Reflow staff spacing after edit

I don’t think there was a way to do this in dorico 3, but is there a function in Dorico 4 that functions like “optimize staves” in Sibelius??

for example, I removed a section letter from the “B” part. The letter B had created a large space above the third system in the lead sheet. I would like to reset the vertical spacing so that all of the staves are a consistent distance apart. In Sibelius I would do this via “Optimize staves” to re-flow the staff spacing. Is it still true here that I have to go in and manually adjust every vertical space from the third system on in every part in order to correct for this one small formatting change? Is there an automatic way to do this that I’m missing??

I did “reset layout” already and that didn’t help.

Update: If I set the repeat bar onto a new system (e.g. to the third system) if I then click “reset layout” then the repeat bar goes back up to the second system. So here again, is there any shortcut available for the task of manually re-setting staff spacing every time I want to create a system break??

There aren’t any new staff spacing features in Dorico 4.
There are several steps that go into staff spacing:

  • minimum distances
  • collision avoidance
  • vertical justification
  • manual edits (avoid)

I like to temporarily turn off vertical justification by setting both values to 100%, so I can see what else is going on. If you then find that the Letter B is still making a bigger space than you want, you could reduce the value in “Minimum inter-system gap with content”. But it looks like for this layout you might just want a larger minimum space between systems, so that the Letter B won’t be close enough to make a difference.

When you’ve got the spacing even to your taste, then turn the percentages for vertical justification back down and the pages will be filled to the bottom. Once you’ve got settings that you like in one part, you can make the same changes with all the other part layouts selected.

(“Reset Layout” in Dorico 4 deletes all system and frame breaks, resetting the layout to the default allocation of bars to systems/frames as determined by the layout’s options etc.)

Thanks Mark,

Very helpful. I never ever (really ever) want vertical justification, so I always set it to 99%. I don’t want staves to fill the screen, but prefer to have consistent spacing between staves with blank space at the bottom. I’ll see if I can fiddle with the inter-system gap settings, but part of the problem is that (as with sibelius) the section letters tend to get somewhat arbitrarily placed (which is ok because the program can’t really know how to make them best fit in visually) and almost always need to be adjusted.

In the screen shot above, I’d already moved “B” which was previously floating above and to the left of the chord symbol “Am.”

I understand that manual edits are not preferred, but I don’t see any way to avoid them since the staves don’t automatically adjust when you move things around in Engrave Mode.

Am I missing something?

Of course if you want your Letter B further left, nothing wrong with moving it. I was referring, there, to manual edits to the staff spacing. So far I’ve been able to get good results with just the settings.

Several other users have complained about the relative alignment of rehearsal letters with chord symbols, tempo markings, etc. Unfortunately when we move something like a rehearsal letter down, Dorico still does collision avoidance as if it were in the default position. So I guess that’s what accounts for the extra 0.2" in your screenshot.

Have you achieved the even spacing you wanted yet?

Thanks Mark,

I get the spacing by making manual adjustments in all of the parts. Can’t figure out how else to do it. When I create the line break the rehearsal mark goes where it wills itself. I adjust it manually, and then adjust the rest of the staves below to re-set the spacing.

I found this thread from last summer with more info and a more experienced user’s approach.

Thank you. It explains all of the issues perfectly. Hopefully, Dorico will address some of them at some point.

Jake, the idea behind Dorico is, that you’ll never need to do an “optimise staff spacing” à la Sibelius - because that’s what Dorico does automatically, while you input your content.
You just have to tell Dorico in the Engraving and Layout Options, how your ideal Layout would look. I know f.e. there are settings, where you can set the way, Rehearsal Marks will position.
(sorry about my clumsy English…)

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