Problem when hiding staves

• Dec 4, 2022 - 03:21

I assume I'm simply doing something wrong, but I can't figure out what.

In the piece I'm transcribing there are 10 staves: three singers and seven instruments. The piece consists of several sections, and in each section only some of the staves are used. Obviously, I want the unused staves to be hidden in the sections where they are unused. So I have the Format / Style / Score / "Hide empty staves within systems" checked.

In one section, there are five staves, one singer and four instruments. The instruments come in first and the singer comes in only in the eighth measure. The eight measures cover three systems. I want the singer's staff to appear in these first three systems, even though the measures have no notes.

I thought that perhaps putting an explicit whole rest in these measures would make them display. Nope, they are hidden unless I actually have a NOTE in at least one measure on each system.

I tried checking the box "Staff/Part Properties" / "Do not hide if system is empty". I had thought that it would only affect the staff in the measures selected. Nope, this makes the staff be visible throughout, even in the other sections.

Can anyone tell me how to do this???

THE Hutch


In reply to by jeetee

Good idea! Sadly, it didn't work :-( I tried adding text of various kinds, with various colors, to the measures. As soon as I deleted the "placeholder" note I had included specifically to keep the staff visible, MS hid the staff.

jeetee? I didn't see anything to make text (or anything else) "transparent". I could set it to be not "visible". Is that what you meant? Or did I miss something somewhere?

Any other ideas?

Oh, I forgot to mention:
OS: Windows 10 (10.0), Arch.: x86_64, MuseScore version (64-bit):, revision: 3224f34

In reply to by TheHutch

Transparency is something you set in the color picker - set opacity (aka alpha channel) to 0. Invisible won't work, MuseScore isn't fooled and treats the staff as empty if the only text on it is invisible.

Not sure why you're adding a note first - better to add the text directly to the empty measure (to the rest). Do this with hide empty staves turned off. Probably when you're deleting the note, you're deleting the text with it.

In reply to by TheHutch

As Marc mentioned, you have to change the Alpha value from 255 to 0 (on some systems this is called "opacity" and a value in the range [0 - 1])

See the attached example score.

Use it to force a staff to show up even though it is "empty" when Hide Empty Staves is enabled. These text elements become "visible" to you when selected, so use Ctrl/Cmd+A to see them in this score.
I have also disabled Automatic Placement for the text, so it won't influence any other layouting nor affect
collision avoidance logic.

You can Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+Drag such a text into your own palettes for reuse. Once added in the palette, it'll show
up as a seemingly empty thing (due to being transparent). Right click it and choose Properties. Here you can give it a custom name (I chose "ShowMe") and tick Draw staff. Now it'll show up as an empty staff in your palette and display a tooltip with your chosen name when hovering over it.

Attachment Size
Transparent_staff_text.mscz 16.25 KB

In reply to by jeetee

AHA! The only way I was finding to make the text hidden was to set it to not "Visible", which makes the staff disappear. Leaving it visible makes the staff stay when I turn on "Hide Empty Staves".

However, now I can't figure out how to change color or opacity of the text at all, at all. How do I change the color of text?

Ctrl+Shift+drag simply moves the text (same as any other drag). I can't figure out how to drag it to my palettes. How do I "drag it to my own palettes"?

In reply to by TheHutch

Color is changed using the Inspector MuseScore 3) or Properties panel (MuseScore 4).

Ctrl+Shift+drag definitely works to copy something to the palette (or elsewhere in the score). Make sure you are holding both keys at the same time when you initiate the drag. You should see the cursor change to indicate you are now copying instead of dragging (details depend on OS and on mouse settings).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I am really brain-dead the past few weeks.

I was pressing Ctrl+Shift after 'picking up' the item. That works in many places (e.g., in Windows File Explorer you can switch between the Ctrl, Shift, and Alt keys while you are dragging) but not everyplace ... as I know perfectly well. I simply never tried pressing Ctrl+Shift, THEN clicking on the item to drag. Even after this note, I continued doing it until on my fourth or fifth time reading it, I finally really saw the words "when you initiate the drag".

I couldn't find the Color control because my Inspector is set fairly narrow (to give more space to the music) and Color is off to the right ... and thus, hidden. I found it when I made some other change to a bit of text, that required sliding the Inspector to the right ... and then, by chance, sliding up to the top of the Inspector ... whereupon I performed a facepalm.

Definitely a facepalm sort of day for me.



In reply to by TheHutch

I have a note in one measure of the staff in each system to make it display. I added a word to a rest in a different measure, then deleted the note in the first. (So, no, deleting the note does not delete the text.) The staff disappeared. It doesn't matter what color or opacity the text has. If there is only text on the staff in a given system, the staff disappears.

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