Character spacing in lyrics

I wonder if there’s any chance of changing the character spacing in lyrics similarly to the text pop-over. I need the font to be slightly narrower. (using DTL Documenta Sans)

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Unfortunately not yet. This is something I need as well. It’s planned for the future.


How lovely this would be. I also hope we get more granular control over individual words. But the ability to slightly condense letter/word spacing would be a huge asset.

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I agree. Barring this, and you undoubtedly know this already, you can choose a condensed font. I use Minion Pro Condensed for lyrics and this saves quite a bit of horizontal space.

Yes, if needed I use Bahnschrift Condensed. But I am not entirely pleased with it. Especially the komma looks way too small, quite like a full stop. I will take a closer look on the Minion font. Thanks for the recommendation.

I am aware that this is an option. I’ve yet to find a font I like as much as my current choice.

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What is your current choice, Romanos?

Iowan Old Style. I like it because it is a lovely serif font that has multiple weights. The shapes of the serif bits are also very complementary to my special title / score info font Yana which is a highly specialized font with tons of ligatures. The fact that the two marry so well together is what primarily keeps me with Iowan.

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I hadn’t seen this one before, but I agree it’s very nice. And a rather tall x-height, so legible at smaller point sizes. Thanks for the info.

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Agreed; it is very comfortable down to 7.5-8pt footers. I typically aim for 11pt lyrics, although I’ve also had great success with 10.5 bold (which is really somewhere between “medium” and true bold). It’s default kerning in Dorico is a bit wide, however, which is why I’d like a little more control over character spacing in lyrics because it can be comfortably condensed (as I’ve tested in Affinity Publisher).

I use 9.8-pt Minion Pro for hymnals, and it’s extremely readable. I’ll have to do a side-by-side with Iowan.

You know, I’ve seen you mention minion pro before but I’ve never explored it before. It is quite lovely and I like that there’s both a medium and semi-bold. I love those slightly meatier font-weights. I may need to make an investment…

Minion also has ‘optical sizes’, so there are Caption, Subhead and Display variants of each weight.
The Caption size is designed to be more legible at small point sizes, so that’s something to consider.

Elaine Gould makes the suggestion that the body height of lyric text should be 1 space high, which is a nice yardstick.

Indeed; I was considering buying the medium caption yesterday. My only quibble (apart from the fact that the set is expensive) is the ugly Th ligature. It’s not my favorite look and unfortunately that’s a common combination.