Fixed number of bars each line

Hi all!

Is it possible to fix the number of bars on each line, and make each line justified? I’ve tried everything! :cry:

No, not that I know of.
Each line is justified if you just untick the option “justify last system…” in Note Spacing category, in Layout options (cmd/ctl-shift-L).
My technique to achieve the result I want is to try what Dorico offers me when I change Space size in Layout options, Page setup category. I just trust Dorico on how wide should each bar be, once I set the space size.

You can Force a System Break by click/CTRL-clicking the first and last notes of your desired system, but you have to do that a system at a time. There is no Finale-like “bars-per-system” utility in Dorico (yet).

Actually, being a real fan of LaTeX, I do not think that “bars-per-system” is a good system — unless the content of each bar is quite equivalent. I think the way Dorico handles it is really brilliant and we should trust it. It is the best way not to have “crushed” bars or too wide bars. It is just a shift in how we think a software should work. A shift forward, to my opinion.

I agree that Dorico handle things VERY well. But I have dealt with a few Jazz musicians who for some reason NEED 4 bars per system. They have trouble reading if there is is more or less per system. I think it has to do with the years and years of reading handwritten Jazz charts and an expectation that now exists. They know 6 bars bars has passed, they look down at their chart, middle of the 2nd line, and jump right in. Where as with the computer dictating where the bars go, they look down, and now have to search for where they are in the music.

Just a thought…


For theatre/studio sightread stuff, 4 or 8 bars a line (or other structural system) is a useful reassurance. There’s more to copying than just the nicest looking music. Sometimes I’ll lay the structure like this before entering a note. Finale was quick here because I could transcribe structure by starting with 4 a system then nudging up or down in real time, adding thick bars to create a ‘map’.

I see your point, perfectly actually.
Just a thought : isn’t it funny that the Beatles’ Yesterday has a structure of 7 bars ?

A good example of a structure I would reflect in the systems!

This kind of thing is actually a really good example of musical meaning that Dorico is never likely to understand or consider in its layout.

I respect your point of view, but I have to disagree. Cubase, Logic Pro, etc…give you many loops and snippets of ready made music that you can use to create a piece of music, but it also allows you to create from scratch. Any good application will give you suggestions, but it will also give you the freedom to be creative. Music engraving is an art form, and as such, must give the user the ability to use their own vision. Any software that takes over human imagination and creativity just isn’t worth it. You say we should trust Dorico. I say Dorico should trust the engraver. There are many engravers on this forum who are very knowledgeable and know their craft. If Dorico is to succeed, it must allow users there own vision.

You seem to want Dorico to give you the control that Finale already does. The whole point of Dorico is to do things differently. Presumably Dorico will allow more customization as it matures, but its main premise is to apply accepted engraving rules in as automatic a manner as possible.

No one has mentioned that Sibelius can also easily fix the number of bars per line.
So I’m certain the Dorico team will get around to this one day.

Accepted engraving rules only get you so far. I’ve probably never set a piece without breaking an engraving rule somewhere. In Finale, almost every note gets moved to make nice output, every setting is tweaked, everything moved by eye. Dorico is way better, but I still want to move things that don’t look perfect. I know more than Dorico!

There are hundreds of musical reasons to change the bars per system (which Dorico won’t understand) and good workflow reasons why this is useful to do en masse.

There isn’t this auto-layout option yet, but you can click on the barline in Engrave mode and press Shift+S for a system break. Maybe you then want to save that project as a file to use as a template in the future.

Thanks. That really works for me. Hope it can be added to the updates.

By the way, is there any way to justify the first line which stands out from others? I can’t seem to modify it in the layout options.

Layout options for the part: Staves and Systems: Indent first system of flow by _ spaces

Thank you so much!

Fixed number of bars per system is now an option, which is great!
It would be good if this would ignore a pickup measure.
It would be even better if it was possible to specify this differently for different groups of bars (as in Finale).
Nearly everything I write has meaning attached to the number of bars on a line.

I can’t seem to find this, could you point me to were that is specified? Thanks!

Layout options > Staves and Systems > Casting off

Many thanks! Mind you I ran an index and keyword search both online and in the manual, yet did not find this.