Answers To Questions


Question Topics:

Text and Text Lines
What is the best font to use?
How to set the default font
How to work with text files
Can text be placed beside a treble or tab staff?
Can accidentals (sharps and flats) be inserted in text lines?
Staff Lines (Treble, Bass and Tab)
How to remove a staff line
What are the units used for staff length 
Why does the staff keeps growing? 
auto spacing between notes
What's going on with bars at end of staff lines?
How to enter "high" notes (several ledger lines above the staff)
How can an Alto staff be translated to Treble or Bass?
Is it possible to draw musical staff with six lines instead of five?
Can Treble-Treble and Bass-Bass keyboard pairs be entered?
Tab Lines:
How can fingering for the fretting hand be shown on Tab?
How should a capo be handled on Tab lines?
How to enter note values on Tab lines
How to translate between alternate tunings
Chords and Chord Lines
Why are there superscripts near some chord names? 
5 fret chords
How can different time values be entered on one chord?
Can chord names be in color?
Can chord grids be made bigger?
How can slashes be put into chord lines?
How can chords in chord lines be played back?
How to make some chord diagrams "permanently visible"
Can empty (blank) chord grids be entered in a score?
Symbols and Extended Objects
The pros and cons of using different symbol entry methods
How to enter two digit tab numbers
Explanation of keyboard codes
How to enter alternate note styles such as strum, muted and harmonic
How to enter "high" notes (several ledger lines above the staff)
How can double note bodies be entered?
How are dynamics ( mf, ff, etc. ) entered in MusEdit?
How are dotted notes entered?
What are the different ways slides can be shown?
How can "swing timing" be entered?
Can Turkish music symbols be entered with MusEdit?
How to use "previous object insertion" shortcuts
What kind of things can be done with extended objects?
Can musical symbols be entered with no staff visible?
How can dotted notes be used in tempo indicators?
Can complex time and key signatures be entered?
Barre notation is sometimes entered with a "" symbol - can that be done with MusEdit?
How can ties and joined notes be entered in rhythm lines?
When text is added to a bracket, where will it be located?
Can a box be drawn around a selected riff?
What are the rules for flats, sharps, and naturals?
Treble/Tab Translation, Mutual Translation:
How to set up and do mutual ("on the fly") translation between treble and Tab
How can a treble/tab pair of lines be made "mutually translating" after they've been entered?
How to work with mutual translation (auto-translation / entry )
Will classical fingering and barre notation be taken into account when translating from treble to tab?
How to translate a .bta (bass text-tab) file to graphical bass tab
What kind of documents can MusEdit open (.tab, .bta, etc.)
What preferences are stored with a document
Page Layout and Printing Issues
MusEdit's margins and tabs
Right edge of page
Multi-page wide printing
How to set printing margins, or indent the document to the right
"Preferences have changed, do you want to save the changes"
"This line cannot be joined to the line above"
General Application Questions:
Preferences retained from session to session
Are there any "Templates" to start music scores in various styles?
Why is refresh needed
"Keyboard sets cursor"
Can images and sounds be inserted into a MusEdit score?
How to save an image of MusEdit music
How to paste MusEdit music into a Word document or Web page
How to insert a sound in a MusEdit document
How to use MusEdit to help transcribe a guitar riff



Text and Text Lines

What is the best font to use for lyrics?

All Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2K/XP operating systems are installed with the following text fonts:

Arial - (True Type)
Courier New - (True Type)
Times New Roman - (True Type)
MS Serif
MS Sans Serif

If you want to send your music to other users or post it on a web site it would be best to stick to one of these fonts because that way you know other people will see the same thing you saw when you wrote the music. If you use some exotic font which is on your system, but which most other users probably don't have, Windows will try substituting the closest available font. This may mean other users won't get the same lyric to music alignment as you had when you wrote the music.

Setting the default text font  

    The default  font (the one which appears automatically in text lines until you set a new font) is Arial, which has the virtue of being available on all Windows systems. It is a "proportional" font which makes it attractive, but is a problem if you often import text-tab.  MusEdit allows you to select any font on your system as the default font from session to session via File|Set Preferences|Staff, Drum, and Text Lines .  You may want to set a "fixed-width" font (such as Courier) if you import a lot of text-tab since proportional fonts make text-tab look very messed up. You can still change fonts anywhere in your document even if you set a new default font.



