how does someone decrease the space between staves?

• Dec 20, 2021 - 21:28

I have tried several times to decrease the space between staves. I don't remember having this issue with previous versions of musescore.


Depends of the score you should find the options in format->style...->page: for example changing the settings "factor for distance between systems", in some cases it makes sense to disable "enable vertical justification of staves" and changing the min./max. system/staff distance,..., or using spacers from the palette.

I have a score in Version 4 that I adapted from an instrumental score with the wrong form. Before I checked the form I stupidly entered ALL the verses in a stack. The last verse actually modulates, so I copied it on the end with all the three verses, thinking to keep only the last one (which I deleted from the first time it appears). MuseScore automatically increases staff space when you add verses but it didn't automatically decrease it when I deleted the unwanted verses. So now the inter-staff space is too much on the last verse where I deleted TWO unwanted lines of lyrics. How can I tighten this up?

Attachment Size
Take My Breath Away.mscz 40.45 KB

In reply to by Tixrus

Menu path: Format > Style... > Page > Enable vertical justification of staves
Change option to: Format > Style... > Page > Disable vertical justification of staves

That will leave you space to insert extra lyrics below the music on page 2.

You might also consider using system breaks and page breaks to enforce how the music is laid out?

In reply to by DanielR

No, that's not the right option at all. This does something entirely different that only happens to also have a side effect on the overall spacing, and even though, most of that effect is just a bug in 3.6.2 that's already fixed for 4.0. It's unfortunate that this bug in 3.56.2 has caused people to disable this option inappropriately, as it causes worse layout overall in almost all cases and there are better workarounds for that bug (and again no workaround needed in MU4).

The one and only thing this option is meant to do is control the spacing within a system - between staves of a single system. Enabling it creating good spacing between staves, disabling bad. It is not meant to have any effect whatsoever on systems that contains only a single staff, like this one. The only reason it does in MU3 is the aforementioned bug. The only reason it has an effect in this case is that the max system distance defaults differently. But you shouldn't turn off justification - you should simply decrease max system distance. Disabling justification should almost never be done, in either Mu3 or Mu4 but especially in MU4.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks Marc. Just to clarify, this score is in v 4. Disabling that option as suggested did make the chart go from 3 pages to 2 so that was a win but it didn't feel "right." I'll try decreasing max system distance, but here's the thing: The default system distance was OK before I put all those verses in. It automatically grew with additional verses as I expected. When I took two verses of lyrics out and it stayed the same i thought maybe there were invisible artifacts from the deleted verses holding the space open. One of my big things with lead sheets is to try to get them on two pages, and great big white areas between systems is not helpful for that. With auto justification on, have you got a good reason for why the space didn't just automatically shrink back down when I deleted verses?

In reply to by Tixrus

The “max” in max system distance standard for “maximum”. So yes, the actual system distance changes according to the content. And space is always alotted for lyrics above and beyond that.

The justification has no effect whatsoever in lead sheets. As I explained, it is only about the distance between staves within a single system. Any effect you see that appears to con code with changing justification is not about that at all - it’s is only about the difference in the max (and min) system distances. So it’s always a mistake to fiddle with that setting on lead sheets.

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