Spacing of Lyrics

• Nov 27, 2022 - 22:31

Good morning,
as you can see from the attached score, the spacing of the lyrics could be better. Are there any global settings which can address this or would undesirable instances need to be dealt with individually from a near final layout?

Attachment Size
Good Christians all, Rejoice.mscz 27.57 KB


Simply click and drag any of the notes with the "tight" lyrics slightly to the right. There are options in the Format->Style->Lyrics window but frankly I have always found it far quicker to just drag the few offenders to the right spot as I see them.


  1. I would not use system breaks, except at the very end at the necessary places.
  2. Without them, you can use '}' to increase the layout stretch of the score for selected measures. Even with little change, the spacing would fit in your score. Therfore select the whole score (Ctrl-A).

Beside the drag of a note you may select the note and modify the segment leading space in inspector by 0.1sp steps which provides the same modification.

Can you say which lyrics specifically you are concerned with? Different techniques might be appropriate for different cases, so it's tough to give general advice.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks JoJo and Marc, I apologise for the late 'Thank you', other stuff got in the way. I played with some of the suggestions and had some successes; reducing the Stave space was the most effective, although not in all places. System breaks occurred in more suitable places except after bar 26. My best fix in this instance was to change the 'hear__' to just 'hear' and make that right-aligned: bar 27 moved up to the end of that line and the very short underline, which had appeared like a full-stop disappeared.
While playing around I noticed some weird behaviours:
When editing lyrics, the visible cursor is not necessarily in the same location as to where the action happens, annoying but easily corrected.
Trying to shift notes in the melisma (?) in bar 23 let me not adjust the beam length between notes, i.e., the ends can only be moved in the Y-direction.
The printed PDF version has different spacings on lyrics compared to the edited score version.

In reply to by Elmar 42

It's hard to say what went wrong from just the picture, but those melisma lines are wrong. They were correct in your original score. Whatever adjustment you did here broke them somehow.

Note that there is a known bug where very short melisma lines will still be drawn and appear like a period as you mentioned. That's fixed in MsueScore 4. So, by all means, you could eliminate the melisma line on "voice" since it's too short to display. But there shouldn't be all that space between "all" and its melisma line, or with "rejoice".

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