Staff Lines (Treble, Bass, and Tab)

Is there an easy way to delete an inadvertently added staff.  Sometimes I get a message that is can not be appended to the line above?

Two methods should work for getting rid of a staff line (or any line, actually):

1) If it's empty you can put the caret anywhere in the staff line, hit "Home" to get it to the very start of the line, then hit backspace
2) Put the caret anywhere in the line, hold Shift while hitting down arrow once -this will select it- then hit the "Delete (Del)" key.  This works even if there's stuff in the line.

Left clicking when the cursor is in the left margin (the "no entry" zone) will also select the whole line, and again Del will get rid of it.  The latter techniques work with an empty line too, by the way. (see the sections in the manual about selecting, and backspacing at start of an empty line.)

You'll get the "This line cannot be joined to the line above" message if you are in, say, a Tab line with some stuff in it, and you are at the start, and you hit backspace -and there is a non-Tab line above the tab line you're in.  If you had a tab line above the current tab line backspace would have the effect of joining the current tab line to the tab line above (try it!).  But if you have a treble line above and you hit backspace... well, you can't join a Tab line to the end of a treble line, so you get the message. 

What are the strange units used for staff length?   Why not measure staff length in inches or millimeters?

The "strange" unit of length is pixels, the smallest size of a "dot" which can appear on your computer screen.  A VGA screen is 640 pixels wide x 480 pixels high, while an SVGA screen is 800 pixels wide x 600 pixels high.  Most of the symbols in MusEdit are small bitmaps between 5 and 15 pixels wide.  One reason for using the pixel length units rather than "real world" units is because the "true" length or a staff line depends on what size monitor you're using, and what the resolution is.  If you had a really big monitor with coarse (VGA) resolution a staff length of "6 inches" might be only 300 pixels long -ie. about 20 notes might fit on a staff line.  But if you looked at the same line on a big monitor at very high resolution a 6 inch line might be 700 pixels long, and now the 20 notes would all appear bunched up in the first half of a mostly empty line.  By measuring the length in terms of pixels the staff and symbols will grow and shrink together with different monitor sizes, so the appearance of the music on the staff will always look similar.

When I type in notes, the staff keeps growing.   It does not automatically go into another staff at the next line...

     All staff lines in the document automatically grow to fit the length of the longest line.  When you feel a line is the length you want, simply hit "Enter" and you will start a new line (or if you are in a group, it will start a new group of lines).  The new line should automatically be the same length as the previous line, but if the new line becomes longer than previous lines then all lines (which are not of fixed length) will grow to even up with the line in which you are typing.

     If you want all lines to be a specific length you can select Actions|Set Staff Length (or type Ctrl+Shift+L) and then type in a value (the current length is shown so you can relate the new value to the current length.  The units are in "pixels" -kind of arbitrary units).  If you use a "fixed length" and you keep typing past the end of the staff the symbols will show up but the staff will not grow to meet them.  You should hit "Enter" before symbols go past the end of the staff to avoid this, or change the length of the staff to a longer value, or remove the "Fixed Length" status by using Actions|Set Staff Length again.


Is it possible for MusEdit to automatically space out the TAB?  If I'm putting symbols in TAB and having MusEdit put in the notes, the TAB numbers are all beside each other no matter the time value (even in the treble line).  I would like it to "bunch" up the faster notes and "spread" out the longer notes.  Is this possible to do this automatically or would I need to manually do it?   

    I'm assuming you mean whole notes might have a bigger space after them than half notes, etc.- that's something you have to do yourself.  There's nothing standard about spacing notes out, and if you have multiple voices (eg. a bass whole note ringing
throughout a measure while a melody on the upper strings is playing) you wouldn't want that kind of automatic spacing anyway.  You'll have to hit the space bar a few times...

What's going on with bars at end of lines?  

