Difference between minimum gap and space in lyrics and hyphens


I’m trying to understand those two setting that seem to control the relation between lyrics and hyphens.

The first one (as I read it) should change the distance between a syllable and a hyphen; but, when I change its value, nothing happens.

The second one (“minimum space”) is clearly defining the space between a syllable and a hyphen:

But given the description, “minimum space to allow for hyphen”, I was hoping that, in some cases, the hyphen would disappear.

Just in case Lillie stumbles upon this thread, I couldn’t find a description of these two options in the manual. It may just be me, but I can’t understand how these two work (given the description).

I’ve seen some posts related to this topic but couldn’t find a complete answer.

Thanks in advance

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Dorico doesn’t yet automatically allow for multi-syllable words to appear without hyphens. I’m sure it’s coming; I for one am looking forward to it as it would be awesome to do this without workarounds:

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Totally agree, this is a much needed feature that I miss from Finale when dealing with tight lyrics.

IIRC (and I do), Daniel agreed that this was needed. Don’t forget the man leads a choir too, so he knows about that bit :wink:

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As much as I would love to have that functionality, I really opened this thread to try to understand how these two options behave, because it seems that the first one isn’t modifying anything, and the second one (IMO, at least) doesn’t do what the description does.

Basically, the first one is modifying the gap between the text of a lyric and the hyphen that immediately follows it or precedes it, in situations in which there is already plenty of space. If the syllable is far from its hyphen then it could be mistaken for its own word in certain cases (e.g. the “in” of “in-side”).

Try setting “gap between hyphens” to a small value such as 2 spaces, then play around with different values of “minimum gap” to see what it’s doing more clearly.

I do agree that the picture in Layout Options is misleading, because it really only affects situations where there is more than one hyphen. Otherwise the hyphen is centered between the syllables.

Thanks! Now I finally understand what it’s doing. I still think that the images and the description could be changed to reflect a bit better what they are really supposed to do. Anyway, hope that those changes are on the way for the next version.

Ditto: What is the meaning of “gap”, and how is it different from “space”?

The option Minimum space for hyphen determines how much rhythmic space Dorico should allow for a hyphen when it is determining the minimum amount of space that the music on a system should occupy. If a lyric expects to show a hyphen (because it is not the final syllable of a multi-syllable word) then Dorico adds the amount of space specified in Minimum space for hyphen to the width of the lyric itself when it is totting up the minimum space required for the system.

Minimum gap between lyric and hyphen, on the other hand, specifies how much of a gap there must be visually between two lyrics for a hyphen to be allowed to appear between them. If there ends up being less of a gap than this minimum, then the hyphen will not appear.


I think in this case, “space” refers to a unit of measurement defined as equal to one space on the staff. “Gap” means the distance, whatever size, between the hyphens.


Thanks to both of you for your helpful replies.

I’m still a bit confused about it, but I’ll do a few controlled experiments (with a simple passage that contains many hyphenated lyrics) to try to see exactly what each of these parameters does, and then (hopefully) get back to you to see if I’m on the right track.

[Later. . .]

I definitely see this effect when setting min space for hyphen to a very large value — Dorico will even break a bar so that it takes up two systems, in order to accommodate this.

However, I don’t see any calculable correlation between the values I set and the end results. For example, with min space for hyphen set to its default of 1 space, I see that the distance from the beginning to the end of a two-syllable, hyphenated word (in a random file I created) is 76 pixels. When I set the min space for hyphen to 25 spaces, that distance becomes 242 pixels, which is only three times greater, rather than the twenty-five times greater that would correspond to the increase from 1 to 25 spaces.

When I change the value of the min gap between lyric and hyphen, I see no change in the gap between lyrics that consist of two syllables with one note per syllable. For example, I get these sized gaps with min gap at the factory default of 2 spaces:


. . . and the identically-sized gaps with min gap set to 25 spaces:


I even obtain the same sized gaps even after setting min gap to1/8 space.

(Of course, if I force more bars per system than can accommodate the lyrics, no hyphens appear, but the syllables also overlap and obscure each other.)

Where I do see an effect from different min gap settings is where two syllables are separated by more than one note. For example, with min gap set to the factory default of 2 spaces:


. . . and with min gap set to 25 spaces:


. . .

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