Staff spacer not working?

• Jan 10, 2019 - 22:20

I had to put one in because auto place was playing nice with a trill, and... nothing. it's in the middle of the next staff and nothing has adjusted.


Up spacers far from worthless, they solve a different problem than down spacers. Hou simply have to consider your reason for wanting the extra space. If it's to protect some elements below the staff, use down spacer. If it's to protect something above the staff, use the up spacer. Choosing the wrong spacer means the wrong things happen if the layout changes such that the measure you need to protect is no longer directly below/above the system you attached the (wrong) spacer to.

That said, there is indeed a quirk (bug? not actually sure but it does seem that way) of up spacers where they don't take effect until you hit the top line of the staff above. So you do indeed need to extend them 4sp more than you would a down spacer. Still,using the right tool for the job is good.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Up and down spacers do the exact same thing in version 3. They both do nothing until the spacer spans to the top of the adjacent staff. If the staff is above the space, the spacer must span to the top of that staff before it affects layout. The down spacer just has a shorter distance before it reaches the top of the adjacent staff.

In version 2, the down spacers worked the way they currently do, but the up spacers made sure there was always the space between the top of the staff and the bottom of whatever was attached to the staff above it. This was especially nice for first violins in a symphonic score because they often have a tuba above them.

I've avoided symphonic pieces in version 3 for various reasons, so I haven't seen if auto placement has made the up the spacer from version 2 obsolete.

In reply to by mike320

I guess I am not explaining clearly enough. They most definitely do different things, when you consider what happens if the layout changes, but I suppose if you are mainly thinking about cases where spacers are used between staves of a single system rather than between systems, then the difference might not be apparent. So let me be more specific.

Let's say you are looking at a violin part - not the score. In this part, let's say measure 6 is directly above measure 11, and you want to increase the space between those two systems because something about what is below measure 6 or above measure 11 is causing things to be crowded.

If you attach a down spacer to measure 6, then you are ensuring measure 6 will always have extra space below it, even if the layout changes so that it is no longer in line with measure 11. Heck, they might end up on the same system later on, or there might be a whole other system between them (measure 6 at end of first system, then second system having measures 7-10, then measure 11 at start of next system). So attaching your down spacer to measure 6 will have been in vain if the problem was actually notes / symbols high above measure 11 and then the layout changes.

Whereas if you attach an up spacer to measure 11, then you are ensuring measure 11 will always have extra space above it, even if the layout changes so that it is longer in line with measure 6.

Bottom line: don't attach a down spacer to measure 6 if the stuff below measure 6 isn't the problem, because that won't work as soon as the layout changes. You'll end up with too much space below the system containing measure 6, and you'll have new collisions now with whatever measure is above measure 11.

Spacers in general are close to obsolete in 3.0 because autoplace should be making sure things don't overlap (in theory at least, not surprised if there's bugs involving invisible staves or some such, which also have been known to give spacers fits). They can still work to provide additional space as desired, and the same principle will apply: you should add the correct direction spacer to the specific measure and staff that actually is the source of concern, otherwise the work may be in vain once the layout changes.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Your example is flawed.

If the cause of the problem is due to measure 11 having an E7 and measure 6 has a G3 and the extras between them are causing them to be crowded using the up spacer will fix the problem caused by the E7. But if layout changes and there are now no notes below the staff in the system above and no dynamic marks to consider, you now have too much space between the staves and will have to adjust the spacer. This is the same thing that happens if you use a down spacer. The spaces moved are static, unless auto placement add extra space between the staves, but they will never move closer.

In version 2, the problematic E7 will always have its staff moved down the designated number of spaces to avoid items above it. If the bottom item is the mf below the G3, then the staff with the E7 will move the designated number of spaces below the mf. If there is nothing between the two staves the staff with the E7 will add the extra spaces designated to allow room for the E7. The effect of using a down spacer in version 2 was to provide the same property as "Extra distance above staff" in staff properties, but only for a single system.

Version 3 made the down spacer redundant and removed a useful capability from version 2.

I hope you now understand what the problem is.

In reply to by mike320

Sorry if I didn't make clear, my example was based on 2.3.2, where it does indeed work just as I described and is the correct/supported way to create extra space above a staff to protect elements above it. The point being, for 2.3.2 each spacer served its own purpose, and it's wrong to suggest that in 2.3.2 one should just always use the down spacer.

For 3.0, neither should be needed very often at all, because autoplace does the job that previously required spacers and lots of manual adjustment. So it's not totally clear to me what the useful capability is that you are missing. You already have the ability to avoid collisions - it happens completely automatically, no spacer required.

