5.5.1 Aligning objects

Graphical objects which support the self-alignment-interface and/or the side-position-interface can be aligned to a previously placed object in a variety of ways. For a list of these objects, see self-alignment-interface and side-position-interface.

All graphical objects have a reference point, a horizontal extent and a vertical extent. The horizontal extent is a pair of numbers giving the displacements from the reference point of the left and right edges, displacements to the left being negative. The vertical extent is a pair of numbers giving the displacement from the reference point to the bottom and top edges, displacements down being negative.

An object’s position on a staff is given by the values of the X-offset and Y-offset properties. The value of X-offset gives the displacement from the X coordinate of the reference point of the parent object, and the value of Y-offset gives the displacement from the center line of the staff. The values of X-offset and Y-offset may be set directly or may be set to be calculated by procedures in order to achieve alignment with the parent object.

Note: Many objects have special positioning considerations which cause any setting of X-offset or Y-offset to be ignored or modified, even though the object supports the self-alignment-interface. Overriding the X-offset or Y-offset properties to a fixed value causes the respective self-alignment property to be disregarded.

For example, an accidental can be repositioned vertically by setting Y-offset but any changes to X-offset have no effect.

Rehearsal marks may be aligned with breakable objects such as bar lines, clef symbols, time signature symbols and key signatures. There are special properties to be found in the break-aligned-interface for positioning rehearsal marks on such objects.

See also

Notation Reference: Using the break-alignable-interface.

Extending LilyPond: Callback functions.


Setting X-offset and Y-offset directly

Numerical values may be given to the X-offset and Y-offset properties of many objects. The following example shows three notes with the default fingering position and the positions with X-offset and Y-offset modified.

a-3
a
-\tweak X-offset #0
-\tweak Y-offset #0
-3
a
-\tweak X-offset #-1
-\tweak Y-offset #1
-3

[image of music]


Using the side-position-interface

An object which supports the side-position-interface can be placed next to its parent object so that the specified edges of the two objects touch. The object may be placed above, below, to the right or to the left of the parent. The parent cannot be specified; it is determined by the order of elements in the input stream. Most objects have the associated note head as their parent.

The values of the side-axis and direction properties determine where the object is to be placed, as follows:

side-axisdirection
propertypropertyPlacement
0-1left
01right
1-1below
11above

When side-axis is 0, X-offset should be set to the procedure ly:side-position-interface::x-aligned-side. This procedure will return the correct value of X-offset to place the object to the left or right side of the parent according to value of direction.

When side-axis is 1, Y-offset should be set to the procedure ly:side-position-interface::y-aligned-side. This procedure will return the correct value of Y-offset to place the object to the top or bottom of the parent according to value of direction.


Using the self-alignment-interface

Self-aligning objects horizontally

The horizontal alignment of an object which supports the self-alignment-interface is controlled by the value of the self-alignment-X property, provided the object’s X-offset property is set to ly:self-alignment-interface::x-aligned-on-self. self-alignment-X may be given any real value, in units of half the total X extent of the object. Negative values move the object to the right, positive to the left. A value of 0 centers the object on the reference point of its parent, a value of -1 aligns the left edge of the object on the reference point of its parent, and a value of 1 aligns the right edge of the object on the reference point of its parent. The symbols LEFT, CENTER, and RIGHT may be used instead of the values -1, 0, and 1, respectively.

Normally the \override command would be used to modify the value of self-alignment-X, but the \tweak command can be used to separately align several annotations on a single note:

a'
-\tweak self-alignment-X #-1
^"left-aligned"
-\tweak self-alignment-X #0
^"center-aligned"
-\tweak self-alignment-X #RIGHT
^"right-aligned"
-\tweak self-alignment-X #-2.5
^"aligned further to the right"

[image of music]

Self-aligning objects vertically

Objects may be aligned vertically in an analogous way to aligning them horizontally if the Y-offset property is set to ly:self-alignment-interface::y-aligned-on-self. However, other mechanisms are often involved in vertical alignment: the value of Y-offset is just one variable taken into account. This may make adjusting the value of some objects tricky. The units are just half the vertical extent of the object, which is usually quite small, so quite large numbers may be required. A value of -1 aligns the lower edge of the object with the reference point of the parent object, a value of 0 aligns the center of the object with the reference point of the parent, and a value of 1 aligns the top edge of the object with the reference point of the parent. The symbols DOWN, CENTER, and UP may be substituted for -1, 0, and 1, respectively.

