FR: Make popovers more helpful

I love the Shift+… popovers for quickly inputting changes to my score. However, I often find myself forgetting what the valid commands for those popups are. It doesn’t help that even with invalid syntax, the popover simply closes without giving any additional information to the user.

For example, when inputting measure changes (Shift+M), I frequently have to look up how to specify stem beaming (i.e. [3+4+3]/8) and pickup beats (i.e. 3/4,1). For repeats (Shift+R), I always come back to googling for the repeat page manual.

At one point I accidentally hit Shift+I and the little popover-fella in the image below popped up. I had no idea what the symbol stood for. After some investigating, I found out it’s the notes tool. Incredibly useful, but from the popover alone I would be none the wiser.

Notes tool popover

Looking for the relevant information in the manual is cumbersome. Most of the times I don’t need a step-by-step guide on how to use these features, just little reminders on the correct syntax. That’s why it would be so useful to me to have them displayed in the right place at the right time. Some feedback on wrong input would also be nice.

Ideas to solve this problem

I couldn’t help myself but create my own mockups to see what some solutions could look like. I strongly suggest having a look at this codepen to click and type around:

Idea Nr 1: Textbox placeholders

Albite limited, placeholders give a good indication on what’s expected. In my example, I’ve created a couple of placeholders that are looped through as long as the textbox is focused and empty.

Idea Nr 2: Click on blue box reveals more information

Currently the blue box on the left serves no purpose other than to indicate what popover is currently visible. To me, it would make sense to turn it into a button that reveals more information about the popover once it’s clicked.

The aesthetics of my implementation are entirely limited to my css and js skills. Though I imagine even without an information pane, only having the manual pop up at the correct page would also be incredibly helpful (i.e. as in the screenshot below, “Click here” redirects to the v4 manual page of Note tools).


There’s always this crib sheet:


Thanks for these suggestions. I agree that the finer points of what a popover can do are not particularly discoverable, and it would be helpful to provide more examples of their syntax. We’ll definitely consider this for future versions of the software.