Note Spacing Tool adds system breaks

Using the the Note Spacing tool adds system breaks to the score. What’s the reason for this?
System Break

This is the intended behavior. I assume (although I don’t know for sure) that the software thinks if you are setting spacing manually, you want to lock the system.

It’s definitely intended behaviour - I requested some years ago that it be documented, and it is indeed documented - see the result section: Adjusting note spacing at individual rhythmic positions

The assumption is that if you’ve got the level of tweaking note spacing, you want that system to be kept together (as obviously if the casting off subsequently changed, your tweaks would be in a different context and also in previous versions would have been lost entirely).

Thank you Dan, pianoleo and Lillie. I get the point.

I sometimes do some tweaking before I completed note input. While adding more notes in the corresponding systems, I was wondering why they were not justified any longer. Showing the signposts I discovered the system breaks and I wondered where they came from. Now I know: Do the tweaking when it’s time to do so!

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Using the very useful but somehow underrated feature called Note Spacing change would not create those breaks :wink:


Truth be told, I often forget it’s there, but you’re right, for some cases it’s just the ticket and allows dorico to space things very well without manual intervention.

In the First Steps Guide the Note Spacing feature is discussed on page 63, so hopefully for new users this feature is no longer underrated. In order to make music fit on pages I was also used to reduce the rastral sizes in the first place. But why reducing the rastral sizes (or ideal gaps) when the note spacing feature does the job so inconspicuous?

It depends on the job and the situation - some or all of these tools can work together to create the best, or at least a very good, result.

I hope that’s sort of demonstrated in the First Steps guide’s Layout and formatting pages chapter! All the different settings for vertical spacing gaps, staff size, note spacing, page margins contributed to the whole piece going from needing 4 pages to just 2 and still looking beautiful and readable.