Dorico places the staff labels inside the music frame, as opposed to some other notation programs which place these labels in the left margin.
I can see the thinking behind this, as it prevents long staff labels from sticking too far into the margin, but it can produce results that, to my eye, do not look great. This happens when different systems on a page have different staff labels, resulting in the left barline of the different systems not being aligned vertically. I’ve attached a screenshot with an example.
Is there a plan for how this could be solved in the future?
I’m not sure how we could easily solve this. We do have an option to indent the first system of a flow, which you can find on the Staves and Systems page of Layout Options. We will also in the next update have an option to manually indent the left- or right-hand side of any system as part of the suite or features to edit horizontal spacing, so it will also be possible to adjust this on a per-system basis as needed.
I agree — it doesn’t seem like a problem easily solved. Indenting the first system of a flow won’t really help on a piece where the instrumentation constantly varies, and manually indenting each system seems very tedious, especially for a long score.
I looked at a number of published pieces to see how publishers handle this, and it looks like they usually put the labels inside the “music frame,” not in the margin, just like Dorico — but that they add extra padding on the left of some systems so that the left barlines still line up. I couldn’t find any examples where the left barlines were not aligned.
I’ve attached three examples, from three publishers. (They’re PDFs, so I had to put them in a zip file…)
examples.zip (552 KB)
I’ve been thinking about this and what I think we can do is provide an option for the minimum indent for a system that shows staff labels, and Dorico can then use either the width of the widest staff label or this minimum indent, whichever is the wider. All you would need to do is set a minimum indent that is the same as or slightly larger than your widest staff label, and you should then find that all systems have a consistent indent. I will try to get this into the next update.
Wow, great! Seems like an excellent solution, and I look forward to using it in the next update.