Using Dorico’s flows to notate longer, multi-song works in one file, allowing for consistent layout, notation and engraving options, is an amazing feature and huge time-saver. However, it seems that as I continue to add material to a single file, I eventually reach a point (say, around 8-10 pieces in, depending on the size of the pieces) when I start noticing performance degradation in normal operations like note and lyric selection and input, which starts impacting workflow. These seem to get gradually worse as the file size continues to grow.
So I’m wondering, is there a best practice for how much material users should expect to have in each Dorico file? I’m guessing that it’s resource-dependent and going to vary based on hardware horsepower, the specifics of the file, and probably other things as well? In my perfect world, I’d be able to keep full-length musicals of 12-30+ pieces, with full orchestrations of assorted sizes, all in one file. I suppose Plan B would be to split up works like this by act, or into smaller chunks. I could of course go back to the “traditional” way of having one song per file, but then you lose the wonderful ability to make layout/engraving changes across everything at once, instead of in 30+ separate files.
Don’t forget that you can export flows to separate files and then import them back again, so you might gain some ‘reduction in slow-down’ if you input the pieces separately and then put them together when they’re done.
I’m not necessarily suggesting that this is ‘best practice’, but it’s an idea.
I seem to recall the practical limits of Flows being discussed here, but I think it was talking about the 100 mark.
You may find that performance during note input and editing is improved if you create a layout which only includes the flow you’re currently working on, rather than all flows, and then work in that layout. You can always delete that layout when you’ve finished.
Yes, limiting your current workspace to a few flows is a pretty fine solution.
If you create something like an additional “Workspace layout”, keep in mind that some changes you apply via properties will not carry through other layouts, which includes your “real” score.
Yes, this is a significant limitation. With large, multi-flow projects, I usually try to do the basic note entry (Write mode) in a custom layout including just the flow I’m working on, but then switch to the full “real” score for notation tweaks.
I agree with what has already been written. I’m mostly using Dorico on a pretty old MacBook, with no problems with multiple flow. I do have a ‘working’ layout, in which only enable the flows I need to work. Apart from anything else it stops me doing anything stupid to other flows by accident.