Staff Vertical Spacing Problem

I have created a very simple Lead Sheet from an Easy Keyboard Tutorial book, so very simple.

After completing the work I was not happy with the staff spacing so went into Layout Options - Vertical Spacing - Ideal Gaps. I needed to reduce the gap between staves so reduced the Inter-System Gap from default 10 to 7 but this was too small so increased it to 8, but the gap jumped back to the original large gap. So I went into Engrave mode and selected ‘Staff Spacing’ to see what measurements were being displayed - with Inter-system Gap at 7 it is 12.9mm between staves, 7 1/8 is 13.2mm, 7 1/4 is 13.4mm, 7 3/8 is 13.6mm but when I select 7 1/2 the gap jumps to 28.9mm.

Why does the gap suddenly increase at 7 1/2 to 28.9mm - what am I doing wrong ?

I am using Dorico Pro v3.5.10.1045


There are vertical justification thresholds in the same dialog - by default they’re set to 60% and 80%. It sounds like the music you have fills the page vertically by just under 60% when you’ve got the ideal gaps set one way, and just over 60% when you’ve got the ideal gaps set the other way. You can check these actual percentages for yourself if you go into Engrave mode and then Staff Spacing mode - there’ll be a little box at the bottom of each page showing the percentage. You can also adjust these thresholds within Layout Options.

Many thanks pianoleo, that was the problem, setting the 60% to 80% gave the the spacing I was looking for.

I did see Vertical Justification but didn’t understand how it works, and to be honest I still don’t, so I’ll have to study the manual on this subject.

Thanks again :smile:

@benwiggy produced a really good visual guide (in the form of a PDF) here. It’s well worth a read.