Horizontal Co-ordinates of Items

Here’s a small sample of a PDF, from Dorico, into Affinity Publisher:

There are many threads on the Affinity boards bearing witness that Publisher cannot even place a PDF on a page correctly.
Screenshot 2.png

That’s… probably not true, I think? As I said in my first post, this would be easier with a specific challenge in mind. It may very well be that the workflow you have in mind might have to be adjusted — and you might be pleased with the improvement — to get the same end result under a different framework.

Ben, definitely not on my side of the aisle…


And as a side note, yes, you can also access X,Y-coordinates in Adobe Acrobat… Once selected, the bounding box becomes the cross-section of high-lighted green segments stemming from the margins of the document…

That simply must be Kaija Saariaho!

Edit - Haha, just realized that yes, you can see her name and the title on the thumbnail!

You have a keen eye for detail, LSalgueiro. It’s Notes on Light, to be precise.

Okay! SO, an example where it would be useful to know/edit an item’s position in exact terms.

This is a bar of a facsimile:


Note the grace notes coming away from a main note/chord. This is not uncommon in lots of contemporary music, but can be a real challenge to set. They should not be between the note/chord and the following rest: the rest should be placed as it would normally (or as close as).

This is a Dorico-ing of it which I did yesterday evening:


I achieved this by using the note spacing facility in Engrave Mode. I won’t lie, I think it’s a positive result graphically and was not particularly timeconsuming.

However, if you look closely, the grace note is not quite perfectly aligned with the main chord:


Using the Alt+Left/Right commands, you can see that the above is the best of the bunch – but it’s not 100% inline. Observe the next smallest increment left and right. I seem to have used a maximum allotment for uploads, so please see:

Grace placement 1 (as shown, but with note spacing on): https://www.dropbox.com/s/rdt9r24ik10o5ud/Grace%20place%201.png?dl=0
Grace placement 2 (as above, but one increment to the left): https://www.dropbox.com/s/lf2yc0jvxa6ald5/Grace%20place%202.png?dl=0
Grace placement 3 (as above, but one increment to the right): https://www.dropbox.com/s/lcxgy9f2rf940yp/Grace%20place%203.png?dl=0

Though it is close, the final proof that they are not 100% lined up is by comparing the spacing columns of the chord and the first in the group of grace notes:

Spacing column of the chord: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7hn8w78rognkl9h/Toggle%201.png?dl=0
Spacing column of the grace note: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2pzj4ueb942ignc/Toggle%202.png?dl=0

So this is my motivation for asking about a) whether it’s possible to see an item’s horizontal co-ordinates and b) can they be edited. If this was possible, I could get the first grace note in perfect line.

I’m sure there are other workarounds, but given how easy and so tantalisingly close this method is, it’d be a shame if it can’t do that final step.

All thoughts/comments welcome.

If you go back to “graphical editing” mode (the top button in the toolbox in Engrave mode) you can then select the grace note and view its ‘Voice column X offset’, which corresponds to the circular handle shown when editing rhythmic spacing, and you can make whatever fine adjustment you desire there, numerically: Dorico uses rational numbers so arbitrary precision is possible, whereas moving with Alt+arrow keys moves in increments of 1/8 space.

I’m not sure you’ll appreciate the workflow/data structure tip, but here goes, since Daniel has already handled the technical stuff: why not set that group of grace notes as “actual” notes in a second voice, scaled down to grace-note size + slash as playing technique?

(Also, the attack seems to me like a cluster, but I’m sure you know the composer’s hand better than me.)

Thank you Daniel! This is essentially what I have been searching for, but it would have taken me a while to find that function myself (hence why I love forums such as these!). That’s a pretty powerful tool. See a new version here:


I’ve offset the note by -1/64 (-0.02) of a space and believe it is now perfectly lined up… That’s a degree of precision I’m glad to have.

Thanks again!

I did think of that, but grace notes have their own spacing. The moment a rhythmic value is in the mix, grace note spacing is obsolete. Having said that, through my exploration of the literature this last day I can see that it’s possible to change spacing rules – so a second voice with scaled down notes and spacing settings adjusted could indeed work nicely. I’m open to trying anything :wink:

It’s not a cluster. Strictly speaking, the grace stem extends up to the B2 – but the composer wrote it the way pictured in these examples elsewhere, and such a difference doesn’t really change the approach to performing it.

There are other discrepencies between the original sample and the Dorico’d, though. :nerd: Again, differences between various iterations of this passage being written down.

I’m so glad I followed this thread. Daniel, that’s definitely a hidden gem…