Bar numbers should start over at new flows?

When I create a new document with multiple flows, the bar numbers of each flow start over with 1 as expected. When I split a flow (from an xml import), the new flow does not start over with bar 1, the numbering continues. When, in this situation, I create a 3rd flow, bar numbering acts as expected for the 3rd flow. However, when I change the new 3rd flow to become the 2nd flow (dragging in the setup page), the numbering does not start over.
Perhaps related is when I use Ctrl-G to try and go to the 2nd flow, it doesn’t go anywhere.

It’s possible that the XML import has ‘explicit’ bar numbering that you need to remove/reset first?

(Complete re-write of this post)
After about 15 minutes of wasting(?), spending valuable time(?) searching I discovered what an explicit bar number looks like and how to change it. In my project, hidden beneath a couple of signposts (tempo & key signature) there was a bar number showing. That apparently is considered an “explicit” bar number. Delete it and the bar numbering for the split flow numbers correctly. The problem was definitely from an xml import.


Glad it’s sorted. Those of us familiar with Sibelius were used to bar number changes appearing this way, such that you have to notice a bar number showing at the top, or a change in sequence later on. Being covered by signposts definitely makes it harder to figure out!

@Lillie_Harris I think new users would benefit from a mention somewhere of how this often happens with XML import. Perhaps on the “Bar number changes” page or the “Importing MusicXML files” page, or both.

There are many, many variables when it comes to XML import; we would either have to write a note so generic that it’s not helpful for most specific cases, or we would need to explain every possible way an XML file might behave differently than a native Dorico file and then maintain, update etc that list.

For now, I won’t be making changes but you can trust it’s on my radar.


Lillie, this is a bit OT but related. Given the various anomalies which XML imports can introduce, would it be helpful to have a section in the manual specifically about those anomalies when importing XML files? Or hints for “best practices” when importing? That might include such suggestions as:

  • re-assign every instrument to every player (enables Instrument default settings)
  • remove any beginning/overriding clefs
  • all keyboard parts should be copy/pasted into a new grand-staff instrument by individual staff (not both at once). Most XML import define keyboard staves individually, not as one instrument. Organ pedals is a third staff, and should be copy/pasted into the appropriate 3-staff organ instrument (do not try to convert an existing 2-staff organ instrument to a 3-staff organ – it doesn’t work).
  • then delete extraneous parts

I’ve also found that in general it’s best to:

I don’t think it belongs in the Manual, though a Hints & Tips document might be helpful.

MusicXML is not yet implemented uniformly between programs, so Dorico will have different problems depending on where the XML was created. For example, I had a number of problems getting xml from PhotoScore to Dorico (handling multirests and double-flats). However, using the PhotoScore>Sibelius>Dorico route was more successful. Similarly I have found MuseScore to be more forgiving of xml errors regarding tuplets, than Dorico…etc. etc.

These are not the sort of issues that can be enshrined in a manual. Not least because I expect they will change over time as the MusicXML format and its implementation in various softwares develops.

I think what @dwlarson is suggesting is more of a post-import checklist. I think of this as something that might appear in a Discover Dorico session, though I can see why some folks would prefer it written out.

(I guess now we can refer folks to dwlarson’s post here. It’s a good list.)

Actually, I think the best advice is to uncheck all xml import options unless you really know what you are doing. Trust Dorico to do its magic.

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