Vertical spacing >again<

Sorry, probably again something very simple but I cannot find it at the moment!
See the next example:

Both pages have the same master page (default), and as far as I can see there is nothing changed on a individual base (I mean staves/systems etc), no overrides or whatever hat I am aware of.
Why is the system which starts with measure 37 not on the first page?
There is ample room for an extra system, you can even see that on the second page!
The score is an Musicxml export from Musescore 3.6 imported in Dorico and in order to let Dorico decide what to do, I unchecked all options, so in theory there should be no layout copied from the xml.

If you show all signposts, maybe you’ll find a spurious Frame Break there?
(Must sound great on carillon BTW!)

Forgot to mention that I have selected to see all signposts (except trills)!
So there are no frame breaks or system breaks…

We really need to see the document, to find out what’s going on.

XML does change the Layout Options, so you might want to reset to your defaults.

Guessing: the justification percentage for the Layout is very high.

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Both vertical justification options are set to 100% in order to have them NOT do their work! My workflow (for what its worth!) for he moment is to not have the vertical justification before everything else is in place, and then possibly use it.
If I reset everything to default then indeed it is a lot better, but if I again change the parameters as I had, the problem is back. Changes I made are NoteSpacing (31/4 and 1), Rastral size (6.5), Margins (all 10), Braced staff-staff (6), Intersystem gap (9), Vertical justification (100, 100).
These are changes to seee what each parameter does, the main difference is made by the vertical justification parameters I just found out.
But I fail to see why! The free space under the last system on page 1 is much more than another system would need, so why is the sixth system not added on the first page, and it is added on the second?
Beiaardboek Goes 2.dorico (1.5 MB)

Hereby the project file, that makes it a lot easier.

I can’t see any purpose in doing that. Just let Dorico do the work.

You’ve definitely done something to the Layout Options that is causing this problem, because when I restore either the Factory or my own defaults, then the music flows as expected across the pages. Here’s a revised file.

Beiaardboek Goes 2.dorico (1.5 MB)


You could try to untick this.


While I agree that the initial impact with Dorico default staff spacing is not satisfactory, tweaking the defaults to have the software realise your will is the way to go.
We will always need to adjust something, but your goal should be to get as close as possible with the settings, and then fix the rest. I fix my defaults weekly, if not more often, initially it was by huge amounts, now it is by close to imperceptible ones.
The only downside is that it takes time (for me it took one year to find defaults I was happy with), but the reward is definitely worth it!

I also had quite some instances where one more system would easily fit onto the page, but convincing Dorico to do so was nearly impossible without selecting everything and brute-forcing it onto the page.
Same thing like here, page fullness was around 75% with more than enough room for one system from the next page.

Don’t know what circumstances cause this, but there seems to be some room for improvement.

The same limitation causes Dorico to sometimes put one too many systems in a frame as one too few: it has to estimate the space required for each system before the music is fully spaced, and once it’s made its best guess as to how many systems will fit in the frame, it doesn’t change its mind when the music is actually fully spaced. It would be nice if Dorico could have another go once it’s figured out how full the frame really is, but it’s by its nature a recursive problem, so it’s not a simple one to solve in all generality.


Hi, Daniel.

Yeah, I thought that this might be the cause for these results. When it happened to me, it was - like here - the case that the music had almost no additions to it: No dynamics, no lyrics, no rehearsal marks, no other text that would need more space than the music itself.

It seems that in these most puristic cases Dorico’s first estimation overshoots quite a bit and leaves room that will never be used by anything in the later steps.

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I usually expect to add the odd frame break and system break on each flow: either balance the number of systems across a spread; or to balance the fall of bars across the last few systems.

I’ve never seen such an extreme calculation ‘error’ as in these pages, but it’s the work of moments to make into a frame.

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The purpose is, at this moment, to discover what Dorico is doing (or not doing in this example)
More then I described I did not do in the Layout options (I think, but always remember exactly what you did given that there are so many options).
If I switch the Vertical Justification off in your revised version (100%, 100%) the reaction of Dorico is the same, a big white space where there is more than enough room for another system!
Therefore I am inclined to think that indeed Dorico is doing something strange here.

I completely agree, that is also the reason I switched to Dorico, but at this time I am not completely used to that, and with the vertical spacing I was unhappy, so therefore I try to look first what happens without… My goal is certainly to let D do the work, but I want to understand it.

I certainly hope that that is not the case, because then we need some kind of special Baroque-Keyboard mode in Dorico, that’s music with very little “extra’s”, and that is also the music I mostly do!

I understand that (more or less) but is this situation on the radar of the developers team, and is it somewhere on a list of things to look at in some future?

Yes, off course, very easy to resolve for the moment, but again, if one is trying to understand what is possible and what not and if the goal is to change as little as possible, then it is not the first thing to do.
I also think that VerticalJustification is not needed in order to hide this kind of errors, I think the purpose of it is to make a score more balanced and good looking.

But thanks for all your thoughts and help!

Try this:

Unfortunately this happens sometimes, as Daniel explained above in post #11. In my experience the easiest (or only good) way to force another system on the page where it fits perfectly well is Make into Frame, or the equivalent manual editing of frame breaks.

I, too, often like to turn off vertical justification while working for the same reason.

That makes some sense since I only have systems here, but it does not change the question why Dorico did not add another system to the page while there is enough space!

In my “investigation” I did change the first page (also about 78% filled), I selected the first measure of that first page, and the last measure of the first system of the second page, and made them into one frame, the result was (to my eyes) astonishing, suddenly now all three pages are nicely filled as I would like to:

and then VerticalJustify makes a lot of sense, that looks nice I think, but the justify is now only correcting minor unbalance things between the pages, and that’s fine:

To my eyes this result is now satisfactory, but it needed manual intervention.
Well at least it proves that no software can replace your own judgement and critical eye!


These sorts of experiments are inevitable (but quick to conduct). ctrl-z returns you to what you had before.

This veeeeeeeeeery much depends on how many pages of how many players you have to review after each change :wink:

Daniel answered that question above. I cannot claim to comprehend his explanation, but he does seem like a trustworthy expert in that field :wink: