MS4 menus close too quickly

• May 9, 2024 - 03:05

The Issue
Navigating menus in MS4 is difficult due to menus closing too quickly after you leave them, causing inaccurate targeting of menu items. Noticeable especially when choosing instruments or VSTs, etc. in the mixer, but applicable also to the “Add” menu in the Note Input toolbar, and possibly elsewhere.

Steps to Reproduce
1. Go to the mixer.
2. Go to Muse Sounds > Muse Keys.
3. Move your mouse on an angle downward to something near the bottom of the Muse Keys menu.
4. See error. The menu below Muse Keys opens (in my case Muse Percussion) preventing you from choosing the item in Muse Keys you were aiming for.

Other Details
When you move to a different menu there should be a delay of a few milliseconds before it closes the first menu.
For an example of proper behavior, see the upper menus on macOS, as demonstrated in the attached screen recording.

Does anyone know if this has been reported or if it is a known issue?

Attachment Size
MS4 Menu 608.17 KB


Sorry, not an issue on my system. You do have to make sure you scroll horizontally to the muse keys menu. If you go on an angle, you might end up in the wrong place. If that happens, MuseScore is only doing what you told it to.

In reply to by bobjp

In my testing, it applies to macOS and Windows, and I have seen it on Marc Sabatella’s MuseScore Cafe, in which he uses Linux. And the issue has been present since the first release of MS4.

So you’re obviously not following the steps as described, or if the instructions were too hard to figure out, then you didn’t watch the attached screen recording to see exactly how to do it.

In any case, the point of this post is that you have to be too exact with your targeting, and for the average person it results in menus closing when you didn’t want them to. You are correct that you have to move horizontally, but it should be slightly forgiving if you don't move perfectly horizontally.

The folks at Apple figured this out long ago, as I also demonstrated in the screen recording.

In reply to by Riley Sullivan

I guess my reply was too hard to figure out. I knew exactly what you where talking about.

I use a trackball mouse which is faster and more precise than a regular mouse or or a mouse pad.

Should menus stay open longer? That's not up to me. But it would take me longer to get to where I want to go, waiting for menus to get out of my way. And I'm about as average as you can get.

Usually, people complain that MuseScore is too slow. As an average user, there are plenty of things that I'd like to see fixed. This is really, really low on the list.

Yes, we have to be exact with our targeting. It can be easy to put a note in the wrong place, using the mouse. Do we want a delay of the note being placed just to make sure we got it right? I don't think so. Quicker just to fix the note after. And scroll through menus properly. Computers are exacting machines. Unforgiving, we might say.

The point of my post was that it isn't an issue for me. That's all. Sorry.

In reply to by bobjp

If using a trackball is more accurate for you, good. But I would add that you're probably not really an average user in that sense, as most use a regular mouse.

And for the record, if the feature is implemented right, then it absolutely won't make MuseScore feel slow. I'm not talking about a large delay, just a very short delay, perhaps 5 to 10 milliseconds. You wouldn't even hardly notice it. But you would notice targeting of menu items easier. (Well, not you apparently, but people who use a regular mouse would.)

In reply to by underquark

I know it might sound a little strange, but you should actually be able to move on an angle quickly, without it closing the menu. I did that in the video on purpose. The point is that there should be a very short delay, perhaps 5 milliseconds, so that it doesn't close the menu when you do accidentally cross into it.

In reply to by bobjp

Good question. I’ve not actually seen anyone publicly complain about this, I’ve only seen them on videos encountering it, and briefly expressing minor annoyance (like “whoops”). I assume most would think that it’s just the way it is, and accept it, not realizing that there is a way to fix it that might not be too hard to implement. So my thought is that quite a lot of people probably encounter this but don’t care enough to mention it, though they would likely very much appreciate it if it didn’t do that.

I realize that this is just a minor quality-of-life improvement and not something that would be put high on the priority list, but do you not think this is worth reporting anyway so that the developers could at least decide on a timeline for it, even if that time is a year or two in the future? And who knows, maybe some community member would like to see this changed and set out to do something about it sooner than later. (Unfortunately I’m not in a position to do so.)

