Engrave Mode "tutorial"?

I realize that this might open a can of worms, or hopefully it doesn’t, but:

Of all the modes in Dorico, the Engrave mode, at least to me, is by far the least intuitive one to work with. (Well maybe with the exception of Play mode, but I won’t get into that here.) I am absolutely certain that this is not a shortcoming of the program, but my own cluelessness as to how to do things in Engrave mode, or even total lack of comprehension of the concepts behind it.

Example: I am writing music in different flows, always following a basic logic: One flow contains material, the next flow contains a compositional exercise (“invention” if you will) based on the material of the flow before. The next flow would be new material, then another invention, and so on.

The default display of all of this is one flow per page. I would love to have flow 1 and 2 on one page, flow 3 and 4 on the next, and so on- generally two flows per page, with the material flow on the upper third and the exercise filling the lower two thirds. What I’m doing is I generate a new music frame on page one, and…? Then the trouble begins. I fail to understand the “frame chain” concept, what it is and why it is even useful. I can see I can filter the contents of each frame (with the handles). But then I do this on page one, and since I don’t want the music on page two to appear again, I just delete the music frame on page two. As a result, the page is empty, but what I deleted (plus corresponding flow title) now shows up on the next page- I have effectively inserted a blank page which I cannot delete… And there are numerous more examples of me being hopelessly lost in the possibilities of Engrave mode.

I do NOT expect anyone to answer in this thread as if there were actual questions. Rather, I would like to know if there is a comprehensive write-up as to how to do things in Engrave mode, maybe even a tutorial of sorts? The prospect of trying to find out about the powers of this mode by sheer trial and error are, frankly, quite daunting.

Hi Don,i really will apreciate an tutorial of Engrave mode.
I learn many tips loking the Daniel videos and get some shortcuts.But an deep tutorial can be amazing!

Good morning, I asked for help with a project I was working on. The question was named ‘space between flows’. Daniel answered with a walk through that worked brilliantly. Have a look and see if it’s some use? Sorry, not sure how to link pages! Hope this helps.

That helps at least a bit. The thing with allowing more than one flow on one page is of great help. But I am still puzzled about several things:

-I break the frame on page one, add a new frame, and the top frame shows flow one, the next shows flow 2. Great. If I open up a text box in between the two frames and enter “{@flowTitle@}”, I still get the title of flow one, not of flow 2, and I can’t for the life of me see what I could do to change this.

-Why is it that when I delete frames on page 2, instead of what I delete is gone, a new page opens which contains the stuff I just deleted?

-It seems that a “Master Page” (another concept I obviously do not quite grasp) is always two A4 pages. I have not found a way to define a master page that is only one page.

And, am I right in assuming that before working in Engrave mode, it is strongly advised to have written all the music, as it otherwise messes up the writing environment?

I clearly have a lot of learning to do…

Dear Don,

It is a known issue that {@flowtitle@} can be shown only once per page, which is a problem with short flows ! Daniel has stated that it would be taken care of, yet there is no automatic solution, you will have in the meantime to add a text frame and write the title.

It is absolutely normal that if you delete frames on page 2, Dorico creates a new page to show what was on page 2. The concept Engrave mode and frames is to allow D’s user to choose how what has been written will appear on screen or on the printed page. If you need to delete music, you should do that in write mode.

A Master page is two pages, because it shall cover all the situations in which you could use it. And that would be left or right page. Daniel has written in a thread that they were thinking of a function that would allow us to simply copy one page to the other (so that we do not have to do twice the same job for identical pages).

Normally, what you do with the frames should not mess with the written music. If in Write mode you are in galley view, you should do whatever you want in Engrave mode without affecting what you see in Write mode.

I am sure that all these concepts will be natural to us once the program matures and some “lacking” functions appear.
Yet, I would be pleased to get a clear information about the stuff that appears when we turn on “Frames” in Engrave mode, and you can count me in for those who need an Engrave mode — Frames — Tutorial !

All right then, again something I should have read somewhere :slight_smile: Thank you!

Well, I am not really deleting the music, just preventing it from showing up twice. But I guess that’s to be done with the frame content filter handles.

Ah. A feature to have a choice to just have a single page master page would be great, too.

I see, and that’s the “if” there that’s messing with me, because up to now, I have done most of my writing in page mode. Makes sense.

You know, I really have to say that this forum is GREAT. There’s virtually none of that “RTFM”-mentality going on here, partly due to the fact that there is no manual just yet :slight_smile:, and people are endlessly patient and helpful. I guess that is (although arguably not intended) one very nice consequence of releasing a piece of software in the state Dorico is in at the moment, and being open about the current state of affairs and its limitations and quirks- in that way, most anybody buying into it at that stage of development is by character disposition patient, helpful and forgiving :slight_smile:

In all seriousness, to me, every day it gets a little more obvious what an amazingly powerful and creative (!) piece of software Dorico is going to be soon (once the lacking features appear, and once one has fully adjusted to it), and for now, relying on the old tools for some essentials while at the same time exploring the new era is fully acceptable.

If one doesn’t need the left-hand Master Page (as most of us do not most of the time) then just ignore it. There’s really no reason to delete it so long as we remember that for most of our music the first page will be the “right” one. If one ever needs a part to start on the left side for page turns, having that left-hand Master Page might be very useful. (Might also come in handy for piano duet layouts.)

Absolutely right. But I wonder how many users inexperienced with layout software will be confused by the way formatting their first page of music is always handled by the apparently “second” (right-hand) Master page? This is a concept that needs to be made quite clear early in the documentation.

Another item to add to the much anticipate “Dorico Manual.” :blush:


I AGREE! I find the “Engrave” mode a tad difficult to grasp as well…probably because I also do not make use of DTP software.

I second (or third) the motion for an extensive video tutorial on engrave mode…especially this “Master Pages” concept.

What we (new users) actually need is a tutorial that explains the concept of pulling up a score…the human player concept who plays multiple instruments…what flows are and all about frames and how to use it. Anf then the mysteries of Engrave mode…as I understood that in Dorico, we do not need to spend much time engraving as Dorico’s default settings decides mostly for us. I’m sure “Write” mode is not too unclear.

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