Vertical System Spacing

Hi. I have a page with just one voice, one staff, and 7 systems, which nicely fills a page. Dorico spaces the systems 27mm apart, and while it looks fine, I would like to bring the systems a little closer together, to say, 24mm.

I can’t find anything in Layout Options that will accomplish this.

So I thought, in Engrave mode, maybe I can adjust the 2nd system, moving it upwards towards the first. If I do that while holding down Alt or Shift/Alt or something, maybe all systems will be re-spaced by the same amount. But no, I can’t find this function.

Perhaps I’ve missed something. Must I adjust every system individually, manually?


Concertina dragging (where you move one system and all others on the page adjust proportionately) only works downwards (i.e. when pushing a system down to squish the ones below it).

You could try increasing the threshold at which Dorico justifies vertically, meaning that as long as the page is full below that threshold, your other gaps will get used (particularly your setting for the inter-system gap). Or, reduce the bottom page margin either in Layout Options (which affects all pages in the layout, which should be fine if this is a one-page part) or locally on one page by dragging the bottom edge of the music frame up a bit.

Thanks @Lillie_Harris!
The “Concertina dragging” almost works. I select the top system, Alt-drag it downwards, and all the following systems reduce in size at the same rate, exactly what I want. Except that, this results in the top system now being lower. So I have to manually select all systems, (since there doesn’t appear to be a function to select all systems) and Cntrl-drag them up to where the top system originally was.

It gets there, but it seems a long way around for such a simple thing.

Wouldn’t it be easy to have a function/option to change the spacing of all systems just by changing one?


Have you tried the other two methods, changing (increasing) the bottom page and/or music frame margin, or raising the bottom of the music frame? These are generally quicker and prettier ways to handle staff spacing as you can still benefit from Dorico’s automatic justification.

The staff spacing tool for individual staves is really intended for small adjustments, with the defaults you can set in Layout Options in combination with music frame sizes/padding intended to get you most of the way there. (That said, you can select multiple systems by Ctrl/Cmd-clicking multiple handles or drawing a marquee around the ones you want.)

Thanks again @Lillie_Harris, I’ll check out those other things - it’s very late here now! :slight_smile:

Hi, I tried your suggestion of raising the bottom of the music frame in a new project today, and that worked quite well. Thanks so much! :slight_smile:

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