Vertical Spacing question and request

  1. What is the relation between Ideal Gaps and Vertical Justification?
    In other words how are the Ideal Gaps values considered when Dorico vertically justifies a page?

  2. I really appreciate the Vertical Justification settings.
    They help to create very quickly vertically great evenly spaced scores.
    The additional value added in Dorico 3 which shows in % how much a page is vertically filled helps also a lot to find the right setting.
    Nevertherless I still have a request.
    Very often you have for example 2 systems per page in a flow but the last page has only 1 system.
    Dorico will make a great job justifying all the pages of the flow with 2 systems but of course will not justify the last page with 1 system.
    Depending on the ideal Gaps values it can then happens that the vertical spacing in this last system differs too much from the systems on the previous page.
    Could it be possible to add an optional setting that would take care of this and automatically adjust the vertical spacing according to the system facing on the previous page?

The attached pics show what I mean.
In the second pic I manually edited the vertical spacing to match the facing system on the previous page, this is what I would like automatically from Dorico.


If I get 1 system at the top of the final page, then I’ll just drag the bottom of the music frame up, until the system matches.

However, in a situation like yours, I’d adjust the overall Note Spacing, either so that those two bars come onto the previous page, or so that the whole thing pushes out to fill the final page.

The Ideal Gaps (as I understand it) are absolute values without Justification, and then relative amounts following Justification.

Thanks for your answer.

Interesting approach!
I usually avoid to deal with the music frames height but I tried what you suggest and discovered that indeed Dorico then justifies the system!
Great, I would never have thought of this.
This is a great solution even if it involves doing this for each flow it is much faster than editing each staff.
Thanks for this idea :slight_smile:

About your second suggestion, the example I posted is only one among a lot and very often with system containing more than a few bars.
But yes changing the Note Spacing can be a solution but isn’t note spacing for a whole layout only and not per flow?

The default note spacing (in Layout Options) is for the whole layout, but you can change the note spacing anywhere you like within a flow, with a Note Spacing Change in the Engrave menu.

I use that a lot to get the casting off to fill up the last page of music neatly, especially for solo keyboard score with several systems per page.

Ah! Yes, Spacing Change in the engrave menu!
I overlooked this.
Thank you for the information :slight_smile:

Yes: Dorico’s ability to change the Note Spacing at any point is one of the unsung heroes of the app. Changes of meter (particularly change to the denominator) often demand it. And it can also help to get the music filling a certain number of full pages, as Rob points out.

You should think of the ‘Ideal gaps’ on the Vertical Spacing page of Layout Options as minimum gaps (one of these days I should really change the wording), since unless Dorico ends up with a frame that is more than 100% full vertically, the ideal gaps are treated as the minimum gap that Dorico will allow. When Dorico is calculating the pre-justification height of the system, it adds the actual height of the staff (normally four spaces, of course) plus the relevant gap from Layout Options, and treats that combined total as the minimum height. So you should always set the ‘Ideal gaps’ values to the smallest value that you would be willing to accept, i.e. the smallest distance between staves that you would find acceptable; these values should typically be in the range of 3-6 spaces (i.e. from 3/4 staff height to 1.5x staff height), unless you want a particularly loose vertical spacing for some reason.

Dorico uses the unjustified height (calculated using the staff heights plus the relevant gaps) as an estimate when determining how much music will fit into a frame. It uses various other heuristics to improve this estimate, such as the presence of tempo items, rehearsal marks, lyrics, etc. in order to guess how full a frame will be. It cannot change its mind about this estimate if it turns out to be too conservative later, which is why you will sometimes end up with systems being too cramped on the page, requiring you to add a manual frame break.

Once it knows which staves/systems will be in a given frame, it calculates their precise heights, taking into account protrusions above and below every staff, and only pushes them further apart than the ideal gaps if there are protrusions that cause this to be necessary. This gives the final unjustified height, and the leftover vertical space is then justified equally between all of the staves and systems, taking into account the thresholds defined on the Vertical Spacing page of Layout Options for whether only the gaps between systems should be justified, or, if the frame is particularly empty, whether it should also justify the gaps between staves as well.

Thanks a lot Daniel for your detailled explanations.
I find them very usefull.

teacue, I agree that it would be ideal if the last orphaned system would automatically match the spacing of the top system of the preceding page (assuming the same number of instruments). Yes, the others are right that if you can sneak those measures in on the preceding page that’s better, but nevertheless, sometimes it just isn’t possible. And then, to top it all off, you can’t copy staff spacing because you have to have the same number of systems for that to work (as it does not seem to apply top->down to as many staves are are extant). I run into orphaned systems with vocal works a lot. Lyrics constrain how much you can condense a score, so invariably I end up with a final page with one more system and then have to correct it manually.

… or increase the spacing to fill the final page. If you’re going to use the page at all, you might as well use it all…! I’m always reminded of this quote:

Just consider for a moment whether you know of any piece of music where a movement finishes short of the end of a line, or the conclusion of the work itself is other than both at the end of a line and the end of a page; this is not accident but design, the design of the music engraver.
“A Note on Music Engraving and Printing” , Norman Gray, Boosey & Hawkes 1951.