Clef origin and alignment


I am trying to align the bass clef’s of a font of mine to the rest of the clefs based on its origin rather than tail. The space before clef in engraving mode naturally affects all clefs. The bounding box values and other properties in the JSON file don’t seem to have an effect. Any help is much appreciated.

Thank you

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For that glyph I think I would contravene the recommendation in the SMuFL spec and give the bass clef some negative left side bearing. Maybe not the entire red width, but part of it.

EDIT – Ah, but you said changing the bounding box does not work? So that’s why they’re supposed to have no side bearings – those are ignored because Dorico places glyphs by their actual outlines. In that case, the only possible thing you can do is change the glyph so the tail of the clef doesn’t stick out so far.

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In my font the bass clef glyph already has negative left sidebearing, but Dorico is not taking it into account. That’s the main problem actually.

Instead of moving the bass clef to the left by itself, you could move the other clefs to the right. In Library > Music Symbols, search for G clef, delete the existing glyph and add the glyphs staff1Line (U+E010) and gClef (U+E050). Select the first glyph, reduce the Y scale to obtain the desired horizontal displacement of the clef and change the Y offset to move the staff line glyph over the X axis. Then do the same for the C clef.

In the following example, the Bravura G clef is moved to the right by setting the Y scale of the staff line glyph to 30. Note how this glyph is hidden inside the G staff line:

You can now move all of the clefs to the left by reducing the spacing gap before clefs in the engraving options.


As others have mentioned, Dorico doesn’t use the origin point of the glyph when positioning clefs, but rather their bounding box. I’m not sure what would be involved in changing this, and I’d be worried about the impact on existing projects were we to do so, given the plurality of fonts in use out there.

At some point in the future, we plan to add an editor for clefs to the Library menu, and perhaps at that point we could add some kind of horizontal offset property to the clef definition so that you could adjust this on a per-clef basis.


Sadiqi Jawhar,

Since Dorico use the BB to position the clefs horizontally, try to edit the music font in your font editor, and just left-nudge the Bass clef a bit, then export the font directly to your font system while Dorico is running, then notice if it moved to the left or not. Don’t touch the JSON :wink:


Thank you ! This is a great workaround for the moment being !

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I tried that dear Nor but as I already mentioned Dorico doesn’t take into account the sidebearings but the actual width of the glyph, my font already had the bass clef with negative sidebearing but Dorico ignores that.

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It would be really great to have a clefs editor !

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When you say ‘my font’, what font?

my font means a font I created.


I think I already bought a font of yours, which is an alphabetical one (Roman Ionic). Unfortunately it only has standard shape (no italics nor bold). I know how much work is involved (I have Glyphs but no time to use it…) so don’t take this as a complaint.
I’m glad you also create musical fonts! That is also something I’d like to do :crazy_face:
Oh, I didn’t know about Risoluto! Beautiful one, I might get it too!



Here is a very quick test (test biddon) example proving that you can move the Bass clef to the left like below:

Don’t touch the side-bearing guides! Only move the Bass clef shape to the left.


That alto clef is beautiful.


It did not work for me on Glyphsapp, thanks anyway my friend !

Thank you dear Marc ! (More is to come)


Thank you :pray:

Try the FL8 30 days trail then. :wink:

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I also purchased this font a few years ago. There was a disclaimer at the time that the other styles were to follow, and I wondered about it for a long time.

Glad to hear it. I’d love to finally have a matching italic style.

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Have you tried my font risoluto ? It is intended to pair with roman ionic as an italic, and it is the typeface that was used to pair with the Roman ionic in old Durand scores as you can see from the excerpt below. (More is to come as in more fonts and font families are to come).

Link for Risoluto if you are interested :