How to scale text properly?


I had to create a extravagant tempo mark (q=255 1/2) which wasn’t possible to create within the tempo dialog. So I have chosen system text (shift-alt-x) and a workaround with the metrico font and the standard font I am using.

Now, its tricky to bring this »tempo mark« up to the size of a regular tempo mark.
Lets say: in my score the regular tempo mark is 14pt absolute. The system text is set to 11pt relative. How many percent custom scale (properties panel) do I have to use to get 14 pt? Is there a formula? (I know that I can define an absolute font size in the system text dialog appearing by pressing shift-alt-x. But which size is it?)

Btw: is there a possibility to see the absolute size of any text style fonts, if they are set relatively to the staff size?


You could create a new paragraph style whose font size is set to 14 absolute and apply that to the your system text. For simplicity and clarity, that’s probably the easiest option.

Thanks, Lillie! Yes, thats an easy possibility. :slight_smile: But that still doesn’t help me with the other questions: how to calculate from one size to the other by the properties panel? And how to calculate from relative to absolute?

I think I’m right in saying that for a 20pt high staff, relative = absolute, so you need to wor out the ratio of your staff to a 20pt one, and then apply that to the font point size.

Thanks benwiggy! :slight_smile:
If I understand you correctly, with staff size nr. 3 (7mm) which is about 20pt, absolute and relative are more or less the same. e.g. 14pt=14 pt.
Taking e.g. staff size nr. 6 (5.5mm) its 14*5.5/7=11pt
If I want to adjust the text size by using the properties panel (use percentage) from 11pt to 14 pt its: 14/0.11=127%

IMHO its too complicated for such a great piece of software if I have to use a pen and a paper to calculate font sizes … It would be nice to have a reference which shows me the absolute font size according to the adjusted staff size.

@ Lillie!

I tried your suggestion to create a new text font. So, please have a look here:
This is the tempo mark:

This is the new text style:

Both text styles are set 14pt absolute
But in the score, the sizes are still different. (left: tempo mark, right: new text font)

What am I doing wrong?

The beat value in the metronome mark uses the Metronome Music Text Font, which is an entirely different Font Style to the Immediate Tempo Text Font.

Yes, you can check which font style is used for the different parts of tempo marks here.

Thanks Lillie and pianoleo.
In the lower area of the Dorico window below properties panel it shows »tempo sofortig« (means ~immediate tempo~) when I click on »q=66« which might fit to »Sofortiger Tempowechsel Text« (see pic 1) and not to some »metronome« text.
But, the metronome text was set on 15pt, not 14pt, which means, that if you are right the difference between the two sizes of q=66 and q=255 1/2 now bigger than before because q=66 appeared smaller than q=255.
Sorry, I am still lost.

I hated Sibelius for its completely inpenetrable handling of text. In my opinion, here its somehow the same … Maybe I’m too stupid. But e.g. in Illustrator or Indesign handling of text is easy cheesy. Here its complicated.
I have to move to engrave mode to create a text style, than I have to switch back to write mode to use this text style …
I can edit almost any sort of text in engrave mode – but not the names of instruments at the beginning of a staff. (Yes, I know, I can edit them in setup mode individually and/or in engrave mode globally – but why to use setup mode again for text editing (!) when I want to engrave a score?)
In setup mode the text style is called »Instrumentenname«. This sort of text is called »Notenzeilenbeschriftung« in engrave mode.
Which text style is linked to »mit System verbundener Text« (alt-shift-x) or »mit Notenzeile verbundener Text« (shift-x)? In the text dialogs you cannot find text styles with these names.
»Move to instrument« text doesn’t have any labeling in the section below properties panel … which text style to change?
And so on …

Sorry, I am angry right now because these difficulties need most of the time of my work right now …

I’m sorry you’re having troubles with this, you’re right that text in Dorico behaves differently in different contexts, but there are reasons for this and the segmentation of text by purpose brings a lot of benefits too. For example, the way instrument names work allows Dorico to use that centralised piece of information (the instrument name) in change labels, in staff labels, and automatically numbering multiple instances of the same instrument type. For other items, like text playing techniques and tempo marks, their separation allows each item to have semantic meaning (and e.g. affect playback) and allows for separate control of different types of items, like setting the default gap between the staff and all text playing techniques across the project - that can be really helpful! If it helps, it took me some time to get familiar with how it all works as well, but now it feels really ingrained.

