Align playing techniques

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I’ve used the + and o playing techniques here in a saxophone part to indicate alternate fingerings. Without dragging everything around in engrave mode, is there a quick way to align these techniques horizontally? Can I ‘group’ them, in a similar way to grouping dynamics?

Obviously I want to be able to move the middle two symbols to be within the slur - I can’t see anything in the engraving options that covers this.


Dear EmmCeeSq,
I do not think there is such a feature yet. Usually those playing technique are attached to notes which position on the staff can be very different, I am not sure how feasible this would be. I had that problem with pedal markings. I did not want to use the line version (too modern to my taste for the score I was copying), so I ended up shrinking all pedal markings with the scale tool and move them by hand in engrave mode until I found the result was pleasing. A kind of Sus/Fle task we’re not used to doing anymore !

Oh, ok Marc, thanks!

In Dorico 3.5 I’ve created playing techniques and grouped them, but now I’m seeing these little arrows which are not part of the playing techniques.
What is happening here that I need to fix?
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They look like extension lines with arrows on the end. Try selecting a passage, not a single note, apply the technique, and see what it looks like.

You can get rid of them by editing the technique, or the line that it is based on.

When grouping playing techniques, dorico assumes a transition between these, which is useful in 99% of the cases. (Playing techniques shouldn’t be aligned necessarily)
If you don’t want the transition lines, edit this property in the playing technique editor.

There’s no way to align these without nudging them in the properties panel in engrave mode. I’m hoping we get a horizontal alignment tool like there is for dynamics for all playing techniques and any items (tempo, text, etc.) above the staff in Dorico 4!

@mountainmusic,:when I group these custom playing techniques they are aligned and I don’t have to nudge them (so far…)

@klafkid & Rob Tuley: When I create the custom playing technique in Engrave mode, Engrave>Playing Techniques, I chose Continuation>Continuation Type: None.

But the continuation lines appear anyway until I open the Properties window and select Line Style: None.

Is this a bug? By selecting Continuation Type: None when creating the playing technique, I would think/hope it would behave as expected.

I would have thought it’s the transition type you’d need to set to none, not the continuation type.

hi Leo-- Your same thought occurred to me but “None” is not an option at all for the Transition line in Edit Playing Techniques. Is that what you meant?

So, I think it could still be a bug, or at least a missing option.

Grouping Playing Techniques in order to align them is a workaround. The intended purpose of grouping Playing Techniques is to show transitions from one Playing Technique to another. The line that is used between grouped Playing Techniques is the one that’s set as the Transition line, not the Continuation line.

If you want to use this workaround for aligning Playing Techniques, it’s pretty easy to create a dashed line body that doesn’t actually show any dashes, then use that within a (custom or preset) Line, then set that as your Transition line.

I don’t really see how this can be described as a bug, given you’re using functionality for a different purpose to the one the developers envisaged.

Thanks, Leo. Yes I see your point. However the option to set “transition line” to “none” (as you originally suggested) doesn’t exist as far as I can tell, hence my confusion.

I’ll try creating the invisible line as you suggest.

If you were using the functionality for its expected purpose, you’d never want a transition that didn’t show a transition line, or else how would you know it’s a transition? I’m not trying to sway you into looking for a different workaround for aligning Playing Techniques - it’s a jolly good one!

You know what: I think I’m talking absolute nonsense. I’ve just looked at the documentation and it’s totally at odds with my understanding of how this works. Some more reading needed at my end, methinks. Sorry!

edit: OK. This is interesting. The documentation at clearly describes Continuation Lines between grouped Playing Techniques, but the Version History makes it quite clear that grouped Playing Techniques are joined with transition lines.

I’m not surprised you’re confused :wink:

Playing techniques have two different types of continuation line; duration line and transition line. The former is used for ungrouped, the latter for grouped playing techniques. When playing techniques are grouped together, their continuation type is forced to be line (transition line to be specific) and the Continuation type property is not available; this is because the main use case of grouping playing techniques is showing transition between them with arrows.

In the properties panel you can override the playing techniques’ line style to None, which effectively will hide the transition line in a group (or the duration line if it’s shown for an isolated playing technique), but you can’t set the default transition line style to ‘None’ in the playing technique editor. So the only way grouping playing techniques can be used as a workaround to align playing techniques(AFAIK) is to first group them, and then set their line style property to none.

I’ll make a note to review the docs here - as Andras has outlined above, “continuation” is the catch-all term, and “duration” and “transition” are the two specific types. As I wrote this relatively recently, I do remember being deliberate when writing this but I’ll double-check it again.

Thanks again for this thread - I’ve made some hopefully useful refinements now to make these relevant distinctions clearer. I did remember the note on this topic though, that does already highlight how the Continuation type only controls the visibility of duration lines, not transition lines. However, this topic didn’t then have a hint pointing to the default option in Edit Playing Techniques, which it now has*. Ever onwards!

*will have, upon next update.

Thanks muchly Lillie.