Navigation: any tips on how to stay in the same bar?

Is there are way to have a shaded background that extends vertically across the score based solely on the currently active bar? Grateful for any tips.

Example: I have an oboe phrase in bars 18-24 that I want to double with violas. I copy the phrase and then scroll down to violas. But the bars I’m working in are not highlighted vertically so I almost always end up pasting it in the wrong place, usually a bar early or a bar late.

I know how to navigate to the staff immediately below or above, or to the bottom or top staves, but it doesn’t seem to help me when there is some distance between the staves I’m working on and they are sort of the middle of everything.

Any ideas? Many thanks!

Are guide bar numbers already shown in the view you’re using?

Indeed they are (and thank you for replying so quickly!).

I’m not sure why exactly but it’s always been a bit cumbersome and distracting for me to remind myself to memorize the bar number in the middle of doing this. Perhaps I have to train myself to just deal with it.

Was just wondering if there’s a way to have some sort of a visual guide, a pale gray (or orange) vertical column that shows. Thank you.

Just using the down arrow from a selection will move through the staves. You can do the same with the caret active.

You could also create an Instrument Filter that shows only the staves you’re working on.

You could make use of the Insert mode stop position whilst performing these operations, to use it as a visual guide?


Thank you. I remember I tried this but abandoned it almost immediately because in a large score it took a whole lot of clicking.

Thinking further on what I said earlier, I think it’s during composition or more specifically orchestration that I find it distracting to memorize the bar number and/or click up or down each staff in the score. And I usually keep the entire score displayed because of all the doublings - which are often spur of the moment ideas.

It’s different when copying music - in that mindset using bar numbers actually helps to maintain focus.

Perhaps I just need to deal with it!

Thanks for this Lillie, I will read up on it (something I haven’t come across before).

If I have any extensive passages to copy from one instrument to another, I may use a scratch layout to include just the useful staves to make the distance between staves smaller and any confusion less.

This is a job for for the Instrument Filter (as Ben suggested above, in case you missed it).

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Didn’t miss it; I just have traditionally used another method and have not had occasion to revisit the “problem” since 4.0 came out.

(Not you, dear Derrek; I meant the OP.)

Thank you! I already use both of these ideas for other things and indeed they are very useful - scratch layouts are a favorite for sketching and outlining chord structures.

For this specific question they seem like possibly too work for something that’s really basic, such as having a column in very pale gray that highlights the currently active bar across all staves in the score.

I’ll learn to live with memorizing the bar number.

Thank you for all the suggestions!

Assuming bar 18 in the viola part you want to copy to is empty just click on the probably full bar rest there to highlight/ select it and then paste (CRTL/CMD V) would be my suggestion.

You can also open the carret by double clicking in bar 18 of violas and than paste but there is a small risk that you do not open it exactly at the start of the bar especially when you have a very tight grid e.g 1/32. And just a trackpad as I have. You can easily shift the whole phrase back 1/32 as it remains highlighted after the paste but it is annoying when you have notes in bar 25 of violas as it will be overwritten

You can ‘lock’ the scroll direction by holding SHIFT once you’ve started moving. That will ensure that you’re only going straight down, with no sideways direction.

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That’s interesting, I just tried it in every combination I can think of.

On my Windows machine, SHIFT modifies the scroll direction depending on how the scroll is performed - if I apply SHIFT while scrolling with a mouse wheel, it changes the direction of the scroll (from up-down to left-right). That’s how I use it and I love this.

If I press SHIFT before dragging the screen with the hand tool in galley view, it disables the hand tool and it seems to have no effect if pressed when the hand tool is active (i.e., I’m already in the process of dragging the screen). I use SHIFT in this mode to activate the Marquee tool instead and make selections.

I’m seeing no change (which seems intentional) if I apply SHIFT while using the scrollbar near the right-side panel.

Perhaps there’s another way that I missed.

I’m also wondering (belatedly) if the monitor specs are an important part of why I’m struggling with this. I’m using an old 2560 x 1080 in horizontal orientation.

It fits a lot of music in galley view, which I really like, but perhaps this ratio contributes to why it’s so easy for me to lose track of the vertical position and the location of currently active bar as I’m scrolling down from my oboe to the violas. Especially if I had just zoomed in to see a single instrument group and copy parts from it and now have to navigate down.

What I used to do is click on the bar line itself to create the orange highlight and then navigate, but of course I kept forgetting I have to do that. Since yesterday, I’m trying to make it a habit to always remember the bar number as it’s already there. A hit or miss so far, but I’m sure I’ll get there eventually.

It could be a Mac-only thing, or dependent on the input device.

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For me on a MacBook with 2-finger scrolling on the trackpad:

  • Shift + scroll constrains scrolling to horizontal (not vertical)
  • scroll + Shift speeds up scrolling, but does not constrain the direction

Shift (after starting dragging) works to constrain direction in Engrave mode to move objects, as far as I know… Very useful, by the way.

I quickly glanced through the suggestions and didn’t see my humble method anywhere, so I’m sorry if I missed it.

After copying whatever passage I need, I click on the barline before that passage and all the barlines top to bottom light up like a bookmark. That way I don’t get lost.


Thank you. That’s been my method as well. Since posting this I’ve been trying to switch over to paying attention to the bar number so that I fiddle with the mouse as little as possible. I’m slowly making it a habit to memorize it but it hasn’t been the smoothest of journeys so far…

You could also automate the playhead (the green line). There is an option to show it always and also a command to let the playhead jump to the start of the current selection.
So you could write a script that replaces Ctrl+C with
a) let the playhead jump to selection
b) copy the selection
If it is worth the effort is a different matter…

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