Can Engraving Options Also Be Layout Dependent?

So I’ve been using Dorico about five months now, and I love it! One of the things that sold me was being able to do a whole book of supplemental piano music in one file. This helps with consistency. Ironically, I find myself wanting to be inconsistent with some engraving options, depending on the style of an arrangement or piece.

As an example, I got into a mess with tie settings for a syncopated jazz arrangement , and I ended up having to revert to factory defaults. And since the factory default button resets all engraving options, I needed to write down all the tie settings from a new default file in order to know what to fix on the project file.

So two things: 1) It would be nice to be able to select which pieces (or layouts) get certain engraving options, and 2) to have a reset button for just the selected element in engraving options.

In summary, when I get corrections back from an editor, I am finding that a setting I changed for one piece causes new corrections for another piece that was correct in the previous proof—something that upsets editors and makes them question my process. For now, I will need to do a separate file for each piece and combine the PDFs for the proof, the way I had to do with Finale and Sibelius.

I don’t want this to be heard as negative—again, I am loving Dorico. This is my experience, and I wanted to share this feedback. :blush:

  • Engraving Options apply across the whole project: all flows, all layouts.

  • Layout Options apply to individual layouts, but affect all flows in those layouts.

  • Notation Options apply to individual flows, but affect those flows in all layouts.

You can easily compare settings between the current project and the factory defaults, your library defaults, or another named project in the Library Manager.

The Library Manager also lets you reset or transfer options at various levels: for whole options dialogs, or only one category within them, or only one section in that category, or even an individual option.

Can you give an example? At that stage, you might be better off making manual corrections for exactly this reason.

Thanks for the info about Library Manager. I had forgotten about that.

I’m sure in previous weeks I adjusted settings for things like courtesy accidentals, beaming, bar numbers, fingering, hairpins, pedal lines, slurs, ties, etc. half way through a proof because an issue was coming up a lot on one piece, only to find that the different settings didn’t serve me well in other pieces. I have definitely started to make manual adjustments to avoid problems on books I have already engraved in one file. I AM starting to think it is safer to create a new file for each piece in a collection, though.

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It is, definitely.


Courtesy Accidentals, at least, are per-flow Notation Options.

I would have thought that a decent range of settings for these sorts of things would get you most of the way; and then you’d have to make a few manual adjustments here and there. But obviously, changing a global setting will affect the whole collection, and you will need to check it all again.

For me, the ability to create multi-section works or anthologies that are consistent in style is perhaps THE greatest feature of Dorico.

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I think you are right there, but it takes a lot of time to get used to the myriad of options and to know which options are valid where and when. And the same goes for the notion of which options are most influential in the look of it all!
After 7 months of using I am beginning to get the hang of it, but rather often I stumble again on something new and unexpected. One of the biggest and important findings was the ability to change note spacing at every point you want (in engraving mode) that is now one of the most used features for me to get the layout (and pageturns) I want.

I agree, Ben. It is a huge selling point for me to be able to do an entire book in one file. And maybe I do need a little more time to get a good feel for what works without tweaking any global settings. And Lillie reminded me about the Library Manager. Does anyone know of setting libraries for downloading?