Dorico 4 - Stem Direction in Score vs Parts - can "Remove Forced Stem" be set Locally?

Hello all, this is my first post. I have searched the forum regarding this topic, but I have been unsuccessful in finding a solution to my issue. Regarding the workflow described below, please let me know if it doesn’t make sense and I’ll make the appropriate changes. Anyway, here it goes:

The ensemble arrangement that I am working on has many tempo changes (rubato). I have found that the ensemble I am working with plays tighter if I add long cues that overlap with the notes in the parts. To accomplish this, I edit the Full Score in Page View (cues viewable by clicking the “Show cues” box in Layout Options. I change “Set local properties” to “Globally” in order to automatically propagate the changes made in the score to the parts. Sometimes the stem directions need to be changed, so not to conflict with the stems of the cues, so I easily change them in the full score by forcing them up or down, either in write mode or engrave mode. I make final revisions to each part in each respective part view, then I remove the cues from the Full Score by unchecking the “Show cues” box in Layout Options.

Everything seems pretty straightforward so far , until I encounter this:

I change “Set local properties” to “Locally”, in order to ensure that the changes in the Full Score stay with the score only, and are not propagated to the parts. Then, ideally, I would like to select all of the notes of the Full Score then choose “Remove Forced Stem” to restore stem directions to defaults, as if the cues were never entered in the Full Score in the first place. However, this maneuver actually causes both the Full Score AND the Parts to lose their forced stem directions, as if “Set local properties” was permanently set to “Globally” just for this case. The cues in the parts end up crossing stems, and I am left re-revising the parts in Part view, or undoing the maneuver and revising the Full Score with forced stem changes; Either way is adding considerable time to my task at hand.

Am I missing something? Can “Remove Forced Stem” be set Locally? Or is there an easier way to do this?

Please advise, thanks.

Welcome to the forum! Rather than making global edits and then trying to undo them locally, you can force stems locally in the parts without affecting the score.

But – Normally cues for player orientation don’t appear in the score anyway. Is there a reason a director needs to see them in the score?

I often have a ‘working score’ alongside the ‘real’ full score. The working score shows all the cues, the real score doesn’t.

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Mark_Johnson, thanks for writing. To clarify, I don’t keep the cues in the Full Score; I am merely viewing and editing the Full Score to have a birds-eye perspective in order to better place cues for the parts; It’s easier this way, I’ve found, because sometimes I can’t remember the exact part name I want the cue to be placed from. Then, when I’m satisfied with the results, I remove the cues from the score by unchecking the “Show cues” box in Layout Options for the Full Score, but I keep “Show cues” checked for the parts.

@PjotrB 's solution of having separate Working Score and Conductor’s Score then will save you a lot of work. Putting the cues in the full score and then taking them out is not only more work: it also leaves one more open to omissions or mistakes.

Dorico’s layout system is a real godsend in situations such as this.

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HI Derrek and PjotrB, thanks for responding. I have a question; In the setup you describe, using a Working Score (for parts) and a ‘real’ full score/Conductor’s Score, if I make a correction to one, would the setup in Dorico allow the single change to propagate to both scores, or would I have to remember to manually make two identical corrections, one to each score? You see, If I have to make two identical corrections then I’ve already been down that road before with Finale; It was a source of much frustration. I’ll do it again if I must, but I greatly prefer not to. I believe it defeats the mission of Dorico to not allow the working score and the Conductor’s score to be one and the same. We already see the checkbox to toggle cues on or off in the Layout Options, yes? It just needs to be fleshed out a bit further. Allowing “Remove Forced Stem” changes to be local to the score or part(s) would be a step in the right direction, provided that it is confirmed that this is the problem in the first place.

I don’t know the answer, but why don’t you experiment and see what happens?

The “Scores” are just layouts of the same musical information. In each layout you determine what musical information to reveal and how to display it. A pitch or duration correction made in (say) the Working Layout would propagate to the Conductor score and the individual part(s) affected, but the layout of each part would be what you determine.

That said, I cannot agree more with @Janus. Experiment. Take a copy of your file, or make a small test file, and try things out. Before Lillie appeared on the scene to bring together the Dorico Manuals, all the first users had to go on were the Release Notes that appeared with each update, this community, and trial-and-error experimentation.


Hi all, thanks for your feedback. I think that we are moving off topic a bit. My question is more fundamental. In fact it is UI related. Simply put, I expect that when I make local changes to a score, by setting Local Properties to “Locally”, that any/all changes in this mode do not get propagated to any other layout, regardless of whether it’s a working score, Conductor score, a part, or any other layout that is created. However, “Remove Forced Stem”, at present, ignores this setting. From my experience, at the time I am writing this reply, “Remove Forced Stem” is permanently a global change, and it is not configurable. I think this is a bug. When Local Properties are set to “Locally” this is misleading some users, like myself, into thinking that all changes made to the layout are insulated, when in fact they are not.

Do you experience this issue?

I’m afraid I think you’re mistaken, @dpc. When you use Remove Forced Stem, it affects only the layout in which you invoke the command, regardless of the state of the Set local properties toggle in the Properties toolbar.

However, if you have previously forced the stem direction with Set local properties set to Global, when you use Remove Forced Stem, this stem direction change will be removed in all layouts, because removing it in any layout has the effect of removing it in all layouts when it is a global change. Dorico doesn’t know that it should take something that currently applies globally and instead of removing that change, transform it into an arbitrary number of changes that should apply individually to every layout other than the present one.

I once had a very fine teacher who had given one of his students a mediocre term grade. The student’s parent confronted this teacher in the school office.
The teacher responded, “Madam, your son is an underachiever.”
“No, sir,” the parent said; "You are an over-expecter!

I do not experience your issue.
flipStems.dorico (416.7 KB)

@dspreadbury, thanks very much for your reply. I would like to respond to both of your points as follows:

“However, if you have previously forced the stem direction with Set local properties set to Global, when you use Remove Forced Stem, this stem direction change will be removed in all layouts, …”

This is exactly the issue I was experiencing. Thank you. Now I understand that it is related to my use of Global settings. However, I am saddened to learn that I must now create a workaround. Is there a way for this feature to more consistently respond to the “Set local properties” toggle, perhaps implemented in a future update?

“I’m afraid I think you’re mistaken, @dpc. When you use Remove Forced Stem, it affects only the layout in which you invoke the command, regardless of the state of the Set local properties toggle in the Properties toolbar.”

Are you saying, acknowledging the exception noted above with Global settings, that “Remove Forced Stem” is local even if the “Set local properties” toggle is set to “Globally”? Please clarify, thanks.

Remove Forced Stem only operates on the current layout. It will remove forced stems that are local to the current layout, and those forced stems that were set globally that appear in the current layout. Of course, globally-set forced stems will be removed everywhere, from all layouts in which they appear.