     The problem is, a double bar (or "right repeat", or "end bar") at the end of a staff is normally put the rightmost end of the staff, with no space between it and the real "end of the staff".  But what if the double bar is just in the middle of the staff, and there are still measures to come after it -but it is the last symbol entered so far?  MusEdit draws the double bar at the very end of the staff for all lines in the document EXCEPT the line which currently contains the caret (and always at the end of the staff for all lines when printing).  It can be assumed that the line which has the caret is still being edited, and so for that line there's a space between the double bar and the end of the staff so that the caret can be placed within that space and more music added as needed.  This space should disappear when the document is put in "Read Only" mode (Ctrl+Shift+R), when it is being printed, or when the caret is not in that staff line.


Chords and Chord Lines

What are the small superscripts which sometimes appear at the end of chord names?

There are usually many different ways to play any chord (many variations of the same chord) and often more than one variation is used within the same document.  When you enter a new variety of a chord which already exists in the document (eg. C7 played at the 7th fret instead of a 3rd fret C7 you may have used earlier) MusEdit will add a small superscript to the new variety to indicate this is a new version of a chord used earlier.  Varieties are numbered according to the order in which they appear starting at the beginning of the document.     If a new variety is inserted ahead of varieties which have already been numbered it's numbering will be temporarily "out of order".  Hitting Ctrl+R (Refresh) will re-compute the numbering for all chords in the document so they are in proper sequential order again.  The example below shows several variations of the C chord (note the difference between the 5th variety of a C chord versus a "C5" chord):



Can chord diagrams show chords which range over five frets instead of the four frets shown in most of the diagrams?  

    Yes, with MusEdit you can design chords with 2 - 8 strings, and with 4, 5, 6, or 7 frets. Here are some examples of the different kinds and styles of chords you can create with MusEdit:



Is it possible to enter notes with different time values in the same chord?     

    You can't have different values of same-stem-orientation tailed notes on the same chord: eg. no "up sixteenth" and "up eighth" on the same chord.  You can have half and quarter notes with the same orientation on the same chord, even if there are already tailed notes of that orientation on the chord too.

    You can also have different up and down stem values together though.  You can have up 8th notes and down 16th notes on the same chord, for example.

    There are few examples where you needed to have different up (or down) tailed notes pointing in the same direction on the same chord. 



How do you enter two digit numbers on TAB lines?  When typing out on tab double digit numbers the spacing seems to be far apart and could confuse people thinking that a "14" fouteen looks more like a one-four "1 4". Is there a way to get the numbers closer together?

    It's quite easy to enter two digit tab:  enter the first digit (say, "1"), then hit left arrow and enter the second digit (say, "4"), the "1" should then change to "14" (with the two digits close together).

    If you find yourself entering a lot of two digit tab, you may want to turn off "Options|Advance Caret After Note Entry".  Usually each time you enter a number or note the caret (the blinking insertion marker) advances one position to the right automatically.  In this situation to enter two digit tab you have to hit the left arrow key every time before you enter the second digit.  By turning off "Advance Caret After Note Entry" the caret will stay in place after each symbol entered, so entering two digit tab is easier.

Page Layout Issues

How do I set margins in MusEdit?

MusEdit gives you powerful control over page margins, page breaks, print size and orientation, etc. See File|Set Preferences|Document Layout to set margins and other page layout details for all NEW documents, or use File|Print Options to set these parameters for the current document only.


Can MusEdit show page breaks?  

    With MusEdit you can see where page breaks will occur (they show up as dotted lines, both horizontal and vertical). Set this option via File|Set Preferences|Document Layout to set margins and other page layout details for all NEW documents, or use File|Print Options to set these parameters for the current document only. Also, MusEdit has very accurate Print Preview so you can see exactly what the printed page will look like.


I can't tell if I'm at the end of the right-hand side of the paper...  

    Turn on "Show Page Breaks" (see above) to see a dotted line indicating where the right edge of the paper will be cut off. 

Another way to know where the right edge would be is by setting the staff length to the length appropriate for the page size and scale you are using ( approx. 700 for 100% size on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper in portrait mode).  You can also use Print Preview to check how your current page will look at the current scale to see if you've gone beyond the right edge.  If you do go beyond the width of a page MusEdit does not automatically trim the pages in any special way at the right edge (like trying to end staff lines on bars or anything like that) it just cuts the staff at the right edge and continues the staff onto the next page.  It can be good to put in a small amount of overlap to make sure no information is lost from page to page - hopefully it works so you don't lose anything and you don't see much (or any) repeated overlap on the two pages (you can adjust the amount of overlap via File|Set Preferences|Document Layout.

