SmartMusic Blog: Where a “Cursor” doesn’t use foul language

While SmartMusic 2011 seems to be working great for folks new to SmartMusic, some long-time users have asked me; “How do I turn the cursor off?”

For those of you not familiar with the cursor, it is the green line that shows the beat visually:

In previous versions, the cursor could be turned off via a control panel at the bottom of the screen:

That control panel isn’t at the bottom of the screen in SmartMusic 2011. Why’d we change it?

Among the many goals of SmartMusic 2011 was to be able to display more notation on the screen. These controls were removed to make more room for more music. Today you can control the cursor from the View menu:

The Mac View menu is on the left, the Windows View menu is on the right.

Let’s take a closer look at the View menu. The cursor may be turned on or off by selecting “Cursor.” The cursor can also be made to follow the rhythm of the notes (as in past versions) or the downbeat, an option new to SmartMusic 2011.

Also found in the View menu is the ability to show “Music on screen.” You might wish to turn this off to practice memorizing a piece with or without assessment.

In SmartMusic 2010, there was a slider control at the bottom of the screen that allowed you to reduce or enlarge the size of the on-screen music. Today’s View menu provides this control in the form of Zoom In/Zoom Out choices.

Notice that there are shortcut keys (listed to the right of each menu item) that can be used to invoke most of these functions. If you are not familiar with shortcuts, they are key combinations that enable you to invoke commands without having to use the mouse. Learning the shortcuts for the functions you use the most can speed up your workflow – in most any computer program. If you forget a SmartMusic shortcut, the answer is always available in the menu.

Briefly, the last set of functions in the View menu allows you to navigate through music that has more than one page.

I think that grouping all these items that affect what you see on screen under the View menu makes sense, and I appreciate the extra screen area for music. More important, however, is what you think.  Let us know by clicking on “Comments” below!

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