Requests for syllabic adjustment

I have a couple requests related to syllabic adjustment, which is probably where I spend most of my time in hymnal engraving.

  1. Most of the initial syllabic adjustments for a given rhythmic position are performed equally on all stanzas. I’d like the ability to select simultaneous syllables in multiple verses at one time using Shift and up/down arrows. The marquee tool requires me to use the mouse, which is cumbersome.

  2. I’d rather that the arrows changed the selection for just the syllables, and didn’t include the hyphens… or at least an option to not select the hyphens. When I’m using L/R arrows, the selection always jumps to a different stanza when a hyphen is present. It’s quite disorienting.

  3. When changing the lyric text alignment in the Properties Panel, I would prefer that operation not change my manual note spacing.


Thanks for the requests regarding selection and navigation. One day…

However, regarding your third request, I’m afraid there’s nothing to be done here, as long as Dorico includes the width of lyrics in its spacing calculations (which, at the moment, it always does). When you change the alignment of a lyric, then you’re changing the relationship of its width to the width of that spacing column, and hence you’re very likely changing the width of that spacing column, and that will cause a change in the spacing. Your manual spacing adjustment to note spacing has not been removed: but it is now relative to a different preceding width.

Got it, thanks. I’m working on acclimating to Dorico’s way of manual spacing.

The choice to override lyric alignment with left/centred/right just doesn’t cut the mustard.
By example. I have a renaissance work using barlines between staves and have a syllable ‘fiamm’ ’ on the first note of a measure.
Automatic placement puts this over the barline (not acceptable), right alignment is irrelevant, left alignment put the syllable too far to the right.
Both Score and Sibelius allow for greater control of horizontal displacement. Dorico needs to be able to do this, too!
My suggestion- give the user four options. The three already available for basic adjustment and a fourth manual category based upon stave space units allowing negative and positive numerical adjustment.

Have you tried dragging with the mouse or using the keyboard?

To be clear, you can adjust a lyric left or right in Engrave mode by selecting it and dragging it with the mouse, or using Alt+left/right.

OK. I think I must have been in write mode. Not entirely intuitive. I would still like numerical control.

You have numerical control: it is provided by the Offset X value in the Common group of Properties.

I’d also love it if we could adjust alignment offsets when selecting “left/right align”. Whenever I do left align, it always looks just a touch too far to the left, so I adjust manually. It would be nice if there was an offset value.

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I think there is a significant need for a preference setting for lyric alignment and justification. My publishing clients generally require for ALL syllables to be centered in alignment to the notehead they are attached to– regardless of whether the syllable is followed by a lyric extender or not. On a few specific other projects, such as hymnbook engraving, they may require multiple syllables at the beginning of a system to be left-justified, but with the longest syllable center-aligned to the note. Other specific lyrics (such as the first syllable in multiple verses) may require a specific alignment and justification, regardless whether this occurs at the beginning of a system or not. I know that Dorico will allow me to select a group of syllables in Engrave Mode to modify lyric text alignment, but the process of selecting lyrics throughout a book can prove to be a time consuming change from Dorico’s initial assumptions about syllable alignment. I might suggest it would seem that these types of alignment and justification choices would be best served by defining a set of lyric alignment preferences first, rather than having to identify and modify affected syllables by selection.

Would you be able to attach a page or two of the kinds of lyric alignment your clients demand? It would help me to more clearly understand their requirements and consider whether or not adding this to the software would be a good idea. I would appreciate it!

(Unfortunately it’s not as simple as “my client demands it, therefore Dorico should do it” because adding options to software is not a zero-sum game: it requires effort to specify, implement, test, localise, maintain, and so on, so if something is very idiosyncratic or even – dare I say it – wrong then it’s by no means a certainty that it would even make it onto our backlog, let alone be implemented. I hope you can understand our point of view in this regard.)

Here’s the sort of thing I miss from Finale that would be wonderful to be able to set in Dorico:

I know this has come up before, but I continue to think on it, especially with the recent font stuff I’ve been working on.

I agree that Dorico’s left-alignment simply doesn’t look right. In my opinion, “left-aligned” should give the appearance that the first character is generally centered directly underneath the notehead. Of course all left-aligned systems should have their lyrics aligned to one another, so this would need to be a fixed value. (Engraving Options—Lyrics—option for offset value would be a great solution).