Force justify

Is there a way to force justify a line of text in a Text Frame? Without it something like this is difficulty to accomplish in Dorico:

Yes. Ensure you have the appropriate alignment set for the paragraph style you’re using, defined in Library > Paragraph Styles.

This is the. alignment set for the paragraph style being used. I don’t see an option for Forced Justification. And, in any case, since it would only be used in special cases, I would have expected to see this setting only in the Text Tool window.

Perhaps I’m misunderstanding what you want to achieve, then, John. If you want the text to be fully justified in a text frame, that’s the setting to use, and it works as expected.

Could it be that John wants the text to wrap around the music example? As in a word processor, for example. If that is the case, I would enter all the text in the text frame, fully justify it, move the graphic frame to where I want it, and then use use line breaks in the text frame to truncate the lines of text so that they stop short of the graphic frame. I assume that there is currently no way to embed a graphic frame in a text frame, but that they must be superimposed.

On my Mac, I use shift+enter to break the line without creating a new paragraph. This might force the justification you’re after.

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Sorry for being unclear. That’s it, StevenJones01, I am wrapping text around the example with a work-around. But when I do a line break in the complete line above the musical example (see first example above with the arrow), it leaves the last line of the previous “paragraph” without right justification. (I should have shown that in the initial example.) The only way I could get close as seen in the example is to use word spacing, which was very difficult given the fact that the text tool changes the formatting when one is in edit mode. The way I have handled this in Finale is to force that last line of text to be fully justified with a Force justify command. Unfortunately, Finale still doesn’t do a perfect job of this and one must again use word spacing to make it look OK. It is easier in Finale, however, because the formatting of the text block doesn’t change while editing.

The shift-enter (return) didn’t seem to be any different from return and didn’t force justification, MarcLarcher. It still created a new paragraph before the break and left the last line of that paragraph without right justification. Maybe I am doing it incorrectly. But that is the command I am looking for. Force the justification of the last line of a paragraph no matter how full it is.

That’s all it takes to be able to wrap text around musical examples. Even in InDesign I never used the text wrapping capability because it doesn’t give one the kind of control needed for complex interweaving of musical examples and text.

I’m pretty sure it will only justify a line that doesn’t have a break, whether a regular break or Shift+Enter. Once you put a manual break in, then it won’t continue to justify that line, and it will just end wherever the end of the line falls. Compared to InDesign, it’s really like the “Justify with the last line aligned left” setting rather than “Justify,” so the icon isn’t correct if that’s the result you’re expecting. It’s really this:


Gif below, if that helps at all:


Yes, that is the problem. Thanks for demonstrating that, FredGUnn.

In Finale the command I have used is called “Forced Full Justification” under Justification in the Text Tool Menu.


Here is an example using the method I described. Almost an exact copy of the picture in your original post.
The text is fully justified, some line breaks were inserted, an extra space here and there, and the second line had a small amount of font stretch applied.

Wrap1.dorico (1.3 MB)

I add musical examples to InDesign daily and, while not too intuitive, the Text Wrap works well once you understand how it works.
Let me know if I can help with a practical example that doesn’t work for you.

Thanks, Michele_Galvagno1 that is very good of you. I no longer use InDesign and want to do all of the footnotes within Dorico. That was one of the reasons I decided to switch to Dorico. (I am using Affinity Publisher, but haven’t experimented yet with the text wrap.)

StevenJones01, that looks good, but I did do my original example in Dorico using a method much like yours. I see that you also had some trouble getting the end of the second line to line up with the first. Finale had the same sort of issue, not liking combinations of regular and italic type, and I would use changes to the word spacing to even it out.

If there is no Force Full Justification command in Dorico, I will have to refine the work-around. There’s always something one can do. at least for simple examples. If they are more complex, I may have to use Affinity after all.

Thank you all for your responses.

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It seems like a perfectly valid feature request to me…
Actually, I’d like to add one feature request here: it would be very convenient to be able to add justified staff text or option text— say, with a rhythmic duration such as a gradual dynamic or tempo, or a playing technique, that would break lines automatically when the text reaches the end of the region defined and justify that text.


@FredGUnn: Yes, the icon in Dorico is a bit misleading. I myself never found the “Force Justify Last Line” of any practical use, it adds too much inter-word space for my taste (unless the line is almost full).

I tried @John_Ruggero’s sample in TeX;

and TeX does not like it …

Notice how this messes up the algorithm even on the previous lines, compared to the default

@MarcLarcher: Perhaps many of the margin alignment options in InDesign would be of use? I only use the “Justify, but last”, but there might be need for alternatives.


I don’t like the extra vertical white space for the final line of the paragraph. The entire paragraph should have the same leading, then a big white space to accommodate the image, before the next paragraph starts again.

Modifying Steve’s file, I would do this:

That’s what I started with, Ben, but don’t like the great empty space after the third line.

Here’s another possibility. Again there was an issue in making the last line flush with the rest, which I would prefer when an example follows:

Yes, that would make things a bit easier, as would preservation of the formatting within the editing frame during editing. But Daniel mentioned that this latter thing is troublesome.


That last case is the one I need to handle. The line is almost but not quite full. Like the second example I just posted.

While Dorico has DTP capabilities, they are not there to substitute the power and flexibility of softwares like InDesign & Publisher.
I’m sure Publisher has text wrap, I know @Romanos uses it, maybe he can advise on this.
When I prepare music books where text needs to be handled at this level, I prepare music in Dorico and then complete the job in InDesign. It is so much more flexible (you can alter the size of the music down to tenth of percent if you have even the tiniest spacing issue, something you cannot do as easily in the notational software).

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I have no easy (= general) solution, but

  • In this particular case I would add space only before “Concep…” It is common in “US style” to add double space between sentences so many would not see it as a typo (in fact, the 2nd “2)”, stands out more clearly with added space). Possibly you could add more spaces before 1), 2), 2), to separate the “in-line” lists more clearly.
  • Do the footnote in InDesign (or Illustrator (you have the same margin options there as in Illustrator) or …) and mount the result in Dorico. This would be the best solution for all possible situations IMO.

I would assume that placing notes on a page is quite a task for the Team. Adding DPT functionality would take that complexity to another level I guess. With limited resources, time, and money I wish they spent it on perfecting engraving instead (which is still lacking in some areas). It seems the ‘framework’ also limits the possibilities as we have read before regarding wanted PDF functionality (an area that I find most important).