Zero length cues

I’m trying to create a cue showing which instrument is playing for the section without actually showing any notes, which is quite common in orchestral parts, something like the following:

After inserting a cue I’m not able to drag the handles any shorter than the rhythmic grid setting, so cannot prevent it from showing at least the first note.

I faked the screenshot above using System Text and manually adjusting the position of the text and rehearsal mark (which gets bumped out of the way) but this is not viable for practical use, as the system text (by design) appears on all the parts, and obviously in this case it needs restricting to just this part.

If I try and fake it using staff text, then it breaks the multi-bar rest, as does using a playing technique or dynamic marking.

Can anyone suggest a way to fake this without the problems described?

And, can I put in a feature request for letting cues be zero length (and not break the multi-bar rest if so!), which would be the correct way to do this.

As you say, this is VERY common in orchestral parts, and I’ve mentioned it in passing a couple of times myself, without any response from anyone … (as far as I recall)

Obviously staff text is the way to go - one shouldn’t need to reference an actual cue for this, as the description required is often more elaborate (“ob./bsn/vcl”) - and the only workaround is to attach this text to something before the multirest and adjust the position in Engrave mode.

Yes, good point regarding the more elaborate text - I’d originally tried staff text before thinking maybe what I actually needed was a cue (as that is what it is in reality). It could be made workable with a cue though, as the text can be edited, and it would keep the formatting consistent with other cues, and if you later decided that including some notes would be better, you could just drag the handles.

I’ll experiment with adding some staff text elsewhere and moving it into position, but I think that is going to be a bit high maintenance as the layout changes. The other possibility I thought of was small text frames, but that’s probably even worse!

If we’re talking feature requests to make this easier in the future, I think it might be more useful if we got something like a toggle in the properties panel for text items (and perhaps some other types of items as well) that would prevent the breaking of multimeasure rests (or at least something to achieve that effect). This would cover a number of use cases, whereas zero length cues would only cover the one. Just my two cents. :wink:

Also, such text should ONLY appear in the part it’s written… now “staff text” also appears in the score, and has to be hidden (dragged off the page)… an extra ANNOYING step, when you work on symphonies and operas…

@fratveno are you sure you are using staff text (Shift-X), and not system text (Alt-Shift-X)? Staff text works as expected for me, and only appears on the relevant part.

@snakeeyes02 I’d certainly vote for that, as it’s what I was originally going to request until I thought of the cues thing! I just couldn’t easily think of another use case for non-rest-breaking staff text. Maybe we could have both!

In the relevant part AND the full score (where it has no meaning…)

Ah, OK I see what you mean… yes it appears against that part in all layouts in which that part appears. I can see that is unnecessary for some uses of staff text (including for these cues). Of course zero length cues would also solve that problem, as they would only appear for layouts that included cues.

However, I would cope with the cue text appearing in the full score if that was the only work-around and it didn’t break the multi-rest. I can’t use system text (which doesn’t break the rest) as it appears in every part layout as well as the full score layouts.

Dear fratveno and fredbasset,
Since those zero length cues are commonly used, I suppose some improvement will be added by the devs when they have the time for it… Hopefully soon enough for you to use it!