Edit Notehead dialog

The Edit Notehead dialog allows you to design custom noteheads and edit the appearance and arrangement of existing noteheads.

  • You can open the Edit Notehead dialog from within the Edit Notehead Sets dialog, by selecting the notehead whose design you want to edit from the Notehead Set list and either double-clicking it or clicking Edit Notehead in the action bar in the Notehead section.

Edit Notehead dialog

The Edit Notehead dialog contains the following sections and options:

  1. Name

    Contains the saved name for predefined noteheads, or an automatically generated name for new noteheads. You cannot change this name.

  2. Component selector

    Allows you to choose components to add to the notehead. You can add different types of components by clicking the respective tab titles.

    • Glyph, for example, or . You can use different styles of glyphs by selecting different fonts and font styles/weights from the menus. You can search using SMuFL or Unicode ranges. Click Add Glyph to add the selected glyph to the notehead.


      A full list of the different ranges of glyphs is available on the SMuFL website.

    • Text, including numbers and other text. You can use numbers and text from the available Preset text list or select any font available from the menu and enter your preferred text into the text box at the bottom. Click Add Text to add the selected or input text to the notehead.

    • Graphic: Allows you to load a new graphics file or select an existing graphic from the Select existing list in SVG, PNG, or JPG format. You can see a preview of the graphic in the Preview box. Click Add Graphic to add the selected graphic to the notehead.

    • Composite: Allows you to select a composite from the list. Click Add Composite to add the selected composite to the notehead.

  3. Editor

    Allows you to arrange and edit the components that make up the notehead. You can arrange and edit components by clicking and dragging them in the editor and by using the controls at the bottom of the dialog. You can also use the handles on each component to change their size.

    We recommend that you position the notehead in the center of the editor so that its left edge is aligned with the thicker vertical grid line and its middle is aligned with the thicker horizontal grid line.

  4. Editor action bar

    Contains selection and view options for the editor.

    • Zoom: Allows you to change the zoom level in the editor.

    • Select: Allows you to select the next/previous component.

    • Show Attachments Show Attachments button: Shows all the attachments on all components in the editor.

    • Delete : Deletes the selected component.

  5. Controls

    Contains controls that allow you to edit individual components. Controls are divided into tabs according to the aspect of the selected component they affect. For noteheads, the Component, Stem, and Attachments tabs are available.

    The Component tab contains the following options:

    • Offset: Controls the position of the selected component. X moves it horizontally, Y moves it vertically.

    • Scale: Controls the size of the selected component. For graphics, X controls its width, Y controls its height.


      Although some components scale their height and width independently, others retain their aspect ratio, meaning only one value affects their overall size.

    • Z order: Allows you to Bring Forward or Send Backward the selected component in relation to other components when they overlap.

    • Color: Allows you to change the color of the selected component.

    The Stem tab contains options controlling the position of where stems attach to the notehead. Each notehead can have multiple stem attachment points, as stems often attach to noteheads in different places when the note is stem up, stem down, and split for altered unisons. Stem attachment points include an indication of the stem direction for which the attachment is used and the part of the stem that attaches to this position, given as a compass direction. For example, Stem up SE is where the bottom right corner of an up stem attaches to the notehead.

    Each stem attachment point in the Stem tab has the following options:

    • X: Moves the attachment point horizontally.

    • Y: Moves the attachment point vertically.

    • Add : Adds the attachment point to the notehead.

    • Delete : Removes the attachment point from the notehead.

    The Attachments tab is only available if the notehead comprises at least two separate components. It contains the following options:

    • Attachment from: Sets the attachment point on the component to the left of the selected component to which the selected component attaches. We recommend that you select a right edge attachment point for Attachment from.

    • Attachment to: Sets the attachment point on the selected component which attaches to the component to its left. We recommend that you select a left edge attachment point for Attachment to.

There are eight attachment points for glyphs and graphics, and eleven for text, due to the extra space required for letters that extend below the baseline. The example diagram helps you visualize how these points relate to components.

Diagram with glyph, graphics, and text attachment points labelled

The attachment points have the following names in the Edit Notehead dialog:

  1. Top Left

  2. Top Center

  3. Top Right

  4. Middle Left

  5. Middle Right

  6. Baseline Left (text only)

  7. Baseline Center (text only)

  8. Baseline Right (text only)

  9. Bottom Left

  10. Bottom Center

  11. Bottom Right