Selection Filter - improvement suggestion

• May 4, 2020 - 20:25
Reported version
S5 - Suggestion

I think the filter palette is a great tool which is worth improving in order it to be better integrated into the workflow.
Chances are if someone is selecting a range of elements and wants to use a filter palette is because he/she wants to select specific type of objects i.e. notes from the 2nd voice, chord symbols, dynamics etc., while keeping all other elements deselected.
For that purpose it would be better to change the behaviour of the filter palette to selective , instead of exclusive as it is now.

Issues with the current behaviour:
1) The filter won't allow you to select a measure if nothing is selected in the filter palette:

Why is it an issue:
- technically in order to select and copy a specific type of objects from the selected area you have to do at least four operations:
1. unselect "all" option in the filter palette
2. select a specific type of objects in the filter palette
3. select an area on the staff
4. copy the objects in question.
Same would go for deletion or any other type of manipulation of those elements.

Once you've completed the operation you have to again select "all" option in the filter palette in order to continue working normally. Altogether 5 commands that you have to execute using a mouse.

make the filter selective, not exclusive:

  1. Keeping all the elements in the filter palette unchecked should not make it impossible to select a measure with all the different types of objects in it.
    Instead, once the measure is selected , checking a specific type of object in the palette should indeed select those objects in the selected measure, so that it would look like in the attached picture.

  2. The checked option in the filter palette should only be valid for that specific area that has been selected. There is no feasible reason, why someone would want to have that specific filter selection stay there, once the operation is completed. As of now it is potentially confusing and most likely counterproductive as the user has to always reset the palette filter.

And in case the user does need to repeat a filtered selection.

  1. Allow selection of specific filter elements in the palette to be assigned to key commands, so that it would be possible to do it all using keyboard.

With such improvement the whole process would only take 3. commands that can be executed on the keyboard, with no need to hover mouse over to filter palette several times.

The whole algorithm is then much faster in execution and easier to grasp.

Attachment Size
Screen Shot 2020-05-04 at 21.24.02.png 237.77 KB


You can do this without using the filter selection palette. Highlight a selection range. Right click on a note in the voice you want to copy. [Select]>[More]> tick the [same voice] box. [OK] and then CTRL+C / CTRL+V. I hardly ever use the filter selection palette unless I am doing something really tricky like selecting voices 1 and 3 and that usually needs so much thought to work out what I actually want that the time to tick/untick the boxes in the filter is minimal in comparison. One advantage of the right click method is that you don't have to move your visual focus far from the point where you want to make the selection.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Thank you. Yes I'm aware of that tool.
That's basically the point. If the feature is there but is not really practical, than it begs either to be improved or to become obsolete. Personally I think it's a good thing to have both, a right click option and the pallet that is useful, to accommodate different workflows and situations. I'm a keyboard type of guy, and try to do as much as possible without using a mouse as it suits me better, and I know I'm not alone there, but there are other types, who work more with the mouse and would use the right click menu instead.

In reply to by antonjazzsax

You need to use a mouse anyway to get to the selection filter and then again to tick/untick the boxes. But, as it is not something I use much, maybe I don't see so many shortcomings. I generally don't even have it in the pallet list as it is not collapsible and it takes up so much room. The advantage of the selection filter that I do see is the ability to mix and match the selected elements.

In reply to by SteveBlower

"You need to use a mouse anyway to get to the selection filter and then again to tick/untick the boxes."

Exactly, and that's why I want that functionality available for the keyboard as I wrote in the suggestion N3 above.

"The advantage of the selection filter that I do see is the ability to mix and match the selected elements"

yes, also that. That's why I'd love to have that panel more functional, along with other selection options. The idea of it is great indeed.

The selection filter is, by design, a way of taking a range selection and excluding things from it. It indeed would be possible to design a different feature that actually created other types of selections entirely. I'm pretty sure @Tantacrul is already on that, but I'll point him here.

For the record, though - no, you don't need the mouse to access the Selection Filter. It is keyboard navigable as is the rest of the UI, using Tab, etc For 3.5, this may be simplified a bit in that F6 will move you between the various panes, but I don't know if that workflow is completely settled on.

Title Filter Palette - improvement suggestion Selection Filter - improvement suggestion

That's separate, though. The Selection Filter isn't a palette, it's a separate pane like the inspector, mixer, etc. To be clear, you can already access virtually everything, including palette items from the keyboard. The issue above is about direct shortcuts, but ordinary navigation by Tab etc already works, and in the case of the palettes specifically, the search is completely keyboard-accessible. There is very little anywhere in MuseScore you can't access by keyboard.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you. Good to know. Perhaps I wasn't again very clear. I would love to have a functionality of that filter to be accessible by the keyboard, and in this case not the filter palette itself, although the later is useful too. For example selecting a range and then be able to select/separate just the 2nd. Voice, or dynamics, or chord symbols etc. using a keyboard shortcut. That could be linked to filter palette, but doesn't have to be. Like Steve said, there are certain properties of that palette that exceed what the right click selection can do. Steve's link about shortcuts posted above is a similar example. It is commonly a desired feature to have a FUNCTIONALITY of UI elements to be accessible by keyboard shortcuts. From using other programs I found selective filtering functionality to be among the most important time saving devices when editing a complex material. In addition, when it is all under your fingertips as a shortcut it makes a huge difference in terms of workflow and convenience.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Usually, user already has a selected range when they decide to filter out individual items. In this case, if you need to, for example, select the first voice and slurs, then you need to unselect all, and then click checkboxes "voice 1" and "slurs".
Unfortunately, after the first click (checkbox "all"), the previously selected range is lost! It's infuriating! We have to select the range again.
As a minimal improvement on this problem, I suggest remembering which range was selected when "unselect all" was clicked, in order to restore it when other elements of the Selection Filter are selected.
Or so: when user click "unselect all", the selection does not disappear, but becomes translucent (gray, etc.) so that a user can see that the selection is not lost, but simply inactive.

