Could Casting Off be FLOW specific as well as Layout specific

I’ve not really investigated Dorico 1.1’s Casting Off feature because generally speaking I’m working on projects that contains lots of Flows.
As things currently stand, Casting Off is Layout specific, and thus applies to the project as a whole.
If I have a flow in 2/4 time followed by a flow in 12/8 time I likely want a different number of bars to a system (but probably the same number of systems to a page) for these flows.

Could Casting Off perhaps be moved to the Flow level, as well as the Layout level, please?

I would also benefit from this. I recently had to manually make system breaks countless of times because I wanted a denser layout so my page turns were manageable.

If you don’t want a fixed number of bars per system, but you want to make the horizontal note spacing tighter, you can change that anywhere in the score with a “note spacing change” in the Engrave menu.

A section of music written mostly in quarter and 8th notes can have tighter spacing than one with lots of 16ths - e.g. try changing the spacing for a quarter-note from the default 4 spaces to about 2 1/4 or 2 1/2.

Rob, I’m aware of the option of changing note spacing. However, it seems a shame to be offered a Casting Off tool that’s potentially unusable on multi-flow projects.

Most of the time, I’m not an advocate of rigid spacing and would much rather see how the software wants to space things (and for that matter, given most of the music I work with has lyrics that tend to stretch the spacing, it’s mostly just not relevant to me).

Pianoleo, I was replying Nikola’s point rather than yours.

Personally I keep “cast off a fixed number of bars per system” in the same place where I keep “Jazz fonts” - i.e. the place where I keep stuff that I’m never likely to use, but can’t actually throw away - but I accept some other people seem to find both those options useful!

Ah, my misunderstanding! I’m with you, in that case…

This can be very useful in keyboard music. I’ve compared a lot of my professional editions and they tend to come close to a standard number of measures per system. This creates a nice uniform look and I personally like to emulate it. Think, too, of piano 4 hands music where you have primo and secundo parts. Dorico’s famous example is rendered even more easily if you can define how many measures are on each line between the two layouts. All of that said, I’d also appreciate making the control optionally more granular.

I think one way to approach this would be to introduce either an event like a note spacing change, or an additional property on a system break to allow the fixed casting off value for systems to change, and an additional property on a frame break to allow the corresponding value for frames to change. I’ll make a note of this.

I am going to bring this up (again), as the team is gearing up for the next version of Dorico.

I second this request SO much. The ability to have each flow (doesn’t matter how I have to do it) have it’s own casting off options would be immensely helpful.


Six months on it’s still just as relevant to me, too, Robby :slight_smile:

I agree too !

I would additionally like to able to set the distance between systems on a flow and pages basis.

I’d still like to be able to select a number of bars and set them to x bars a system. Quite often I need something like two bars a system, then five, but then 4 bars a system for the next 60 bars. Dorico is really slow compared to Finale for this.

I absolutely agree to steveparker (see former post)! I cannot believe that this shall be not possible.
While Dorico enforces system breaks automatically (I dont’ use the ‘fixed number of bars’ option in casting off) I sometimes get 6 bars in the first system, then 2 (!) bars in the second system, because Dorico obviously wants to see again 6 bars in the third system.
Is there no work-around for this? Or is it my fault?

This is a quote from the Dorico help page/glossary/system break:

The forced termination of a system of music at a particular rhythmic position, typically, though not always, at a barline. Dorico creates system breaks automatically, but you can adjust them in Engrave mode.

Therfore I was searching in Engrave mode. But there are ony explanations concerning the frames. Nothing about “Format Systems”, although there are buttons in an area called Format Systems. And the help menu tells us nothing about … Format Systems.

Is Dorico 1.2 still just a beta version?

I found a way to do this, Daniel at Steinberg offered it here:
(I did not found it in the help menu)
Let me quote this for you:

To force more bars onto the system than Dorico wants to put there, select the note or rest at the start of the bar you want to come at the start of the system, then hold Ctrl and click the note or rest at the end of the bar you want to come at the end of the system, then click the Lock System button, which is the right-hand button in the top row of the Format Systems section of the left-hand panel in Engrave mode. You can also find this in the Engrave > Format Systems submenu. If you want to assign a keyboard shortcut to this feature, you can do so on the Key Commands page of Preferences.