Lyric alignment with numerals?

• Sep 7, 2018 - 23:24

I am using lyric text to enter pedagogical information below a series of chords. The behavior of lyrics is just what I want: to center each bit of text below its associated chord, with spacing being expanded as needed to accommodate the "lyrics." I also use ctrl-space and ctrl-hyphen to include these elements within my annotations.

However, I see that, when I enter a series of digits without letters, either as the entire "lyric" word or as a subset of the "lyric" separated by ctrl-space entries, then the entire "lyric" is left-aligned, rather than centered, regardless of how the text style is set. When I add an 'x' or whatever after the offending string of digits, the text is then centered as expected.

Is this behavior by design? If so, what is the explanation? Can you think of an easy way to work around this? I can use staff text of course, but it's much cleaner to use lyrics since I'm entering these strings below every note in the score.


The reason for this to to make it easier to have lyrics like this:

lyrics lined up.png

where the numbers are lined up. I'm not sure what you goal is, but if you need the occasional "Lyric" moved, then select it and use the inspector. If it's a consistent amount, then select several at once and move several at a time.

Numbers at the beginning of lyrics are assumed to indicate verse numbers, so they are positioned so as to align the numbers from verse to verse. We actually do a fair amount of parsing to try to figure out the different possibilities, feel free to attach a score so we can suggest specific workarounds given your specific text. Worst case, hit left arrow a few times to nudge it left manually.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks very much for the explanation. I suspected this was the reason. I'm surprised that it happens after an embedded space within the lyric string, and not just at the beginning of the string, but oh well. Mine is a special pedagogical case and not worth much discussion. It involves a naming scheme for chord fingering that happens to begin with a digit indicating the lowest string used. I'll think about revamping the scheme so that it doesn't have free-standing numerals.

In reply to by spinality

Embedded space within the string is actually the most important case to cover here, as the most common form we need to support is lyrics of the form "1. The".

FWIW, free-standing numerals only does center, that was another case we went out of our way to cover. So a plain number used as a lyric doesn't get misinterpreted as a verse number. Even numerals followed by embedded space followed by more numerals works. Punctuation too. Only is there is a letter somewhere after the numeral does the verse number alignment algorithm kick in.

So if this is a scheme of your own devising, and you have the flexibility to tweak it, I'm sure it will be perfectly possible to get the layout you want with only a slight tweak to your scheme.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Yes, this all makes sense. "1. Once..." is very clear. I was puzzled by "abc 2" getting the same treatment but I imagine there are cases where this is needed. This even-after-a-space-or-hypen behavior gives me fewer options for constructing my own strings, but I do realize that my need is unusual. I was just trying to take advantage of the other convenient behavior of lyric text -- it is much faster to enter my annotations, which appear on every note, as lyrics rather than as separate text elements. And similarly, I'd like to avoid manually repositioning the text under every note in the score.

In an ideal world, perhaps I'd be able to turn this behavior off in the text styles for lyrics, or to override it in the text properties; but that would obviously only make sense if other users have a similar need (or unless somebody feels the desire to provide overrides for every bit of specialized "let me do this for you" logic LOL).

Regarding the offer to look for workaround suggestions, thanks but I think I have a clear idea of how this works now and I can cook up an appropriate solution. If I have further issues, I'll ask questions.

If you're curious about what I'm doing, here's a typical snippet.

musescore example.jpg

I was surprised to see the lyric strings being centered on the first letter, and by other behavior I couldn't completely predict, e.g. after entering 'hyphen' rather than the 'ctrl-hyphen' I intended -- I sometimes seemed to get persistent alignment anomalies.

I do a lot of similar material involving chord diagrams and annotations. (This is why I've posted before about the desire to support Ted Greene style chord symbols, which utilize X, O etc. on fretted notes, not just dots. This notation technique has a wide following among jazz guitarists. Here's an example, from the many hundreds found on that site:…

This is off-topic but I thought it might be of interest.)

Thanks again for the very helpful replies.

In reply to by spinality

FWIW, there were a whole lot of cases mentioned in the threads that led to this algorithm being implemented, and I don't know that there was any specific reason why "letters numbers" needs to be handled the way it does, it probably just happened to work out that way. Probably by now someone depends on it, though.

FWIW, though, if you did decide to switch to staff text, no reason to manually position anything - just edit the Text Style for staff text (or create a new custom text style and assign that where needed).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

In this type of document, the advantage of using lyrics is that I can simply use the spacebar to move from note to note, adding annotations continuously. With odd/even lyrics lines I can enter multiple types of annotation per note. Using Staff Text would require a great many more keystrokes. (Consider using Staff Text to enter lyrics.) With this material, streamlining the entry process is more important than other issues. Thanks again.

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