Vertical justification "Padding"

Hello! Of all thing Dorico, the engrave page still confuses me the most.

Is there a way to “pad” the beginning and end when using vertical justification so it the music doesn’t end up too spread out?

E.G. the automatic result gives this:

And, if possible, I wanted something like this, without changing the frame attributes:


You should have a play with either the Minimum inter-staff gap (which controls the minim distance between staves) and/or the Vertical Justification (which controls how full the frame needs to be before spreading out the staves to fit the frame):

Whenever I need this level of control, I create some extra « Default pages » with space on top or at the bottom or both… It takes a little time to build them up, and then you simply change the page template for the pages that need that kind of care. I haven’t found any automatic way to achieve this.

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Hi @pieroschlochauer besides the helpful tipps above, there is also the possibility to adjust the top and bottom frame margins (I don’t know if you would prefer not to change them as you speak about “not changing attributes”).
I took the liberty to recreate your example (sorry, this is only a ruff scan, but just to have an idea…, if this disturbs you I am happy to delete this post).

This example shows an alternative way to adjust things, without the need of new customised page templates (even if they are also a very valid option):

test spacings.dorico (1.3 MB)

  • I put the Space size to 1.4 mm in Page Setup
  • I adjusted the top and bottom margin of the Layout Options/Page setup/Music Frame margins to 25, and 20 (this would create the “padding” that you refer to )
  • I increased a little bit the inter-system gap in Layout Options/Vertical Spacing/Ideal Gaps (to 15)
  • I increased the second value of Vertical spacing Justify distance only between Systems if frame is at least… to 85% (so it doesn’t take place in this case of my example)

Of course this file is probably different from yours, and there are many other customisations in the Ideal Gaps that can be made, to better achieve the desired result, but there are so many elegant possibilities in Dorico to adjust the automatic spacing…fascinating. (and a good exercise for me :slight_smile: )
If you would like to share the Dorico file, I would love to experiment on it more…


And at the end you can use the nice feature under menu Engrave/Staff Spacing/Copy Staff Spacing… and copy from one page to the other(s) so that all looks identical (if desired, but it can create collisions because this is an override of the automatic collisions avoidance):


Something that might be useful here is if you screenshot your vertical spacing settings and upload? There might be an obvious setting to change.

Here’s my handy guide to Vertical Justification settings.


That’s awesome!

Here is a labelled picture of key margins in Dorico:

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I FINALLY understand these settings now! Thank you so much. Now that you show the results, it seems perfectly obvious, but for some reason, I didn’t really understand the difference between the two settings.

This is incredible! Thank you!