If you have gone past the right edge of the page throughout your score but you'd still like it to fit on a single
sheet in terms of width, you might try changing the print size (using File|Print Options) to make it less than 100% size
and/or use landscape mode (via File|Print Setup).



What is the point of multi-page width printing (page 1-1, 1-2, etc.)?  It seems pretty useless...

Allowing the user to generate 1-1, 1-2, etc. is not necessarily useless... someone might want to print out a 200% size example for teaching perhaps, or maybe someone wants to print out the "That's Alright" (John Lee Hooker) example but doesn't want it squished down to 60% normal size to fit on a landscape-mode sheet - depending on the "pixel overlap" preference the sheets can overlap a bit so that they can be taped together if necessary.  Making the page an arbitrary fixed width seems to restrict the user more than necessary, especially when it shouldn't be too hard for the user to simply set an optimum staff length and then make sure never to go beyond that if they want to make sure the music doesn't extend beyond a standard page width (whatever that may be in their home country).

Unusual behavior...

Only one note can be on a chord, things disappear as you write in the the staff, other weirdness.

Some unexpected (but perfectly logical and NOT buggy) behavior can occur if you have "Overwrite" ON (by hitting the "Ins" key -it is indicated by "OVR" in the status bar.  The weird behavior is not a bug, it just is the normal behavior you can expect when in overwrite mode.  You might experiment with this a little to see how it behaves in case you ever get strange behavior so you can recognize what's going on.  One of the main characteristics of overwrite mode is that you can't build chords because every time you add a new note to a chord it overwrites the chord you're adding to. This was reported to me as a bug once, but it turned out the fellow was entering things in overwrite mode.



"Preferences ( eg. Size,  Read Only, etc. ) were changed.  Save the changes?"

This message will appear if you change some property of the document (eg. hide or show line types, make it Read Only, hide or show toolbars, etc.) but you don't change the actual content of the document.  You may have temporarily re-sized the document so it will fit on your screen for example, in which case you don't necessarily want to save that new setting.  On the other hand you may have opened a completed score to check it out and you notice that it isn't "Read Only" so you make it Read Only to protect it from accidental changes.  In this case when you close the document you'll want to answer "Yes" to the question about saving the changes (if you didn't do a File|Save already).  See What preferences are stored with a document? for more about document preferences.


"This line cannot be joined to the line above"  

    This happens when you hit backspace at the beginning of, say, a Tab line but there is a different type of line above it (eg. Treble).  See Sometimes I get a message that is can not be appended to the line above? for more details on this subject.


General Application Questions

Can preferences (eg. page numbering style) be retained from session to session?

MusEdit is able to save preferences from one session to the next. These preferences can be set for a number of things, such as page numbering style, default font, arrow or symbol cursor entry mode, etc.  When it comes to page numbering style it is encoded that both as a "document preference" -so that each document has it's own page numbering preference, since multipage documents may want numbering, but short documents may not- and as a user default.  The font of the page numbering is a user preference too.  Please E-mail any other suggestions for useful user preferences (Yowza Software)

Why is "refresh" needed?

    Sometimes part of the screen image is not redrawn correctly, or a piece of a symbol which you thought you erased is still visible, or other "image problems" can occur, in which case it's necessary to hit Ctrl+R (refresh) to redraw the screen image. MusEdit tries to minimize delays in drawing the screen by only redrawing those parts of the screen which really need to be redrawn. For example, if you are near the right edge of the document window and you enter a quarter note on the staff, MusEdit only draws the part of the staff where the note was entered (and everything to the right of that spot too, since entering the note may have shifted things). This reduces the screen flicker which you sometimes see on other programs which redraw too much all the time. Sometimes MusEdit gets a bit confused however, and doesn't redraw all that it should. That's when "refresh" is handy.



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800-234-0427 (US/Canada) or 510-908-0027