Empty bar rests bug?

In large format orchestral scores, when deselecting “Show bar rests in empty bars”, automatic staff spacing does not work, instead it spaces evenly all staves containing empty bars, and I get staff overlaps and collisions. It seems like optical spacing ignores completely empty bars, and “needs” bar rests in order to function properly. Is this known?

Yes, automatic staff and system spacing can only avoid collisions between things that are there, of course, and if you have a mixture of staves that have music on them and completely empty staves, Dorico will prioritise avoiding collisions between the staves with music on.

You should probably ensure that your staff size, page size, and default staff/system gaps are set such that the staves naturally fit within the height of the frame. You could then consider switching off the option (also found on the Vertical Spacing page of Layout Options) to automatically adjust staves and systems in order to avoid collisions, which should leave all the staves at their default vertical positions.

I see, I will try the first half of your suggestion, but I think I will try everything to keep automatic adjustments on, because those are the essence of what’s new with Dorico. That Being said, please accept my gratitude for a product that’s going to change the way we work so deeply. I work in Hollywood and I’m advocating strongly as an early adopter. Everyone is waiting anxiously for Big Time Signatures which, believe it or not, are a deal breaker for many in this industry. I can leave without it for now anyway,especially on smaller ensembles.

Yes, I know big time signatures are very important for session music. I hope we will be able to add them soon!

So just as a follow-up confirming what Daniel said, I tried what he suggested, and indeed even when staff spacing is initially correctly containing all the music in a page, a staff needs at least one musical event in a system to be considered for collision avoiding when bar rests are not displayed. In other words, when the starting situation is like in A:

hiding rests results in B

If I add a note to Trombones 1 and 2 ©

then the result is D

no more collision, which is now at the expense of the mallets staff below, which is again empty for that system.

Sounds like it might be solved by somehow “flagging” bars (not a programmer here, ha!) under the hood as if they contained something when bar rests are hidden, just so that we can enjoy the great collision avoiding even when we work without bar rests.

When I saw your initial inquiry, I tried checking this out on one of my scores. Apparently it only respaces when the page is really full vertically. Still, finding a response to your observed concern will be a big help to us all in the future.