Always place accent outside of staff?

I prefer to have the accent marking (>) always drawn outside of the staff. Dorico draws it inside the staff under certain circumstances even when “Position of larger articulations in the staff” is set to “Position outside the staff” in Engraving Options. Is this intended behavior?
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It doesn’t look like this is possible, but I do agree that it’s a necessary option.

In fact, I don’t even consider Dorico’s current behavior of placing accents on the midline inside the staff to be correct. Normally, accents should only appear inside the staff whenever outside placement would result in an excessive distance to the notehead (more than 2 spaces). This is typically a problem with beamed notes, when the beam causes the notes closest to the beam to be stemmed opposite their natural direction, towards the edge of the staff.

I’ve never found anything like an algorithm to deal with this. Outside should be the default, but I often find (due to beaming) that inside is better - but not always…

I think the intention is that the accent, as well as marcato and staccatissimo, should be affected by this option. I’ll ask András about this when I’m back in London next week.

Is there any news about this, Daniel? Personally, I don’t like to see accents within the staff unless absolutely necessary.

Just found this thread. With a note on the middle line, the accents are placed inside the staff, no matter what the option mentioned above is set to.

Is there any way of adjusting the accents vertical position on a case by case basis? Could not find a way in Engrave mode but that might be me…


I resolved this by creating a playing technique with the accent. It will always stay outside of the staff, and I can adjust it in Engrave mode.

I was trying though to move the glyph in the editor, to raise/lower it a bit, but no success. Can this be done? The glyph moves in the editor but it’s not reflected in the score.

No, the playing technique is positioned purely according to the bounding rectangle of the components you assemble in the editor, according to the default value in Engraving Options for the vertical position of the playing technique.

Ah, OK, now I see. I also did not realize that there are two different settings for playing technique, one for text and one for symbols. Now I’m all set.

Thanks Daniel.

To add to this, is there plans to make it so the accent is ALWAYS outside the staff? I have the engraving options set as such, and the accent still appears inside the staff.


No current plans, but I know that you and a few others would like it.

Thanks Daniel!

I know there’s a lot to juggle. Hopefully down the road there will be time to revisit this.

On another note, would it be possible to make an editorial change to the engraving options to prevent others from thinking Dorico will do this?
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Hi Robby,

Under Engraving Options -> Articulations there is an option for Placement of Accents, and I find that the “Always Above” option mostly does what I would like for percussion stuff, although I appreciate that your interest may include much more than percussion.

We need the same option for staccatos and all other articulations. I know that may sound like heresy to some people, but those of us with marginal vision will greatly appreciate having a the markings out where we can actually see them. Hiding articulations among staff lines is a hostile act, IMHO.

Is there a way we can choose to have articulations placed above only for the percussion/drum line parts but have “normal” placement for all the other parts (perhaps this option for accents and other articulations can be added under the percussion submenu of engraving options?). Right now when I try to make this selection under articulations it affects all parts and I would only like to do this for percussion.

That’s a good point, but no, I’m afraid at the moment that’s not possible. I will add this to our list of things to do!

Could it be left to the user to choose which articulations are considered “large enough” to be forced outside the staff with this option? Personally, I would force Schoenberg’s stress marks outside the staff as well.

More importantly, there is no property to override this positioning; not even Offset in Engrave mode. Even if the global setting positioned accents outside the staff, perhaps you find a one-off where it would be clearest to have it inside instead. I would probably set it as an additional property in Articulations, like “Force outside staff”. That way, if there were many notes that needed correction, the articulations could all be forced outside but preserving staff placement above and below.

On the subject of those properties, I’m not sure about the utility of the current Placement options. You can currently force stem side and notehead side, but you cannot force above, below, or natural. With the current implementation, if you have accents placed naturally, but you want to set several notes to have them above, then you must set the downstem notes’ property to “stem side” but the upstem notes’ property to “notehead side”.

In Engraving options, each articulation type has just two Placement options: “Above” and “Natural” (from my understanding, natural is “notehead side if single-voice, stem side if multi-voice”). For more comprehensive articulation placement settings, I propose adding “Below” and separating natural placement into “Notehead side” and “Stem side”, adding the boolean option “Force stem side in multi-voice context”. The four-way “Placement” option, the “Force stem side in multi-voice context” boolean option, and the “Force outside staff” boolean option should be available for each articulation in the Engraving options page, as well as the properties of each articulation for overriding. Something like this mockup:


…and then if the part transposes, you would likely have to go back and adjust.

I like your four-part solution–or is that an eight-part solution? :slight_smile:

Adding my vote for this update as well. This was actually the first thing that I looked at when I opened 2.2 because I waste so much time moving accents. I think the the issue is worsened by the fact that the contextual explanation in the engraving options for this says “Marcato and accent articulations” so it creates a strong expectation that this setting will affect both marcato (which it does) and accent (which it doesn’t).

Thanks for everything (and particularly for being so responsive to the suggestions on these forums).

This is something that would be useful in the Broadway world as well. Thanks.

Don Rice