In reply to by Riley Sullivan

I have no idea how easy it would be to change. I don't watch MuseScore videos, so I can't say I've seen it. What I have seen is complaints that something takes too long and slows the person down or messes up their work flow. Not unlike moving quickly through a menu. Too quickly? I am more interested in working within software. Not against it. It isn't worth it to me to worry about something that doesn't work the way I think it should. I'd rather just get in and get going.
I don't use MU3 any more at all. I have it on an old computer I don't use much. The last time I opened MU3 on that computer, I could barely remember how to do anything. Oh well.

I'm not saying you shouldn't report it. Please do.

In reply to by Riley Sullivan

Interesting! Probably worthwhile to try changing the speed of your mouse and see if that affects the issue. Not suggesting that you permanently change the speed; only that you change it, see whether it has any effect, then change it back. Knowing whether it has an effect could be important.

In reply to by Riley Sullivan

@Riley Sullivan
Re "I know it might sound a little strange, but you should actually be able to move on an angle quickly, without it closing the menu."

This doesn't sound strange at all. Some software, even on Windows, behaves this way and it really does improve UI usability: it's totally intuitive and user friendly. Other software doesn't so you end up repeating a menu open and working more slowly to the submenus: it's user unfriendly.

In reply to by yonah_ag

OTOH, one could not move on an angle quickly, ever. Use all the menus the same way, and never have an issue. I would expect a menu to close if I move off of it. If it is an accident, that is my fault. I learned long ago to move around software the way it was designed to be used. Why is it counter intuitive to move horizontally through a menu when that's the way it is designed.

In reply to by bobjp


One can always move on an angle quickly - unless your mouse is perversely engineered. It's actually quite difficult to move a mouse quickly and not on an angle, i.e. pixel perfect horizontal or vertical movement. Robots could but this is challenging for humans. (If you're not convinced then open a drawing app and try to draw a horizontal or vertical line quickly, without a single pixel deviation.)

Anyway, not all software is designed as though humans are robotic. Some have menus where, when the submenu pops up, the mouse can be moved quickly onto the submenu without a perfect horizontal movement. This is quite a human natural movement when the option on the submenu is not horizontally aligned with its parent option.

In reply to by yonah_ag

Sorry. That sentence was worded in such a way as to be easily misinterpreted. It should have said something more like: One might not choose to move on an angle quickly, but rather move horizontally or vertically.

And, again, I'm not saying that MuseScore shouldn't change the code for menus. I've just never run into this problem on a wide scale. But then I don't use a standard mouse. For me, my trackball mouse is far better. I don't need any space to move it around. and it is far quicker and more accurate.

In reply to by Riley Sullivan

It is easier not just for you, but for everyone to go on an angle quickly. No question.
I wonder if the software that allows you to navigate that does so by design for that function. Or is just a tiny bit slower in general. The user might not even notice it. I'm not certain software is obliged to do anything.

In reply to by bobjp

I think that it's by design. Windows is not a "bit slower in general", not even on my 12 year old, slow computer. Booting is very slow but after that the UI is responsive.

Riley used "obliging" not "obliged" and these are not the same thing. "Obliging" means willing, eager or helpful whereas "obliged" means legally or morally bound to do something, so you're knocking down a straw man with your comment. I definitely agree that software should be "obliging" in the way it lets users navigate.

(Users who prefer a strict vertical/horizontal approach to navigation will find that Windows also supports this method: no settings to change, it just allows both methods straight out the box. It also allows navigation without using a mouse at all and the keyboard is often the most efficient way to navigate.)

In reply to by yonah_ag

I'm not trying to be argumentative or anything of the sort. Written communication can certainly be misunderstood. If you look down the list of definitions for those words, the seemingly differing meanings come closer together.
My feeling was that the original statement implied that the onus was on the software to do what the user wanted. I feel that's fine up to a point. The software can only do what it is programed to do. I'm not saying that Musescore shouldn't allow angled scrolling. But it isn't the responsibility of the program to do so. Would it be helpful to allow angled scrolling? Sure. But it isn't programed to do that.

When I discovered that MuseScore won't allow angled scrolling, I stopped doing it.

Sorry. It was not my intention to "argue" anything, or drag this out way past any usefulness. Not that there was any to begin with. So that's not me. Sorry.

