Custom voice notes position

Hey there!
I’m trying to achieve the voice position that is shown in image 1, but Dorico spaces the eight note not to be touching its flag with the following note. How can I decrease this spacing?
Well, I also tried to increase the stem height in order not to touch the next note (see images 2 and 3), but Dorico does nothing else to it.

Image 3.png
Image 2.png
Image 1.png

Unfortunately you probably can’t achieve this result at the moment, because Dorico won’t allow that flag to collide with the notehead as it does in the original engraving.

Ok, I know what you mean. Thanks!

Daniel, here you have another example of what I am not able to achieve with Dorico (see image 1). There should be a voice property that respects the spacing of any voice, so they do not collide, as seen in image 2.


Albert, you could only have obtained the result you got in Image 1.png by setting the ‘Voice column index’ property for the down-stem quarter note to the same as the up-stem half note octave. Dorico by default would put that quarter note to the right of the half notes, but if you use Edit > Stem > Swap Voice Order on those notes instead, you’ll get the result you want – see the attached picture.

Wow, thanks! Did not thought about that.
Anyway, if you look at the image you posted… do you see the collision between the first chord and the second semiquaver note? Can we do anything to solve this?

It’s not colliding; it is separated by 1/16th space. You can make this gap larger by increasing the setting of ‘Gap between adjacent noteheads in different voices’ in the ‘Voices’ group at the bottom of the Notes page of Engraving Rules, but beware that obviously this will also affect other situations.

Daniel, you’re right, but I’m not referring to this spacing. In the attached image you can see what do I mean hahaha.

We’re talking about the same thing, and you can increase the gap there in the way I described. I suggest you give it a try.

Yes, I tried to change that value and it changes the spacing number 1 (see attached image), because the chord corresponds to the first beat. It’s independent to the second one, so that’s why I wanted to increase the spacing number 2—they look too close.

Ah, of course. Well, you can’t do anything about that until we have manual note spacing control, I’m afraid. Again, Dorico doesn’t consider there to be a collision there so it keeps the natural rhythmic spacing, but of course it’s too tight in practice.

Ok, thank you very much, Daniel, for your time! And excuse me not to have explained the problem quite well.

No, I’m sorry I wasn’t reading the music closely enough. You’d think that since I had taken the time to actually enter into Dorico I would have read the music a bit more closely…!

Don’t excuse yourself! That notation is a bit clunky and streched…!

Hey there!

I just want to revive this thread to ask a small question: as you said in a previous post, Daniel, spacing between voices can be manually adjusted, but shouldn’t there be an Engraving option to set the ‘Gap between adjacent stems in different voices’ to be more consistent across flows in general? I personally find that gap top small (stems are too close).


Dorico 1.1 was released in June 2017, and since then Dorico has had a manual Note Spacing tool (in Engrave mode, in the left panel). Much of the advice on this thread is no longer relevant. Have you tried adjusting the Note Spacing manually?

Yes, pianoleo, I have tried it. But imagine that you have plenty of these stems colliding across a whole movement (as in Brahms’ First Intermezzo)… now I have to tweak every instance manually. A single Engraving option (as there are currently at the bottom of Notes section) should be enough to set the spacing gap consistently in all occurrences.

I don’t have any further advice to add beyond my original suggestion to change ‘Gap between adjacent noteheads in different voices’. Dorico doesn’t know enough about the disposition of the stems to provide a different value for that situation. I would never say never, but it’s not something that would be trivial for us to achieve.

And fortunately for us, it is extremely easy to fix using the note spacing tool.