This is about only one aspect of the Layout Options: Vertical Spacing
And this is about the great results of the global settings without making any manual adjustment.
The features of the “Vertical Spacing” in Dorico are extremely powerfull.
I believe that the combination of “Ideal Gaps”, and “Vertical Justification” covers almost all possible situations and if something still needs some editing, then “Casting Off” or “Make into Frame” will probably solve the very last issue.
The fact that when you use either “Vertical Justification” or “Casting Off” the “Ideal Gaps” values are still taken in account and adapted makes the whole thing incredibly flexible.
There is almost no need to make any manual adjustment after a judiciously use of these global settings.
I am very very happy with these features and I can indeed quickly achieve results that look perfect to me.
But … and this is a great “but” the downside is that this perfection can be only achieved at the moment if you work with only one flow.
It is already great as I suppose many people are working with only one flow per project.
But if you use the other powerfull feature of Dorico and work with multiple flows this is a whole other story.
If you find a perfect combination of values for vertical spacing in a flow, these settings will also work with other flows only if these flows contain the same number and the same type of players.
As soon as something differs the result cannot and will not be as perfect.
And as soon as you have flows with a completely different number of players then only one setting simply cannot work any more for all flows.
It means that you then have to find a compromise between several settings (depending on how many types of flows you have in your project) that aproximatively works for all your flows.
But it will never be so perfect as if you could use an individual combination of vertical spacing setting for each flow.
Which is sad considering how good the result can be otherwise.
I find this a very important issue.
On one side you can easily achieve perfect results working with a single flow.
On the other side it is not possible to achieve perfect results working with multiple flows which have a different number of players.
(Again I am talking about the global Vertical Spacing settings, I am of course aware that you can manually shift every single staff.)
And yes I am very aware of what Daniel already wrote a few posts above:
“We do anticipate introducing features to insert e.g. a “fixed casting off change” that will allow you to use different sets of fixed casting off values at different points through the layout, and this idea might be extensible to other things”
There are two reasons why I insist on this point.
The first is because I am just working on the second musical using mutiple flows (BTW I already had finished it but with single flows but I decided to rework it because of the great features of multiple flows) and right now I am working on the vertical Spacing of the full score and of the small orchestra score and I am simply not able to achieve the same results as I could with the single flows.
Of course it looks already nice, but it could be much better.
The second reason is because I am wondering what “this idea might be extensible to other things” will lead to.
In my view the power of the vertical spacing features is because of the flexible combination of ALL vertical spacing features together.
I plead then for a feature allowing to use different sets of ALL vertical spacing values at different points through a layout.