Vertical justification of Paragraph text in Text Frame

Dear Dorico users
When making scores that need a Preface, I’ve always made the text in MS Word, then joined it with pdfjoiner. But this time I thought I’d bite the bullet and try it all in Dorico to see if I could cut out the extra pdf joining process.
So I created eight blank pages and set up Text Frames. Then I began putting in my text. I set up individual paragraph styles, and adjusted the line spacing (“leading”) as required. But I find that paragraph text always begins in the middle of the page and then expands up and down. I realize one can pad below or above with spaces. But it is still tricky to vertical align the text, esp when one has two parallel columns of text, one in Latin and one in English tr. So…

  1. Is there anyway to get the text to begin/align at the top of the Text Frame and to write downwards, rather than starting halfway down the Frame and expanding up and down?
  2. Also is there any way to reduce the size of a blank line in between paragraphs? (I set up a 4pt paragraph style called Tiny Gap, but it always seems to affect the paragraph below or above.)

Thanks for any help.

  1. Yes, the vertical alignment of text in a text frame is a setting belonging to the frame itself – see here: Changing the vertical alignment of text in text frames

  2. You could use the Paragraph Styles dialog to set the gaps after/before each paragraph that uses the corresponding paragraph style?

I’ve long wanted an options to change the default. I mostly want “Top”.


And I hope we can one day adjust the leading values on a case-by-case basis, without having to create/adjust paragraph styles.

Dear Lillie, Thank you.
Vertical alignment is now great.
I’m afraid that setting gaps before/after each paragraph won’t work unless I assign each paragraph to different styles. (I want some pgphs with spacing and others without.) So that seems like quite a headache.
It would be nice as @benwiggy and @Romanos say to have a bit more on-page control of all these parameters one day.
Thanks again.

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PS. Am I right in thinking that the only point size options are 10, 10.5, 11, etc, and that 11.2 (for instance) is not an option.

That’s correct. Point sizes can be specified in increments of 0.5pt.

Thank you, Daniel. Just one more question (I think) on this subject.
My paragraph style is set up to justify within a column. I’d like some paragraphs first-line indented and others not indented.
I’ve tried ordinary spaces, but they stretch.
So I tried non-breaking space (Shift-Alt-spacebar), but they seem to stretch too.
Is there any way I can get first-line indents all the same size?

So I found the workaround.
I inserted XX before each new indented line
and then I made the XX text white. Looks good now. However, since it seems impossible to copy and paste whited text, they had to be whitened on a case by case basis. A bit time-consuming.
Then it occurred to me it might be possible to adjust the amount of indentation provided by the TAB key within the Frame. Can anyone advise on this?

There is a setting for First Line indentation in the Paragraph styles dialog.

Yes, but that indents all first lines. I would like to indent some and not others.
It’s not related to the indentation provided by the TAB key.

Could you define separate but similar paragraph style for indented and non-indented paragraphs?