Problems aligning texts in engrave mode

Hi experts. I am still struggling with making clear and readable drum parts. In the attached clip, I need three pieces of information in measure 121 for the drummer:

  • trombone solo starts
  • “Play 16”
  • use sticks

(there are actually four texts now: as can be seen in bar 57, I tried to divide the text “piano solo start” in two lines to get the text in between the rehearsal marks, but could not understand how to adjust the row height/row distance, so for the counterpart “trombone solo start” I tried to attach two different text so I at least can adjust them with the mouse.)

But I can’t make the texts stay where I drag them. See this clip!AvnWo7Bista9iLV-HTmquEGDXrsLGA?e=10S1YX
(sorry for not attaching it here but I got multiple error messages when I tried).

Is there some function I can turn off so that the text stay where I drag them? I have turned off collision avoidance for the layout.


Have you turned off collision avoidance for text? You can set Use Default Positions within Engraving Options > Text, or you can flick on the text object’s Avoids Collisions property and then make sure that the tickbox is unticked.

If you then need different positions in the score and part, you need to ensure that the Set Local Properties Globally/Locally switch is set to Local before you drag the items.

Ok great. All texts are still in a stack in the score, looks really bad. I need to try to clean that up later.

But before closing this topic, is there a way to control the line spacing for multiple row texts?

I would like the text at 57 to look as at 121, preferably without having to divide into two separate texts. Is this possible?


Is that regular Shift-X text? If so, there’s a line spacing option somewhere in the top right corner of the text editing toolbar. You can also fiddle with the defaults in Engrave > Paragraph Styles but I think you’d probably want to create a new Paragraph Style rather than editing the Default Text Paragraph Style (as if you edit the Default Text Paragraph Style it may have knock-on effects on other Paragraph Styles that inherit properties from Default Text).

Is it this one you mean?


Can’t find a line spacing option there, but I guess you mean something else?

To create a new paragraph style sounds like an excellent idea. However right now I can’t unfortunately not find a line spacing option in the paragraph styles settings either…

Thanks for all help so far!


If you’re only wanting to shift the baseline of a single selected line or two, you can do that using the popover: the numerical value in the top right corner. You can’t edit global line spacing of a selection using only the Text popover, but you can set it in a new Paragraph Style.

It’s called “Leading”:


Your best bet is to create a paragraph style anyways… it’s a powerful tool to streamline your workflow.

I’m not in front of it or I’d give a screenshot, but yes, in your screenshot it’s top right between “100%” and the Underline icon, immediately above the (highlighted) Center Alignment icon.

@dankreider ok this works. Didn’t know that “leading” is the same as “line spacing”, thanks for letting me know.

@pianoleo I think you point out the “baseline shift” setting. This changes the vertical position of the text block, as far as I can see it does not change the line spacing at all. Perhaps I am missing something.

And btw, what is the method for setting the paragraph style to a text? Let’s say that I am in engrave mode, I see a text that I think should have another style and I do already have a paragraph style I want this text to be formatted as. Right-click does help as far as I can see? Neither does the properties panel?

What works is double-clicking the text (mode changes automatically to “Write”), double-click again (text layout panel appears), swipe with the mouse to select the text, select the paragraph style from text layout panel, click once more to unselect, and then ctrl-3 to return to engrave mode. Is this the recommended method?


That’s the only method I’m aware of, as you can’t change the paragraph style from outside the text editor (at least I don’t think so) as a single text object could contain text with multiple different paragraph styles.

If you have a favourite paragraph style that you’ve saved as default, you can assign a key command to add text with that style already selected (like how Shift-X adds staff text with the Default paragraph style selected).

Ok. This feel like a fairly long way to go, I hoped to not having to use the mouse so much (generally speaking, shoulder problems). But I don’t really understand what is the rationale of showing what is shown when right-clicking a text. Most of what I can see there don’t apply to texts at all. A list of paragraph styles there would be apt. But that is just my humble opinion…

The right-click context menu is the same regardless of what/where you right-click. If you set up a default paragraph style that you can open with a key command in future, that will save mouse usage.

Hm, I really don’t understand what is ment by “default paragraph style”. I guess there needs to be some kind of “fundament” for other styles (like the default text) which is fine, but then different paragraph styles might, at least in my scores, apply to different situations. The usage of the text, the placing of the text and also the content of the text determines what style a particular text should have. Perhaps I don’t really understand what you mean.

When you add text by pressing Shift-X, the paragraph style selected for it automatically is “Default Text”.


You can create as many paragraph styles as you want/need, and those styles could even start with basic formatting and you add italics/change the font size/leading etc later - but changing the paragraph style later updates all bits of text that use it. Bit like a master page, if you want to think of it that way. Paragraph styles saved as default (by clicking the star icon) are available in all projects, and you could assign a key command to add text with that style automatically selected - like Shift-Alt-N for “narrator text” or what have you.

For example, I have a couple of paragraph styles with different leading/gap after paragraph settings to format my pre-score pages (one style for headings, another style for the body) that I’ve saved as default so are always available in all my projects.

OK I think I got all that already.

To assign certain paragraph styles to key commands, that is also understood earlier, that this is possible.

What I tried to say is that if I do not prefer that way of working (assigning key commands to paragraph styles), I find the process of change a text block to adhere to a certain paragraph style fairly complicated and very mouse intense, at the same time that I notice that the right-click function (generally denoted as and referred to as “context sensitive” menus) could be used very much better since what appears now when right-clicking a text to a large extent do not apply to texts at all. Therefore, a list of paragraph styles would perhaps be a better usage of such a menu.

It wouldn’t be many fewer mouse clicks, Dan. Right now, you hit Return or double-click to edit the text. Then you click in the menu to choose the desired paragraph style (you don’t need to select the whole item first: wherever the cursor is within the text, that paragraph will be changed). Under your proposal, you would still need to select the text, then right-click and change the paragraph style. For what it’s worth, we have no plans to add anything to the right-click menu to do this.

Ok thanks. The return instead of double click is an improvement to what I tried, thanks for that.

FWIW I still have a little confusion when trying to understand the design here, for two reasons. Firstly, why the need to go “back” to write mode to change a text style? I thought that the idea was that write mode is where you enter the “hard core” stuff like what notes should be on what beats with what durations, which texts should contain what and be connected to what and so on. Then in engrave mode, you can (and often need to) adjust how it should appear to form a final sellable product. Isn’t style assignment to a text block considered to be an appearance thing? For me it would be way more natural to have it easy reachable in engrave mode (which is also where the paragraph styles are defined!).

Secondly, if I right click a text in engrave mode, this is what I get:

Given that right click, at least in the windows world, normally is considered to be ment as “context sensitive”…what in this menu here applies to text blocks?

Thanks for your input, it is highly appreciated.


As Lillie has already said earlier in this thread, the right-click menu does not change its contents based on what you have selected. That might be something we approach in a future version of the software, but as things stand (which, in the end, is all that matters, because you have to work with the way the software currently works, not the way it might work in the future), the menu is a streamlined version of the Edit menu, which contains the things you most commonly need when working on the music.

You can’t edit the semantics of an item in Engrave mode, and we do consider the style of a paragraph of text to be semantic, because one presumes the reason you have created different paragraph styles in the first place is that the text is intended to communicate something different to the performer.

In any case, again, as Lillie has already explained, it wouldn’t always be practical to have a command external to the text editor itself to change the paragraph style of the text item, since text items can contain multiple paragraphs, each in a different style.