Blank pages (for dialogue) between flows

I know how to insert a blank page after an arbitrary page on the score. But is there a way I can pin them to a flow?

I want to display spoken dialogue between the musical numbers in my show. These dialogue pages should move around e.g. if I add some additional music to a flow, which makes it take an additional page, the dialogue page should move appropriately. Is there a way to do that?

If I had my druthers, I’d suggest that these ‘dialogue pages’ be a different type of flow, i.e. a flow that doesn’t have musical notation, but instead has blank space (for me to manually place text boxes or imported PDFs)… but still behaves like a flow in Setup mode so I can move it around, choose which parts it shows up in, etc.

That has indeed been suggested before, but (as you know) a flow must currently contain some music. What you might try instead is to create individual Page Templates for each dialogue page. By applying these pages where you need them, you can have music pages skip over them, but realize that custom music formatting will likely not follow the music onto the new page.

I may be missing something, but if I create individual Page Templates for each dialogue page, they don’t move when I add more music to a previous flow, right? So a page I created at the end of Flow 1 would stay put when Flow 1 got bigger, leading to the dialogue being in the middle of Flow 1 unless I manually moved it?

Yes, unfortunately.

I suppose I could do something like create a ‘music’ flow, but put a white opaque image over the music…

Yes, the extended music would leap over the pre-located dialogue page, but if your page template had the dialogue on it, you could simply assign that page template a page later and avoid having to retype all your dialogue.

I suppose I could do something like create a ‘music’ flow, but put a white opaque image over the music…

Nope, can’t do that. You can’t link image frames to a position in the music either.

All the work-arounds I can think of here would require me to manually redo the layout whenever the music changed (e.g. moving pages around, moving frames around, etc).

For a feature request, then, how about something like how Apple Pages works with pages/sections: make the page panel in engrave mode flow-aware. Each flow is a separate section in the panel. So if you manually add pages, you’re adding them inside a flow… and thus the page you added is positioned relative to all the other pages that make up that flow.

I realise this conflicts with some ways flows can be used. But for the way I’m using flows, and with the way I want to lay out text in between my musical numbers, it’d be great!

And it is a worthwhile suggestion.

Kludge idea: If your dialogue is, say, two pages, you could create a flow with music and an extra frame break, so it’s two empty measures, one per page. Then replace those pages in a PDF program like Acrobat with your dialogue pages.

@rubberfingers that’s sort of what I was doing with Sibelius. I had a bunch of scripts to handle the page replacement for me.

One other idea: would this work? For my dialogue pages, create a new flow. Put an instrument in there that has a zero line staff. Attach the dialogue text boxes to that staff as system text.

What I like to do when there are entire scenes between flows is to create a brand new page template with text frames for the {@page@} token and for the text (two columns for instance), and use a page template change to insert those pages. I can type the scene in the page template itself or later in the document (creating an override). It does work.

The zero line staff instrument seems to be a reasonable workaround. I had to hack my instruments.xml to allow me to create one. But now this page will move with the rest of the document.

2 Likes