In reply to by bobjp

Fair enough. Sounds like you just mis-understood Riley's assertion.

One of the goals in writing software is to make it intuitive to use. Another is to consider users with accessibility issues. This is definitely within scope of the programmer's responsibility.

In reply to by yonah_ag

I only took what Riley said and applied my understanding to it.
But how do you program "intuitive"? What is intuitive for you may not be intuitive for me. I see the intuitive complaint all the time. The program doesn't act the way someone expects so the program is not intuitive. People expect to just open MuseScore for the first time and when they get stuck it must be because the program is not intuitive. What's wrong with the developers? It should be simple to fix this problem. Why haven't they?

In reply to by bobjp

Oh dear. 😞

1) Your understanding has been improved since you now know the difference between "obliging" and "obliged" so should be able to avoid that misunderstanding in the future.

2) One way of programming "intuitive" is to observe how humans behave with computers and avoid the trap of programming as if we're robots. An example of this is the tendency for humans to move the mouse on an angle rather than in strict horizontals and verticals.

3) When a program does not act as expected it may be that it is actually unintuitive but it may just be lack of user understanding. Example: when most Windows software uses ctrl-c to copy and a particular piece of software uses ctrl-u inserted, this is definitely unintuitive.

So some of the "intuitive complaints" that you see may be justified.

4) No one is saying that there has to be something wrong with the developers, especially for a not-for-profit app where developers can be volunteers with very limited time. Sometimes non-programmers make the understandable mistake of thinking that because the issue can be expressed clearly and simply, then the fix must be easy. Well, sometimes that's true but sometimes it isn't.

In reply to by yonah_ag

  1. Thanks for the lecture that misses the point I was talking about.

  2. Do they? Can't humans learn something different if the current behavior doesn't give the desired result. We aren't robots, after all.

  3. To me, nothing about Mac OS in intuitive. But that's kind of silly, isn't it? Just because I think it isn't intuitive, do you suppose they will change anything? So I have three choices: I can learn that different OS. I can continue to use Windows. I can write my own OS. Or switch to Linux, or something.

  4. I was only saying what I have seen on the forum. There have been plenty of comments to that affect.

In reply to by bobjp

1) So (rhetorical question) what was your point if not the obligatory misunderstanding?
2) Of course humans can learn different behaviour but when this is due to unintuitive software then it's not ideal but more of a workaround.
3) Never used MacOS so can't comment but do feel free to write your own OS, (maybe BobOS? - but be careful with typos as we wouldn't want to see BoObS). I advise against making users have to move only vertically and horizontally with the mouse. And don't make a trackball mouse mandatory as not all of us like them.
4) Stick to the current thread and its comments.

Please do not feel obliged to respond, you are under no such obligation. In fact you are in no way obligated at all. But knowing what an obliging fellow you are, I kind of expect a response. 😉

In reply to by yonah_ag

  1. I have stated my point several times. Sorry you missed it. When someone finds something unintuitive, it is then up to the programmer to change it. Is it?

  2. Again "unintuitive" is not universal. In MuseScore, moving horizontally and vertically is not a workaround.

  3. Surprise, I get to write my OS the way I want. I never said it would be for anyone else to use.

  4. I also get to use pertinent examples.

Either of us can call this off at any time. You only seem interested in making fun of me. Rather than contributing anything. I can guess what you next comment will be.

In reply to by bobjp

  1. It should be considered and a consensus reached as to whether it really is unintuitive or whether it's just lack of user understanding of a tricky concept - and therefore an educational need. It does not need to be a knee jerk reaction, as suggested by your comment.
  2. Having to move horizontal and vertical to navigate menus is clumsy. Unintuitive does not have to be universal to consider making a change; only an issue for enough users to make a consideration.
  3. 😀
  4. Your examples were on the vague side, allusions to what other users say rather than anything specific about actual intuitive vs. non-intuitive claims.

FWIW, I reported this to Github, not realizing that it has, in fact, already been reported.

From what I saw with a quick glance, it's something that needs to be designed, and the developers would like to, but it's not something they plan for the immediate future, unless of course a community member would like to design it, in which case the developers would support them.

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