Help with spacing

Newbie to Dorico, I am encountering some times when the spacing algorithms don’t work exactly right, and I fully understand that having come from deep experience with Lilypond - I know the engines work hard but they cant always cope. Here’s a case with two bad spacing problems on one page that I can’t solve by simply introducing a system break to stretch things out because of the overall page context. The first arrow shows an infelicitous cramming, but the second is worse with a badly crushed rest.

Curiously, and it may or may not be related, Liypond’s layout engine has exactly the same issue when using a lot of portanmento lines. The layout for these must be immensely difficulyt I undersstand.

But what is the Dorico approach to rectifying this page?

The biggest weapon in your arsenal is Engrave > Note Spacing Change. If you put a Note Spacing Change at the start of the next system and tell it to reset everything, then when you subsequently add a Note Spacing Change at the start of this system it’ll only affect the one system.

It may be that you can get away with allocating a little less room to short notes or even long notes via a (pair of) Note Spacing Change(s).

Locally there’s Note Spacing mode. Grab a handle or group of handles and Alt-Left/Right to your heart’s content. Note Spacing mode shows a fullness indicator at the end of each system. If, via global note spacing options (in Layout Options) or via Note Spacing Changes, you can get this number below 100%, Dorico should theoretically pop each note and rest into the correct spot. It’s possible that this number’s currently below 100% but you’ve flummoxed the algorithms: again, without seeing the rest of the system we can’t know.

1 Like