Recalculate vertical spacing after shifting things in engrave mode?

Is there a way to have Dorico recalculate vertical spacing with its algorithm as opposed to me having to manually shift the systems as equal as possible? The initial spacing was first here, done correctly with Dorico’s algorithm, with the arco technique on top of the sul tasto and sul pont. techniques.
Now, I’ve shifted the arco and sul tasto / sul pont. techniques horizontally and shifted the rehearsal marks manually in engrave mode for this part (not in the full score) to allow for another system to be input on the bottom of the page. Can I utilize Dorico’s spacing algorithm somehow to readjust itself automatically considering my changes?


Unfortunately not. My recommendation would be to attach those rehearsal marks about two beats earlier, which will in fact give you a better automatic vertical spacing result (because I assume they will no longer be stacked on top of the playing techniques). Then move them in engrave mode to appear as though they are on the downbeat.

Edit: of course, the rehearsal marks are beat numbers. So that’s actually a lousy solution…

No, you’ll need to do it manually. It’s fast. Don’t use the mouse! Select the handles, and use Ctrl-Alt-up/down.

That’s what I suppose I will have to do for now - hopefully this can be changed in a future version sometime. Dorico has such a good algorithm when it comes to initial spacing that it seems a waste that you can’t really utilize it whenever you tweak something in Engrave mode.

For parts you might prefer to switch off the options to automatically perform collision avoidance between systems, on the Vertical Spacing page of Layout Options. Used in combination with the options for specifying a fixed number of systems per frame on the Staves and Systems page of Layout Options, you could end up with a much more even default appearance, and then make a smaller number of adjustments. Generally there’s enough breathing room between systems in a part if you have a good balance between page size, staff size, and don’t try to cram more than 9 or 10 systems to a frame.

Just came across this again after 2+ years (wow, things have improved so much since then, fantastic development work all!!)

I’ve come across this kind of situation again in a condensed score where I’ve shifted several things that were inappropriately stacked to allow more room. Just wondering if there’s any way to “reoptimize” the vertical spacing that may have been improved since then. If I recall, Sibelius did do something similar with their “optimize spacing” function that could be utilized for certain parts of the score. Not saying that should be the way Dorico does it, though.

For further clarification, I may just be uncomfortable with my own instincts when it comes to shifting multiple staves at once in attempt to retain their original spacing while compensating for the changes I made.



The change isn’t huge here, but it could be in other scenarios (later in this project and otherwise). Perhaps I’m just being lazy and really should expect to do some work on this manually myself and not expect Dorico to do everything for me, I’m not sure! :sweat_smile:

Let me know your thoughts.

No, there’s no change here. I note that Sibelius, in light of Dorico’s development (and presumably the advances in processing power) now offers vertical auto-optimisation, though the old “calculate when I tell you to” function still exists too.

For what it’s worth, I’m in the middle of one of these sorts of jobs, so I feel your pain! I wonder if you might get better results if you set the Engraving Option for condensing labels to be positioned slightly further to the left. In my experience that means you’ll probably end up moving just as many condensing labels by hand, but you shouldn’t need to use the staff spacing tool anywhere near as much.

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I haven’t messed too much with engraving options in that area, so I’ll try some with that. Thanks Leo! I suppose we should actually be getting paid to do some legwork and not just click a button in software, anyway - but the condensing feature in Dorico certainly cuts hours off of my workflow regardless, so I suppose I should be thankful for what amazing things we do already have!

Naturally there are areas where “calculate when I tell you to calculate” is still a good idea. For instance, 10 minutes ago I told Dorico to put 254 bars of ~20 instruments into Upstem Voice 1 - I think most of them already were but I’d clocked that a few that weren’t. I wish I’d turned off Condensing first; I’m still waiting…

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I remember having noticed that Dorico is happily updating the spacing really nicely in WRITE mode, like after moving rehearsal marks away from their little “towers” or taming ending brackets by moving chord symbols along.
It would be fantastic if there were ways to recalculate spacing also after moving things around in ENGRAVE mode!


Edit: Which is pretty much what Dan said earlier, I now realize, but I’ll leave my post as support for more powerful automatic spacing algorithms.

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I’d posit that the spacing updating is even more appropriate for Engrave mode than Write mode.

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