Vertical system spreading

The score I’m working on currently has 7 pages. Pages 1, 2 and 6 are spread wide like in the upper image. Pages 3, 4, 5 and 7 are spread narrow like in the lower image.
Screenshot_system distance1
Screenshot_system distance2
Can anyone give a hint to why Dorico shows two different system spreading in one score and how to make all systems loook the same (as the image below with narrow spreading)? I can’t see any settings for different pages in Layout options - Page setup or any other option setting.

Layout Options > Vertical Spacing > Justify distance between staves and systems when frame is at least [n]% full.

By default this is set to 60% full. If you go to Engrave mode, then click on the Staff Spacing tool in the left panel, you’ll see a percentage at the bottom of each page. I’m guessing it’s slightly above 60% on some pages and slightly below on the other pages.

@pianoleo: Thanks for your reply. I’ve changed the setting in vertical spacing setting to 70% and the ‘wide spread’ pages are now no longer justified. However, the pages in question ( the wide-spread ones) still show divergent staff spacing values from the other pages when in Engraving mode. How can this happen? All pages have equal instruments and and equal amount of staffs. Thanks!

What do the percentages show at the bottom of each page? What’s different about the material on each page? All sorts of things cause the staff spacing to change: text, dynamics, notes outside the staff, slurs etc.
Your screenshots really don’t give much to go on.

If you want all pages to justify, lower the threshold to something like 30-40%, or otherwise adjust how staves fit on the page - e.g. reducing the staff size so that 2 systems fit on each page.

I suggest you put the music in first. That may solve a lot of your problems right there. Then you can work to adjust the staff spacing.


@pianoleo , @Lillie_Harris: Thank you!
Some pages show different percentages at the bottom. It looks to me that Dorico automatically changes vertical staff distances according to the note material in the staffs. If that is the case I wouldn’t consider it helpful. I would prefer all my staffs, with occasional exceptions, to have the same vertical spacing, independant from the note material. If there is an automatic vertical spacing, is there a way to turn this function off? Thanks!

Untick Layout Options > Vertical Spacing > Minimum Gaps > Automatically resolve collisions between adjacent staves and systems.

You will likely then want to increase some of the values in the Ideal Gaps section at the top of that dialog.

There’s also Engrave > Staff Spacing > Copy Staff Spacing, which will allow you to copy the staff spacing values from one page to any other page (or pages) regardless of content (as long as the configuration of staves and systems is the same on each page).

Rather than tying Dorico’s arm behind its back, I find it’s generally less work if you just get the Ideal Gaps correct, and the number of systems per page correct. This may differ from how you’ve worked with other software but sometimes it’s worth changing habits :slight_smile:

That’s right, Dorico adjusts vertical spacing based on the contents of each system. If you don’t want that, I would suggest setting the vertical justification percentage very low (so staves and systems always justify vertically) and perhaps also deactivate automatic collision avoidance between staves/systems. When staves are justified, generally that means they’re spaced over and above the minimum set gaps so you will see consistent positioning of staves across pages.

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@pianoleo, @Lillie_Harris : Thanks for your input! I will definitely try your suggestions (and yes, I would like 2 systems on each page) and see what the end result willl look like.