Lyrics Automatic Horizontal Spacing Is Too Tight

• Aug 25, 2016 - 22:29
Reported version
S4 - Minor

See the attached file. With syllables of more than 3 letters it starts to get ugly.

Attachment Size
lyrics_horizontal_spacing.mscz 7.14 KB


Changing the font size for Lyrics Odd Lines in the Edit Text Styles dialog respaces the notes, but the horizontal lyrics spacing seems to stay constant. The same stuff overlaps. I want to make sure my file renders properly for others. I am using FreeSans 11pt as my lyrics font. Hopefully you also have that installed or this renders the same overlapping way for you.

Status (old) active by design

Lyrics spacing is interdependent with note spacing, and is automatically generated by the program based on a number of settings. You can override these settings locally by adding 'stretch'. Select the measures in a blue box, then type { a number of times until the spacing is the way you want it.

Here's your original score re-formatted with layout stretch set to 1.3 for the first two measures.

Lyrics spacing using Add Stretch.png

OK, that's a good solution.
My first problem is that recent changes to the code reformatted my lyrics horizontally.
My other problem is that the default setting should not look like this.
Until just last week I did not need to stretch my measures in order to make ordinary looking lyrics space in a reasonable way.
And what happens when I stretch my measures to 1.3 and then someone changes the code again and now my spacing is too wide?
What happened to cause this change? Is is permanent or is it a bug? If it is a bug, it is certainly not minor. IMO it must be a bug, as the default settings are clearly unacceptable.

Whether the current default settings are 'bad' or 'clearly unacceptable' (matters of opinion, both), they are indeed 'by design', and should not be considered a bug as the program performs in a consistent way, even if you (or I, for that matter) don't like the way it performs in this particular instance.

I have changed this from a 'bug report' to a 'feature request' on that basis.

I agree that the automatic spacing of lyrics isn's as good as it could be...but it's not a bug.

I realize that I'm not on the MuseScore team, but I've been contributing to MuseScore for the past year and a half and I've never made your acquaintance. Who are you and what gives you authority over me in how this bug is categorized?

You have still not answered any of my questions. What is the design change here? What happened and why? This is a negative change to the program that happened very recently. This is not a feature that has been around for a while. If you can't explain to me the purpose of this "design change" I am forced to consider this a bug and elevate my complaints.

Just because something performs consistently doesn't mean it is performing correctly.

I don't disagree that the default code for the lyrics spacing could be improved. But you need to understand the difference between a 'bug'--something which the code writers did not intend the program to do--and a default behaviour which does not meet with a particular user's approval. You may not like the default lyrics spacing--I don't much like it, either--but that doesn't make it a bug.

MuseScore is open-source software, and the design of the program is a joint effort by users, programmers, and musicians all working together toward a better end product. Anyone--you included--is free to ask for improvement in this regard--that is what a feature request is for.

Excuse me, but I am one of the developers who has been contributing to MuseScore for the past year and a half. I have been professional software developer and designer for over 20 years. I know what a bug is.

If this is by design, it is a recent design change. You have still failed to provide me with any details of that recent design change. Can you provide me with such details? Are you even sure that there was an intentional change that caused this behavior to change recently?

I know, from the MuseScore developers email list, that recent changes were made to auto placement for lyrics. But the discussion I saw was for vertical alignment, not horizontal spacing. So from what evidence I have seen, this is likely the unintended consequence of another, intentional change to the program's behavior.

I'm sorry to keep editing like this, but you don't seem to grasp my frustration with your non-answers to my questions. I have been actively contributing my time and energy improving MuseScore over a while now, and it adds up to some serious hours. I have made some significant contributions, I have found bugs, and I have fixed bugs, generally very promptly.

I am making a contribution by submitting this bug. I have taken time out from my day to put together a sample file to illustrate the problem. I have downloaded and compiled the latest source code to make sure the issue wasn't fixed yesterday. And you come along and change it into a non-bug without being able to give me a single answer to a single question that I have posed you. It's frustrating and makes me want to contribute less to MuseScore.

I'm pretty sure this is indeed a bug. There is no way it is by design that lyrics can overlap by default. Perhaps it was recent changes involving hyphenation or other aspects of lyric layout that broke this. I said. Thanks for chiming in.

I understand that you need to weed out bogus bug reports, but whatever happened here is not the way to do it.

IMO this should be a "major" bug, as it renders lyrics useless, and lyrics are a major feature. Any changes I make to compensate for this, I will have to undo those changes once the bug is fixed. I'm not reverting the priority to my original post, but I am recommending it. Also, if this is the result of recent changes, it's best to fix it while it's fresh in programmers' minds.

Keep in mind, 3.0 is a *very* long ways from anything resembling any sort of release, and should be considered *extremely* unstable and for testing purpsoes only. There should be no expectation *anything* is actually "usable" at this point.

I know. But you can't blame a guy for lobbying on his own behalf. And because this is due to recent changes I'm hoping it will get some attention sooner rather than later. Thanks for listening.

My problem is that I got sucked into 3.0 via fixing bugs in 2.0.3. So now we're stuck with each other. Though in an emergency I could patch up a 2.0.3-based version of my code. 3.0 fixes a lot of 2.0.3 bugs too, unfortunately for that scenario. I recently rebased all my code because of issues in previous builds of 3.0. A lot of previous issues are fixed, and then one or two new ones arise. The other issues have plausible workarounds. This one does not.

