Chord symbol sizing

I appreciate the many ways that it’s possible to customize the appearance of chord symbols. But I have some issues…

  • If I increase the size of the font for chord symbols, the flat or sharp symbol in the root of the chord (e.g. in F#, Bb) does not change size! Surely this is an oversight. If I increase the size of the font to make it more readable, then of course I need the # and b symbols to change accordingly.
  • Some other symbols also do not change in size, e.g. the triangle used for maj/maj7. Again, this defeats the purpose of making the font larger
  • I’d like to see some custom sizing options for various elements. For example, the “m” part of Cm. Currently I have 2 size options: normal, or the smaller superscript/subscript. Subscript seems too small for readability, but normal seems too large to me, based on the size of other chord elements. Being able to re-size other elements would also fix my previous issue, where the triangle and other things appear too small.
  • I’d like to see some custom spacing options. Currently, in certain fonts, with a chord like Cm7, the m and 7 are slightly overlapping each other. Or, with slash chords where the bass note appears underneath, the slash is overlapping the bass note. There is currently no way to adjust this spacing.

I’ve been trying out different fonts for chord symbols, because Academico just seems too formal. I’ve found several I like, but the above issues create difficulties. The sizing issue of #, b, and other symbols occurs in Academico as well.


  • There are three chord symbols fonts, not 1. You can change the size of the Chord Symbols Music Text (sharps/flats etc.) separately from the size of the Chord Symbols Text. The beauty of this is that you have control over exactly how big the sharps/flats/triangles are relative to the root notes of the chord. This is sensible design, rather than an oversight.
  • See above
  • You can customise the sizes of superscript/subscript to your heart’s content, here:

  • You can adjust the spacing of EVERY individual chord symbol by double-clicking on it in Engrave Mode and editing it, or by adding a global override from Engraving Options > Chord Symbols > Project Default Appearances > Edit.

I think that covers the lot, here. There’s nothing here that Dorico can’t already do; you just hadn’t figured out how to do it :wink:

Thanks pianoleo for such a detailed reply. However, there are still major difficulties.

  • Changing size of Chord Symbols Music Text works well, thanks. It’s not intuitive to have two separate adjustments, but it is highly versatile, yes.
  • I had overlooked “scale factor for subscript/superscript…”, thanks again.
  • Double-clicking a chord symbol in Engrave mode to edit it, is extremely powerful, but it only applies to the actual instance that you’ve clicked on. If I adjust Cm7, then all other Cm7 in the project are not affected. So this is very useful to get you out of a tight spot or for very unusual chords, but clearly not functional for more sweeping changes to the overall way chord symbols appear.
  • Adding a global override in Engraving Options > Chord Symbols > Project Default Appearances. This is also of limited use, especially for large projects. If I adjust Cm7, then all Cm7 in the project follow, which is good. But Dm7 , Em7, etc. do not. I think there needs to be an easy way to adjust the appearance of all chord symbols of a certain type. For example, if you were able to select just “m7” in the dialog, rather than having to select “Cm7” or Dm7", this issue would be solved!
  • Further to global overrides, sometimes multiple elements are grouped together so that the components cannot be adjusted separately. Examples are Cmaj7b5 (5 cannot be separated from b), Cadd2 (2 can’t be separated from add, even though the 4 can be separated from Csus4), and Cm/F (the C and m can’t be separated, so I can’t make the “m” consistent with the straight Cm chord). Two of these examples actually mean that Chord Symbols Text and Chord Symbols Music Text are not completely separated.
  • I also found that the size of the circle used for a dim chord could be changed in the global override, but the change was not reflected in the score. This may be a bug.
  • I did a “Save as default”, but that may have been a mistake - I’m unclear how it might affect future projects.


Clicking ‘Save as Default’ in the Engraving Options dialog will set the current set of engraving options across all pages of the dialog as the default for future projects, which may indeed not be what you wanted to do. You can undo this by holding Alt (Mac) or Ctrl (Windows) in the Engraving Options dialog, which will make one of the buttons change to say ‘Remove Saved Defaults’. Click that, and your saved default engraving options will be removed.

Thanks Daniel.
I think the most useful suggestion I have is to somehow allow the selection of just “m7” or other chord types in the dialog, so that all chords of a certain type could be adjusted with one action.
Onwards… :slight_smile:

If it were simple to have made the program work that way, we would have done so. The goal is to provide sufficient control for the appearance of chord symbols in Engraving Options so you don’t need to change every single extension type manually. Obviously I understand your point in your original post that using some fonts you find that certain characters overlap: perhaps you could say which fonts this happens with?

One of the first things I do when creating a new score is to open the font styles menu in Engrave Mode and then change the sizes of both Chord Symbol-related styles from 11pt to 16pt. Looks great!


Percy39, that’s a bizarre way of working! :slight_smile:
Benji, do you still use Academico font for Chord Symbols?
Overall sizing is working well, after I’ve investigated some of pianoleo’s suggestions. It’s more subtle adjustments within chord symbols that I’m searching for now. Thanks!

Percy, welcome to the forum. If you don’t mind me saying so, that is a bit strange, and not at all how Dorico should work in this regard.


No, I like the look of Petaluma, so I’m using that!