Too much space between lyrics

• Feb 16, 2019 - 00:55
Reported version
P0 - Critical
S3 - Major

In MuseScore 2, the minNoteDistance style setting (in Measures section of style dialog) also worked to force a minimum distance between lyric syllables. The default was 0.25p, which allowed for very tightly-spaced lyrics. In MuseScore 3, lyrics are part of the chordrest shape and hence that distance is still honored, but we also force a full 1sp (0.5sp on each side) of additional space between lyrics. This makes music with lyrics take up more space than necessary, sometimes by a pretty large margin.

Since the minNoteDistance is kind of non-negotiable here - with lyrics part of the shape, we really have no choice by to enforce that - I propose a new style parameter that would allow you to specify extra space (or potentially negative, to allow you to counteract the minNoteDistance and get your lyrics to touch).

Implementation is trivial, I could submit PR already, but wanted to open it up for discussion first. I could also simply remove that extra 1sp padding and be perfectly happy for my own use, but even in 2.x I long thought there should be a separate setting for minimum lyrics distance.


Status active PR created

This implements a new "Minimum lyrics distance" that is applied on top of the minimum note distance that has always been used. The default is 0 sp, which replaces the arbitrary 1 sp that we were previously adding in 3.0, returning us to something much more like 2.3.2. But better, because if the "Always force dash" option is set (and it is, by default), then additional space is added to make sure the dash has room to appear. And so you get the extra space when needed, and don't when it is not.

You won't see a difference unless the spacing is tight enough for it to matter. And yes, the new "Min. distance" setting in Format / Style / Lyrics is how you customize this. The default is 0sp (above and beyond whatever the minimum note distance is). This allows for tighter spacing than the current versions, which enforces an additional 1sp with no way to change that.

If you still are having trouble seeing the effect, please attach your score so I can take a look.

Got it - had to pick both commits of the PR separately.

Btw, Min distance = 0 sp does not work for me. If it is very dense, the words get clamped together.

Couldn't the lyrics get closer to the barlines? There seams to be quite some space.

What did you expect min distance 0 to do? As mentioned, it applies that on top of whatever minimum notes distance is, and that is normally 0.25sp unless you've customized it, which does indeed allow very tight spacing. Same as 2.3.2, except that in 2.3.2, you would not get additional space as needed for hyphens, whereas in my PR you do (except for imported scores, where I have that turned off by default for compatibility).

As for distance to barlines, it would help if you attached the score you are testing with. I didn't touch this, but I suspect it's honoring note to barline distance. Ideally, we could honor lyrics min distance instead for that case I guess.

Thank you for pointing out the Min. notes distance again, which I set indeed to 0 sp. A Min. note distance of 0.25 sp together with Min. lyrics distance of 0 sp gets better results. Very good.

Note to barline distance is the distance from the last note in the measure to the following barline. I have some lyrics the move closer to the barline and some move away from the barline. Standby for a demo score.

Note left margin is the distance from the barline to the first note in the measure. The lyrics gets closer to the barline, when this value is lowered.

Definitely it doesn't seem to be working as expected in that score, but there is a lot going on and I'm not sure what the trigger really is. Even if I delete the lyrics and the breath marks, I see similar behavior. One or more other settings seems to be somehow preventing values under around 1.5sp for Note to barline distance from taking effect here. It seems to work as expected in other scores.

Feel free to submit a new issue on this specifically, with this score attached, maybe with the lyrics removed to avoid confusion.