Casting off suggestion

I am working on a book, and have several others that I will be working on in the coming months.

I am using the idea of “flows” to handle each section of music for the book appropriately. This book requires that some solos follow certain layouts, and others to not. It would be nice if the casting off options (fix 4 measures system, etc.) would be applicable to specific flows, and not necessarily to the whole project.


I think the layout options apply to layouts, not to the whole project. There might be a way to create a series of layouts that describe the entire book — not the usual use of layouts, I admit :wink:

Daniel’s post at the bottom might be helpful, not only that the team are aware of the need for it, but also that you could put a note spacing change at the start of each flow (or each meter change) that would probably help Dorico get pretty close to even-ing out the number of bars per system.

Interestingly, in the thead referred to above, there are no further postings after Daniel’s suggestion. Does it follow that this would be a preferred solution?


I don’t think so, David. I read Daniel’s post to mean that he’s added the feature request to the development team’s to-do list, and in the meantime we users have a few options.

I still haven’t got my head around the way I’m supposed to do this…
Sometimes I want to select 100 bars and fit them all with 4 bars a system, then maybe 5 bars a system for the next 50 bars etc…

You’ve got two options; the exact way is to painstakingly go through and add system breaks.

The alternative, which is less precise but much quicker, is to go to Engrave mode, select the first beat (note or rest) where you want 4 bars a system to start, then go to the Engrave menu and select Note Spacing Change. Flick the switch for “Default space for crotchet/quarter note”, tell it to Change, and type a number into textbox. The smaller the number the MORE music you’ll get per system. Then hit OK.

All you’re telling Dorico to do is expand or contract the space between notes, which means that if the music you’ve written/arranged/engraved varies then you won’t always end up with the four bars to a system that you want (and will have to insert the odd system break manually). The advantage to this method is that you avoid the commonly-seen situation where someone’s told Finale or Sibelius that they want x number of bars on a system, and then haven’t checked it’ll actually fit.

This seems like such a basic thing to kludge. 90% of my arrangement work requires bars-per-system to have structural meaning (over the ‘nicest’ engraving). I feel that I should be able to select a range of bars and fit them x bars per system.
You’re right that there is a lot of horrible engraving around, but Dorico is a professional tool for professionals.

I totally agree that the casting off option should be flow-specific rather than project-specific (and started a thread on it months ago) but there ARE options, and it HAS been noted as a feature request.

Dorico is a professional program but it’s also a very young program with a small development team. If you really must have x bars to a system then Alt-click system breaks in - it really can’t take that long compared to getting the rest of the arrangement in, right?

Hi Pianoleo,
Yes, I get that Dorico is young. Just expressing my opinion in the hope that it (with others) might influence the priorities. Part of the problem is that Dorico doesn’t feel like a young program. There are aspects of it that Sib/Fin/etc. will never catch up with and it feels very mature to use in almost every way. It is also a year since my last request for an easier way to do this. I’ve been using workarounds since Sib/Acorn days in Sib/Score/Igor/Finale and that is par for the course if doing weird or uncommon things. My hope for Dorico is that it’ll be cleverer.