Different minimum gaps between adjacent lyrics depending on separator

I’m working on a piano/vocal score right now, and I’m finding it hard to tweak the spacing values for lyrics.

In Engraving Options > Lyrics > Spacing, I’d like to be able to specify different minimum gap values for adjacent lyrics depending on how they’re separated, whether it’s a hyphen, an extender line, or nothing.

In my opinion, the distance between adjacent lyrics separated by a hyphen can be smaller than the distance between adjacent lyrics separated by a space. A smaller distance allows different syllables of a word to be spaced closer together, which not only reduces horizontal spacing pressure, but also helps with word recognition. In contrast, the distance between adjacent lyrics separated by a space should be large enough to clearly recognize a space. A single minimum gap value here must compromise between these two goals.

In addition, setting this “Minimum gap between adjacent lyrics separated by a hyphen” value to be equal to or greater than the “Minimum gap between lyric and hyphen” should guarantee the presence of a hyphen whenever they are used, and one could similarly force the presence of an extender line.

Yes please!

Thanks for the suggestion, JesterMusician, which I will make a note of and we’ll think about for possible future implementation.

Thanks for that, Daniel. And I was wondering… I often find that, when syllables are really close, the editions (certainly not computer-based editions) simply write the word without hyphen. Would/could that option be implemented?

Finale does this. When the hyphenated syllables are close enough together, the hyphen vanishes.

Well, actually what I am used to seeing is not only that there is no hyphen. The syllables are consolidated, no extra gap between them. Because there’s no need, given the rhythm and the nature of the word (multi-syllabical). I find that quite elegant.

I don’t think we would ever introduce the ability to simply allow the hyphen to disappear while leaving a gap between the syllables. What Marc suggests is a better approach, but it’s quite complicated to achieve.

Well, in Finale essentially the hyphen disappears only when the syllables are so close as to appear joined.