Can't figure out bar lines across staves, and player groups

I’ve read the documentation but can’t figure out how to do this. See screenshot. I have two players (treble staff and bass staff), and I just want the bar lines to connect between the two staves:

I tried putting the two players into a group, as the manual said to. This didn’t work. Neither does going into Engrave mode and bracketing them (no bracket appears, don’t know why), nor the icon that specifically looks like it should do what I want (“change bar line joins”).

Screenshot 2022-11-27 at 2.36.41 PM

So…as what feels like a daily ritual, I’m coming to the forum again for something that is probably very easy, right under my nose, but I’ve already spent twenty minutes trying to figure it out and am close to giving up.

I would suggest removing the bracket and barline change you’ve created. Switch to Engrave mode and make sure signposts are visible. Select and delete the bracket and barline change signpost at the start of the layout.

Once you’ve got rid of the custom bracket change, go to the Layout Options dialog and try the options on the Brackets and Barlines page.

Could you share some links to the pages in the manual you’re looking at?

Player groups can influence which staves are joined by barlines, inasmuch as grouping players influences which staves are bracketed together, which in turn controls by default which staves are joined by barlines.

For cases where you really do need to change barline joins manually, e.g. independently of bracket groupings, see here:

@dspreadbury Ah, that last tip was it. I made sure signposts were visible (they already were) but I didn’t have any in the score. But Layout Options > Brackets and Braces was set to “no brackets” and that was (silently) overriding all my attempts to make brackets and joined bar lines. Fixed now. Thanks.

(This is an almost daily occurrence with Dorico, that I try and make it do something, it won’t do it, but won’t give me any feedback why, and then the answer is something is being overridden in a part of the program that I had no clue that I needed to check. I know this isn’t a simple problem to unwind, and you may not even consider it a problem - perhaps it’s just needed complexity with a program as capable as Dorico - but just letting you know from the layman user’s perspective, it makes the program harder to use than one would wish. I made numerous attempts to create brackets and player groups and manually drag bar lines from one stave to the other - basically WYSIWIG approaches - but each of them did nothing. If there had been an alert that let me know that the Layout Options > Brackets and Braces was suppressing the actions I was trying to do, that would have been more friendly.)

@Lillie_Harris just in the spirit of helping the documentation be as helpful as possible: both links were helpful and I did read them before posting, but they omitted mention of what Daniel pointed out above (Layout Options > Brackets and Braces), which, in my case, was overriding all my attempts at bracketing and bracing.

Thanks to both of you.

FYI I personally compile a running document of “how to do xyz in Dorico” for every problem like this that I solve, and over time this document has proven itself incredibly helpful since I come up against the same problems again and again!

That’s useful to know, thank you.

There are mentions of links between barline joins and brackets in the body of the page “Barlines across staff groups”:

Barlines automatically extend across staff groups that are joined by a bracket or brace …
… Dorico Pro automatically brackets staves according to the ensemble type set for each layout.

There are then related links at the bottom of the task to topics relating to brackets (a reference and a task).

There’s also a section at the bottom of the page about custom barline joins and bracketing staves manually; again, with a related link to the task about inputting custom barline joins.

Generally, Dorico’s defaults do these things automatically. In this case, one might question why you felt you need separate players, when you are actually trying to mimic a grand staff instrument?

My advice for new users is simple:
a) don’t mess with the defaults until you understand what they do,
b) don’t worry about layout until all your notes are entered, and
c) when you do want to explore how different settings work -experiment on a new score. Overriding defaults can quickly become a nightmare to unravel!

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@janus a valid point. I actually originally started this score using one player (a piano), but then realized that it would be simpler to create a blank Dorico project, then a generic treble stave, a generic bass stave. (In my case, the top stave is vocal parts, and the bottom stave is a band lead sheet, but I want both vocalists and band members to see each other’s parts. And I want the chords to be on top of the bottom stave, not the top. So it was more of a custom approach rather than a piano score.

So I started a new Dorico file, using the factory “Lead Sheet” template, then never realized that that template has Layout Options > Brackets and Braces set to “No brackets.”

It’s a bit clunky, but you can use the Library Manager to check which template options differ from the defaults. Useful to do before you start changing things, but easy to overlook!