Hide String Bowings in Score?

Hi, all,

I’ve got a rather dense score and I’d like to hide all string bowings in the conductor score to make more space. I’ve pored through the engraving options and can’t seem to find a way to do this (I’d rather not go through and change opacities, as this won’t allow Dorico to re-space everything).


If you set the Custom Scale property to zero the bowings become invisible and Dorico re-spaces everything accordingly.

You could also duplicate the string staves and filter or delete the bowing marks, and then create a"conductor" layout that uses the clean staves while generating parts from the annotated staves.

Do I have to do this for every single instance separately or is there a master property I can change somewhere?

I’ve already done this for all of the winds and brass parts (in order to generate “combined” staves for the score) so I guess it wouldn’t be too much extra work. Sounds like a decent solution, thanks.

The process is the same as changing the opacity, except that the spacing engine will calculate with a ‘zero size’ for the bowings afterwards.
Unless you have too many other playing techniques in the string parts you can use a filter to select all the bowing indications and change the Scale property once for all of them.

Sorry to bring back an old thread. I now want to undo some of the custom scaling I did previously. How can I select anything whose custom scale is 0 and change it back to 100, for example, since I can’t see it?


In Write mode, do a marquee selection (click and hold the mouse and drag a box around a selection). Then go into Engrave mode and turn off the custom scale switch.

Even though I can’t see it in Write Mode, it will still be selected? Also, when switching from Write to Engrave with a marquee selection, the selection isn’t retained.

Scratch that. My previous suggestion doesn’t work.

Assuming the object is showing in the parts but not in the score, select in the part, then hit W to take you into the score. The item will remain selected. Then unset the custom scale property. This works just fine in Write mode.

That’s odd. I think I’ve had success with selecting everything (as in a whole bar; a marquee selection should work as well) and changing back the Custom Scale to 100. Besides, Custom Scale shows up on Write mode as well, being a Common property.

One of the very few Sibelius features that I miss is the ability to display or hide selected items. That would be a much cleaner solution.

I am opposed to a general “hide” feature but I can definitely see the value in being able to hide playing techniques specifically, and I hope we will be able to add this relatively soon.

One of the challenges any notation program faces is how to handle playback without adversely affecting notation. (The way Dorico allows one to alter the length of notes in playback without affecting notation is a great example of this.) At the same time, I think of the writing of Tim Davies at his debreved web site about how so many scores are overnotated. Dorico may find another way to address the situation Tim Davies presents in http://www.timusic.net/debreved/over-notation-nation/, but hiding articulations, etc. is one way to trigger playback techniques a live player would apply as a matter of course.

Daniel - Besides playing techniques, it would be very useful to show / hide text. E.g., I want to add a comment (to myself) that a particular section needs work - but I don’t want that to appear on the scores.

I think that we should have a proper commenting feature to support that kind of use case, and enable you to hide/show them by way of a View menu option.

When you say general, do you mean like a Common property, belonging to all objects? Because there are a myriad of legitimate uses and cases where we do need to hide stuff, both in a certain layout or in general.

I’d be very interested to see an enumeration of those legitimate cases, Luis – you may yet persuade me that I’m wrong!

I do understand that you’re striving for ontological clarity: it’s not just about making something go away but also making sure that it’s musically sensible and that it interacts will all the other moving parts. That’s why I asked in what sense you meant “general” in the sense of a one-size-fits-all Common property, like Scale or Opacity (that can be applied to any object, regardless of their type), or rather in the sense that the ability to hide objects will be rolled out for some types of objects only.

As of now, we are unable to hide all primitives. This means no true stemless notes (the distinction may be slight, but it is there), no open beams to denote duration (a la Berio and others) and other kinds of (contemporary) notations. And it’s not for anything that you’ve got quite a bit of people in these forums that are setting Custom Scale to zero against your explicit advice not to. It’s commendable to try and implement tailored ways to hide certain objects, but I just fear that you’ll never be able to anticipate all cases.

Well, in the specific case of notes, naturally we do intend to add properties to make notes stemless, rather than simply forcing a specific (i.e. zero) stem length, and a stemless note would also then not show a flag or beam, for example.

Daniel - Besides playing techniques and comments, here are other items that someone might want to selectively hide/display depending on circumstances. Perhaps there are already ways of handling these on a case by case basis that I’m not aware of.

  • Fingering
    You might want this on a part but not a full score.
  • Chords
    You might want to display chords for your own analysis while you are composing, but there is no need to actually display these on the final score.
  • Dynamics
    I have run into situations where the computerized playback of an instrument is much louder / softer than the instrument would be in real life. For this, you want to display the dynamic for the players and hide the computerized alternate. I’m sure there are ways of tweaking the playback dynamics curve, but for those of us who would rather concentrate on composing instead of the technology it’s a distraction.