Viewing and navigation

Updated 1 year ago
This page shows old instructions for MuseScore 2.
For MuseScore 4 users, see Viewing and navigation.

    This chapter describes the options available in the View Menu, and in the Zoom and Page View/Continuous View menus (located in the toolbar above the score). It also details the various navigation commands and functions.

    View menu

    Show sidebars/panels

    Zoom in/out

    There are several ways to zoom the score in or out:

    • Keyboard shortcut:

      • Zoom In: Ctrl++ (Mac: Cmd ++)
      • Zoom Out: Ctrl +- (Mac: Cmd +-).
    • View menu:

      • Zoom In: ViewZoom In
      • Zoom Out: ViewZoom Out.
    • Mouse

      • Zoom In: Scroll up with the mouse wheel while holding down Ctrl (Mac: Cmd)
      • Zoom Out: Scroll down with the mouse wheel while holding down Ctrl (Mac: Cmd).
    • Drop-down menu: To set a specific zoom, use the dropdown menu in the standard toolbar to set the view magnification of the score (25–1600 %) or display it using the options "Page Width", "Whole Page", or "Two Pages".


    • To return to 100% zoom: Use the shortcut Ctrl+0 (Mac: Cmd+0).

    Toolbars (display)

    As of MuseScore 2.1, this menu option allows you to hide or display the toolbars above the document window: File Operations, Playback Controls, Concert Pitch, Image Capture, Note Input (see Toolbars below).

    Show Status bar

    The Status bar, at the bottom of the screen, gives information about selected score elements. Tick/untick this option to display or hide.

    Split display

    It is possible to split the document display so as to view two documents at once, or to view two different parts of the same document. Tabs allow you to choose which document to display in each view. You can drag the barrier separating the two scores to adjust the amount of space in the window devoted to each:

    • Documents Side by Side: Divides the window vertically into two score views.
    • Documents Stacked: Divides the window horizontally into two score views, one above the other.


    Visibility options

    This section allows you to display or hide various non-printing elements:

    • Show Invisible: View/hide elements that have been made invisible for printing and export. If this option is ticked, invisible elements are shown in the score window as light gray.
    • Show Unprintable: View/hide breaks and spacer symbols.
    • Show Frames: View/hide the dotted outlines of frames.
    • Show Page Margins: View/hide Page Margins.

    Full screen

    Full Screen mode expands MuseScore to fill your screen so more content is visible.

    Page/Continuous View

    You can switch between two different views of the score using the drop-down list in the toolbar area:

    Viewing Modes

    To scroll the score:

    • Vertically: Move the mouse wheel up or down.
    • Horizontally: Press Shift and move the mouse wheel up or down.

    Page View

    In Page View, the score is formatted as it will appear when printed or exported as a PDF or image file: that is, page by page, with margins. MuseScore applies system (line) and page breaks automatically, according to the settings made in Page settings and Style: General. In addition, you can apply your own system (line), page or section breaks.

    To choose between horizontal or vertical page scrolling, see Preferences: Canvas (Scroll pages).

    Continuous View

    In Continuous View, the score is shown as one unbroken system. Even if the starting point is not in view, measure numbers, instrument names, clefs, time and key signatures will always be displayed on the left of the window.

    Example of continuous view

    Note: Because the layout is simpler, MuseScore may perform faster in Continuous View than Page View.



    The Toolbar area is located between the Menu bar and document window. It contains symbols which allow you to perform certain operations. It can be divided into the following toolbars:

    • File Operations: New score, Load score, Save, Print, Undo, Redo.
    • Zoom/Page View.
    • Playback controls: Enable MIDI, Rewind, Play/Stop, Loop, Play Repeats, Metronome.
    • Concert Pitch: Displays score in written or concert (sounding) pitch.
    • Image Capture: Allows you to take a snapshot of part of the score.
    • Note Input: Note entry mode, Duration, Tie, Rest, Accidentals, Flip stem direction, Voice (1, 2, 3, 4).

    To choose which toolbars to display, right-click on an empty space in the toolbar area (or on the title bar of the Inspector) and, from the menu, check or uncheck the required options. This menu also allows you to view or hide the Piano keyboard, Selection sidebar, Palettes, the Inspector, and (if already displayed) the "Drum Tools" (i.e. Drum input palette).

    These display options can also be accessed in the View menu, and, as of 2.1, in ViewToolbars.

    Side panels

    The workspaces, Inspector and Selection filter are conveniently displayed as side panels to the left and right of the score window. To undock a side panel use one of the following methods:

    • Drag the panel;
    • Click on the double chevron at the top of the panel;
    • Double click in the title area at the top of the panel.

    To dock a panel use one of the following procedures:

    • Drag the panel to the top/bottom of an existing side panel and it will stack vertically above/below that panel.
    • Drag the panel to the middle of an existing side panel and it will overlay that panel. Both panels can then be accessed by tabs.

    Alternatively, double-clicking the title bar of the panel will restore it to its previously docked position.

    There are various commands available to help you navigate through the score. These are listed under Keyboard shortcuts: Navigation.

    The Navigator is an optional panel which allows you to navigate a long score more easily, or go to specific pages. To view/hide, go to the ViewNavigator, or use the shortcut F12 (Mac: fn+F12). It appears at the bottom of the document window if scrolling pages horizontally, or on the right-hand side of the document window if scrolling pages vertically (see Preferences: Canvas).


    The blue box represents the area of the score that is currently visible in the main window. You can drag either the blue box or the scroll bar, or click on an area to immediately go to it.


    The Find function allows you to speedily navigate to a specific measure, rehearsal mark or page number in the score:

    1. Press Ctrl+F (Mac: Cmd+F), or select EditFind. This opens the Find (or Go to) bar at the bottom of the workspace.
    2. Use one of the following options:

      • To go to a numbered measure: enter the measure number (counting every measure, starting with 1, irrespective of pickup measures, section breaks or manual changes to measure number offsets).
      • To go to a numbered page: enter the page number using the format pXX (where XX is the page number).
      • To go to a numerical rehearsal mark: enter the number using the format rXX (where XX is the name of the rehearsal mark (as of version 2.1).
      • To go to a rehearsal mark starting with a letter: enter the name of the rehearsal mark (the search is case insensitive).

      N.B.: It is best to avoid naming rehearsal marks with the single letters "R," "r," "P", "p," or one of these letters with an integer (e.g. "R1" or "p3"), as this can confuse the search algorithm.

    See also

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