Inspector: Automatic Placement (lyrics)

• Mar 24, 2019 - 20:15

I am not too happy with the "Automatic Placement" feature for lyrics in the Inspector. If you uncheck the box in order to change the vertical placement of lyrics, it also disengages the horizontal placement. The result is that the horizontal spacing reverts to that of the notes rather than the lyrics and many of the words in the lyrics overlap each other, making the text unreadable.

Also, there doesn't seem to be any control for the spacing above and below the lyrics in the Inspector window; so, if you are satisfied with the spacing of the staves but would like the position of the lyrics to change, what happens when you uncheck "Automatic Placement" is that the spacing below the lyrics disappears and the lower staff moves up to the position it would be in were there no lyrics at all and the second or third line of lyrics overlaps the lower staff.

Fig. 1: Automatic placement on—too much space after verse 4.

Screen Shot 2019-03-24 at 3.51.22 PM.png

Fig. 2: Automatic Placement off—lyrics overlap the lower staff.

Screen Shot 2019-03-24 at 4.03.53 PM.png

Fig. 3: Automatic Placement off—Words overlap each other (this happens mostly when there is only one line of lyrics).

Screen Shot 2019-03-24 at 4.07.35 PM.png

What I would like is a way to change the vertical or horizontal positioning of lyrics using the Inspector without changing the overall position of the staves or of the other lyrics
(I have inquired elsewhere about where to go to globally change the spacing above and below lyrics.)


In Format->Styles, there are a number of options for lyrics that give you control of page-wide spacing. Since these are global settings, they are in the styles dialog rather than the inspector which is mostly single lyric specific, though you can make some changes to all lyrics as well.

To be clear: do not disable automatically placement here, it is not the source of the problem. It is simply that the interpretation of the lyrics bottom margin has changed (for the better), but older scores need to be updated. So, as per Jojo's advice above, just reset it to the default in Format / Style / Lyrics.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

All of these comments and suggestions have been very helpful. I am putting together a small booklet of hymns for a monthly service of Evensong and I have already got transcriptions of most of the hymns. I was just wanting to reformat them to fit the booklet—then I discovered that the position of the lyrics had gone all wonky and I couldn't seem to remedy the problem. It's been driving me a bit crazy.

I still wonder whether it wouldn't be better to be able to disable the automatic positioning in two steps, horizontal and vertical. I take it the automatic positioning feature is meant to used on only single words, not the whole line of the lyric.

In reply to by Jake Sterling

In the case of lyrics, MuseScore lines up all of the words in a verse. This is not true of everything (like staff text), but people normally want all of their lyrics lined up.

It seems the biggest problem is that when you import a score from version 2 it place the bottom margin of the lyrics to 4, while a new score in version 3 places the bottom margin at 2. The 4 made sense in version 2, (to make room for things like staff text) but is redundant in version 3 and leaves too much space for no good reason.

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