Hiding Bar Numbers

I posted this originally on the Facebook page but was told to also post it here to maybe get the developers’ attention. Copied below…

Check out the screen shot here. This is the Bar number settings in Setup mode for parts and at the bottom is the results in one of the parts. The results for the settings are incorrect in my opinion. It’s the “Hide bar numbers at rehearsal marks” that’s problematic to me.
So, if I switch the placement to be “Above” then the bar number gets properly hidden. If I select the “Show rehearsal marks below bottom staff” (and leave the placement below) then the bar number gets properly hidden. But… if your rehearsal marks are above and your bar numbers below, there’s really no reason for the “Hide bar numbers at rehearsal marks” option to NOT work. Why won’t Dorico hide that 24 on the bottom left? That is indeed the result I would like (whether or not anyone agrees that that is appropriate or not) - but getting THIS result can/should ALSO be possible just by leaving “Hide bar numbers at rehearsal marks” unchecked anyway.
Also, in a related note. If for example the Rehearsal Mark 24 was NOT there and there’s still that 7 bar multi-bar rest, the first 24 at the left of the measure should also automatically disappear anyway. I’m not sure why Dorico’s behavior is to leave that bar number there when that number is represented in the multi bar measure number range as well; it’s redundant. And there doesn’t seem to be any options for getting rid of that redundant bar number.
I submit this as a feature bug. There’s no reason for Dorico to at least not give you the options for making that bar number disappear automatically in the two circumstances I describe above.

Yes, I’d wager this is indeed a bug, or at least, something they haven’t gotten around to sorting out more fully. I highly doubt this is intended behavior. To summarize, it seems that there are the following issues:
1- bar number displaying with a rehearsal mark
2- redundant marking with multi-bar rest
3- differing behavior based on whether or not the numbers are set to display above/below the staff

No doubt this will be sorted in due course. This strikes me as a prime example of "you can’t plan for everything. Sometimes it just takes the right combination of factors for certain issues to come to light—this being one of them.

I hope you’re right.

The one thing that strikes me as odd is that it seems as though they had to ADD programming functionality to PREVENT the bar numbers from hiding when the bar numbers and rehearsal marks are displayed in different locations, top and bottom. So it almost seems intentional. But if that’s the case the option SHOULD say, “Hide bar numbers at rehearsal marks when in the same location”. However, I wouldn’t want that to be the only option. I might go for a sub option to the “Hide bar numbers at rehearsal marks” option that says “only when in the same location”. That would give you lots of flexibility.

Also the more I think about the redundant bar numbers at multi bar rest measure number ranges the more I think that it’s not just redundant but semantically wrong. A bar number says, “between this bar line and the next bar line exists measure 24”, a measure number range in a multi bar rest says, 'between this bar line and the next bar line exists measures 24 through 30". If you have both the bar number and the measure number range between those bar lines, semantically speaking, you’re providing conflicting information. Is it bar 24 that exists between those bar lines or is it bars 24 through 30 that exists between those bar lines? Not that anybody in the real world would actually get confused by the situation, but… again… I just think that it’s semantically wrong… but redundant in the very least.

The behaviour of only hiding bar numbers when they’re on the top of the stave is intentional. See https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=120912#p669038 for the answer from Daniel.

Whether you agree with it or not is another matter, but the behaviour is as designed.

Yeah, I looked through that thread. It doesn’t really satisfy my curiosity as to why this behavior was chosen. Dorico hides the bar number when the rehearsal mark is on the same horizontal plane essentially, but why not when the numbers are on the bottom and the rehearsal marks on top? It may “look weird” to one copyist but maybe not to another. It wouldn’t change any significant programming or functionality to fix that “Hide bar numbers at rehearsal marks” option to accommodate this.

And of course that thread doesn’t address at all the second issue of why the bar numbers can’t be automatically hidden when a measure number range exists under a multi bar rest in the same location.

I could see the argument that what I’m asking for in the first issue should be an option and not the default behavior, but frankly the default behavior of the second issue should absolutely be to hide that bar number; right now it’s not even an option.

loff56, I guess you must have some kind of software development background to be able to state with such confidence what would and would not be difficult to implement – but then you would also, as a software developer, know that there is no such thing as a trivial change, when you consider regression testing, documentation, localisation, not to mention the added cognitive burden you are placing on every future user of the software to understand that new option.

I do agree, though, about the case where bar numbers are shown on every barline where the same bar number appears both on the barline itself and on the range in the following multi-bar rest. This is certainly something we intend to fix in future.


I’m jumping into this thread, because I’m wondering, if there is an option to show bar numbers at the beginning of each system but to hide the first bar number of a flow by default. I know that I can manually hide bar numbers, of course… A quick google search (‘Dorico hide first bar number’) didn’t give any results apart from this thread…

Best -


I’m pretty sure that is the standard configuration for measure numbers shown at the start of each system and an option for measure numbers appearing on each measure.

Hi Derrek,

yes, that would be normal behavior, but in this project, it looks like this:

This file is an excerpt of file that was sent to me by another guy. So I don’t know what happened to it before.
I imported many flows into one project and wanted to hide all the first bar numbers using a global option but it didn’t work…
Test.dorico.zip (380 KB)

Your test file appeared to be what you wanted out of the bus. I added some measures to be sure the measure number appeared on the second system.
I also added a second flow to make sure everything looked okay there too. They did.
Are you sure your settings were applied to the correct layout(s)? I sometimes find I change settings but have the wrong layout checked.

Andreas, where are you importing these flows from? MusicXML? I suspect the first bar number might be explicit. Try selecting the bar number and hitting th Delete key.

Leo and Derrek, thanks for your answers.
As I am not the creator of the original Dorico file (I was supposed to do some editing on it…), I don’t know, if it was based on a MusicXML import.
I was just surprised to see the bar number in bar 1, wondering how it got there (by default) :wink:

I have the problem of not being able to hide the bar numbers at rehearsal marks. And there isn’t even an option for hiding it in my layout options, what am I missing? I have to go through the whole part and individually hide each bar number at a rehearsal mark by selecting the number then switching an option in the bottom panel. That is not an efficient work flow.

In general Dorico will hide bar numbers when they coincide with rehearsal marks, but not at the start of the system, if the bar number is set to appear in the preamble area (where the fixed clef and key signature appear), because the rehearsal mark will not then collide with the bar number. I guess this is the situation you’re talking about?