The one case I can kind of infer from what you are saying is if you want to have no just the avoidance of collisins betwene staves within a system but also want an unequal amount of extra padding added in some places, for certain systems only. That is, even though the violin and tuba are already not colliding thanks to autoplace, you want to be able to add more padding betwene those staves for one system only. For this, purpose, either spacer works, but if the content of the staves changes, you'll need to adjust. Which is, as far as I can tell, the same as 2.3.2. It almost seems like you are suggesting that 2.3.2 had some sort of autoplacement where the up spacer actually created different amounts of space depending on the contents of the staff above, but that is not true - except for lyrics, which are the one element that did create something of a "skyline". In other words, 2.3.2 up spacers don't care if there is a G3 or a dynamic marking below the staff - they are oblivious to this. So no matter how you slice it, if you want to keep the gap between the staves constant as things change, you're going to have to edit the spacer, both in 2.3.2 and in 3.0.

So can you maybe post a real world example to demonstrate more clearly what has been lost?

In reply to by Laurelin

So, it's avoiding collision, but not creating the sort of extra space that would be needed to made it clear which staff the markings between them apply to. Makes sense, so that is indeed a good use for a spacer. So in the first example, I'd use the staff spacer up on the measure containing the tempo marking. Actually, a quick & dirty hack for that case is to edit the text to add a blank line above the actual text, but that's only good if you want it in all parts. You'd basically choose between spacer up or down for each staff depending on what marking you were concerned with. Or just use down spacers everywhere, since no matter how you slice it, you'll need to edit the spacers if the layout or content changes.

I can certainly see it would be nice to have a new type of spacer that basically controlled the amount of "gap" between staves, rather than the current versions that set an absolute distance.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Your reply was basically that I'm lost and I don't know what I'm talking about. It almost seems you didn't read it. I may have thought out loud a bit in my typing and analyzing what happens at the same time, but the bottom line is that the 2.3.2 up spacer added space in one system like "Extra Space above system" does for the entire score. I could use a default 3.0 sp tall spacer and quickly shorten it, with nothing more than a couple of key strokes. I actually have custom spacers in the 2.3.2 workspace that are 1.0 and 2.0 spaces tall also. Inserting one, replaces any in the same spot if that's the route I choose. This is a side note, but custom spacers are impossible in version 3. In fact spacers in version 3 are an absolutely useless length of 3 spaces. They should never reach the bottom of the staff above much less the 4+ additional spaces to the top that's required for them to do anything. In version 2 the length, even when I shortened it to 1 space in extremely crowded score added a little space between the top of the staff

Laurelin gave you enough real world examples of how version 2 spacers would be useful, I don't think any more are needed.

The new function for the up spacer in version 3 is a waste of code. I'll admit I've used far fewer spacers in version 3 than I did in version 2, but I prefer the version 2 up spacer.

In reply to by mike320

I'm not saying you don't know what you are talking about - I am saying I don't fully understand what you are talking about, despite having read and re-read it several times. Yes, in 2.3.2, an up spacer adds space in one system, and it does in 3.0 as well. The specifics of how it does this differs indeed, but without a specific example to help me understand what has been lost, It's hard for me to proceed. If all you're actually saying that it takes a few more keystrokes because the distance the spacer needs to cover has changed, OK, that I can buy, but that's hardly a lost capability. I get the sense you have something more specific in mind in that, which is why I'm really hoping you'll post an actual score to demosntrate something you can do in 2.3.2 that you can't do in 3.0.

Laurelin's examples are certainly fine ones to show the basic needs for spacers, but they don't show anything about what capability is lost. The difference between up & down spacers remains relevant as I described it - the first one in her example continues to be a good case for up spacers, for all the reasons I explained. So again, far form being a waste of code, the up spacers in 3.0 continue to do exactly what ythey are supposed to do - allocate space above a staff. Maybe the length will need adjusting if the layout or content changed - just as would have been necessary in 2.3.2 - but at least the spacer itself will be in the right place, unlike if you added a down spacer to the system above. Laurelin's first example above is a perfect illustration of this. Adding an up space to the measure with the tempo marking is much better than adding a down spacer to the measure above. Hopefully that much is clear?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

BTW, the quirk / bug where a staff spacer up only seems to take effect once you hit the top of the staff above - that's not entirely accurate. It's that way when used between staves within a system, but not between systems - in that case it starts taking effect as soon as you reach the bottom of the staff above. I still don't have a sense of what the intent is here.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.