close to the diagram.
As pointed out before, this kind of maneuver can be practiced in a score of modest size (few diagrams). But if it is systematic for a lot of diagrams, it would probably be quickly tiring!

Of course, once onto the score, you can (also) copy-paste the sequence for similar diagrams.
For now, see:


In reply to by mjbartemusica1

"but the image does not appear in the palette."

Indeed, it's an annoying glitch - I went through it too (and I've seen others since).
I don't think there is an "official" report for that yet.
What happens (and which did not occur in previous versions) : when you drag and drop your image ("Dedo.svg") on the score, you have to check now in Inspector, and reseat the offsets X/Y to 0.
Otherwise, the image gets lost somewhere in the palette, or at least it is no longer visible!

You will also have probably to reduce a bit the Content scale in the Cell properties (right-click on the cell)


In reply to by cadiz1

Hello cadiz1!

Great teaching and I am very grateful. I performed the procedures you indicated and everything was fine.
You are profoundly knowledgeable about MuseScore and I hope to meet you on other occasions here on the Forum. You are from which country?
Just a question:
How to pin a video or image to the message without having to attach it?

Strong hug friend!

There is this nice toggle function on top of the diagram, which toggles between ' ', '0', 'X'.
Maybe, the easiest way to implement would be to extend this list with '1', '2', '3' and '4'
Then, with each mouse-click, one would be able to choose from this extended list: ' ', 'X', '0', '1', '2', '3' or '4'
Just a thought! And it would indeed be a very nice feature for students.

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