Basic question: »offset« and »start/end offset«

Maybe I’m a little dense, but I don’t get the logic of the difference between offset and start offset in the properties panel.

I know, that hairpins etc can be adjusted by start/end offset settings, because there is a start and an end of a hairpin.
But why are dynamic signs like »f« not adjustable by offset settings in the common section of the properties panes although this section is »active«? They are just adjustable by »start offset« although there is neither a start nor end for an »f«, also the playback doesn’t change if dynamics are adjusted in engrave mode.
Ok, maybe every dynamic is controlled by start/end offset and it doesn’t matter if there are possibilities to stretch something or to relocate starts and ends. Thats ok.

But more examples:
Sorts of text like staff text (shift-x) are adjustable by »offset«. Ok.
Rehearsal marks are just adjustable by »start offset«. Why not offset, too?
Whereas time signatures are just adjustable by offset (x field).

I studied the manual but didn’t get the key indication for the varying use of offset and start offset.

Does anybody know more?

There are boring technical reasons for these differences in behaviour. The offset properties in the Common group can only be used for specific, simple cases; items that have more complex requirements, such as tempo items that can appear in multiple vertical positions down the system, or dynamics that can be linked to dynamics on other staves, and so on, require their own offset types. In an ideal world more of this messy truth would be hidden away from you as the user so you don’t have to think about it. Normally if you nudge an item in Engrave mode with Alt+arrow keys of course you don’t need to think about it, since the appropriate offset will be applied directly.

Dear Daniel!
Thanks for your answer. In my opinion, there are no »boring« technical reasons. :wink: Technical reasons are always a main driver for changes in art and culture – as well as for the spirit and possibilities of Dorico, next to the user interface, this wonderful forum, etc.