Self-aligning objects in both directions

By setting both X-offset and Y-offset, an object may be aligned in both directions simultaneously.

The following example shows how to adjust a fingering mark so that it nestles close to the note head.

a
-\tweak self-alignment-X #0.5  % move horizontally left
-\tweak Y-offset #ly:self-alignment-interface::y-aligned-on-self
-\tweak self-alignment-Y #-1  % move vertically up
-3  % third finger

[image of music]


Using the break-alignable-interface

Rehearsal marks and bar numbers may be aligned with notation objects other than bar lines. These objects include ambitus, breathing-sign, clef, custos, staff-bar, left-edge, key-cancellation, key-signature, and time-signature.

Each type of object has its own default reference point, to which rehearsal marks are aligned:

% The rehearsal mark will be aligned to the right edge of the Clef
\override Score.RehearsalMark.break-align-symbols = #'(clef)
\key a \major
\clef treble
\mark "↓"
e1
% The rehearsal mark will be aligned to the left edge of the Time Signature
\override Score.RehearsalMark.break-align-symbols = #'(time-signature)
\key a \major
\clef treble
\time 3/4
\mark "↓"
e2.
% The rehearsal mark will be centered above the Breath Mark
\override Score.RehearsalMark.break-align-symbols = #'(breathing-sign)
\key a \major
\clef treble
\time 4/4
e1
\breathe
\mark "↓"

[image of music]

A list of possible target alignment objects may be specified. If some of the objects are invisible at that point due to the setting of break-visibility or the explicit visibility settings for keys and clefs, the rehearsal mark or bar number is aligned to the first object in the list which is visible. If no objects in the list are visible the object is aligned to the bar line. If the bar line is invisible the object is aligned to the place where the bar line would be.

% The rehearsal mark will be aligned to the right edge of the Key Signature
\override Score.RehearsalMark.break-align-symbols = #'(key-signature clef)
\key a \major
\clef treble
\mark "↓"
e1
% The rehearsal mark will be aligned to the right edge of the Clef
\set Staff.explicitKeySignatureVisibility = #all-invisible
\override Score.RehearsalMark.break-align-symbols = #'(key-signature clef)
\key a \major
\clef bass
\mark "↓"
gis,,1
% The rehearsal mark will be centered above the Bar Line
\set Staff.explicitKeySignatureVisibility = #all-invisible
\set Staff.explicitClefVisibility = #all-invisible
\override Score.RehearsalMark.break-align-symbols = #'(key-signature clef)
\key a \major
\clef treble
\mark "↓"
e''1

[image of music]

The alignment of the rehearsal mark relative to the notation object can be changed, as shown in the following example. In a score with multiple staves, this setting should be done for all the staves.

% The RehearsalMark will be aligned with the right edge of the Key Signature
\override Score.RehearsalMark.break-align-symbols = #'(key-signature)
\key a \major
\clef treble
\time 4/4
\mark "↓"
e1
% The RehearsalMark will be centered above the Key Signature
\once \override Score.KeySignature.break-align-anchor-alignment = #CENTER
\mark "↓"
\key a \major
e1
% The RehearsalMark will be aligned with the left edge of the Key Signature
\once \override Score.KeySignature.break-align-anchor-alignment = #LEFT
\key a \major
\mark "↓"
e1

[image of music]

The rehearsal mark can also be offset to the right or left of the left edge by an arbitrary amount. The units are staff-spaces:

% The RehearsalMark will be aligned with the left edge of the Key Signature
% and then shifted right by 3.5 staff-spaces
\override Score.RehearsalMark.break-align-symbols = #'(key-signature)
\once \override Score.KeySignature.break-align-anchor = #3.5
\key a \major
\mark "↓"
e1
% The RehearsalMark will be aligned with the left edge of the Key Signature
% and then shifted left by 2 staff-spaces
\once \override Score.KeySignature.break-align-anchor = #-2
\key a \major
\mark "↓"
e1

[image of music]


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LilyPond — Notation Reference v2.19.14 (development-branch).