Incomplete/contraditory documentation on sidebars?

• Mar 2, 2024 - 23:57

There are two optional sidebars areas in MuseScore 4’s user interface. They function as docking areas for various objects, such as Palettes, Instruments …

This page clearly mentions (and illustrates) that there is an area (to the left of the main window, below the main toolbar) that can host up to five of the items in the View menu:

     • Palettes
     • Master Palette
     • Instruments
     • Properties
     • Selection Filter

When all of these View menu items are deselected (closed) the left sidebar is empty and collapsed.

On this page the Handbook states:

5. Side bar: The area on the left-hand side of the program window contains various panels such as Palettes, Properties, and Instruments. These can be hidden or displayed as desired.

On this page the Handbook "labels" the left sidebar area by listing its current contents ...which of course can vary:

3. Palette, Property and Instrument Panels

Omissions / Needed clarifications

I don’t see any mention the similar functioning right sidebar. Nor descriptions (nor links to descriptions) on how to move the objects between sidebars.)

Well, actually there is this citation:

" ... there are also dock positions at the top and right hand edges of the document window—a blue rectangle appears to show that you can drop the panel to redock it at that location."

Thus the documentation mentions alternate dock positions—and the one on the right is real, and important ...but I don't know of one located "at the top". And the documentation doesn't describe methods for assigning a palette to the right sidebar location.

One can drag (for example) the Instruments palette to the right edge of the score area, anywhere below the toolbar. Doing so displays a tan sidebar area where you can dock it. Similarly you can drag a pallete from the right sidebar to the left sidebar. And you can drag any undocked palette to either the left or right sidebar.

As noted above, I see a tan rather than blue rectangle.



In reply to by bobjp

Right after I posted I wondered if Dark vs. Light mode would make a difference. I wanted to quickly check and update the post if necessary, but I was drawn away to other tasks.

Indeed the rectangle in question is blue in Dark mode and tan in Light mode.

A consistent highlight color would certainly simplify the documentation!

But the matter of color is the least of my concerns here.


So looking forward to that tan but it just dragged without any colour change for me.

And now I have to try to get it back to where it belongs. And I'd welcome tan or blue here rather than the difficulty of restoring things.

In reply to by underquark

Agreed. A dialog or panel like the following would simplify configuring ... and it would save lots of trips to the View menu.
(Yes, I really dislike required, repetitive menu navigation. A panel or dialog is really much quicker.)

        Palette and Panel UI Controls.png

However, when you start with no palettes showing and then enable them via the View menu, MS4 stacks them side-by-side. So that would be another matter to address to the dialog.

In reply to by scorster

Personally, I can't imagine ever having things docked both left and right. That makes the work area that much smaller. I would still have to go to a menu to get all the things you left out. Not sure what the difference is between a menu and your dialogue. There is more to using software than speed. Anyone can adjust the manual if they see fit. Your answer to inconsistencies is to change the software?

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