Leadsheet "roadmap" Color Highlighter

• Dec 6, 2020 - 18:01

I frequently create single-staff piano lead sheets that have intro sections, multiple endings, D.S symbols, repeat signs, Codas, and other standard music notation. My goal is to reduce an entire song to a single page whenever possible. These "roadmap"symbols can be difficult to find quickly (especially when sight reading an unfamiliar song). Would it be feasible to add a simple feature to add yellow (or other color) highlights to make it easier to locate these symbols and notes in the sheet music?

I've been unable to find a way to do this in MuseScore, so I end up exporting the lead sheet to a PDF file and then adding the "non-standard" highlighting with a PDF editor. It would be much less cumbersome to keep all this information in one place (MuseScore file) so the the entire process doesn't need to be repeated every time I make a change to the lead sheet. Any possibility of adding this feature?


I agree that this would be a good function for lead sheets which, as you say, are used by professionals who have to play it right the first time. I've been using the Inspector function lately to put my "road signs" in red, but this is tedious. If the style feature would let us change color, that would be good. Even better might be for Marc Sabatella to suggest a single standard (like only red) rather than let everyone go their own way.

Here's a recent score with red highlighting of the navigation signs.


In reply to by Dick Schmitt

I'm not personally a fan of trying to use color coding this way - people are too accustomed to just black and white. At most, yellow highlighter to provider a background behind the symbol, like you'd do with a highlighter pen or PDF annotator. But since you have to do that anyhow for printed charts or PDF's from other sources, it would actually be more consistent to do the same with MuseScore charts. So I'd prefer to leave that up to the reader to do his own markup if he finds it useful, and present my own lead sheets in the standard black & white.

In reply to by Dick Schmitt

If you personally wish your own symbols to be in red, though, you can simply add them to your own palette that way. Customzie one the way you like (using the Inspector but not using style, since that is specific to the score), then Ctrl+Shift+drag it to your palette for future reuse.

Or, if it's something you can do via Style settings, just set up one score the way you like, then save it to your Templates folder for future reuse when you create new scores. Either way, you should only need to do it once.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I think I like your idea of the highlight better and will look into the customization you suggest. If you have time before you play to look over the score, you can probably prepare yourself for repeats, codas, etc. But often in the fog of performance, things move a bit too fast for that and the highlighting would help, methinks. Thanks for your quick and cogent response.

In reply to by Dick Schmitt

I changed to the highlighting -- only to find that the IOS version makes my highlighting approach into a large box, rendering the performance aspect worse than useless (anything that makes page turning excessive is a pain.). Is there a way to highlight navigation signs (e.g. CODA) without using a frame around them? Otherwise this solution won't work for me as the main reason I post charts is to get them on the iPad where I can transpose them when singers need non-fakebook keys. (See example below).

In reply to by Dick Schmitt

The frame has a Margin setting in the inspector. From looking at your picture, my best guess is that this margin setting has been changed somehow. For a point of reference, the default for a rehearsal mark is 20.

You need to select the text and look at the inspector to see this.

In reply to by mike320

Thanks again. I adjusted the margins slightly (with drag and drop) on the Signo and the Coda sign and this gave much better results (see pictures). On the web, the highlighting shows: https://musescore.com/user/498481/scores/6490500.

On IOS, I lose the highlighting but get a box around the navigation elements which makes it a bit easier to pick up while performing.

Attachment Size
IMG_0383.PNG 185.78 KB
IMG_0382.PNG 248.21 KB

In reply to by Dick Schmitt

Unfortunately the mobile apps use their own layout code I have no insight into. Another reason I might instead choose to simply export a plain vanilla PDF and then add highlighting in Forscore or whatever, just as might for charts from other sources.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I am hoping somewhere in the universe there is someone who knows as much about the IOS app (and is as helpful) as you are on the Mac product. You are right that the PDF is the way to go if you just want a score in another key. I am hoping to use the IOS app for on-the-fly transposing when working with singers. (Of course, I have a transpose feature on my keyboard but I find having the sheet music in the real key is much more satisfying.)

In reply to by Dick Schmitt

BTW, Forescore and the apple pencil work wonders. Completely off the topic: Recently Forescore allows you to turn pages by moving your head left/right if you are wearing at least one Apple airpod. But I find this works too erratically to depend upon while performing.

I think Musescore has a great future on the iPad but has a lot of catching up to do. I have found them to be somewhat responsive on bug fixes:)

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