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Hello.

Recently I tried LilyPond, I was told that it has a great output. I think it's nice but for me it's a bit difficult to use. I have an example where LilyPond does better than Finale in my opinion. I noticed that in Finale the horizontal distance between the noteheads is always the same. Unfortunately this means that when I enter some quarters with alterating stems, my eyes see the 2nd and 3rd noted too far from each other. In LilyPond the standard notehead spacing depends on the stem directions, so the horizontal distance between the 2nd and 3rd noteheads is smaller. This way my eyes see a more even and consistent engraving.

My question is:

Is there any setting or plug-in in Finale 26 that can make this type of "more natural" notehead spacing? I know I can move noteheads one by one manually, but it takes too long if there are more occurences.

(Windows 10)

 

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It looks to me as if the Lilypond stems are much thicker, and the noteheads are larger. That may be contributing to what you perceive.

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As far as I know, there isn't a setting for that kind of "optical" spacing in Finale.

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Mike Rosen,

you're right, so now i tried to make the two "styles" closer. This is what I got:


I "measured" the horizontal distance between noteheads and it seems that in Finale all the distances are the same. However in LilyPont the 2nd and 3rd note are significantly closer to each other (horizontally). That's why my eyes notice a gap between the 2nd and 3rd note in Finale 26, but in Lilypond it seems there is no such a gap.

I think that the note spacing LilyPond uses would be a nice feature in Finale too. Maybe there is such a feature already but I could not find it.

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If you are interested in workarounds:

 

  1. Input the notes
  2. Using the "Speedy Entry Tool", press (') apostrophe to activate Voice 2 (different from Layers)
  3. Enter 1/8 rests between stem-to-stem notes; enter 1/4 rests between notehead-to-notehead notes
  4. Hide the rests in Voice 2
  5. Respace music if necessary

 

The measure is a bit wider, but you don't have to worry about manual positioning.

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IIRC Lilypond uses a recursive spacing algorithm that neither Finale (nor Dorico) uses. Perhaps Lilypond's more complex input system allows this, but as far as I know, no other notation program uses this recursive spacing/casting off algorithm.

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J Adrian Verkouteren,

thank you for the information. Is there any chance Finale will use this (or similar) notehead spacing in the future?

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Given that Dorico, only recently developed from the ground up, determined that using this approach was either not possible or put too much pressure on the program's processing speed, I would guess that Finale, with its older code base, is unlikely to incorporate it.

 

But of course I am just guessing. I have no direct channel either to Dorico or to Finale developers.

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There is horizontal spacing in the free plugin, JW Note Spacing. Equal spacing in the JW plugin is the 'Optical Spacing' option.

The entire JW Library is here.

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