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Scrollable vs. Paged layout

Soundslice supports two types of layout for all music: Scrollable and Paged.

  • Scrollable (our default) means the music continuously scrolls, as if it’s on a neverending piece of paper. This can be vertical or horizontal.
  • Paged means we display one screenful of music at a time, and you can quickly navigate between pages — as in a PDF reader.

Here’s an animation showing the differences:

Animation of layout examples

To view your current layout and make changes, open the player’s settings and look for the Layout section:

Screenshot of Layout section

Use cases

Each layout is optimized for a different way of editing, learning and practicing music:

  • Vertical Scrollable layout is for working with music interactively. It has the feel of a large canvas that you can iteratively dig into, both in editing and practicing. It’s easy to create loops, and it’s easy to specify exactly which music you’re seeing on your screen.
  • Horizontal Scrollable layout is for playing or singing along with a recording. It has a kind of karaoke or “bouncing ball” feel. It can also be useful when editing music that has multiple instruments, because each instrument forms a continuous line that’s easy for the eye to follow.
  • Paged layout is useful if you’re sightreading and want manual control over page turns. It most closely matches the experience of old fashioned paper music.

Playback behavior

Each layout moves the music differently during playback. See Playhead scrolling options for more information, including additional options you can tweak.

How Paged layout works

Paged layout always guarantees that each “page” of music will fit entirely on your current screen. You don’t have to worry about staves that are only halfway visible; we automatically take care of that.

Our system considers all of the following while splitting your music into pages:

  • How much vertical and horizontal space the music occupies
  • Your current screen size
  • Your current zoom level
  • Your current stave width setting
  • Whether you’ve checked “Respect author’s stave breaks”

If any single bar of your music doesn’t fit in a page, we’ll automatically reduce the music’s size so that everything fits. This means that, if you’re on a small screen such as a smartphone, the music may appear a bit small.

Pro tip: If you’d like to fit more music on each page, change the zoom level. We’ll automatically recalculate your pages on the fly. Nice!

Navigating between pages in Paged layout

In Paged layout, we’ll display previous/next buttons on the left and right margins of your music. Just click/tap these to switch pages.

There’s also a keyboard shortcut: Alt Left arrow or Alt Right arrow.

Stave breaks

If the music you’re viewing has specific stave breaks, you’ll see a “Respect author’s stave breaks” checkbox under Layout:


(This option isn’t available in Horizontal Scrollable layout.)

If you check that box, we’ll make sure that the slice author’s stave breaks are always honored. If you uncheck the box, we’ll decide the stave breaks automatically, depending on your current screen size, zoom setting and stave width setting.

Creating music in Soundslice? See Controlling line breaks and systems for information on how to set stave breaks in your slices.

Stave width

You can use the “Stave width” slider to manually adjust how wide the music is. (This option isn’t available in Horizontal Scrollable layout.)


The number you see above the slider represents the stave width in “staff spaces” — where one staff space equals the distance between two staff lines. Our default stave width is 100 staff spaces.

If you move the slider all the way to the right, this will activate a special mode called “Fit to screen.” Here, we’ll automatically stretch music to fit whatever your screen width is. If you view a slice on a small screen such as a smartphone, we’ll automatically set this by default.

Can Soundslice save my preferred layout for a given slice?

Yes! If you’re logged in and have a paid Soundslice account, we’ll automatically save the currently selected layout so your practice environment will be preserved next time you view that slice.