FR: Minimum gap after dot

There doesn’t seem to be a setting for a minimum gap after an augmentation dot. Looking through published examples, I can’t really find many examples of a dot being closer to the following note than it is to the note it is modifying when the two notes are a small interval away. I was participating in an engraving exercise on another forum and ran into the following issue.

Here’s the original Henle used for this exercise:

Finale with my defaults:

Dorico with my defaults:

The Dorico system is 94% full so horizontal space should not be a factor, but the augmentation dot in bar 6 is closer to the A than the G. This looks very odd to my eye when the following note is only a 2nd away. For comparison, here are how a couple of other publishers have handled this example:



The Dorico example is the only one here that has the dot closer to the following note than the note it is modifying. It would be great if there could be some sort of minimum gap setting for space after an augmentation dot when the following note is a 2nd (or user customizable interval) away. Thanks for considering!


Fred, I agree. That does look odd.

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I think this is covered by the blanket Engraving Options > Spacing Gaps > Minimum distance between adjacent rhythmic items, which is 1/4 space by default.

The minimum gap before a dot (in Engraving Options > Notes) is 1/2 space by default.

Increasing Minimum distance between adjacent rhythmic items will improve this particular situation but will likely mess up other stuff, as it’s a general spacing gap for seemingly anything that doesn’t have its own spacing gap setting.

(I agree with the FR).

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I played around with that a bit before posting, but that seems like a bit too powerful a setting for a specific case, and unfortunately also didn’t help much in this specific example. Setting it to 1/2 space results in this:

It’s a little better, and now the system is 98%, but still doesn’t seem optimal as it’s still closer to the A. Going up to 3/4 space either changes the casting off, or forces the system to over 100% in this specific example.

This wouldn’t want to be a fixed global setting anyways, as a tighter dot in this case would look too tight in a more relaxed context.

Off the top of my head I can’t see a downside to a global minimum for the amount of space after an augmentation dot.

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This is a non factor once the following note is a larger interval away so I wouldn’t necessarily want a minimum distance setting to modify spacing in those situations. It’s probably only with 2nds and 3rds that this is even an issue.

I’m not sure I agree. This still looks too tight for my liking:


Good point! Any minimum gap setting should probably be applied to notes outside the staff too regardless of interval.

How do you feel about something like this?


There obviously is no issue with which note the dot is modifying, but the dot is closer to the stem of the following note which feels crowded to me. When the situation is reversed it isn’t an issue so clearly no additional padding is needed.


I guess ideally a setting here would have the ability to account for the stem direction of the following note as well as be able to be applied to small intervals.

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Funnily enough I drafted the following, but then the phone rang and I got side-tracked. I think we’ve come to the same conclusion.

Let me continue playing devil’s advocate:

I think for me it’s to do with a notehead or downstem immediately following the dot. If the note following the dot is upstem and ≥ a third away, it doesn’t notice.


Yep, I agree.

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Meh. at least in this last example, I’d disagree; it still looks awkwardly tight. I wouldn’t mind that spacing if it was a non-dotted rhythm; but in light of the dot, it still looks tight. The proportional spacing part of my brain still would prefer more.


In Engrave mode only: Properties > Notes and Rests > Rhythm dot X allows the dot to be moved. I imagine that Dorico’s default settings suffice for the majority of cases, but this override would be very handy in specific situations such as the one described above.

Rhythm dot X

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Strictly speaking, if we are dealing with after the dot, this won’t help. You’ll have to use the note-spacing tool.

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This is something that we have discussed before, and I agree it would be nice to be able to tell Dorico to enforce a certain amount of space after a rhythm dot. It’s something we may address in a future version.


I have a practical example.
This is a piano solo arrangement of “Just the Way You Are” where I wanted to preserve the original vocal line and electric piano part as far as possible (because the student will likely play this with a singer at some point).
The student can understand the rhythm at the end of the line, but reading the rhythmic placing of the vocal note on the fly is challenging.

To be honest, I don’t think your example applies. You are doing different voices with independent stems, so at least my organist brain knows that one does not follow from the other. The real solution in this case is to not have a dotted eighth rest but have the rests in the upper voice echo the rhythm in the down stem voice. In other words, eighth rest followed by a 16th rest.


I take your point about the way the rests should be written.
But I still don’t understand why, in a line that’s only 60% full, these notes a 16th apart are closer together than the consecutive 16th notes in the previous bar.

That is indeed an interesting observation.