Default text vertical line spacing / leading spacing


I’d like to write some woodwind finger diagrams in Dorico for multiphonics. i can achieve the right look with unicode characters and the super/subscript options for default text, e.g.

♮● ● ●G#| ○ ● ●D#

(G# and D# are super and sub script positions but can’t be shown here).

I’d like to write them vertically, as this is easier for players to read, and works better in terms of saving space for the score layout, especially when you have several multiphonics or technique texts in a row. e.g.



However, when I add line breaks between each character, the leading / vertical spacing is too large, a bit like above. Is there a way to adjust this, as there is for horizontal spacing, already included in the default text GUI? For example I’d like to contract the spacing by ca. 50%


You should be able to do this by creating a paragraph style with the appropriate formatting, and applying that paragraph style to the multiphonic text (that describes text in text frames, but the same steps apply to text objects).

For what it’s worth, I have a few paragraph styles saved as default with the various leading/bold/font size settings I like to format my pre-score info pages, and it’s pretty handy - once you’ve set up the style once, you can keep it forever.

You can sort of achieve this overall scaling by progressively increasing the baseline shift of each line. In the attachment I increased the baseline by multiples of 4 - however, as I’d like to use a border too, you can see that Dorico draws a border around the original baseline positions - so I still have the same problem that the overall diagram looks too tall.

Thanks Lillie, I’ll give this approach a whirl.

You might have more luck using a dedicated font for woodwind fingering.

Thanks Lillie - this is almost perfect, see attached image.

The only way it could be better is if the default tex GUI had a leading spacing option like it already does for horizontal spacing, so you could change the vertical spacing of each character. This is relevant here because visually I want to keep the spacing of the main keys equal, even when there are extra keys (like the ‘b’ key for example in the image) between the main keys, but everything is on it’s own line, hence the need to alter individual character/line spacing, as well as overall leading.

In this case, I made a new paragraph style, decreased the leading to 50%, but to keep the spacing of the main keys equal I still had to use base line shift around the ‘in-between / extra’ keys to make it look right.

Also, some text, for example Dorcico’s natural accidental (used at the top of diagram) seems to take more vertical spacing automatically. If I copy it into a word document I notice huge empty space above and below all the accidental glyphs, compared to normal text. Just another small thing to consider.

Anyhow this is pretty niche so I appreciate the insight. I think more useful to everyone using Dorico could be these three suggestions:

  1. Leading spacing inside default text GUI
  2. attachment rulers for selected objects
  3. measure vertical offset of text from text baseline, not the most extruding (highest/lowest) part of the glyph.

This also makes me think that I’ve noticed weird behaviour in default text’s offset - two adjacent texts can have the same Y offset but not be aligned to the eye. I’m guessing it’s something to do with what the text is offset from / attached to, but it’s tedious to fix by eye, especially when there are no object rulers, nor the offset measured to the text baseline, as mentioned in 2) and 3) above. This would be very useful if it could be addressed in future versions, it seems like a glaring hole from the point of view of professional engraving requirements.

Might you have any suggestions there, Daniel?

If they’re all on separate lines (i.e. each line is its own paragraph) could you try having a second paragraph style with 0% leading and apply that to the “in-between” keys? Possibly 6 of one and half a dozen of the other, but if it follows the principle of “set up the necessary styles once, apply them quickly & consistently forevermore” that might be easier.

Just to check, if you’re inserting a natural accidental e.g. copied from the SMuFL gitbook, you’re applying the Music Font character style to it? That should format it more comfortably - i.e. it uses the “Bravura Text” font, not “Bravura” (Bravura Text is formatted differently to fit better in text).

I am using the Legni Fonts, which are awesome and costs are on a contribution basis: