Changing the default staff/system spacing

Dorico Pro Help

Dorico Pro
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You can change the default gaps between staves and systems in each layout independently. For example, you can have smaller gaps between staves in full score layouts to accommodate more staves, and larger gaps between systems in part layouts to give players space to add pencil markings.

  • If the staves in a layout are very close together, just decreasing the staff size might be sufficient to produce good results.

  • We recommend that you set the ideal gaps to the minimum value acceptable to you, as Dorico Pro automatically allocates additional space for other items, such as system objects and dynamics, and avoids collisions between notes and staves above/below.


  1. Press Ctrl/Cmd-Shift-L to open Layout Options.
  2. In the Layouts list, select the layouts in which you want to change the default staff/system spacing.

    By default, the layout currently open in the music area is selected when you open the dialog. You can select other layouts by using the selection options in the action bar, clicking and dragging across multiple layouts, Shift-clicking adjacent layouts, and Ctrl/Cmd-clicking individual layouts.

  3. In the category list, click Vertical Spacing.
  4. In the Ideal Gaps section, change the values for the different contexts as required.
  5. Click Apply, then Close.


The minimum gaps between staves and systems in the corresponding contexts are changed. This affects how much space Dorico Pro allows for staves/systems in its casting off estimations and whether frames are considered full enough to justify vertically automatically.