Custom defined paper sizes


I do all my parts printing on SRA3 (oki C911dn) in booklet form.

I wondered if there was a place where the paper sizes were defined.

I found a place in scorelibrary.xml

So, I backed up the file, and created some new XML sections for SRA3 and SRA4. I had to convert from mm to points, but it then (when I restarted Dorico) showed up in the layout configuration.

Most excellent.

Just wondering if it will work, print preview seems to work ok. I created some new type ids (added sr to the existing .a3 and .a3 IDs)



Yes, it should work. I hope you kept a backup copy of the original scorelibrary.xml file so that you can restore it before installing updates in the future: it’s important that these files are in their factory state when it comes to running updaters. What you should probably do instead is add these paper sizes to the userlibrary.xml file in your user application data folder.

This is outside of my knowledge, really, but:

The page size in Layout Options determines the page size (and shape) that’s displayed on screen, and when exporting to graphics and PDF. You can’t label custom sizes within Dorico, but you can define them for each layout (or multi select lots of layouts and do them all at once).

When you come to actually print, Dorico entirely ignores the dimensions set in Layout Options - it respects the paper size selected in the right panel in Print mode. This list is defined by whatever printer is currently attached, essentially. If SRA3 doesn’t show in this list, you probably need to add it as a custom size within your print driver, and once that’s done it’ll show within Dorico.

The alternative is to export PDFs from Dorico (which will be SRA4 if you’ve set that in Layout Options) and then do the booklet bit from the PDF.

Apologies if this is patronising or just duplicates information you already know!

@Daniel, thanks, I did keep a backup but I’ll take a look at that file instead


the printer does support SRA3 (even bigger, if Dorico could do occasional fan-fold (e.g. 3) pages it would be awesome, some page turns are impossible), so if the layout is set also to SRA3 then there’s no scaling involved. I want to avoid scaling, as scaling up reduces the usable space on the page as everything’s bigger, and scaling down makes it harder to read. With no scaling, the staff size is as per configuration. It seems to actually be working this way, as in the print panel in Dorico, it’s showing SRA3 with no scaling.

Yes, I used to always print to PDF and use Acrobat reader (desktop version) to control printing booklets. Always need pdfs anyway for publishers etc, although not sure if they like SRA3 layouts …

I find SRA3 works great on a music stand, 20mm wider and 25mm taller than normal A3 once it’s folded into a booklet. Paper stock can be a mission to find though, but I’ve been through all that now.

I think what I’m getting at is that if you define the page size you want in Layout Options (which you can do without fiddling with XML files outside of Dorico) and Dorico recognises that your printer supports SRA3 and SRA4, there’s no need to worry about scaling - none will take place.

I didn’t realise that you could define custom paper sizes like this. I’d really like to be able to create PDFs optimised for the iPad screen (ideally two layouts, one for portrait, and one for landscape). If someone knows how to do this I’d really appreciate it if they could outline the steps for me …

Thanks in advance.

  1. Identify what the size is that you want.
  2. Go to Layout Options and type the numbers in (my machine shows it as millimetres but I believe that’s dependent on what your Dorico settings are).
  3. Go to Print mode, set the switch at the top to Graphics, then PDF, then export.

That really is all there is to it.

D’oh! :slight_smile:

Thank you @pianoleo for that very patient reply! I had no clue it was so simple.

My problem is I’m sick of choosing custom and typing the numbers every time for every part. I see you can set multiple parts at once tho. Being able to choose a predefined standard size is less error prone too.

Adrien, if 90% of your work is with a non-standard paper size, why not set it up once and then Save as Default? See screenshot…
It’ll then automatically apply to all new projects.

Alternatively, you could set up a file the way you want it, and then save it somewhere safe as “dorico template” or something. Then when you want to start a new file, duplicate that file and save under a new name.

even better, thanks! I can keep my SRA3 and make it default. I should look harder at UIs.

Actually more like 100% of work is SRA3. And it’s not a non-standard size, that’s why it’s called SRA3 :slight_smile:

I think there is merit to the system knowing it’s SRA3. Although I don’t know how that would carry across to another Dorico, if someone sees the paper size is SRA3, they know they need to get some of that paper, and a printer that can handle it, or they will be scaling. I think Dorico should maybe add a few more standard sizes. Anyway…