Lyric Extender lines not functioning

Good day all!

In my example, I need the lyric extender lines to appear on the syllables at the end of bar 13. However since they are “attached” to the soprano line (dotted quarter) they won’t appear, but they are needed in the alto and tenor lines of all the verses. I selected those syllables in Engrave Mode and increased the “Line End X” value. Even though the value has increased, the extender lines will not appear. Can this be fixed please?

I tried a work-around. First I selected “Verse Numbers Appear on First System Only.” Then, in bar 13, I created the lyrics after selecting the alto note. That worked, the extender lines appeared correctly, however the verse number appeared on it’s own, and messes up the bar.

Then I tried another work-around. I changed the soprano G, bar 13, dotted quarter, to a quarter tied to a 8th using “force duration”. Then I was able to extend the lines. Then I changed the G back to a dotted quarter. That worked, but I should not have to go through all those hoops.

Can the development team please add this functionality to lyric extender lines?

Many thanks.

You need to create the lyrics with the alto notes selected, David. Delete the existing lyric for e.g. “hem”, then select the first of the alto’s notes, type Shift+L, and re-enter the lyric, hitting Space to create the extender line as normal.

Hello David,

I was just preparing a reply when Daniel posted. My screenshot shows the result.

As Daneli wrote, you do need to select the voice you want to add lyrics to. If you do select the lower staff voices, the lyrics will show below the staff but these can then be repositioned above the staff as shown. (Right-click a lyric then select ‘Lyrics - Placement’).

Hi Daniel, that only works if you shut off verse numbers. If you turn them on you get this. See attachment.
I can fix the extra hyphens but not the verse number.

David, if you attach all lyrics (instead of only the last syllable) to the alto voice, everything will be fine.

(If you want to have seperate lyrics for the soprano, you should select a note in the upper voice, hit Shift-L, type in the lyrics and select “Above” as Line Placement in the properties panel.)


Does no one get what I’m talking about here, or am I totally missing the boat? I should be able to turn on Lyric extender lines if I choose, for any syllable using the “Line End X” property. Choral music in a choir reduction score (4 parts) can have different note values in each part. The extender lines need to be there for ALL the parts not just the one the lyric is attached to.

Thomas, I can choose the alto line in this case but then, in a different bar, later in the song, I will need an extender for the soprano line, and I would have to switch my lyrics to the soprano line and then the verse number would appear.

All I’m asking is that the “Line End X” property work when I turn it on and change the value. It doesn’t work in this case if I change the values. Why allow me to change the values if there is no result. Better said . . . the program allows me to change the values, so make the line appear as it should.

I totally get what you’re saying, David, I just don’t know what the solution is!

As a workaround, what happens if you swap the alto and soprano voices and force their stems in the opposite directions? You may need to fiddle with the voice index to make it look right.

Ha ha yes I guess that’s a possibility but who would want to go through all that complex silliness? I guess I’m just looking for some acknowledgement from the development team that a little more work still needs to be done in this area. :sunglasses:

Well, actually, David26, I think Dorico is writing the lyrics properly, since you attached the lyrics to the soprano voice… It’s always the same fundamental problem : do you need to learn how to use a tool to achive your goal, or make the conceptors of the tool add so many options that you can do what you want to do the way you want to ?
I think it is really easy and fast to marquee select your lyrics (all of them), cut them, select the alto voice and paste them, and then double click on the last syllable and press space at the end of the popover. And there’s no use of a lyric extender line when there is one syllable on one note. Sorry to contradict you here, but I hope my solution will help :wink:
Changing lyrics (277 KB)

Marc, it cobbles everything up if you have verse numbers, as explained above…

Not if you select the whole lyrics, I think :wink:

Here’s my opinion and it seems that’s the way Dorico works:
If you write the lyrics under the Soprano/Alto-system, they must be attached to the Alto voice. Then all syllables are aligned to the notes they are attached to, including extender lines.

If the rhythm in the Soprano voice differs from the Alto voice, you should add a seperate lyrics line above the staff.

That’s the way I always write lyrics and I think it is according to common engraving rules.

Dorico always tries to do the things right according to engraving rules. If you want to do it your own way, you sometimes have to use a workaround. But I think that’s better than in Finale, where I often have to use workarounds to get things right (according to engraving rules).


I don’t think that is the case. In hymn writing and engraving, rhythms are very often different in the soprano and alto lines, and there is no need to put lyrics above.

That’s not my experience. It messes up the line by inserting verse numbers over text.

Can you answer my other question? If I can change the properties of the Line End X on a word or syllable, which of course I’ve demonstrated would be very useful in this case of choral writing, why don’t you see this as worthy of “fixing”?

“Line End X” works, if there is an extender line. If there is no extender line, you cannot adjust its end position. For me that’s nothing that should be fixed.

Perhaps it could be useful to add a function, that allows to add extender lines by hand.


Dear David26,

I understand perfectly that you find this could be fixed. However, I believe (and maybe I am mistaken) the kind of work you are producing now is a little bit ahead of time than what Dorico can produce according to its philosophy. Let me explain myself: Dorico’s philosophy is to have a player or a section of players for each staff. Everything in the program is thought (and very well thought) in order to produce great results if you have one player or a section playing the same music per staff. Here, you would need four staves to fulfill that philosophy. We have been told that, in due time, Dorico would be able to “reduce” the scores. When this comes out, and if the lyrics do not follow your needs, I would say it really needs some fixing.

The fundamental issue here is that Dorico simply will never show an extender line for a lyric that has no duration. Lyrics only get a duration if you hit Space during input to advance past another rhythmic position in the voice to which the lyrics belong. At the moment there’s no way to edit a lyric to give it a duration short of making sure there are notes at subsequent rhythmic positions in the voice to which the lyric belongs, then open the Shift+L popover and hit Space to advance it.

When we have a bit of time to think about this issue further (which is not now, because lyrics are not the focus of the work we’re currently doing) we’ll see whether it’s feasible for us to add some other kind of editing operation that will make it possible to change the duration of a lyric event without there being notes in the voice to grab hold of.

In the meantime, I suggest that the practical solution may be to simply add another couple of notes in the Soprano voice temporarily in order to get the lyric duration to be extended, then remove those notes again.

I have the same situation as explained above. In my case I have one place where it’s the tenor part (in a two-staff choral reduction) which requires the extender line. There’s no way I can attach the lyric to the tenor and not have this be a complete mess. I tried to do what David26 suggested before coming to this forum to comment. It seems strange that if I turn on an extender line for a lyric nothing happens. If I can’t turn it on, it shouldn’t be available as an option in Properties.

I tried Daniel’s solution and I think it works just fine. I split the final soprano note into quarter-note and eighth-note and created the extension lines. Then I deleted the eighth-note and restored the dotted quarter-note. The extension lines all lengthened themselves, so I moved their ends back by three spaces (possibly a little too far, but this was just a quick try-out).

While I agree that the final result is not strictly correct, it is fairly commonly found in hymn books and other liturgical music, and I do use it myself. I don’t think it takes too long to implement on those occasions when it’s needed.

Daniel, I’m attaching lyrics to S or A voices so they look the way I want. Some are thus attached to S and some to A.
When Dorico is able to explode these automatically will it be able to cope with this?