Difficult feature request? - Linking text documents with Dorico text frames

I’m working on a theater score, and copying various dialog bits that are underscored into Dorico text frames. It would amazing to have a way to mark a segment of text in a MS Word, or Google Doc and have that linked to a text frame in Dorico. That way when the dialog changes, the score could automatically update.



excellent suggestion, seconded!

It would indeed be a very useful feature. We would be unlikely to be able to link directly to a Word file or a Google Doc, but in theory we could “watch” a text file per-frame. Being able to “deep link” into a document in a complex format like Word’s XML-based document format in order to dynamically update text frames in Dorico might be a bridge too far, but I wouldn’t rule it out categorically forever.


Linking to a Rich Text doc would still be a lot of work but might avoid the overhead of trying to reverse engineer the (ever-evolving?) Word formats.

Not sure you’d have to reverse engineer anything. I believe Msft has an API that allows you to access the content of a word document.


But it’s been at least a decade since I wrote software… so maybe I’m just talking out of my @ss.


That appears to be an API for writing Javascript macros/scripts within Word itself, rather than an API that would allow an external application to query the contents of a Word document.

I’ve done no investigation into this, and wouldn’t anticipate doing any investigation until we got to the point where we thought it was worth trying to prototype such a feature. That’s unlikely to be soon.


I would think that plain text* would be more useful to Dorico than RTF, unless it’s possible to faithfully translate type styles, line spacing, indents, etc., to paragraph style overrides. (Not to mention style sheet.)

(* so-called, always with the character set caveat. Thank goodness for Unicode.)

Capturing some style information would be important. While a script typically does not use an abundance of typographic features, the ones that are regularly used (like centering the name of the speaking character) are critical.

What I’m suggesting is that such attributes as centering need to be set within Dorico anyway.

I’m currently working on a collection of psalm settings in anglican chant style where there are music systems at the top of each page and then blocks of text for the psalm verses with pointing for the cantor or choir at the bottom half of the page. So each setting is on its own separate page in its own flow. Because I am adding new settings in no particular order, I am adding new flows in the Set Up mode, and then dragging each of them into the order that the flows will be in in the final publication. I thought using text frames would be the way to do this, but the trouble is that the text frames don’t end up staying in the flows that you added them to in the first place when you rearrange the order of the flows. The only way I could get around it was to do the blocks of text as Staff Text and then flip it so it appears below the bass stave instead of above it. This can then play havoc with the placement staves on the page.

Is there a way to have text frames attached to a flow so that if you rearrange the order of the flows, their particular text frames move with them? That would be an improvement / feature that I would love to see.

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This is a problem I’ve posted/complained about before. Apparently many changes made in engraving mode (text blocks, system spacing) are attached to the page and not the music, so any rearrangement, addition, or deletion of music causes the layout to become scrambled. There was a small change recently that addressed this, but only in a very limited case. I ran into this while working on a show recently. I had every song as a flow. Then I added some music early in the show and all my engraving efforts were for naught.

I’ve since given up on using flows.


The only way I have seen to set up a Text Frame and have it stay with the music (more or less) is to have the text in the Flow Info (Project Info) Other Information box (plain text, unfortunately) and using custom Page Template(s) to position the Text Frame appropriately for each music layout on the page.

Then, when I move the flow, I reassign the appropriate Page Template to that page to recreate the music/text layout combination.

Admittedly it is a work-around, but using page templates is easier than redoing page overrides when layouts or page order changes.

I don’t have many use cases where there’s only one text block in a flow (usually if there’s one, there are many), but it’s an interesting approach.

Thanks for the suggested workaround, Derrek. It could be useful if I didn’t need formatted text, but with the verse tone pointing I need a combination of plain, bold and italics, so I guess using staff text is my only viable option. Unless Daniel has any other ideas?

Admittedly, the issue I’m talking about isn’t quite the same as the original intentions of this thread but it’s a related issue.

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