Can wide spacing on wide lyrics be avoided? Can barlines be kept from the right edge slightly?

Hi. Three questions that have come to mind on a recent project.

  1. In the attached screenshot, all of the notes are eighth notes with stems hidden. The f#—>e seems to have been spread out because of the lyric “weighed.” Is there a setting to minimize the impact of unusually long syllables mixed in with short ones?

Screen Shot 2021-10-13 at 7.44.40 PM

  1. Tick marks and half-bars at the far right edge of a system should be held from the edge just a bit in the scores I’m working on. So far, I’ve lucked out that everything has ended up breaking the bar mid-measure and I haven’t had to sort it out in Illustrator. This screenshot was of a past project I did in Finale, where I just set the barline to none, and added the tick or half-bar as an expression.

  1. Can the details of the tick and short/half barline be adjusted? I don’t see it in the Engraving Options. Specifically, to control the vertical length of each. Dorico’s defaults will work if necessary, but slight modification would be preferable.


The option Make space for lyrics can be found on the Note Spacing page of Layout Options, and you can switch this off, but in general I wouldn’t recommend it: I think you’ll find that you have to make a lot more adjustments for situations where Dorico’s automatic spacing does exactly what you want rather than the converse.

Thanks for the feedback about tick and short barlines. The challenge with having the tick barlines inset from the end of the system is that Dorico doesn’t know whether a barline is going to be at the end of the system until it’s actually casting off, but it would need to be able to take that additional space into account only under those circumstances. Otherwise, it would effectively mean that the width of that tick barline is basically (say) one space under all circumstances, and that might throw off the spacing at the start of every other bar. I’ll have to think about this and discuss with the team, though I’m afraid it’s not likely to be something we’ll be working on imminently.

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Marc, I do chant work constantly. The best I can suggest is individually nudging unusually long syllables/words or using the note spacing tool after the fact to make adjustments. You can also decrease the default note spacing, which tends to yield better results by default.

As to Daniel’s point about tick barlines, personally I think that making them wider in all scenarios by default would actually be a good thing, since I’d guess they are most commonly used in chant anyway. I find I often nudge notes away from them on the right even mid system. (Just did this yesterday, in fact. They are so little that they are easy to miss, so giving them more space tends to look better.)

As for the ends of staves, I requested this a long time ago (see above). Every professionally published hymnal in my (extensive) collection moves tick and half barlines a few spaces away from the end of the stave. It is certainly very common modern practice too.

You can add dummy measures after you decide on the system breaks, and then hide the rests, but this is cumbersome, and it’s much easier to just fix it in InDesign or Affinity Publisher, which is what I do. I take every score I produce into AP to make all these little tweaks. Sadly, for this type of work it simply isn’t possible for me to go straight from dorico to print.

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Thanks for your advise on the topic. Here’s hoping that future versions will make this easier to work with.