Style setting – duplication?

• Aug 7, 2019 - 13:13

I am taking dynamics as an example. The same comments apply to other items.

Case 1 - From the [Format]/[Style] menu select [Dynamics]. The following settings are available:

Position above: X, Y
Position below: X, Y
Autoplace min distance.


Case 2 - From the [Format]/[Style] menu select [Text Styles], then select [Dynamics]. The following settings are available:

Follow stave size
Style (bold/italic/underline)
Align (left/centre/right), (top edge, centre, bottom edge, baseline)
Offset: X,Y
Corner radius.

After a bit of experimentation I found that there seems to be some duplication of function here, but the settings are using different terminology. For example, adjusting [Offset] in Case 2 also adjusts [Position below] accessible using Case 1.

Are these adjusting the same thing? If so, why is one called “Offset” and the other “Position below”? Is it useful to have both methods available? Would it be better if the settings available via Case 2 were moved to become available via Case 1 to simplify the interface?

If they are not adjusting the same thing, what things are they actually adjusting?


It is true that for those elements that have separate above and below position settings on their own pages of the style dialog, one or the other is mapped to the offset in the text style. This is deliberate.

As for why the different naming, good question. Historical reasons, mostly, I guess. Eg, for some elements at least, there was once a totally separate position setting, and the text style offset was applied relative to that.

I don't think the interface would be simplified if each individual page of the style dialog duplicated all those text style settings - quite the contrary.

In reply to by SteveBlower

But to me this would be bad, it would mean creating a bunch of new tabs for elements that have no settings other than text style, and it would also mean things that really are similar - all text style use the same properties -= would now be separate and not obviously related any more. To me that would be a big step backwards.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

No new tabs would be needed. Indeed, fewer tabs are needed. Just move the [Edit text style] frame from the [Text Styles] [Dynamics] dialogue to the lower half of the [Dynamics] dialogue below the frame labled [Dynamics] and get rid of the [Offset] entries which are duplicated in the [Dynamics] [Position below] items. That gets rid of the Dynamics sub tab in the Text styles.

The benefit is that all the things that determine how and where dynamics are shown would all be in the same place. Where do I tweak a dynamics style? in the Style tab called Dynamics, rather than in some tweaks there and some others in a sub tab of the Style tab called Text Style (and why text? I am tweaking a dynamic, not text!)

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The parameters of the Title text style would be edited as they are now. The page would look as it does now. The page for Dynamics would have two frames. The top frame would have what is currently shown, but without the Offset entries. A second frame below this would have what is currently shown in the [Text Styles] [Dynamics] sub tab. The [Dynamics] sub tab would be removed. The difference is that things like dynamics have parameters that define how they are shown in relation to other items, e.g above/below the stave, and therefore need additional context-related parameters. A title is a title is a title and does not need these. In fact, most items in the [Text Styles] submenu relate to things that have context-related parameters and therefore most of them would be better if the items in the text style were incorporated into a single dialogue accessible from the main list of styles that list these context-related parameters. This would possibly leave only title, subtitle, composer, lyricist, translator as "text only" styles, and possibly header and footer but their dialogues are quite full all ready.

You are making me think hard about this and a more radical, but possibly more consistent and comprehensive suggestion has come to mind. All of the information for an element that is settable by the inspector could be included in the style settings for that element (or perhaps the name should be something other than style). In effect, the style settings would be user-defined defaults for all the available settings. I think there would have to be a set of system-defined defaults to allow users who have screwed up their settings to speedily get things back to a known state.

To expand on this idea (still not fully baked, but possibly more than half baked):

There would be a menu item (lets call it "set user-defined defaults" for now, but there is probably a much snappier name we could use). For each category of item that can be selected and have its parameters displayed in the inspector there would be a corresponding dialogue that allows a default value to be specified for each parameter. This would allow a user to set their own defaults for some parameters that are shown in the inspector but where there is currently only a system default. (One example might be the scope of dynamics range). There would also be a [Return to system default] button for each entry and a master [Return all settings to system default] button for each item. The inspector would work as now to display and modify the parameters for a specific instance of an item and provide another method to modify the user-defined defaults "on the fly" using the [S] button.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Definitely some good ideas here! But as I think you are seeing, to really make meaningful improvements requires pretty big changes to keep things consistent and easily findable by both new and experienced users (who tend to dislike change for the sake of change). Definitely worth continuing discussion!

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