How about an index for the manual

• Sep 6, 2021 - 17:44

We often give and get the advice to "read the manual."
I believe in reading the manual. Yet MuseScore nomenclature is often different from what I know. Often it is difficult to find information without scrolling through a lot if things before I find what might be what I am looking for. I realize that the manual is a document in flux. However it would be nice to have a detailed index to help narrow my search. I would think this would help a novice.
A recent example might be shared noteheads. I would never have though of what the OP was trying to do as shared noteheads. Though it makes sense now. There is the search function. But you have to know what you are searching for. Way at the end of the manual there is an advanced section with a "notehead" and "notehead schemes" sections. Would I look there? Or in the note input section?
It's possible that if I were looking through a detailed index that under "notes"or "note input", I might see a reference to "shared noteheads", and realize that is what I am looking for.
As MuseScore gets more and more features, consider the value of an good index.


On the off chance that you don't use it: I download or open the handbook as a PDF and use the usual Ctrl+F.


If this is helpful to you. (I don't know if it is updated in real time)

I am hoping to help organize a restructuring of the documentation for MuseScore 4. Not really sure what that will look like, Better search facility would certainly be great. but it quite co,plciated to guess all the different ways someone might try to search for information. Eg, consider how many different ways people have asked here on the forum, "how do I input multiple voices" except of course they didn't know the term "multiple voices" or they wouldn't be asking?

Until the restructuring for MuseScore 4 documentation occurs...
Consider using the "See also" section of a handbook topic. I often use it when looking for relevant handbook pages to link in my replies to forum questions. "See also" is similar to 'drilling down' through an index.

For example, someone may post something like:
It's possible that if I were looking through a detailed index that under "notes"or "note input", I might see a reference to "shared noteheads"

OK... so the handbook topic 'Note Input'
points to 'Shared noteheads'.

Another example:
Coincident Voices with Different Time Values

From 'Voices'
again, points to 'Noteheads: Shared notheads'.

I never heard of the term 'volta' until I started using MuseScore.

Presumably, though, you intend to use different repeat endings?
which points to 'Volta'.
(Can go to that volta handbook page, or check the Glossary for the unfamiliar term.)

In reply to by Jm6stringer

I understand things being different in V4.
My interest in an index is that it is one single place I can co to to find out how to use the software. Rather than
"see also", or two or three other places to search. It would point to how to's and the like. In sixty years of music experience, I've never heard the term Volta. Nor would I have the slightest idea to look under repeats. Although I figured it out from forum posts.
Anyway, it was just a thought.

In reply to by bobjp

Regarding voltas, you wrote...
Nor would I have the slightest idea to look under repeats.

So, assuming an upgraded version 4 manual, under which indexed topic(s) would you look, if not under 'repeats'?
(Question is posed so that an "Also see" for volta can be added to that topic page of the current manual; and help version 3 novices for now.)

In reply to by Jm6stringer

"So, assuming an upgraded version 4 manual, under which indexed topic(s) would you look, if not under 'repeats'?"

Well, that’s just it. If I had no idea what a volta was, I think I would lookup “volta”. Down the list of entries for “volta” in the MS handbook search bar, is a glossary entry. Problem solved. Maybe. The handbook is a bit awkward to maneuver depending on what you are trying to do. There can be several places to look to find what you want. I would consider an index to be “one stop shopping.”
But, as I said at first, an index might not be possible for a manual in flux.

Of course in a printed book the index is invaluable. This is because it is the only way to find the page explains 'tremolo'. But for a digital document, finding 'tremolo' is trivial. The real problem is when you know exactly what a tremolo looks like, but can't remember the name, or only know the name in a different language. And worse, much worse, for the single most asked question, to which the answer is "voices", there simply is no simple standard obvious term to refer to the thing which you are trying to do. The answer has to be not an "index" (a mapping from words to places in the documentation), but a "hint sheet": a mapping from pictures of all the obvious things to the words used to refer to them in MS. I wrote about this before, but either my suggested name "Hint sheet" or my general writing ability must be so hopeless that anyway two of the responses completely missed the point, and the other refers to something on the Mastering Musescore site, which is currently behind an https certificate failure (so you have to be very very brave and ignore all the stupid warnings), and which I can't then find.

Hint sheet:

In reply to by Imaginatorium

There's a bit more to it than just just searching on the actual term, though. A topic might be discussed on a page without ever referring to the specific term. Like, a textbook on music theory might have a few pages devoted to the idea of secondary dominants, and that term will appear on the first page but not necessarily every page in that section. A well-designed index will include the full page range discussing the topic, not just the specific page where the term itself occurs. And then later on, secondary dominants might come up without ever being reference using that term, there will just be examples that make use of the concept, or it might be referred to with another term like tonicization. Again, a well-designed index will show you all places where the concept is discussed regardless of whether that specific text string occurs.

Which is to say, a good index absolutely still has a place in a digital document - a "find" facility is not a full replacement, even aside from the question of not knowing what term to search for (which is of course equally an issue with printed documents).

The page mentions on the old version of the Mastering MuseScore site is indeed gone. That page was an experiment that never took off and was not ported to the new version of the site, which is why there is a redirect error that masquerades as a privacy issue. I'm not sufficiently expert with such matters to know how to fix that reliably. But FWIW, it was a pretty decent attempt at a "visual index" of common notations, with a couple of dizen thumbnail images linked to short how-to's.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc, the problem with your (old) site is that certificate is expired (13/8/2021, or 8/13/2021 depending on your side of the ocean ;-) )
You can't redirect from an https site to another one (that would defeat the very purpose of https) so I'm afraid that site will stay broken (unless you would find useful to renew its certificate).
You seem to pay for though, so you own the domain. Perhaps you could get a certif for both?

In reply to by frfancha

For me, if I visit or directly, it redirects to just fine, no warnings. I think I set that up through my domain manager? Only if I try to visit to a page somewhere within that site does the extra level of redirect kick in (via an htaccess file, I think) and produce the warning. Normally that would never happen, unless someone tries clicking on a years-old old link like the one here. It wasn't going to work anyhow, so I'm not sure how worthwhile it is to mess with (and potentially pay for).

Anyhow, not related to this thread directly, sorry for the noise.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

You said: "Again, a well-designed index will show you all places where the concept is discussed regardless of whether that specific text string occurs." And when you do not know the name for the concept, what word do you look up in the index to find where the concept is discussed? What word would the person who needs the answer "voices" look up in order to find that that is the word they really needed to look up?

I'm a bit baffled by Bobjp's claim never to have met the word "volta" in 60 years of music; never seen a repeat with "1ª volta"? Personally, I'm not entirely clear what talk of "a volta" means, because to me volta is an Italian word, that just means "time", in the sense of "La prima volta che sono andato in Italia..." But anyway, that is not a problem, because I already have the word.

Incidentally, you can get an https certificate for no cost: try (part of the computing free(dom) movement)

In reply to by Imaginatorium

The problem of not knowing what to call something is also an issue, just as the problem I mentioned of the term itself not being sufficient even when you know it. That's why producing good documentation is more than just having an index or a search facility in a PDF :-).

For the record, the "visual index" I had on the site that is not more had a bunch of thumbnail images of different notations, and the once for "voices" just showed a relevant measure with a couple of notes stems up against other notes in a different rhythm stems down. I think it got the point across well.

And thanks for the link for the certificate info. I'm not sure that merely getting a certificate for the old site is what I want, it might make more sense to transfer the domain itself then use normal A records or whatever. But anyhow, I'm armed with a bit more info now, so thanks all!

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