Export to PDF in a custom format

I need to export a score to PDF in the custom format 305mm (Width) x 230mm (Heights). This corresponds approximately to the so-called Bach format. The score is formatted this way, but in the Print dialog Portrait A4 is set and greyed out. How can I export the score to PDF in the set format?

Don’t worry: it will export at the correct size. Ignore the greyed out text.

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Perfect, thank you! i was unsure because the print preview also showed A4.

Are you on 4.3? I think this has been fixed: you should see the correct size.

Yes, on 4.3

It seems that if Dorico does not know a custom format, it displays the default setting (here Portrait A4).

If I first go to the Printer dialog and select the Custom Format, the Graphics PDF Print Preview shows the correct format afterwards.


Juerg, very nice! How did you achieve this tight layout?
And which piece is hiding behind this 4 hand piano arrangement, I don’t recognise it?

For four-handed piano music the landscape “Bachformat” has two advantages: it is more comfortable for the players to read and it has about 30% more space on the page than portrait formats (A4/letter) and correspondingly less page turning is required. Henle uses it for his four-hands publications. The example shown has a rastral size of 6.2 mm, which is only slightly smaller than “Size 4” (6.5 mm), which I normally use for piano music. Five systems fit comfortably on one side, or six if necessary, but then it will be rather tight.

The piece is an arrangement of Robert Schumann’s “Six pieces in canonic form” op. 56 which he wrote for the Pedalpiano.

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Thank you, it looked somehow familiar. They are quite often performed on the organ of course, but I even came across an arrangement for Violin, Viola and Pianoforte (by J. Klengel). It’s really excellent music.

Yes, this bigger paper format is just perfect for notation.
Which values are you using for the Note Spacing? It looks as if you have twisted Dorico in a way that there is a good balance between black and white on the page (quite often there is too much blank space for my taste).

Julius Klengel has apparently changed the key to G minor for some reason. The trio version by Theodor Kirchner sticks to the original A minor. Aren’t these charming pieces? I think the polyphonic structure is best expressed in the trio version. When you hear it, you think it must be the original. The version by Debussy for two pianos is also beautifully set, but the pieces are clearly not meant for the organ, unlike the Six Fugues op. 60 on the letters B-A-C-H.

The note spacing values are the default settings: quarter notes 4, short notes 1 3/5 spaces.

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It’s not just custom formats. I often see graphics output formatted on letter size paper on the screen, although all my scores are set to A4 portrait in Layout Options.

The pdf output is always correct, but just for peace of mind I usually set A4 in the printer mode before changing to graphics export mode.

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Very nice looking score you’ve created!


Something a little odd with the “ritardando” however; the font is appearing rather odd, at least in the screenshot…

These are masterworks and I find it tragic that he did not write more music for pedal piano. (The pickings for pedal piano are relatively slim, and Alkan is just too damn hard most of the time!)

5 & 6 are commonly played by organists; they translate very well. 1-4, I would agree, however.
I’ve played 6, and 5 is on my bucket list. I’ve pecked at it, but not too seriously… it’s such a cool piece though!

Thanks, I can see what you mean. I’ll have a look at the score tomorrow. For today my eyes had their share :wink:

Are you familiar with the “Four Sketches” op. 58 for the Pedalpiano? Schumann wrote them together with the canons, all within a couple of weeks. The sketches are character pieces, not contrapuntal and therefore probably even less suitable for the organ. But you say 5 & 6 sound good? I’ll give them a listen.

If Juerg is on Windows I would assume it’s just a rendering issue for the screen. I’ve seen this kind of inconsistent x-height on screen before, but the print will be fine. (Flashback to the days of font hinting!)

No. 5

No. 6

And in fact, No. 4 in Ab can be adapted pretty well too:

Thanks for the links. The pieces get a completely different character on the organ. I like #6 best, the sacred sound fits the character of the piece. #5 is probably hard to play, but it lacks lightness. Also #4 is a bit too “orchestral” for my taste.

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Yes, Juerg is on Windows. Hopefully you’re right.

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No. 6 is well performed.
One thing I have learnt is, that for a strange reason Schumann always sounds best on the pianoforte.
Even his symphonies gain quality, when played on the piano.
Having said that, I really love his second one.

… and not so much this one?

yes of course, especially the movement with the trombones „Im Charakter der Begleitung einer feierlichen Ceremonie“ or as some think of it as “In the Cologne Cathedral“

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