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Re: Leadsheet - trying to fill page without leaving empty space

From: Aaron Hill
Subject: Re: Leadsheet - trying to fill page without leaving empty space
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2019 09:50:06 -0700
User-agent: Roundcube Webmail/1.3.8

On 2019-06-10 9:12 am, Michael Hendry wrote:
I can usually get a reasonable result by tweaking global-staff-size,
but here’s an example of the bottom of a page with

[ . . . ]

Am I tweaking the wrong parameter?

Is there a more elegant way of ensuring that a leadsheet fits in one page?

\paper { page-count = #1 }

Whether LilyPond will be happy about that is another thing entirely.

Setting and/or adjusting the global staff size is unlikely to be the correct thing since that scales everything. What you probably want is tighter spacing rather than physically smaller elements. This falls to using the flexible vertical spacing features of LilyPond:

\paper {
  system-system-spacing = #'(
    (basic-distance . 15)
    (minimum-distance . 10)
    (padding . 1)
    (stretchability . 2))

  ragged-bottom = ##f
  last-bottom-spacing = #'(
    (basic-distance . 0)
    (minimum-distance . 0)
    (padding . 0)
    (stretchability . 1))

(NOTE: The values above are just examples, nothing magical nor implying best practice.)

One could probably write a dissertation on LilyPond's vertical spacing algorithm and the resulting head-scratching. Here is a quick breakdown:

basic-distance is what LilyPond will try to honor absent of other constraints. Specifying a smaller value for minimum-distance will give LilyPond permission to compress the spacing. padding lets you specify that the "ink" between two systems must be separated by a suitable amount. Finally, stretchability is a unitless number that controls where LilyPond is permitted to *add* space such as when ragged-bottom is false.

It should be noted that annotate-spacing is a useful tool to determine where space is allocated. The whitespace you see between the last system and the footer might not be useable space, as far as LilyPond is concerned. If it has been instructed to keep a minimum amount of space, that is probably why it opted to overflow to a second page.

-- Aaron Hill

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