System/staff text: I believe that by default, they use the “Default text” paragraph style, but you can create your own key commands for opening up the text editor with other paragraph styles selected automatically (the paragraph styles must be saved as default in order to do this). The power of paragraph styles is you can apply them to text in system/text objects in the music and also in text frames to maintain consistent formatting.

Perhaps for tempo marks, I could include a screenshot of a complete tempo mark in a musical context and label the parts to go alongside the descriptions of the different text styles. I think that might make it more immediately obvious how all the different parts and font styles work together.

Dear Lillie!
thank you for your answer. I know that there is a lot of technique under the hood which brings benefits to the user. I am also aware of the different purposes and complex behaviours of different text styles. Thats not the point. In my argument its just a engraving refection and a lack of consistency.

Its e. g. about changing font sizes easily and transparent somehow (relativ – absolute). If Text X is 14pt and Text Y is 14pt too (both absolute) why do they still have different sizes? That has nothing to do with the »under the hood« meaning of these different text styles.

Why are text styles labeled differently in setup and engrave mode? Why does the text style »system text« or the text style »staff text« has no equivalent in the font edit dialog? Why the are equivalent to »standard text«? Thats not intuitive. Which text styles also are »standard text«?

Why does the change instrument text have no label below? Its hard to find out, which text style belongs to this text – in order to find out the size and standard positioning in order to make it equivalent to system or staff text.

Thats what I mean … do you understand me?

BTW: I still don’t know how to solve my problems with the different sizes of text … see post nr 1 … :slight_smile:

I do see what you mean, hopefully I can be a bit more specific and help with a few of your questions.

Font sizes: I think Leo pointed out that maybe you didn’t change all the font styles that make up tempo marks - there’s a different font for the “Adagio” bit compared to the “=66” bit. If they’re appearing different sizes but you definitely did change all the relevant font styles (as outlined in this link), perhaps share the project here (zipped up) so someone can take a look.

Naming of text: in my last answer, I said that both system and staff text use the same paragraph style by default: “Default text”. “system text” doesn’t exist as a single text style, because you could edit an individual text object however you like. Instead, you enter text somewhere in the music, and format it how you want - either by using the text editor that appears above the text to edit just this one, or by applying a paragraph style to it that has formatting you want to use (the benefit of the latter being if you later change your mind, you can just edit the paragraph style’s settings and all text objects that use that style get updated automatically). If you want to have separate styles for “system text” and “staff text”, by all means create them as paragraph styles!

Edit Font Styles dialog: this dialog contains fonts that are generally used for musical items, like dynamics, playing techniques, and tempo marks. For formatting text (like staff labels, the title, composer etc) you want the Edit Paragraph Styles dialog. In the Edit Paragraph Styles dialog, you have more text formatting options available, and you can also create new paragraph styles if needed - you can’t do this in Edit Font Styles.

Instrument change label - I think you mean you can’t see properties for it in the Properties panel at the bottom of the window? This is true in Write mode, but not Engrave mode - in Engrave mode you can edit the text in instrument change labels. They use the “Instrument Change Labels” paragraph style, in the Engrave>Paragraph Styles dialog.

For absolute/relative: I don’t know of a way to see quickly what the equivalent size is (i.e. the absolute size in the current layout for text with a relative size set). If it’s really important to you to keep things consistent, I would recommend trying to make them both relative or both absolute, that’s probably the easiest/cleanest way - unless anyone else has a better suggestion.

