FR: setting for "minimum distance from barline to first voice column"

In the example below, the downbeat of the second bar is (in my opinion) too close to the barline that precedes it. The spacing of the first bar is better. The aesthetics of spacing in this particular project are incredibly important to me, so I’m noticing this sort of thing more than usual.

In typesetting hymnals, I’m finding I’m frequently making manual note adjustments to the downbeat to increase the space before it. Could this be added as a setting?

It seems like it would be relative (percentage) perhaps, not absolute… so perhaps it would fall under Note Spacing rather than Engraving Options–Notes. Just postulating.

Thanks for considering.

I agree, Dan. In your example, Dorico’s including punctuation in lyric spacing bothers me, too. I really hope that gets addressed sometime soon. In the particular case of your second bar, if Dorico hadn’t spaced for the comma after ‘-sume,’ that entire column would have been slightly closer to the barline preceding it.

Yes, I’ve gotten used to nudging lyrics to center them when there are quotation marks and such! In the example below, the final lyrics were already manually adjusted before the screenshot.

Looking forward to continued improvements in this area. In the meantime, it works well enough for me… literally twice as fast at setting hymns as it was in Finale, maybe faster. Just always looking for ways to make it better!

Would any of the existing settings on the Spacing Gaps page in Engraving Options be of use in this case? e.g. “Minimum gap after barline” and “Ideal gap after barline”?

Well, there it is… exactly what I wanted. Ha! How embarrassing…

Thanks Lillie!!

UPDATE: Well, not exactly. For some reason, setting this to a higher value forces the first barline of the system waaaay to the right, so it’s not usable for me.

I’m not sure I understand why this is. It was 3/4, and I set it to 1 5/8. I like the resultant value it gives me for downbeats after the first one, but why does it force the first downbeat so far to the right?

I may have read your post wrong, but you said that you changed 3/4 (6/8) to 1 5/8 (13/8), so if that’s the case, you would expect a really big jump.

Yes, that’s correct. But that’s measured in spaces (the height of a space on the staff), so it’s not that big of a value. I found smaller values didn’t make a discernible difference.

Dorico is definitely shifting the first downbeat to the right by more than 1 5/8 of a space.

It’s important to understand the difference between ‘Minimum gap after barline’ and ‘Ideal gap after barline’. ‘Minimum gap after barline’ does as it suggests, ensuring that nothing ever comes closer to the barline than this distance, whereas ‘Ideal gap after barline’ describes the “encroachable” space, i.e. the space into which things like accidentals to the left of the first note in the bar can appear. If you have a particularly complex chord with many accidentals, the total width of those accidentals may exceed the difference between the minimum and ideal gaps, in which case the left-hand edge of the cloud of accidentals to the left of the chord will be positioned at the right-hand edge of the minimum gap, and the chord itself will therefore have to be pushed to the right.