In reply to by kittolma1

Looks like this filter tool has been there for a while, but has never really been finalized. Because things like you described make a potentially great instrument (which this filter really is IMO) somewhat impractical to use. Especially because of all the excessive clicks that user needs to do. For me it's still not very clear how the selection filter is supposed to work in its "ideal" version.

On one hand a use case of having to exclude a certain type of elements from the selection, while keeping all others selected is in my workflow a pretty rear scenario.

On the other hand
a much more common use case for me is the opposite:
- I need to select a passage - then copy/cut out a certain type of elements like:
only notes, only dynamics, only lyrics, only 2nd voice etc.
To me that functionality is much more sought after and is by far not fully covered by the right mouse click selection tool.
Therefore i often end up using the selection filter in a reversed way, hence - excessive selecting/deselecting activity.

What i'm curious about is whether there are any specific plans on that design for the version 4. by now!?
Because frankly it would be a pity if this issue doesn't get addressed in the upcoming major release

Just a bit more info examples:
- Alternative-click - select similar - might work with only lyrics or only notes - but trying to grab lyrics and notes, but not chord symbols and rehearsal marks, isn't possible like this.
- Intuitively I want to select a range, then F6, select only notes and lyrics. But everything is now deselected. I have to first work out what I want to select, then grab the range, then copy and paste, then remember to reset the filter to 'All' for later use. This is how it currently works and it's not great, but it's ok.
- But if I want to select only chord symbols and lyrics to paste over notes later it's horrible. With only those elements selected you can't select a range of notes. Instead you have to do first enable 'Lyrics' 'Voice 1' 'Chord symbols' - then select range - then disable Voice1 - then paste.

Workaround No Yes

I'm surprised a little by this discussion. The stated problem is that the Selection Filter tool requires too many steps to use. But as far as I can tell it actually doesn't work at all. Unless you're using it for Voice 1, 2, 3, 4. But for every other operation it doesn't select anything. Am I doing it wrong somehow?

Here's an example: I would like to select all the chords in a passage.
(1) Deselect All
(2) Select Chord Symbols
(3) Try to select a range -- doesn't work.

It doesn't work because: without at least one Voice selected it won't let me select anything at all. I can use Shift-mouse-drag to select, but as soon as my selection crosses anything other than a chord, the whole selection fails. Sort of defeats the purpose of a filter, right? Or am I crazy?

Overall, it's no big deal. I use the Selection Filter for Voices, and then for anything else I use (1) Right click select more (which I can assign to a keyboard shortcut, yay!) or (2) Just Shift-click to select similar items in a row, which is a genius feature btw!

But just for the record (and my own sanity), I wanted to note that this feature is not working the way it's being talked about -- again, unless I'm just missing something here.

EDIT -- Re-read the previous comment, Richard Cooke, tried that method. Not working for me. I select Voice 1 and Chord Symbols, select the passage, I deselect Voice 1 and all the Chords get deselected too.

The selection filter is for removing elements from a range selection. It is not a way to select anything new at all, and definitely not a way to create a selection of specific object types only. So, you can uncheck Chord Symbols to make a range selection that excludes chord symbols. But if you want to select chord symbols only (a list selection, not a range), this isn't the tool. Instead, the other methods you mention are the way to go.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Dear Marc. May I suggest that the users writing in the forum do understand how the tools are designed, simply because you get to know the design and its limitations when you start using it. The reason to start this thread was however to offer a modification that would potentially make this tool more popular and more used among users, even if it would mean rethinking the original idea. This happens often, that the tool gets a different implication from what it was originally intended for. So why not giving it a try? There is definitely a call for such improvement, otherwise there would be no posts here.
Just as a reminder we went through few specific ideas for improvement already in the related thread:
Please refer to some of my screenshots and your comments there.
But of course it is understandable that you guys have so many things to take care of that these suggestions get easily forgotten. I do feel it's worth reminding though and glad that there is some attention for this tool, because as i said before to me there is a lot of potential this tool has yet to offer in many different ways.

In reply to by chrismcqueenmusic

chrismcqueenmusic You are right, this tool doesn't work the way you described, because the function of selecting, or deselecting specific objects is always attributed to the NOTES of the specific voice. To me it is also a limitation and is worth another improvement suggestion. Which is:
- Make just one more object in the menu of the filter, which is called "NOTES"

The idea is to make "Voice" and not the "Notes" to become the object, to which all other objects are attached to.
That means "Voice" would become an object of a highest class, while notes are treated the same way as all other objects like dynamics, chords etc...
If that is done than there is no more limitation to freely selecting or deselecting specific types of objects. You can then copy out just chord symbols if you like , or just dynamics and paste it somewhere else.

In that case selecting only "voice" would basically create an empty selection. After that selecting other menu options would add specific types of objects completely independently.
And if the passage only has one voice than it would also make sense to design it in such a way that voices 2,3,4 would be greyed out for selection of that passage.
If that would be possible to implement then - Vuala !
the selection filter can work for both ADDING and REMOVING objects for the selection.
Would be curios to hear a feedback from designers or developers team on that

I think Martin (@tantacrul) has expressed similar ideas about the desire to improve this. I'm not sure of the current status of any possible designs, though. My sense right now is some new designs may be introduced gradually, but the initial MuseScore 4 release may be more focused on the "infrastructure" to make further improvements possible.