Rest positioning in additional voices

Hi Daniel,

I often write for two individual voices on one staff. Sometimes I do have to to do a lot of adjustments of the rest positions, because I couldn’t find a way to change the defaults globally to my needs. Some thought:

  1. Adjustments of rests with alt + arrow key in Engrave mode
    It is quite time consuming, to change every rest using the properties panel. Every time I switch on “Rest pos.” the rest jumps back to zero position and you have to go a long way from there. Therefore it would be helpful to be able to make adjustments from the actual position and to do this with keyboard shortcuts. This would save me a lot of time.

  2. Option to control the minimum interval of (bar) rests
    At the moment, a rest and a bar rest will move out of the way of another voice leaving an interval of at least a fifth. If e.g. the second voices has got an a’’ the rest in voice 1 is high above the system. This is sometimes a problem in tight situations. I would be helpful, if one could change the min. distance in an Notation option for each flow individually - or to be able to adjust these rests quickly with a shortcut (see above).

  3. Notation Options --> Rests --> Rest positioning
    At the moment these settings seem only to work for even time signatures (I tried 4/4, 2/2, 4/2). Why doesn’t the options also work for uneven signatures (I tried 3/4, 5/4 and 3/2)?
    Also it would be helpful, if bar rests would also react to these setting (especially to “Position on top or bottom staff line”).


Regarding point 1.
Are you aware that you can grab sequences of rests with a filter and manipulate their positions in one go, rather than shifting them one at a time?

Also, you may give yourself less work to do if you select this option in Notation Options:

Heiko, I agree it would be good if the initial value for a property could take into account the current effective value, and this would be helpful for all sorts of things in addition to rests, but it’s something that would take quite a lot of work to implement across the program. I certainly wouldn’t rule it out, but it’s unlikely to be something we can do in the near future. This would also mean that any putative Alt+up/down arrow key edit for rests would first see those rests snap to the middle staff position rather than starting from the rest’s current calculated position.

But I am curious what specific problems you’re having with rest positioning in multiple voices that is causing you to edit a lot of rest positions. Can you give some concrete examples of the situations you find problematic?


If you look at the first picture, you can see, that the options doesn’t seem to work reliable in all cases. The half rest in the bottom voice is still not on the bottom line, although I’ve switched on (and aplied) the shown option (in 4/4) and I’ve done “Reset Position” for all notes and rests. If you want, I can send you the file as PM.
Most of the time, I think I move bar rests, which are not reacting to the settings. As I said, this would be great! I tend to write the rests in top or bottom space of the system.
As I said, the options doesn’t seem to work for all time signatures.
Rest position2.PNG
In the second example there are two issues:

  1. the second rest is two high for my taste. I would prefer, if Dorico wouldn’t leave so much space, when a (bar) rest has to go outside the system.
  2. the rests don’t align vertically when I switch on “Consider rest in multiple bars” as pianola suggested. This is probalby again, because this options doesn’t work for bar rests at the moment. In this case I would place the first bar rest higher and the second one lower, so that they align vertically.

Thanks for taking the time to look into this!


Hi Daniel,

when I change the position of rests in the score, the position of rests in the parts sometimes get changed as well. See pictures of the part layout:
before change in score.PNG
after changes in score.PNG
I only made changes in the score.