Bars not fitting on same line - looks horrible (tried stretch and spacing ratio)!

• May 24, 2024 - 16:58

Hi guys,

I am writing a piece for solo piano in Theme & Variations form. This is a very early draft so please don't judge haha but one variation is a sort of Un Sospiro-style one, featuring 3 staves and a fast arpeggiated accompaniment. However, it is very frustrating that one whole line comprises bar 19, see below: Screenshot.png
I have tried Format >> Style >> Bars and set spacing ratio as low as it can go (1.00) and also decreased layout stretch to max but it still doesn't work. It may be due to the 3 staves later or even that the groups of semiquavers/septuplets are joined by a quaver beam? I really don't know. Any help would be really appreciated. Thanks! Score attatched.



Try reducing the size of Stave space in Format>Page settings.

Also remove any system breaks. You can add them later.

In general, it is best to leave layout adjustments until you have entered all the music.

Select the bottom stave of your problem bar plus the next bar
Format >Stretch >Reset stretch layout
In Properties, turn OFF Auto-place
Now INCREASE stretch until it looks alright
(There might be the odd stray element such as that Treble clef that needs adjusted).
Or you could write it without the complexity of cross-staff notation and clef changes (but that might not be an appearance that you like):

Layout stretch should basically never be used for anything, and changing the spacing ratio really isn't what you want (that is to change the relative spacing of different durations; setting it to 1 will just make all durations the same).

If you really want, say, bars 18 and 19 on the same system:

  • put a system break at the end of b19
  • apply a 'keep bars on same system' (from the Layout palette) to b18:


(You can do this with any number of bars)

Hi all!

Thanks so much for your quick responses. I think what I will do is indeed reduce the stave size for now (thanks SteveBlower but I should have thought of this before!), until the music is finalised, before restoring stave size and doing as underquark has suggested. Thanks so much!


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