How many of you turn off collision avoidance between staves and systems in part layouts?

Having just finished a big parts job, I’m idly reflecting on things I could do better (and things I’d like Dorico to do better, in a few cases).

This particular situation’s contrived - this is a new part layout, and in the real part I’d probably try to get the rehearsal mark at the start of a system.

The point is that the rehearsal mark and the instrument change are at the same rhythmic position, so the rehearsal mark gets pushed up and it affects the vertical spacing.

What I’d really like to do is shunt the instrument change over to the right, but if we imagine for a second that’s it, say, a new tempo, I’d like to be able to shunt that slightly over to the right, graphically, and have the rehearsal mark ping back down and the vertical spacing reset. Basically, I’d like the local option to turn off collision avoidance for these items.

(In parts with lots of instrument changes, I sometimes resorted to the very naughty thing of hiding the real instrument change label and replacing with a piece of dumb text - not very Dorico at all. It’s quicker than fixing the staff spacing manually.)

For next time, should I just turn off collision avoidance between staves and adjacent systems (from Layout Options > Vertical Spacing)? Does that create different problems for people?


What I know is that this kind of situation is not an easy thing to deal with, especially when I try to get parts with high density (low real estate available). Any solution towards less manual work would be most welcome!


The option to switch off collision avoidance especially for Rehearsal Marks would be very welcome indeed. In general, it’s not a big problem if they’re not exactly centered above the barline, you can easily nudge them somewhere in between. It’s less work than to adjust vertical spacing, or the ugly workarounds Leo considers.


A while back I suggested a sort of “pre-flight” check, similar to the “calculate cues” feature, that would check the entire layout for collisions and highlight them conspicuously for correction (including elements that protrude outside the page margins).

I could see this sort of thing being used in conjunction with turning off collision avoidance.


I agree. This is a huge issue for me as well. My primary transcriptions gigs are lead sheets and I regularly have issues due to this. When things above the staff collide in that position, I’d love the ability to choose to automatically shunt one over to the right/left.

In the meantime, any workarounds that avoid needing to manually adjust the vertical spacing would be very helpful to me.

In the meantime, there is the possibility of unticking this Layout Option, as I said in the original post:

I was just wondering if there are consequences to it that I’d not considered, as it’s not something I’ve turned off in a live project.

For what it’s worth, I have this setting turned off. I understand the value of collision avoidance to many, but for the kind of work I do I find it infuriating when things get moved around like this. I prefer to be in control and accept there will be more manual work required, but enjoy the confidence that things will go where I want them and stay put. I haven’t had any consequences to this approach, other than sometimes having to use a bit of maths to get staves and systems equally spaced, but then my use of Dorico is probably far more limited than yours.