These buttons provide access to a number of useful features which are applied either to inividual notes, groups of notes or bars. They are conveniently grouped together by colour. Most of them have convenient shortcuts.
Many of them act on the note which is nearest to the cursor position. Where there is ambiguity, the stem direction icons are taken into account.
Group 1 - Splitting and joining notes
These two buttons allow you to split a single note (or notecluster) into two and combine two notes into one. First place the cursor over the note you wish to split or join.
(Shortcut Ctrl-W) When using this button to split a crotchet, it will be turned int two quavers. A dotted crotchet will be divided into a crotchet and a quaver. The new notecluster will have the same characteristics as the original one.
(Shortcut Ctrl-Q) Note that when you join two notes together using this button, the new note (or notecluster) will have the characteristics of the first note. The characteristics of the second not will be lost. Sometimes it will not be possible to join two notes together.
Group 2 - Changing Rythms
Suppose you wish to change a run of even quavers into a dotted rythm. Simply place the cursor on the first of each pair of notes you wish to change and click on the
button. Notice that only the note lengths are changed. Each notecluster preserves all of its other characteristics.
You do not have to start with even quavers. You can just as easily turn a dotted rythm into a triplet rythm. Here is what each of the buttons does:
(Shortcut Ctrl-E) makes an uneven rythm into an even one
(Shortcut Ctrl-R) turns the second note of the pair into a rest (in this case the characteristics of the second note are, of course, lost)
(Shortcut Ctrl-T) makes the rythm dotted
(Shortcut Ctrl-Y) makes the rythm syncopated
(Shortcut Ctrl-U) makes the rythm into a triplet
(Shortcut Ctrl-I) makes the rythm into a syncopated triplet
Group 3 - Stalks and Beams
The buttons in this group enable you to customise the way individual stalks and beams are drawn. VBR usually chooses a sensible default but using these buttons, you can override the default values.
(Shortcut Ctrl-S) Clicking on this button with the LEFT hand mouse button will reverse the stalk of the whole notecluster under the cursor. Holding the SHIFT key down or using the RIGHT hand mouse button will reverse the stalk of the note closest to the red arrows. Note that in either case, if a notecluster with the other stalk already exists, the new note(s) will be added to this other cluster.
(Shortcut Ctrl-F) VBR usually chooses a sensible default way of beaming groups of notes together but you can force a beam to join to the next note using this button. You can even join notes across a barline if you wish. To cancel this effect, click on the button using the RIGHT hand mouse button or when holding the SHIFT key down.
(Shortcut Ctrl-B) In a similar way, you can break a beam which VBR has decided to draw using this button. Likewise, using the RIGHT hand mouse button or the SHIFT key removes this effect.
Very occasionally it is useful to be able to carry a beam across from one stave to another. Use this button to go from a lower stave to an upper one.
Use this button to jump from an upper stave to a lower one.
Note that in both cases the note stalks must point towards the opposite stave.
Group 4 - Miscellaneous functions
(Shortcut Ctrl-G) Normally it is possible only to put two noteclusters in the same slot on a stave - one with the stalk up and the other with the stalk down. Very occasionally it is useful to be able to place a third, (or even a fourth) notecluster in the same slot. To do this you must enter these 'alternative' notes first. Then use this button to mark them as 'alternative'. Now you will be able to add the 'real' notes as well. You will almost certainly have to adjust the exact positions of the notes relative to each other to achieve the desired effect. (See ' microadjusting' here.)
Alternative notes are shown in blue on the screen in order to distinguish them from real notes but they are played and printed as normal.
(Shortcut Ctrl-H) VBR provides six different styles of notehead. Normal, small, crosshead, diamond, open diamond and headless. These are applied to each note within a notecluster. Place the cursor over the notehead yopu wish to change and cycle through the alternatives.
Note that you can use the 'Note style' entry on the 'Block' menu to change all the notes within a given block simultaneously.
There is actually a seventh notehead style - the 'silent' notehead. For details on when you might want to use this feature, see here
(Shortcut Ctrl-N) This button forces an enharmonic change. eg it will turn an F# into a Gb or a C natural into a B#.
(Shortcut Ctrl-M) When notes are tied together, the tie may bend either up or down. VBR tries to get it right but you can use this button to correct things if it gets it wrong.
Group 5 - Shifting notes and other things
For more information about how to use these functions click here.
(Shortcut Ctrl-7/8) If you want to move an accent up or down, click on this button. Using the LEFT hand mouse button shifts the accent UP one line; using the RIGHT hand mouse button moves it DOWN again.
(Shortcut Ctrl-shift-9/0) If you want to make small adjustments to the position of an accidental, click on this button. Using the LEFT hand mouse button shifts the accidental to the left; using the RIGHT hand mouse button moves it back again.
(Shortcut Ctrl-9/0) If you want to make small adjustments to the position of a note within the slot, click on this button. Using the LEFT hand mouse button moves the note to the right; using the RIGHT hand mouse button moves it back again.
(Shortcut Ctrl-UP/DOWN) If you want to move a single note within a cluster (or a rest) up or down, place the cursor on the note and click on this button. Using the LEFT hand mouse button shifts the note UP one line; using the RIGHT hand mouse button moves it DOWN again.
(Shortcut Shift-Ctrl-UP/DOWN) If you want to shift a whole cluster of notes up or down, use this button. As before, using the LEFT hand mouse button shifts the cluster UP one line; using the RIGHT hand mouse button moves it DOWN again.
(Shortcut Ctrl-LEFT) If you want to shift a whole cluster of notes (or a rest) one slot to the LEFT, use this button.
(Shortcut Ctrl-RIGHT) If you want to shift a whole cluster of notes (or a rest) one slot to the RIGHT, use this button.
Group 6 - Kerning and aligning
These two buttons apply to the whole bar containing the cursor.
For more information about manual kerning click here.
(Shortcut Ctrl-K) When VBR calculates the width of the slot necessary to accomodate all the notes, dots and accidentals in a slot, it does not normally take into account any white space that may be available in neighboring slots. The appearance of some scores may, however, be considerably enhanced by a process similar to the 'kerning' applied to letters such as A and W. To achieve this effect, click on this button.
Note that if you do not like the default values, you can adjust slot widths manually. (see 'microadjusting' here.)
(Shortcut Ctrl-A) In order for a bar to play correctly, notes which are to be played simultaneously must be in the same slot and notes which are not to be played simultaneously (eg when playing a duplet rythm against a triplet) must be in different slots. It is easy to get this wrong and VBR will attempt to sort it out for you at the touch of this button. (Aligning an incorrectly aligned bar is not always possible without making assumptions about what is really intended so VBR does not always get it right either!)
Using the RIGHT hand mouse button (or the SHIFT key) will reset the bar to its default state.
Aligning and kerning should only be carried out when all other editing has been completed.
Note that Kerning and aligning can also be carried out on the score as a whole.
Group 7 - Quick delete
(Shortcut Ctrl-DELETE) Clicking on this button will delete the whole slot under the cursor instantly and if you use the RIGHT hand mouse button, it will delete a whole bar. It should therefore be used with a little caution - but if you make a mistake, the' undo' facility will restore it.