Copying text frames?

I’m doing a short-score/sketch (woods in one grand stave, brass in one grand stave etc.) and want to add text boxes near each note e.g. “4 horns” , “2 tbs” , “4 celli”, next to the note.

Since one tends to use the same text a lot when doing this, it would be extremely beneficial simply to copy the text frames.

But how? I can select the text frame but copy option is disabled/greyed out?

Unfortunately you cannot yet copy and paste the frames themselves: if you use Shift+X text to add the text directly to the music rather than in separate frames, then you can copy and paste that text rather more easily, for the time being.

I would also very warmly welcome the possibility to simply copy/paste text frames, as is possible in DTP and graphics software and in word processors. It allows me to format a text frame a re-use it without going the long way of setting up a template (and apart from master pages I cannot create “frame templates”, can I?)
And since I’m at it: I am missing rulers, helper lines, and a snap/align function that works not only to adjust the dimensions of frames, but also for distances between frames. Example: Frame 2 starts 30pt below frame 1. When I create frame 3 below frame 2, it snaps to a distance of 30pt, too. I know this is very DTP, but Dorico is meant to be DTP-capable, isn’t it?

Put shortly: I hope that copy/paste text frames is in the pipeline!

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I’m assuming you may need to have these duplicated frames on the same page. If you don’t need that, then you can just copy the frame to whatever page you need it to appear on. If you need the flexibility of duplicated frames on the same page, read on…

This solution may seem a bit weird, but it works, and might be helpful until Dorico has such a function. Dorico allows you to copy any type of frame (text, graphic, music, etc.) from one page to another. So you could, for example build up a repository of the frames with the text you want to re-use on an added page for just this purpose, then copy as needed as often as you like.

To create the “repository page” just insert a blank page somewhere in your layout. Then you would copy your first use frame i.e. “4 horns” to this special page. You now have 2 instances, the original, and a copy (to be used as a copy source later whenever you want). As you create new frames, just copy to the special page and you will build up a source of each specially worded frame, ready to be copied to your music source pages anytime you wish. A caveat: if you are copying a frame to the same page you made the initial frame, you may want to move the source text frame (from the “repository page”) a little before copying to the music page. This makes finding it easier (otherwise it is copied exactly over the original’s frame).

When you are done with your text frames, you could just delete the “repository page” by selecting it and removing the page override.

Let me know if you don’t know how to copy frames from one page to another.

The downside to this is that these text frames are anchored to page positions, not notes, so Daniel’s advice is the way to go, but wanted to post this to show that text frames can be copied and pasted.
Screen Shot 2018-05-25 at 2.25.58 PM.png

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Hello Musicmaven,

Thanks a lot for answering!
Your suggestion sounds tempting and I indeed don’t know how to copy text frames. Command-C doesn’t work and I don’t find an appropriate command in the menu. I’m sure once I understand how the copying is done, I’ll understand why I have to use a separate blank page for this…

Here’s how to do it:

In Engrave mode, toggle frame editing on.
Click on the frame to select it. (Handles will appear).
Under Pages, right-click (option-click on Mac) the page icon you want to copy to.
Choose “Copy Selected Frames to Selected Pages”. The frame is pasted in the exact relative position on the new page.

(This frame could be pasted to more than one page if you had selected multiple page icons and, several frames could be selected and pasted as well in one operation).

The reason you may need to create a “blank” page in this instance is because Dorico doesn’t currently have a “duplicate frame” function, although it allows users to ‘duplicate’ it (copy it) to another page. So, if you need to have a duplicate frame on the same page, it requires a “round trip”, so to speak. :slight_smile:


Thank you Musicmaven!
I’ll report back as soon as I can!

Edit 26/5/18 17:29:
Works like a charm! A workaround in the true sens of the word… Again, thanks a lot!

Hello! I, too, would love the possibility to simply copy/paste text frames. Best wishes, Sebastian

It’s ctrl-click on a Mac I think or two-finger click on a trackpad.


You can copy/paste frames to either the same page (where initially it will overlap the original exactly, but you can select it and move it around) or to other pages.

(Although I see that this was shared earlier in the thread, so if you were simply expressing the wish to be able to use e.g. Ctrl/Cmd-C and Ctrl/Cmd-V with text frames, you can happily ignore me!)

Thanks so much, yes it would be amazing if a Cmd-C/V shortcut were to be implemented in the future, but the solution you’ve linked works great for now. Thank you!!

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+1000000 to tall this we should be able to click the frame and hold command and drag away and the frame should simply duplicate itself. Do it in a google slide or Logic if you want to see this in action.