Inter-Measure Lyrics Spacing

I just recently launched into a switch from Finale to Dorico, and am trying to get used to tweaking Dorico to do automatically what I manually pulled into place in Finale.
I’ve run into a problem. In the picture below, I’ve got a staff that is a little tight and Dorico says is overloaded. It happens to be the best staff layout solution in this case. Note that the small measures are relatively loose while the lyrics are running into each other in the big measures. With Finale, I could have adjusted the measure spacing in a quarter minute to make it far more readable, and finished it up with lyrics positions tweaks.
But doing that in Dorico would go against its nature. When I tried moving one measure, it moved other measures all around in ways I didn’t want it to go. It seems to me like Dorico needs to give the lyrics higher priority when determining spacing, as well as allowing lyrics to overflow a bit into neighboring measures. But I could find no solution in the options, the support pages, or the forums for the issue. There seems to be little control of lyrics spacing. Am I missing something? Could someone help me out?

When it comes to reducing the minimum space required by lyrics, I would recommend going to Library > Engraving Options > Lyrics and reducing:

  • the minimum spacing between adjacent lyrics a touch
  • the minimum gap between lyrics and hyphens down to like 1/2 space

You should find that this reduces the amount lyrics distort note spacing, and also therefore how full a system like this is calculated to be. As soon as a system is within a normal range of fullness, Dorico has more flexibility in allocating more space to the beats that need it, while taking some space from the beats that don’t so much.

1 Like

Thank you very much for your prompt reply! The adjustments you suggested made a very big and positive difference. They did not fix all problems, some of the notes then began running into measure bars. But with some more tweaking, it now looks pretty good.

I’d be very grateful for more tutorials on how to run all the myriads of settings, maybe even specifically targeting how to reimagine one’s typesetting strategy when transitioning from other schools of such thought. It’s one thing to know the settings are there, and a very different thing to know how to use them to produce beautiful music.