Would it be possible for the starting or ending points of a beat aligned crescendo/diminuendo to honor the spacing settings in the Document Options/Music Spacing dialog box - specifically the item labeled "Minimum Distance Between Items"? I'm assuming a barline would be classified as an "item" to avoid...
Or maybe a new "Distance Between Smart Shape and dynamic symbol/barline" (or end of beat for mid-measure use) option within the "Smart Shape Options" dialog box?
If we use beat aligned (with snap) smart shapes - we will always need to shorten the shape to fit a dynamic symbol that might exist on the very next note. i.e. a diminuendo followed by a dynamic marking. The default beat/snap aligned smart shapes always gives us this:
or worse yet, this:
Requiring lots of manual correction time... How cool would it be if the crescendo in the above example auto-corrected to avoid the dynamics???
Either way, a smart shape beat attached "snap" collision could (and should) be easily eliminated.
Also - allow multiple smart shapes to be selected and adjusted simultaneously. This would save much time/energy when tweeking tight scores with lots of cresc./dim. smart shapes.
Snapping works if you have a lot of different beat subdivisions. It's fairly useful if you have a hidden layer of rests in an inactive layer set to not affect music spacing. The cresc./dim. snap to the hidden rests.
I think the no snapping option is good enough as it respects the click position while still aligning to beats. You can drag it to as far or near as you want. And, if you set the short and long length settings for the span, there's hardly much to worry about.
My 2¢ worth... I completely agree that it would be quite useful if there were some preferences associated with cresc. and decresc. wedges – to avoid expressions by XX EVPUs (or inches, or whatever) and avoid ending right ON a barline.
(Arnold and George, this won't solve collision with dynamic markings or other expressions, but if you wish to leave 'Snap When Attaching To Beats' on, this technique will help you avoid the wedges extending all the way to a barline: Select all measures in your piece by clicking to the left of a staff with the Measure Tool and double click anywhere in the highlighted area to bring up the Measure Attributes dialog box. Add– Extra Space: At End and enter a very small, almost un-noticeable value, say– 15 EVPUs or smaller–to your taste. Your wedges will now 'Snap To' a point 15 EVPUs short of the barline and this should help in some cases to make your wedge entry more consistent.)
If there's a down side to this, it is that this will also very slightly, almost un-noticeably compress the music within your measure, but I've found some minimal distance added at the end of a measure will look acceptable in most cases. (After all, the music in each measure doesn't start right AT the barline either- but allows a little space at the start of a measure.)
There are a lot of music spacing issues with Finale. I believe MM is tracking development of spacing all objects on a page, however the current interface more or less requires a lot manual adjustments; there's no going around it. Staff items (notes, clefs, lyrics, etc.) appear to be the only things which affect music spacing, so smart shapes and expressions naturally aren't calculated in spacing. Finale previously had the capability of attaching expressions to notes which could be spaced with staff items. I imagine this was taken out to conform more to notation standards as dynamics don't have a bearing on note spacing. For this to work, there needs to be a separate code which spaces graphic/shape/text items so that is does not affect note spacing. This may require having to change the interface a bit.
I guess while we are talking about music spacing, seconds and unisons spacing settings seem to override manual adjustments (Clear is not selected for Manual Positioning). Is this a bug, or intentional? Also, spacing of seconds/unisons with cross-staff notes needs to be looked into.