Changing the alignment of lyrics relative to notes

You can change the horizontal alignment of individual lyrics relative to notes; for example, if you want to force lyrics at the same position on multiple staves with different default alignments to have the same alignment. You can do this for the current layout and frame chain only or for all layouts and frame chains.

There is no default setting for the alignment of lyrics relative to notes, as Dorico Pro automatically adjusts the horizontal position of lyrics to minimize note spacing changes. By default, lyrics on single noteheads are center-aligned, and lyrics spanning multiple noteheads are left-aligned.


Changing the alignment of lyrics manually overrides Dorico Pro’s automatic spacing for the selected lyrics, meaning that note spacing at the affected rhythmic positions might change.


  • The lower zone is shown.

  • Properties is selected in the lower zone toolbar.

  • If you are in Engrave mode, Graphic Editing Graphic Editing button is selected in the Engrave toolbox.

  • You have chosen the appropriate property scope for local properties.


  1. Select the lyrics whose alignment you want to change. You can do this in Write mode and Engrave mode.
  2. In the Properties panel, activate Lyric text alignment in the Lyrics group.
  3. Select one of the following alignment options from the menu:
    • Left

    • Center

    • Right


The alignment of the selected lyrics is changed. Note spacing is automatically adjusted to avoid collisions with adjacent lyrics.

If the property scope was set to Locally, this change only takes effect in the current layout and frame chain.

  • You can change whether Dorico Pro considers punctuation at the start/end of lyrics when calculating their alignment in Engraving Options > Lyrics > Spacing.

  • You can change the default alignment of all lyrics project-wide according to their syllable type in Engraving Options > Lyrics > Alignment.


Figure 1. Left-aligned lyric "l’aube"
Figure 2. Center-aligned lyric "l’aube"
Figure 3. Right-aligned lyric "l’aube"