Frame fullness indicator seems misleading

I don’t exactly understand what goes into the frame fullness indicator score. It seems like most of my frames are “over full” but still look perfectly fine and not cluttered. Does anyone else notice this or do you think my page actually looks too full?

Even if I were to do less full if seems too sparse. Notice the comparison of 150% vs 121%. If you agree that either of these look fine, it bothers me not to see it in green in which case I would like to know what settings I might need to change to have dorico give me a green indicator.

For comparison, I looked at a mahler flute part and it has much more systems than I do. Not sure if their parts are printed on paper bigger than A4 though

It’s based on the vertical spacing settings set for the layout. In these part layouts, if your minimum inter-system gaps are set very high (both for the Ideal Gap and the Minimum Gap), that will put pressure on vertical spacing. You should set the Ideal Gaps to the minimum you’d accept, and let Dorico add extra space on top for things like high/low notes, dynamics, text, tempo marks, etc.

You might want to watch this Discover Dorico session as well:


Thank you for so much prompt and helpful replies! This is such a great forum :slight_smile:
Okay no doubt that is my issue because I was messing with numbers not knowing what I was doing really. So many options.

So my inner gap was 12 and my minimum inner was also 12. Lowering those numbers lowered the percentage without altering my layout which is what I was looking for. I will also check out that video and learn even more what I’m doing with these settings.

Thanks so much! I’ll report back if I have any further questions!

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Ooh yes, that’s quite high! That’s telling Dorico: whenever there are two systems with items protruding beyond the staff, keep those items 12 spaces apart. For context, the staff itself is 4 spaces tall.

Vertical justification can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you.

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This ship has probably sailed, but at least IMO it would be much more intuitive if it was called “Minimum Gap” and not “Ideal Gap”. Ideal implies that actual could be higher or lower.

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Not only that, but graying out options that don’t apply to a layout would be helpful too. For example, in a single instrument part, staff to staff doesn’t apply

Thanks Lillie!

Not for Dorico. It is totally possible to add extra staffs to a single instrument.

Why should I put values for the “minimum I would accept” in the “ideal gap” field, when there is a field for literally “minimum gap” next to it? I really can’t tell if this is just a “naming things” issue or if the algorithm is broken, but the current situation leads to much more confusion than should be necessary.

If I want to set a minimum, I put it in the “minimum” field - and expect Dorico to really honor it.
The “ideal” field is for the ballpark value of “I think this is the nicest gap for most of the time, but hey, do your thing!”.

I hear and understand the comments about the naming of these sections, I’ve been there and have shared this with the team myself before.

Perhaps consider it “ideal when there’s no extra vertical justification” or “minimum spacing” rather than gaps. Either way, keep those values small is the takeaway :slight_smile:


I liked my description last week of the functions of these settings. I’m sure Daniel could put it better.

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Oh true, didn’t think about that. Then maybe only if single parts have extra staffs then, similar to how they restrict the Percussion tab if you don’t have any kits.

I found it very confusing with all the options and editing the staff to staff did nothing. Same with inside brackets. Or a warning indicator / text that shows that says “not applicable to this layout due to etc…”

Just a thought

Not on my machine to control it, but (I think):

In a part Layout every line counts as a system and not as a staff. So if you use the system gap it will change.

Correct, most of the time its only the System gap that behaves for that. But for parts with multiple instruments that make up a system, the staff to staff works. And as Janus pointed out to me, adding additional staves to a single part would cause the Staff to Staff to work. For example, divisi staves for strings.

I think a message on any gaps that don’t apply to that layout informing the user this won’t do anything on this layout because of X would be a great way to make things less confusing. I would say restrict the editing of that but that wouldn’t be good bc you wouldn’t be able to mass update that field on layouts that do have it.

Unless its okay to require the user to go to a layout that makes that editable and highlight all the layouts from there. That might be better actually