Vertical staff spacing


How do I change the default 0.7" gap between staves? I tried Layout options but no avail. It is set to default 6 spaces. If i change it to 10 or 50 nothing happens. Why do we need to set gaps in spaces when in Engraving everything is in inches? Thanks in advance!


Check you’re altering the relevant number here. If you’ve manually altered any of the staff spacing yourself, select those systems and (in Engraving > Staff Spacing) Reset Selected Systems/Frames. Also pay careful attention to the “Vertical justification” sub-section within Layout Options > Vertical Spacing. If these percentages are too high, relative to how much music you’ve got on a page, then changing the numbers at the top of that dialog (Ideal Gaps) isn’t going to do anything.

This has been done to death. The rationale for using spaces rather than inches/mm/pts in Layout Options is that spaces are relative to staff size, and inches/mm/pts are absolute. If you’d had the option of using inches in Layout Options, and then decided to change your staff size, all your spacing options would have to be changed.

That said, the team are clearly working on it. is the first thread that appeared when I searched this forum for “spaces inches”.

Thanks for the quick reply, Leo! When I change Layout options - Staff to Staff ideal gap from the default 6 spaces to say 10 spaces nothing happens, it is still 0.7"’ in Engrave Mode. Maybe it is a bug.

That is the IDEAL gap - i.e. what Dorico would use if nothing prevented it.

Some things that might prevent it are

  • You manually adjusted the spacing on a page in Engrave mode
  • You have system or frame breaks to force more music onto one page
  • The page justification options are kicking in for some reason
  • You imported the score from MusicXML and the spacing was specified there. In that case, it might help to select the whole score and do “reset position” and “reset layout,” to let Dorico do its own thing.

If those ideas don’t help, attach the score here and somebody will probably be able to figure out what the problem is.

Can you take a screenshot or describe a little more fully what you have on the page, or even post the project up here so we can take a look (you’ll need to zip it as the forum won’t accept .dorico attachments).