A question about bars per staff

Not sure what the correct terminology is for this, so its hard to look up in help.

I would like to dynamically arrange how many bars there are on each “staff”. For example, i would like to usually have 4 bars per staff, but if there is a repeat then sometimes to have say six bars per staff, then revert back to 4, then, later, if there is an insert or something to make changes to number of bar lines again. Basically to tidy up and make the lead sheet reading easier. No nine or severn bar staffs.
I know how to set the bars permanently in the layout, or to leave then dynamic, but is there more control?
Thank you


You can set a fixed casting off for bars per system that works most of the time, then override that as and when by e.g. using make into system.

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I am afraid this has not worked :slightly_frowning_face:

You have a System Break at the start that is set to Wait For Next System Break (this is what Make Into System does: it puts a System Break at each end of the selection and tells the first to Wait For the Next, via a property in the lower zone). So that first System Break is squishing bars onto the first system until it encounters another System Break. Clearly there’s too much music to squish onto a single system. I suggest you select the barline at the start of bar 5 or bar 6, in Engrave mode, and type Shift-S to add another System Break (or there’s a button in the left panel that does the same thing).

Alternatively you could select something at the beginning of bar 1 and Cmd/Ctrl-click the barline at the end of bar 5, then use Make Into System again; that’ll put bars 1-5 on one system and bars 6-16 on another system.

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Thank you, I understand now

Dorico allows you to easily split a bar at any point. If this is something you typically don’t want and you only want to move entire bars, make sure you have this checked in preferences:

With that checked, I usually start at the beginning of the score/part and move through it using the , and . shortcuts in Engrave to move bars to the previous or next system. With this method in your example you could simply click anywhere in bar 5 and hit . to move it to the next system if you wanted.

Ugh I’ve been working in 3.5 lately - forgot about . and , ! Thanks!

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