How exactly do I use "R" (repeat)?

I’ve been trying to make sense of the repeat function “R”, and cannot for the life of me make heads or tails out of it.

does it just repeat whatever is chosen onto the very next beat? (or if a whole measure is selected, the entire measure gets repeated into the subsequent measure?)
is there any way to have it repeat into a different staff? (for example, repeat what was input into the 1st violin staff but into the 2nd violin staff?)

what is this “repeat” function really meant for? like what sort of normal application of it was intended in its design?

Yes – although “next beat” depends on the duration of the selection. Notes and rests are obvious, but text and many other things don’t have a duration, so R can give confusing results with those.

I use R all the time to duplicate a bar, a note, a figure (regardless of barlines) – anything that repeats literally. To copy to a different staff, or any other location, use Alt-click.


Perhaps there is some confusion here because it does different things if you are inputting notes (i.e. if the caret is showing). If you are in note input, it looks at whatever is just before the caret, in the current voice, makes a copy of that, and places it at the caret position. If you are not in note input it copies the selection, and places it immediately after the end of the selection.

For me the note/chord just-entered is selected (highlighted orange), so it’s all the same.

Be careful when selecting tuplets that the tuplet number is also selected.

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AHA! thank-you all for the hints.

I get it now.

and the use of [alt] before clicking allows me to place it in a different staff, or at the cursor position in the same staff (or another)…

the must useful thing seems to be copying with [alt]+R!!

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I looked at this again, and I see where this applies: When I select a note and then show the caret, R still copies the note before the caret. That seems weird, but I won’t complain since I never use that.

It’s more relevant for things like chord mode (to ensure you repeat the whole previous chord, not just the selected note) and pitch-before-duration (where the last-input note won’t necessarily be selected).

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