The major layout changes have stabilized a lot though, so I'm predicting this and other lingering lyrics auto-placement issues will be resolved soon ;-)

now that I think about it, once 2.0.4 is released a lot of the pressure is off. The change to Qt5.6 is the actual barrier I crossed. 2.0.4 is 5.6 too, right?

I'm pretty sure this is indeed a bug. There is no way it is by design that lyrics can overlap by default.

Sorry if there's been a misunderstanding, but I did not see any lyrics overlapping in the OPs posted example. This is what I saw:

Lyrics spacing original.png

Based on that, I see spacing which is too tight for my design standards, but that is all. If you're seeing something different, then obviously there are hidden issues.

That's why I posted my first comment about the specific font I was using. You are clearly using a serif font, while I am using FreeSans. The fact that you are using a different fo0nt might contribute to the difference, though I get the sense you are not using the latest nightly build of MuseScore. What version are you running? When someone posts an issue about 3.0, you need to make sure you have the right build.

What's an OP or an OPs?

"2.0.4 will probably be Qt 5.4 to maximize the compatibility with former 2.0.X release."

So then I really am stuck with 3.0. Oh well...

Status (old) fixed active

While trying to implement the vertical alignment of "autoplaced" lyrics i accidentally broke the lyrics layout.

I notice that with this bug fix and last night's merge, the lyrics vertical spacing in my existing scores has increased by a few pixels. I did not change any of my settings, changes in the code caused this. Is this intentional?

This ties into another related issue that you might not have noticed, and is at least conceptually related to this one (user-defined vertical offset is not functioning for lyrics, and auto-placement option behaves erratically):

It really is a very small change. I noticed it because the footprint of my whole score increased and started encroaching on the tight margins. Now that the other issue is fixed and I can successfully change the vertical offset, this should pose no problem.

You are clearly using a serif font, while I am using FreeSans. The fact that you are using a different fo0nt might contribute to the difference, though I get the sense you are not using the latest nightly build of MuseScore. What version are you running? When someone posts an issue about 3.0, you need to make sure you have the right build.

I did not actually change fonts; that screenshot shows whatever font was embedded in your file (OR, I hasten to add, whatever 'fall-back' font is agreed-upon between my OS and my version of MuseScore). I opened that file of yours with 2.0.1, and I am running Win7 pro with the multilingual Canadian font package. Please accept apologies for my having missed noticing the version in the issue header. Since you didn't specify a build in the issue description, I (foolishly) jumped to the conclusion you were complaining of a problem in a stable release. My bad. There are a lot of non-bug issues created by new users who aren't familiar with the system, and I was simply trying to help sort out what I saw as a misunderstanding.

I will bow out now and leave this to the programmers. Good luck sorting it all out. ;o)

ETA: In internet forum lingo, the 'OP' is the 'original poster', or the person who created the discussion. :)

Yes, the font is set in each user's Text Style settings for lyrics (odd and even). It is not specified in the file itself. That's why I wanted to be clear about it in my original comment. I knew others might be looking at something slightly different than I was.

I understand the need to weed out bogus bug requests, believe me, I've dealt with plenty. But you need to be careful when you get that much push-back from the OP. Careful to make sure what you are saying is appropriate and true. And you need to respond to the specifics of that push-back, or leave the matter to more experienced hands if you don't understand it, instead of doubling down on your position.

And for the record, I usually specify "latest code" or something of that sort in the initial post, but this time I figured that specifying 3.0 was enough. I did specify 3.0 in the drop-down, which generally implies the latest release. There are no previous, stable 3.0 releases anyway.

Thanks for the definition of OP, that's one I haven't seen previously.

Nice, I'll try to do that next time. In this particular case, it's a non-issue, as we're talking about a difference between 2.0.1 and 3.0-yesterday's-build.

btw, @Recorder485, you should be using 2.0.3 for your testing of "stable release" bugs, not 2.0.1.

Yes, you are right; I probably should. OTOH, the reality for me as a publisher is that changing versions before ALL the currently active scores are in final (PDF) form is an expensive and time-consuming proposition because it means that all the proofreading has to be done over again. Even small changes in layout caused by differences between stable versions can create problems in the final printed product, so until we publish the complete Barsanti thematic catalogue , we are locked into 2.0.1.

You can install multiple versions of MuseScore on the same machine and switch between them for different purposes. You can install a 3.0 and a 2.0.3 and still run 2.0.1 when you need to. At least I think you can run 2.0.1 and 2.0.3 independently. You can certainly run 2.0.1 and 3.0 independently. I sometimes run 2.0 and 3.0 both at the same time.

Yes, what you say is all quite true. The problem is that, as an international cooperative, we are obliged to run a VPN so that all our collaborators can access the working files directly from the same source. At some point, keeping track of which version of MuseScore was used to create which file becomes too much to deal with. Every revision of a score carries its own coded file name (year/month/day/hour/editor/score/part I/II/III...), and by the time a simple three-movement solo sonata is ready for publishing, there can be 60 or more revisions stored on our server. For a conceto grosso with 12 or 18 parts, that number can reach three digits, as each instrumental part is verified by a specialist editor who is an expert for that instrument.

My value to the MuseScore community--if I have any--is as a professional user, someone who can help new users to use this marvellous software to its best advantage and counsel them on the best practises to use for producing good musical editions. I also hope that my 'user's perspective' has some value to the programmers here, as programmers and users don't always think in the same manner. That said, I don't pretend to be a programmer, and I have a GREAT amount of respect for those who can actually write the code which I cannot.