Bar numbers jumping back and forth

This problem deserves its own thread I think - I reported it before as part of another issue, but it’s definitely separate. I have exported just flow 5 of my enormous project:

I put a custom bar number at the beginning of the flow, and as you can see, Dorico now skips back and forth between the original (i.e. starting at 1) and my amended timeline (starting at 558). As far as I’m aware there are no other manual bar number changes (is there a way to see these?) and adding extra manual changes makes no difference.

Bar number changes are internally part of time signatures, so that’s the problem: the bar number change is part of the local time signature that belongs to the flutes, and not to the global time signature, hence the bar numbers only show the change when the staff with the local time signature is visible.

Aha! Ok that makes sense, the correct bar numbers are only showing when the flute 1 is playing! In that case how can I add a bar number change to the global time signature? I’ve tried selecting the first violins and adding the bar number change there, but this makes no difference. Alternatively, is there a way to remove those independent time signatures? I’ve tried adding a blank bar at the beginning of the flow and reinstating the global 4/4 in the new second bar, but the independent time sigs come back when I remove the blank bar again.

Oh, never mind, the first violins also had an independent time signature, and I need those independent ones to correct condensing issues in the score. I just added the bar number change to every single stave and now all seems to be working!

This is getting really complicated now - towards the end of my project I have half the orchestra in 3/2 and the other half playing 3 bars of 2/4 (and various other similar compounds). As a result, every instrument in the orchestra has a different total number of bars.

I can go through each and manually change the bar numbers every bar for each instrument - this is obviously an extremely arduous task, made more difficult by the fact that I have no way of tracking my progress or copying and pasting sections.

Is there a better way to do this that I’m missing? An option somewhere to ‘count every smallest bar’ perhaps? Or a way to signpost bar number changes?

EDIT: nevermind, I should have used aggregate time signatures to begin with. Much better plan!

Ah, for anyone else in this situation, I have found a way to at least track what I’m doing!

I added an instrument that always had the ‘smallest time signature’ (to make sure I had something with the maximum number of bars) then added it to a new score layout that displayed bar numbers every bar, next to every instrument.

I can now add each of my other players into this layout, an instrument at a time, and compare its bar numbers to the top stave, changing where necessary. Still laborious, but workable!