Thx Lillie!

First of all, to make my point clear, I am not talking about the properties panel, but the part below, close to left lower corner:

Here you can see »Tempo, sofortig« which accords to the highlighted q=66.
But: q=66 is no »sofortiger Tempowechsel«, has nothing to do with »Tempo, sofortig«, Adagio or Moderato would do.
=66 should be labeled as »Text Metronomangaben«
q should be labeled as »Musikschrift Metronomangaben« (both according to the edit dialog)
but Tempo sofortig is something completely different (not under the hood, but in terms of engraving!).

The same here:

You can see the highlighted Snare Drum (Kl. Tr.)
But there is no label at the bottom at all. This means: there is no hint which sort of text I have used in order to edit it later. Its a staff text (shift-x), but after days and weeks you can’t remember this anymore. Why there is no label at the bottom of the window?
Next to Kl. Tr. there is »-> Vibraphon«. At the bottom its labeled as »Instrumentenwechsel« but in the paragraph style edit dialog its called »Instrumentenänderungs-Beschriftung«. Thats inconsistent, too. I know, that I can change the name of a paragraph style – but there shouldn’t be a need to get rid of inconsistent labelings.

BTW It would be cool, if a change in a dialog windows (edit paragraphs and edit text styles) shows the result in the score immediately, not only after pressing ok and closing the window. If the change is too big or too small or wrong or whatever, you have to click on Engrave – Text Styles again and start the procedure again and so on. Thats slo-mo …

Last point: my initial problem.
q=66 is a combination of metronomic text styles, we know.
q=255 1/2 is a system text (shift-alt-x)
I have to set the different text styles for q=66 to about 22pt (absolute) to get the same size as q=255, which is 14pt (absolute). Thats REALLY inconsistent! :wink:

Right, I see what you mean. With regards to the naming of an instrument change in the Properties panel (I presume you mean the group there?) and the associated paragraph style, yes they’re slightly different in English too: “Instrument Changes” for the group vs “Instrument Change Labels” for the paragraph style. This is because the Properties panel group doesn’t just control instrument change labels, but also e.g. the positioning of clefs when an instrument change involves a clef change as well. I’ll make a note to share this with the German translator though, in case they can find an appropriate alternative for one to make them a bit more similar.

Text items: no they don’t display the paragraph style of the text object, I don’t know how feasible that would be to add but it’s worth remembering that the text in the object might have been locally overridden anyway, i.e. might use a certain paragraph style but have very different settings in this one instance. It’s not a bad suggestion though, I’ll make sure it’s passed on for consideration.

If your “Kl. Tr.” object is indeed a text item and isn’t appearing in the status bar, maybe share the project here (or a cut-down version that just contains this bit) as I don’t think that’s expected.

Naming of tempo marks: the reason for “q=66” being labelled as an “Immediate tempo” in the status bar is because it is, technically (i.e. absolute tempos, metronome marks, and reset tempos like “A tempo” all produce an immediate change in speed; and metronome marks always retain the capacity to show text as well - they’re very flexible). Perhaps expanding the description in the status bar might be helpful, so I’ve passed that on, but again I couldn’t speak to how difficult that would be to implement and how it would fit into the development schedule.

Giving the paragraph styles dialog (and some others) the “Apply/Close” buttons has been requested before, I believe, so the team’s aware.

Last, but by no means least, your font size matching up: I can see why that’s frustrating, and it does sound odd to me, but unfortunately the details of why that might be is not my area of expertise! Perhaps it’s something to do with the font you’re using? Have you applied the “Music text” character style to the quarter note symbol? Again, maybe sharing the project will allow someone to spot something.

Thx Lillie!
I’m afraid I’m not allowed to load up this project – its not my composition …
Have a nice evening!

But you could perhaps share two or three measures (which contain the problematic text) and, if necessary, even remove all or most of the notes.