Solved: Manually moving lyrics also changes note spacing

Example here: https://imgur.com/CcfZh89

I’m finding that when lyrics are tight (and horizontal lyric shifting is in play), nudging lyrics left or right can cause note spacing to jump suddenly.

I can understand the reasoning I think… I assume Dorico is re-calculating lyric shifts. But it’s disorienting, and very difficult to micro-manage the spacing as I would prefer.

Am I missing something? Or is this something that can be changed? Thanks.

Here’s another instance. This one really screwed up the whole line, which was quite tight.

I’ve attached the project. You can duplicate this behavior by trying to move the second lyric a little to the right.

To be honest, I’m not sure what the best workflow is on this sort of thing. I’m a bit befuddled. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it happens often with hymnal settings (tight spacing).
10,000 Reasons.zip (382 KB)

I promise I’m not bumping, just tried a couple more things:

  1. Changed “Proportion of lyric width for horizontal adjustment” to increasingly higher numbers, since that seemed to cause the re-spacing. No avail.
  2. Tried selecting all note spacing handles in a system and nudging once so they were all red, thinking perhaps that would lock them in. Also to no avail.

I don’t understand why #1 wouldn’t work, as per this thread. Setting the value to something like 3 means the lyrics should be able to be shifted by quite a large amount (300% of the width of the protruding section) before Dorico felt the need to respace the notes. It does indeed shift the notes as expected, but what it doesn’t do it prevent the sudden note re-spacing.

Dan,
when I watch your examples it looks like a feature rather than a bug… I thought Dorico was doing a perfect job, as it has to recalculate the notes when you move the lyrics out of place. I guess you would in this situation (too tight systems) like to have the option to “freeze” the notes and hinder them from recalculation their position while you fine tune your lyrics. It must be hard for the software because this is exactly the situation where it has to calculate the most…
May be an approach would be to even further reduce the Note Spacing in Setup Mode and see wether this takes the strain from recalculating their position when you move the lyrics.

This is precisely what I DON’T want, and I’m trying to find a way around it. I’ve already adjusted the note spacing exactly as I want it, and I don’t want Dorico changing it at that point!

Just wanted to follow up to say I’ve found a solution: select all lyrics in a system and nudge one click to the right or left. THEN I change the note spacing, and finally adjust the lyrics. The notes stay put.

Apparently nudging the lyrics overrides their automatic spacing behavior.

Dan, I also deal with this and find it maddening. Sometimes there is “plenty” of space for you to make a manual tweak without everything else moving and then BOOM. Dorico moves everything anyway which then screws up the other tweaks you did elsewhere on that line. I proposed elsewhere on the forum once upon a time that perhaps it would be nice if we could be allowed to nudge lyrics when the note spacing tool is open, so that way you could nudge the lyrics relative to the columns and adjust them together. If you make a lyric adjustment when note spacing is activated, then it wouldn’t auto-recalculate the whole row, with the expectation that you will do further manual tweaks. I think this would be very helpful. At the bare minimum, I think we need an option that stipulates that if a column has been manually adjusted, shifting a lyric (relative to that column) will not override the other manual adjustment.

OOooOO I’m glad you discovered this. My pastor and I are currently in discussion about ditching our hymnals outright and doing a weekly worship aid with all the music. This will be a lifesaver. (I like the idea–ditch the bad stuff, introduce new stuff, all with complete control, but wow, will it be a lot of work. I digress…)

The reason you find the spacing changes after you move a lyric left or right is because the act of adjusting a lyric left or right removes the spacing adjustment made by “wiggling” the lyric left or right to try to reduce its impact on rhythmic spacing while still avoiding collisions. If you want to prevent Dorico from ever adjusting a lyric left or right, you can set Proportion of lyric width for horizontal adjustment to 0 on the Lyrics page of Engraving Options. However, this means that lyrics will always have the maximum possible impact on rhythmic spacing, because Dorico will always exactly centre or left-align them as needed, and push the next rhythmic position out of the way to avoid collisions.

We will look into adding an option to tell Dorico that you don’t want lyrics to have any effect at all on rhythmic spacing, which would produce spacing as if the lyrics are simply not there.

Thanks Daniel! That makes sense. I do need to keep that “proportion of lyric” setting rather high, because it gets me about 50% of the way there. Shifting lyrics is most of what I end up doing anyways.

In the meantime, nudging all the lyrics before starting note adjustment overrides that behavior, and it works quite well. I’m very well adjusted to the workflow now.

Actually, I hope it doesn’t sound contradictory, but I do indeed want lyrics to affect note spacing to some degree. If there’s a bar with a lot of tight lyrics, that bar needs more space than the next bar that has only a whole note. I think one of the essential distinctions is that lyrics should not cause huge differences between consecutive notes of the same rhythmic value. For example, for consecutive quarter notes in a bar should all have roughly the same horizontal space allocated to them. And an eighth note should not get more space than a quarter note before or after it. I’ve pretty much accepted that an algorithm for that would be quite complex, and requires manual adjustment. And Dorico makes VERY short work of it.

Oh by the way… I recant my previous gripes about the way manual note spacing works. I’ve finally gotten the hang of it, and Luis was right… it IS much better than Finale’s behavior. Oh me of little faith… :wink:

Daniel, in fact you can already stop lyrics from affecting note-spacing:

https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=162976&p=872959#p872959