Add option to left/right-align or center a block of music without filling the line

• Nov 21, 2020 - 10:29
Reported version
S5 - Suggestion

As discussed here: Add options for "Append to current measure" and "Insert at beginning of score", for measures and frames, there should be an option not to fill the entire width of the score in certain circumstances, but set a block of music with the default spacing. This block could then be left-aligned, right-aligned or centered on the page, similar to how text is aligned in a word processor.
As suggested by Marc Sabatella, this could be set as a property of a system break.


Right, and I suspect in most cases, that would remain the best solution even if a "don't fill" option were provided, as often you want more control over how much the incomplete systems is stretched, such as for consistency with other systems. But if there were an option to not fill, you could also achieve that result with the stretch commands.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

What do you mean by "best solution"? Conceptually, it's still just a workaround (think of the equivalent situation in word processing: yes, you could center a paragraph by adding spaces on both sides, but that's a very roundabout way of thinking about "centering"). Practically, it requires more work (placing one or two frames, adjusting their size, making sure the left and right frames are of equal size, in the case of centering), and in terms of the typesetting environment it entails requiring a kind of competence from the user that the programme should/could supply, at least as a starting point.

By best I mean, most flexible. Word processors are totally different in that the actual length of a single word is never in question. But for music, a single measure can possibly be different widths depending on your layout goals, so centering a single measure (something I almost never do), or right-aligning it, or left-aligning but not justifying, or whatever you have in mind, will require independent control over how big those margins actually are.

But if your use case doesn't depend on caring how wide the measure is and you're willing to just accept the default, then yes, for that particular use case the line break solution would suffice. It wouldn't for most of the cases I care about, though - I really do want better control over the widths of those measures and margins. I suppose that too could somehow be worked into the system break settings, but that feels more awkward. Plus, the frames allow the inserting of text, which is often required in these situations as well.

So to me, the bottom line is it would be good to have more options, sure, but I suspect I and many other will continue to prefer using frames for the control and flexibility they offer.