What exactly is "proportion of lyric width for horizontal adjustment"?

I’m finally migrating over to Dorico for all my hymnal engraving. I’m really thrilled. Thank you, Daniel and team, for a wonderful set of features. It will be a lot of work initially to transfer every hymn and re-adjust them, but I’m glad to be leaving Finale once and for all!! (except for the occasional XML export).

Note spacing is very important to me in typesetting hymnals. Notes can shift a little to compensate for lyrics, but they can’t become lopsided, with an eighth and a quarter getting the same horizontal space within a single measure (just my opinion).

I’m having good success with the “Minimum gap between adjacent lyrics” set to 1/4 (which requires some minor tweaking of lyrics, but not nearly as much as Finale did). But what I don’t quite fully understand is “Proportion of lyric width for horizontal adjustment.” I read the description and get the idea, but I’m still not totally clear on it.

Could Daniel or anyone else shed some more light on how it works, exactly? It seems like a small thing, but I expect it will have massive implications for my efficiency.


Lyric syllables can shift horizontally in order to minimize the impact on spacing. This setting determines how much. If you set it to zero, they will stay centered.

I know, but what exactly is a value of 1? I tried various values (some very high) and didn’t perceive much change, even on a moderately full system.

This value describes the percentage of a lyric’s extent left or right (i.e. from the centre of the notehead) by which it can be moved to avoid spacing distortions, so the default value of 7/10, for example, means that Dorico could move the lyric left or right by 70% of the width of the part of the lyric that protrudes left or right from the centre of the notehead.

That’s much clearer, thank you Daniel. It might seem like a triviality, but it’s a huge part of my work right now.