Dorico Elements 3.5: Controlling bars per system and systems per page

I’m used to having full control of these parameters in my old notation software. I want to ensure that page turns are preceded by one or more empty bars if possible, and also to compress the score to fill fewer pages. As far as I can see, it’s only possible to make global changes to these parameters.

Look up System Breaks and Frame Breaks in the help files.

Tried inserting a frame break. It’s visible in Write mode, but doesn’t seem to affect the printed output.

Chances are you’re looking at a different layout in Write/Engrave mode to Print mode. In Print mode the layout selection is in the left panel (in order that you can select and print multiple layouts simultaneously).

OK, yes that was the problem, thanks. I’ve inserted a frame break at a rest bar near the top of Page 2, and that has moved the rest of the bars onto the next page OK, but I can’t see how to push the preceding bars back onto Page 1, which is what I want. In other words, I can move bars onwards in the layout, but not backwards.

If I remember correctly Dorico Elements does now have Engrave mode. In Engrave mode, put a Frame Break at the start of bar 1 and set its Wait For Next Frame Break property.

(Selecting the downbeat of bar 1 and the last barline you want on page 1, then clicking the Make Into Frame button in the left panel would achieve the same result, but given you’ve already done half the work manually you may as well follow through.)

No Engrave mode in Dorico Elements 3.5. Unless there’s an upgrade?

No that’s right, graphic editing in Engrave mode was added to Elements in Dorico 4.

In Elements 3.5, you may want to try slightly reducing the note spacing in the layout (Layout Options > Note Spacing) to allow more music to fit in each system, and/or reducing the gaps in Layout Options > Vertical Spacing to allow staves to sit closer together vertically, and then use system/frame breaks to push material into the next system/frame as required. I don’t think it’s possible to use “make into system/frame” in Elements 3.5.

OK, thanks. Unfortunately, that won’t really give me the fine control I need. If it’s right in one place, chances are it’ll be wrong in another …

You could download the trial of Dorico 4, either Pro or Elements, and see whether the tools added in the latest version benefit your workflow? And then upgrade if they do?

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OK, thanks. I’ll consider that.

The update from Dorico Elements 3.5 to Dorico Elements 4 is €29 or equivalent in your local currency (modulo sales or value added tax), and with the updates that are included in version 4 I think it’s a pretty strong value proposition: