Manual spacing of condensed grace notes

Working with grace notes is probably my least favorite thing about the Dorico user experience. Apart from complicated input, I’m now running into an issue where I need to adjust the visual spacing of condensed grace notes, and I’ve noticed that while adjusting the square handle behaves as expected, adjusting the circular handle has no effect.

  1. Is this documented/intended behavior, and does anyone know a workaround?

  2. I suppose this is a feature request: ultimately my problem lies in the inflexibility of spacing between the rightmost grace note and the rhythmic item to which it is attached. In an ideal world, I’d be able to set Engraving Options with more granularity, e.g.:

Minimum distance between rightmost grace note and rhythmic item: Advanced Options

  • Ascending Pitch

  • Descending Pitch

  • Before Accidentals

  • Between Ledger Lines

In general I find that spacing before accidentals and descending appoggiaturas is much too wide, and could be set to 1/16th or even 0 spaces in many cases. But doing so in Engraving Options causes unacceptable collisions with ledger lines and in places where the grace note is lower in pitch than the rhythmic item.

Thanks for your feedback. It is currently a limitation that you cannot use the circular handles to adjust the spacing of condensed grace notes, but that’s something we will address in future.

Your thoughts about different gaps between grace notes and the following rhythmic note are interesting, and I’ll discuss them with the team to assess how complicated to implement they would be.

Just wanted to agree that I find I pretty much always have to manually adjust the spacing of grace notes to make them look good to my eye; they tend to look too widely spread apart.

I know Dorico is already really smart with how it handles spacing, but grace notes seem to want more special treatment. Tom Brodhead’s specialized program for horizontal spacing in SCORE (LJ.EXE) has a whole slew of options for grace note padding — his theory being that although it seems logical that grace note spacing is just scaled-down normal spacing, it doesn’t end up looking as harmonious as we might like. That’s been my experience in Dorico.

Daniel, I imagine you have seen it, but if not, I’d be happy to email you Tom’s documentation for some ideas of different ways of dealing with grace notes. He has a bunch of explanation of his thought process — and the results within SCORE are really, really good. I’m sure you’ve already considered 60,000 different ideas for spacing, but maybe Tom’s explication would be useful in some way.

Sure, I’d be happy to take a look at it.