Dorico's file size

Just for curiosity, why Dorico’s file, even saved with silent mode playback template it’s almost 10X at the same file saved at Sibelius or Finale?

Part of the difference may be that Dorico projects include a preview of the whole score that’s viewable outside of Dorico (at least on Mac, using the OS’s quick look functionality).

Try going to Project Info (Cmd/Ctrl-I), selecting the Project in the left side and unticking Generate preview thumbnails when saving, then save again. How much does that reduce the file size?

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As well, Dorico offers many more controls respecting the formatting of the music and while this results in Dorico’s printed output being more flexible and generally superior to that of its competitors, it also results in larger file sizes.

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Thank you very much, following your suggestion the file was much smaller.

I completely agree with you Mike, but if we could save a lit bit of megabits it will be better (at lest in my opinion) isn’t it?

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One more question, do I need to uncheck Generate preview thumbnails for all projects that will be starting from scratch?

Thank you.

I believe so - there doesn’t seem to be a global preference for this.

I too would really like a global option to turn this off. The score or part page that is in view when the preview is saved seems to have a huge effect on the file size. Every time I see a later version of a file with a much smaller file size than an earlier version, I have a mild panic attack thinking I saved over the wrong file. I have this turned off in all my templates, but would love to be able to shut this off and never think about it again.


Thanks for the suggestion to create a template with this Generate View option unchecked.
But it would be great if there was a possibility to turn off the function globally, it would be an even better solution and save more space on the SSD.

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Am I right in thinking these are the thumbnails used in the “Open Recent” section in the Hub? If so, are they also used elsewhere?

Yes, they’re used in the Hub, and they’re used by Quick Look on macOS, plus we have a prototype of a similar shell extension for Windows to show previews there, though that is not currently included with Dorico; it may be included in the future.


You’re not the first to suggest this, but it always amuses me when it comes up. Modern hard drives are quite large, and quite cheap. You can get 1TERAbyte SSDs on Amazon for $70. That’s more dorico files than you’ll ever be able to generate in a lifetime.


Assuming you’ve got 500 files at 2.3Mb (=1.2Gb), then by removing all the previews, you’ve saved 750 Mb. OK, that is a saving, but not particularly consequential. On a 256Gb disk, that’s 0.3% of the total space.

I have 552 project files, ranging from 14Mb to 400Kb; I’d venture the average is about 4Mb. Call it 5Mb to be generous. That’s 2.8 Gb. Multiply by 4 for the 3 copies in the Backup Projects folder gives a total under 12 Gb.

That’s not really an unreasonable or unmanageable quantity. Most USB drives are measured in Terabytes: you’re lucky if you find one smaller than 500 Gb.


Indeed our drives have enough capacity now that that’s not the concern. I think the objection comes from comparison with older file types for text, graphics, midi (even MusicXML) that have not expanded in size over the years. We could probably store the notes of all of Bach’s works in midi format in less space than a Dorico file of a single 2-part invention. To the uninformed outsider, this looks like software bloat.

@Ricardo_Teles, what really saves file size is assigning the Silence playback template before saving. Of course, this means you’d have to reconfigure playback every time you want to play such files.

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Just did a little file size test on a big band chart I wrote last week. Arrangement was for full big band plus 2 vocalists, 229 bars.

The basic file, with no previews saved and my big band Playback Template was 6.5 MB. With Preview Thumbnails checked, this went up to 6.9 MB when the exact same file was saved with a Part visible, and up to 7.5 MB with a Score page visible. It’s this sort of variance that bugs me. If I’m saving multiple versions of a file, I really expect the file size to gradually increase as I add musical information, not fluctuate based on what’s in view when I hit Save. That’s why I’d like an option to leave Preview Thumbnails permanently off.

Of course @Mark_Johnson is right, and if I save the file with Silence selected, it’s much smaller at 800k. Adding a score page preview more than doubles the file size to 1.8 MB. A single RAW file from my camera is ~ 52 MB so these are all tiny files, it’s just the file size discrepancy based on what’s in view when I hit Save that I’d like to avoid.

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The OP is already saving with the silence template, as mentioned at the very top of the thread.

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