Better Support for Music Books

Maybe I’m alone in this, but my primary use case for Dorico is in creating books of piano music. As such, I have a lot of frustrations with the page layout options given in Dorico at the moment and would really love to see some additional features in here.

The Good:

  • Page layouts and templates work great!
  • It’s easy to add pages for covers or interior info.

The Bad:

  • You can tell Dorico which page to start the first flow on (left/right) but it’s clunky and doesn’t work for multiple consecutive flows unless you manually add blank pages.

The Ugly:

  • You can only assign page template sets to an entire Layout, so using different sets for different pages/flows isn’t possible. This makes having solo and duet music living together in one project rather ugly.
  • The override features in Engrave mode can’t accomplish this either because it isn’t possible to have multiple First pages in a single template set.

In my ideal Dorico world:

  • Flow settings, including L/R starting page, would be tied to the flows themselves and not to Layouts.
  • Page template sets would be assignable to individual flows.
  • Page templates would be able to be overridden per-page in Engrave mode if needed.
  • Dorico would automatically add blank pages to ensure flows start on the correct L/R side.

My current Dorico world:

  • I have to use two Layouts, one for solo music starting on the right-hand side using the solo page template set, and one for duet music starting on the left and using the duet page template set.
  • I can’t view solo and duet music at the same time because they’re different Layouts.
  • Different Layouts are effectively separate projects so my page numbering is a lost cause.
1 Like

backing up !

At least half of the use I make of Dorico is for educational stuff (guitar, bass, flute, piano, and general theory stuff), the most frustrating things to me for now in this regard are :

  • “custom” laying out of pages doesn’t get assigned to flows, so if I spend hours laying out educational stuff for each page of my flows as chapters then decide at some point I wanna swap or move chapters, the flows only swap the music content and not the layout, messing up everything, meaning it’s virtually impossible realistically to make this type of content if you don’t carefuly plan it out before ; you can’t improvise your chapters/flows otherwise you either have to redo everything or you just have to stick with your “planning mistake”…
  • no magnetic layout for frames (aligning, centering, etc…)
  • not retaining the formatting when copying/pasting content from a text frame to an other
  • lack of background color option for frames
  • lack of continuity between text frames and in general : when laying out several text frames and music frames and images, if at any point you decide to insert new exercises/text content it’s the same : impossible or you have to redo everything (that’s why a few weeks ago I created a topic asking for a sort of “master frame” that would remember the continuity of our layouts like in a normal editor like Word, so that when we want to insert new content everything gets shifted and we don’t have to redo everything)

Gotta admit I can’t wait for what Dorico 5 will bring us ! :blush:

One can add many custom page templates to a page template set. A set might include a solo page template as well as a duet template with the two players on facing pages. One can assign these different templates to specific pages or page ranges in Engrave mode. Granted, this has to be done manually, and as AMazedBrane says, the page templates do not move if one rearranges page or flow order, but this does allow one to put both types of piano music in the same file and the same layout.

One can also change music spacing so blank pages are not necessary.

1 Like

I think this has been discussed before, Daniel was supportive IIRC but of course no promise of timeline.

But for what @pfox wants, it doesn’t matter. One can customize and combine Page Template sets into a single set to provide what is needed for the book as described.

These are all possible now, aren’t they? Page Templates are obviously “page” based and not Flow based so it’s a little clunky, but you certainly can define different templates that only include specific Players and/or Flows. Here’s a gif of a little test project with 2 pianos. Flow 1 is Primo, Flow 2 is Primo and Secondo with the L/R pagination correct, and Flow 3 is just Secondo. As you can see by the lack of red triangles, no page overrides were used at all, just page templates.



Okay, so thinking on it I suppose I could make additional custom page types in the Template Set, give them first/default page characteristics, then manually assign them to the flow pages as needed.

I’m not sure how you managed this without defining any page overrides though. Would you mind sharing the example project?

Edit: Never mind, I believe I figured it out. Apparently Dorico doesn’t do the red earmark for template changes, it uses a green bar above the page instead. Well. It’s still clunky but it does work, so that’s a step closer to where I needed to be. Thanks a bunch for the assist!


Oh, but just in case this wasn’t clear, I still would really appreciate it if the Dorico developer team would consider cleaning this up. Even with a workable solution for doing this it’s still really awkward and doesn’t support multiple layout options at all.

If you want something special, it takes more work.
Dorico provides the tools (which they have); you have to do the rest.

That is actually not true. You can’t have different flow headers on the same page at the moment. This is only possible with a lot of manual tweaking.
I think it’s a problem, that flow header changes are attached to a page and not to the flow. Moving around flows with different flow headers is always a nightmare.

1 Like

I’m not clear here whom you are responding to.

seems to agree with what I said.
Were you responding to an earlier post?
(I’m not sure we were talking about Flow Headers here, were we?)

Hi Derrek, I was responing to you. I don’t think, that the tools Dorico provide are sufficent.
The OP was talking about Flow settings and for me flow headers should belong th the flow settings.