Aleatoric boxes font

I needed to make some aleatoric boxes for a client and found the existing workarounds a little fiddly, so I made a simple font for drawing boxes:

Anyways, I called it AleBoxes, and it’s really easy to use: AaaaaA draws a short box, BbbbbB is taller, and it goes up to WwwwW, for whatever height you need. I find 24-point font works the best for me, but you can adjust the point size for different line thickness. Of course you have to turn off collision avoidance on that text object, or globally for the whole project.

It made short work of this project for me, so I’m sharing it here in case it’s helpful to others. If you have any ideas as to how I can improve it, let me know. You can download AleBoxes here.


This is fantastic, Dan ! Thank You
Finally there is no need to use *****ius

This is terrific, Dan. Thanks so much!

That’s fantastic! Thank you very much!


It can even do italic boxes! :astonished:




Many thanks @dankreider

This is great, thank you!

One way to improve the font would be perhaps to add just a couple of options for continuation arrows, something like this:

Of course it is possible to use Dorico’s native line tool for this, but especially for those short arrows it could make things a bit simpler!

I had thought about this and it’s a good idea, but the only problem is that the boxes are not always centered. So there’s no way to easily adjust the vertical positioning to make sure the line is centered inside the staff.

The better solution, I think, is to use Dorico’s lines, attach them to the barline, and align the right edge of the box to the barline.

Individual characters can be nudged up and down via the text editing toolbar, though, so does it matter if the box itself is centred on the staff?

Oh, baseline shift? Sure, the whole process just starts to get pretty fiddly. I don’t know, maybe it’s worth doing, if it would really work for other users. I don’t typically use these sorts of lines much (this was the first time I had needed to do aleatoric boxes), so I don’t know what the typical workflow looks like.

I’ll try it…

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I’m also wondering if the short kind of arrow necessarily even needs to be at the center of staff, for example if the box is placed very high?

Anyway, the tricky part for me is consistently connecting the arrow and box - it would certainly help if they were one solid object!

Also for some reason combining Dorico’s wiggly line and large arrowhead leaves a gap between them. What I posted earlier was the best I could do with editing a line with properties panel, but it could probably be fixed with the line editor.

I also realize now that I could have even tried to combine the arrow from MusGlyphs already!

PS: here’s the GitHub link: GitHub - dankreider/aleboxes: Simple boxes for aleatoric music, or for whatever ales you ;)

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OTFs usually work on Macs, but in this case both of my font manager applications (FontBook, FontExplorer) do not recognize the file. Any idea why?

Great idea, by the way.

I’m not sure, sorry. Maybe other Mac users can chime in? It’s working for me on PC.

working fine here, thanks Dan .


Yes, works fine here too (after unzipping, of course). @EdgarsMakens : you did click the green ‘Code’ button, and then ‘Download ZIP’?

Thanks. Are you all downloading it from the GitHub link?



Thank you, did as you said, and it works.
Previously i simply right-clicked on the file name. “Code” button isn’t really that intuitive as a gateway to download.