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 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
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
You can still change fonts anywhere in your document even if you set a new
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
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
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:
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
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
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).
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.
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.
Yowza Software, P.O. Box 4275, Berkeley CA 94704 USA
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