Grob sizing

First we must learn how grobs are sized. All grobs have a reference point defined within them which is used to position them relative to their parent object. This point in the grob is then positioned at a horizontal distance, X-offset, and at a vertical distance, Y-offset, from its parent. The horizontal extent of the object is given by a pair of numbers, X-extent, which say where the left and right edges are relative to the reference point. The vertical extent is similarly defined by a pair of numbers, Y-extent. These are properties of all grobs which support the grob-interface.

By default, outside-staff objects are given a width of zero so that they may overlap in the horizontal direction. This is done by the trick of making the leftmost extent infinity and the rightmost extent minus infinity by setting the extra-spacing-width to '(+inf.0 . -inf.0). To ensure they do not overlap in the horizontal direction we must override this value of extra-spacing-width to give them a little extra spacing. The units are the space between two staff lines, so moving the left edge half a unit to the left and the right edge half a unit to the right should do it:

\override DynamicText.extra-spacing-width = #'(-0.5 . 0.5)

Let’s see if this works in our previous example:

% Extend width by 1 staff space
\override DynamicText.extra-spacing-width = #'(-0.5 . 0.5)
\relative { a'4\f b\mf a\mp b\p }

[image of music]

This looks better, but maybe we would prefer the dynamic marks to be aligned along the same baseline rather than going up and down with the notes. The property to do this is staff-padding which is covered in the section on collisions (see Collisions of objects).

LilyPond — Learning Manual v2.25.8 (development-branch).