Feature Request: Print/Export flows as separate files

Haven’t found this mentioned elsewhere: The ability to “Print to PDF” a whole project, but split each flow into a separate file, would be fantastic.

I’m currently scoring/developing a musical with ~15 pieces/flows, and frequently exporting the versions to share with collaborators. So far I’ve been exporting to PDF, then using Preview to drag each set of pages into a separate file, so that it’s easier for them to navigate. This workflow isn’t the end of the world, but it gets tedious, and is a bummer when I finish only to discover a small error that requires me to print and split the whole project again :slight_smile:

Anyway, I know you all have a jam-packed roadmap (to say the least!), but I figured I’d throw in my two cents. Keep up the great work, you all have created an incredible program!

The 1.1 update allows you to export flows as separate files. Unless I misunderstand your question.

Under the file menu, export, flows.

There is a check mark to export each flow as a separate file.


Another way to do this would be to create custom layouts in Setup mode, one for each flow, and then export those as graphics in Print mode.

Yeah, my request was specifically to export as separate PDFs, whereas the method you describe exports as separate .dorico files.

@Daniel, fair point. I’ll try this out. Doesn’t feel as elegant as, say, the nice File > Export > Flows dialog, but it should be an improvement from what I’ve been doing. Thanks for the replies!

Hey Daniel. Just gave this a shot, but hit a pretty big snag: As far as I can tell, there’s no way to create a new layout while preserving Engrave Mode tweaks that have been made in my primary layout. Thus, not only would I have to re-create all the engraving changes I’ve already made in my other larger layout, I’d also then have two sets of engraving changes that I’d have to maintain as I continue to edit, which would obviously be a big drag. (Note, I just saw that you’ve addressed this partially in https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=114044, although even being able to copy formatting changes would still require those copies/updates to be made every time the underlying score was edited).

Let me know if I’m missing something. Otherwise, I think I’d like to double-down on my request for an eventual “Export flows as separate PDFs” feature :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the great work, you guys are amazing!

You are indeed quite right: if you make a new layout, your tweaks in Engrave mode are not going to be there in that layout. If we had a feature to copy an existing layout then this would make my suggestion work better… but alas, for now, we don’t.

Another related way to address the ask here: In Print mode > Job Type, there are selectors for All Pages/Page Range. If this selector also included specific flows, then I could still export just a certain flow by itself (within a given layout), and I could run 15 separate print jobs if I wanted separate files for each flow.

For what it’s worth, I personally think that both of these features (“Print as separate PDFs” and “Print just this flow(s)”) would be very useful features. Eventually :slight_smile:


Me too!

I do a lot of engraving work where I’m working on shows with 25+ songs. At the end of the project, I need a separate .pdf of each song for each instrument. So for the moment, it’s just easier for me to create a separate project for each song, by creating a template that has all the engraving options etc in it, but this seems to bypass what is one of Doricos major core concepts…

Anyhow, here’s to hoping this comes in the future…


Can export in a single PDF every single flow would be great!!!

I’d also like to put in my vote for an export/print flows feature.

The problem with this request is that if the flows can start on the same page as another flow, it won’t be possible to export or print only the start of the new flow: you would end up with the end of the previous flow as well. Or Dorico would have to produce a whole new layout on the fly where each flow can only start on a new page, but in that case all of your careful adjustments made in your existing layouts could not be printed. So this is not by any means a simple request to satisfy, and you shouldn’t hold your breath.

I know it’s complicated, but this sounds totally reasonable to me: if flows start on the same page as another flow, printing “a single flow” would include whatever pages are needed, even if they contain the end/beginning of a different flow. I wouldn’t want Dorico to make a different layout on the fly (and obviously that would be way more complicated!).

And if two flows start and end on the same page, do you print that page twice?

I wonder if the Lua scripting can use Tokens as variables? In which case, a script could get the page ranges with {@Flow_N_FirstPage@} and then print each range. (You might need a token for the total number of Flows, which I can’t find.)

If it can’t do it now, then maybe in the future.

This is a nice illustration of why the software development process has moved on from asking users to “specify what they want” and instead to “write stories about what they want” (they really are called “user stories” and it isn’t meant in any pejorative sense).

For example it’s quite possible that the author(s) of this “user story” never thought about the case of two flows on one page, because they never use short flows, or they always format projects so each flow starts on a new page.

Not to mention that you can run multiple master frame chains on the same pages, or, using the power of Layout Frames, you could have a flow whose first two bars appear on page one and whose remaining bars appear on page 60.

There are certainly cases where this won’t be straight forward, but IMHO that shouldn’t prevent what would be a massive time saver for others. And I assume that in such complex projects, one would probably be happy with the existing export alternatives.

Almost all of my work in Dorico needs to be distributed as separate pdfs. I distribute everything through dropbox, and most of the musicians I write for use iPads. The arranging process is rarely finalized until the final rehearsal (or even concert), so the ability to do minor adjustments to a single tune, or the order of the music, is very important.

To give an example; last week I did a show with a local amateur theater. The band was professional, and we had in total two days of rehearsals for a two hour show. I had prepared everything in advance, but there are always quite a few things that needs to be changed on the fly in these shows; I had to transpose a couple of songs, extend a few endings, and add small snippets for ins and outs. With a good naming scheme, I can make changes to the music on the fly, and the changes will go straight into everybody’s setlist in forScore. If they had received the whole Dorico project as a single pdf, they would lose all of their notes, metronome data, links etc every time something was changed. Even reordering the setlist would be painful with a single pdf - it’s a breeze with separate.

For these kinds of projects, I usually use the ‘Always start new page’ option, but even with ‘Allow on existing page’, the ability to export separate pdfs would simplify my workflow drastically.

It’s quite tedious to go through all parts, extract the flows, and give the pdfs proper names. This is something I do several times a day, and though it’s often a matter of minutes, those minutes can be quite valuable at a rehearsal. I have considered whether using separate Dorico files for each song would simplify my distribution workflow, but I’m so happy with how the flow concept works in every other way, that I can’t be without it.

I think most of this also applies to printed music. Let’s say I have a project with 30 flows, 20 players, and I need to change the key of flow 15. I would have to go through all 20 players and set the printing range, which probably is different for every player. I would certainly not mind it if the end of flow 14 was printed at the top of the page in some parts.

So I have to join the choir and sing PRETTY PLEASE :smiley:

For MT, I might deliver a score with 100 cues, 100 flows, 20 instruments. Then 36 needs to go up a semi and 43 needs another 4 bars. I fix these in score and parts and would be happy to print only those flows for each part exactly as they’re formatted on the page, with blank paper where preceding or succeeding flows would be.

Coming back to this post using Dorico 3 in 2020, hoping they’d fix this utterly important issue. Sadly, even after paying for the upgrade it seems that Dorico can’t export separate PDF files. A real disappointment from such a fantastic software …

This thread is more recent on the subject:

Just finished a project and this definitely needs to be improved upon. It would be great to have a more efficient option to export flows individually instead of having to count page numbers to print the page range.