flow and layout advice

I’m still wondering what the best way to go about this is. In an opera arrangement I need the strings, winds and brass to show almost all the time. The other staves (vocal, piano) need to be hidden when empty. The only exception is during long recitative sections with only strings or only piano in which I need to hide the staves which are set not to hide. I know I can split the flow at that point and change the staff hiding settings, although I haven’t found a way to apply the layout options only to one flow. Splitting the flow leads to other problems. First of all, it takes Dorico almost 1½ minutes to accomplish (so 3 minutes including the other end of the section) which, these days, is a long time to have to wait. Then I have to assign a default page layout to it so it looks just like the other default pages and not like a first page, including the abbreviated staff names. I still haven’t figured out how to do this, either. Then I have to change the bar numbering and the rehearsal numbers so the sequences continue from the previous flow. I also get problems with the lyrics which go across the flow break, so I lose the hyphens between the syllables. In addition, I lose the cautionary key and time signatures which require complicated workarounds to create artificially. Would it be easier to set ALL staves to hide and just unhide them when I want them to show, despite their being empty? If so, how do I do this? Pfff!

Vaughan, I’m not sure if this is what you want, but: if there are Flows in which you want the piano hidden when empty, and other Flows in which you don’t want the Piano hidden at all, then you create two separate Piano Players. You then allow hiding globally, and check all the Players that are exempt from hiding in Layout Options.
So you now have one Piano that will hide when empty, and one that won’t. Make sure you only use one of them in each Flow! Then you can select both of them to be in the Part Layout, and you’ll just get one continuous part!

If you just want to reveal an individual hidden staff, add some 'Blank" Text, e.g. a few spaces. That will stop it from being ‘empty’, though it will break multi-bar rests.

Hiding is still a little basic in Dorico at the moment. I would hope that we’ll see some improvements over the coming year.

Thanks for responding, Ben. I’m planning to do exactly what you suggested for another project. This one is different, though. I want basically to see the entire orchestra (except for the piano and the vocal staves) at all times, except for in the recits, when I need to show either the piano part (secco) or the strings (accompagnato). I have no way of making an exception to hiding staves which I’ve chosen to show at all times. This means that I either have to break the flow (with the considerable disadvantages and problems I mentioned above) or to set all the staves to allow to be hidden, meaning that I have to force them to show by entering something on them, which is also a pain, because how can I enter something in a hidden staff when it’s not showing?! It’ll show in Galley view, but I haven’t been able to enter anything in that view.

Yes, you can, and should be able to, work in Galley View just the same as Page View.

I suppose the alternative is to leave the systems with lots of empty staves for the time being.

I would go further and say Galley view IS the most effective workflow when entering music, musical and text elements. Once this is done, you can switch to page view, and refine your score. You can absolutely input spaces in Staff text in galley view, use alt click to copy it where yoy need and see the result in page view when you’re done.