Lyrics – horizontal stretch

Hi everyone,

when adding a longer lyric line on a single note (say a whole sentence) from certain point, Dorico will no longer take the length of the long “syllable” into account for the bar width. I may be missing something but is there a way to have the lyric line stretch the bar proportionally so that it doesn’t collide?

Thanks for any tips!


Dorico deliberately allows lyrics to cross barlines. Lyrics only allow space for other lyrics, so try putting just a hard space on the following note.

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First, Left-align the syllable.

One other solution is to add Note Spacing changes: one to space out the bar as needed; and another to Reset the Change after the bar.

I also found, in experimenting just now, that after a few bars, long, left-aligned lyric strings can still collide – in Galley view. I switched to Page view and realized that this was happening because there was now a system break there.

It appears that if you have a long lyric wider than the last bar on a system, it may be impossible to force the bar to be wide enough. Unless there’s something I’m missing.

Here again, a sample/example file of the (specific) problem would likely result in a faster solution.


Add a Note Spacing Change to a large number.

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Wonderful, thank you, Mark! That helps a lot since the hard space indeed generally does the trick. So far the most reliable solution seems to be adding and then hiding this fictive tuplet – the last 16th has the hard empty space bar in lyrics. Or adding the hard empty space lyric on the rest in the next bar.

Is that the kind of thing you would do?

As others have pointed out, with more dense music around, at least from the experimenting so far, it seems that the note spacing has to get involved. Thank you everyone!

Yes, the following downbeat was what I had in mind. But a short note at the end of the bar is even better, because then you can have the following bar rest. You don’t even need a tuplet; just put a 32nd note or whatever at the end of the bar (it doesn’t matter if the long note appears as tied).

Okay, thanks Mark, yes that works. Although simpler, placing the rest on the following downbeat tends to cause some irregularities: the text in parts may spill over the barline a bit, but more importantly, if there is a system break, this spacing dependency gets lost. So staying within that one measure with an extra-short note at the end seems to be the best choice. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it work with grace notes, which could be nice… And on a side note – if using verses for stacking these multiple lyric lines, the hard space has to be in the respective verse number.

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