Default paper size is A4 instead of letter

• Oct 7, 2014 - 20:04
S4 - Minor

When I create new scores, the default paper size in Layout > Page Settings... > Paper Size is always A4. However, my system has letter as default option:

$ locale | grep PAPER
$ paperconf -nsc
letter 21.59 cm 27.94 cm
$ cat /etc/papersize

I don't know if it's relevant (it doesn't seem to have an option for paper size in style settings), but I don't have any custom style set in Edit > Preferences... > Score > Default Files.

I don't have problems with other software (it's always letter by default when I choose to print with my printer or in a PDF file).

Config: MuseScore e4004d6 on Xubuntu 14.10.


My understanding is that there is no portable (OS-independent) way for MuseScore to get default paper size from locale, so instead we rely on checking the configured default paper size for the configured default printer, which I guess we *can* get from Qt. See #14365: make default page size locale-dependent. It's not completely ideal, but it was the best anyone has come up with so far. Works "most" of the time, but I guess you don't have a default printer configured, or it does not have its own default paper size configured?

I could close this as a duplicate, but I'll leave it open a while in case someone else has any better ideas on how to handle these few cases where users don't have a default printer installed or where it for whatever reason doesn't work correctly.

Status (old) active closed

Thanks for your comment. I had a default printer installed. However, in Xfce settings, I've just deleted it and installed it again. Now, the default paper size in MuseScore is letter. :-) Maybe there was some problems with the printer configuration. I'll close the report.

Status (old) closed active
Status closed active

I am a little unsure which thread to put this in, or if I should make a new thread... but the title here fits my issue, so...

My default page size is A4. I can't really tell for sure what is supposed to determine this, as in threads such as this people are saying the default printer affects it, while in other threads and (which SHOULD be the most updated) it says locale affects it. I'm in the US, so that should imply Letter size. As for printers... I don't think I've printed to a physical printer with this computer. Printing from websites defaults to "Save as PDF" with paper size Letter (I have used this "printer"). MuseScore does absolutely nothing if I try to print (no dialog or anything).

If something is wrong that somebody can help me fix, the next paragraph may not be relevant, but IF this is "expected"...

If this "printer" does not count as a printer in this case, what am I supposed to do? The thread Marc linked to as well as his comments here seem to leave the issue as still an issue for non-printer people. I really don't think it's that weird to not have a physical printer these days, as soooo many things happen only online. If I need to print something, I access online (email or whatever) and print at work.

Also, regardless of any of that, why isn't there a way to change the default page size anyway? Maybe a European writes music for mostly US people/companies - they should be able to change their default page size for this program without changing their printer default (or location). Random example, but just trying to say, I think it's very odd that this is no longer a change-within-the-program option. Have a default chosen, but let the person change that default in-program.

Most recent (stable) MuseScore, most recent Mac OS.

It's definitely not the case that you need a physical printer attached for the detection of paper size to work. However, you have to have some printer driver set up as your default. The fact that press Print does nothing for you suggests you have literally no default printer set up. Even if it's just a PDF printer driver, fax driver, etc, you need something. The Handbook is technically accurate but misleading - your locale does affect the default paper size, because it determines the default paper size gfor your default printer, which in turn determines the size for MuseScore.

On Windows, there is a default printer set up even if no physical printer is present. I would have thought the same is true on macOS, as other US-based users don't seem to have this issue. Is it possible there was one but you deleted it thinking you didn't need it? Are there any you could install?

Thanks for the info. Hmm, well like I said, Chrome defaults to Save as PDF. But Pages/Numbers do not default to anything (PDF is an option at the bottom of the print dialog rather than a selection from the printer dropdown). And indeed when I look at my system preferences - printers and scanners, absolutely nothing is there. So that would be my guess as well at this point. I don't recall changing anything printer-option-wise when I got this computer, but who knows. I think ideally you should still be able to change the default in-program, but in the meantime I will look into if I might have changed something or what easy options I have for an official default. I'll let you know, thanks!

help from HK
I dont know what happened:
I set everything as a4, but the score size is not a4(it cuts the copy right )
(or the sheet I use is not A4 ? )(But I dont think it is possible 🤔)

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Regression No
Workaround Yes

EVERY time I print I have to go to the advanced options where I change the paper from A4 to letter. If I forget, I need to shut down my printer, restart it, and then try again. You would think I would have learned by now...Anyway this workaround works for me with a windows 10 PC and a generic Dell printer.

On Windows, MuseScore should be getting the default page size directly from your printer. Be sure that printer is your actual default printer, and that it is set to Letter instead of A4. If your default printer is set to Letter by default, then MsueScore should see that on Windows. Only on Linux is this known to be an issue.

if you continue to have trouble, please attach a sample score and give precise steps to reproduce the problem, and also how you are working around it (there shouldn't be a need for "advanced" anything, just change the page size in Format / Page Settings).

In reply to by

Hmm, sounds you are describing something entirely different - not about the default page size when creating a score, but about something that happens when printing. bets to ask for help in the Support forum, and describe your problem in more detail. Ideally, with a sample score and precise steps to reproduce the problem you are saying. Also be sure to say what OS, what version of MuseScore, and what printer.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I'll try to state this question(which is an annoyance to me too) this way: When I create a new score, the Page Settings are automatically set as : A4 paper size; Portrait; 2 Sided; Unit: Millimeter, etc.

I am in America, and my usual need is to have Letter size, Landscape, and Inches for units. I have to manually make sure I manually change this every time I create a new score, otherwise it will print a little wonky in any printer I choose to print.

All printers that I have as options are set as Letter size paper by default. I would also like to be able to change some other defaults, such as have the Format>Style>Page> Disable vertical justification of staves checked(rather than the default 'Enable vertical...').

There should be some way to customize defaults to my needs. Is there? ( and thanks for the tip about disabling vertical justification a while back. that was making me crazy too!)

using Musescore ver rev 3224134; Mac OS 12.3.1 System default printer set to paper size: Letter. All printers set to default print size: Letter


Weird, most of the people who experience this issue are on Linux. Anyhow, there is a simple solution - just set up one score the way you like, then use Format / Save Style to create an "MSS" file of your settings, and then specify that as your default in Edit / Preferences / Score.

However, I recommend not turning off vertical justification globally in this way. It's a reasonable thing to do for single-staff scores - lead sheets, for example - but it's very detrimental to good layout for all other cases. So instead of making this your default for all scores, simply save an appropriately-set-up score to your Templates folder, and then select that template when creating new scores via File / New.

It's possible on macOS too, it's just that in rare case (like yours and I think two others I can recall having heard of in the past several years), it doesn't always for for reasons no one has yet identified.

But to be clear: I'm saying talking about loading that file into scores manually, which would indeed not be much of an improvement. I'm saying, make that your default style, by specifying it in Edit / Preferences / Score. This makes the problem go away 100%, exactly the same as if your OS was reporting the default paper size correctly.

Since it's been brought up again, I'll chime in again - I was the one up above who had no default printer. Now I've got 5 printers listed in my system preferences, default size letter, but musescore never stopped defaulting to A4 for me. MacOS.
I'll have to try that default style thing.