Improving note positioning

Still very new to Dorico, and I have a question as to why some notes move “out of position” when I change some nearby notes. I have attached 3 JPEGs from a piano piece. All of the same area. In bar 20, JPEG “Stack 1” the RH part shows some moving quarter notes neatly positioned under stationary half notes . But when (see JPEG “stack 2”) I try to make the half notes into dotted half notes, the positioning of the quarter notes gets skewed, I guess because Dorico needs space for the “dots”. Is there any way to get the spacing of “Stack 2” Closer to “Stack 1”? I also included a tied version “Stack 3”. Not sure it looks right.

If someone has a moment to respond, may I request a “step by step” version that a “newbie” can follow?

Try looking at notation options<voices. There are several options for how to treat dotted notes and the ordering of multiple voices.

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You could swap the order of the voices on beat one of the offending measure in your second (dotted half) version.

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Agree with others here. It’s because of the dot… Dorico is going to create space for it. Your best bet is to swap voice order. I do this often enough (in hymnals) that I have a jump bar command set, “sw.” So I type j, s, w, Enter.

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I will try the swap voice order, Thanks to everyone!

Swap voice order seems to be helpful. Thank-you!