Introduction to the Score (Notation) Editor
Once a score is created, it can be edited by selecting a staff for display in the Score Editor. The staff group feature can be used to quickly select a collection of parts into the editor window. This is done via the Contents tab in Page Setup. The editor shows all of the staves that are included in the display group, and displays the active staff in a different color (the default is blue). This blue staff is the one where editing is active when adding, selecting, changing, or removing notation items. Note that all staff parts will play back simultaneously, regardless of their group.
The editor displays all notation in a staff from left to right as one continuous stream of notes, rests, bar lines, and other notation data. In other words, all notation is edited along a single horizontal access. The scroll bars can be used to move around in the current view of the score. As you move rightward, you are advancing further into the song. Each staff is displayed vertically, representing a different instrument or part within the view. The editor view displays the score differently than how it generally appears when printed. The print logic actually formats your composition into a printable form using information that you specify in the Page Setup area.
Once you are happy with how a song looks and sounds, or you just simply want to review the musical material in the song, you can print the score. The printing logic decides how to best format your composition based on all of the options that you specify for the printed page. For example, all of the following page setup options influence how one or more staves are printed onto a page: the selected notation size, the printing device, the page size, the presence of staff names on the front of a system, and the number of staves selected and their size. This provides a great deal of power and flexibility in printing your composition, without you being burdened with all of the formatting decisions while the song is being composed.
The active staff in the editor includes a flashing cursor, which is known as the insertion point. The insertion point can be moved around the staff using the arrow keys on the computer keyboard, or by clicking the left mouse button at the desired position. This insertion point indicates where the next item added to the staff will be placed. In most cases, both the vertical and horizontal position of the insertion point is important in determining the position of the next item. In some cases, however, the vertical position of the insertion point is not significant. Clefs, time signatures, key signatures, and bar lines are examples of items that are placed at fixed vertical positions within the staff, regardless of the position of the insertion point.
Notation can be added at the insertion point using either the keyboard, the mouse, or both. For computer keyboard advocates, the Keyboard Guide provides a good reference of all functions which can be accomplished without the aid of a mouse. These include fast methods for adding notes (the Enter key), rests (the Space Bar), and bar lines (the Tab key).
If you are using the mouse for notation entry, then you will probably be using the speed menus assigned to the right mouse button, in conjunction with the tool buttons and menus available at the top of the application. You can get more information on these topics through the following:
- Toolbar Reference
- Notation Editor Context Commands (No Selection)
- Notation Editor Context Commands (Selection)
Once notation has been placed in a staff, the mouse can also be used to select items and manipulate them. Selection can be accomplished with the mouse by clicking in a staff, and then dragging the mouse while holding the left button down. If you drag the mouse close to the left or right borders of the window, the editor will automatically scroll the score in the appropriate direction. Once you have selected the target notation items, the right mouse button can be used to activate the speed menu.