Hiding Cautionary Time Signatures 2022

Hi. I read the previous posts on this topic, and I didn’t find a solution. I need to remove cautionary time signatures for time signature changes within a flow, that’s all. Starting a new flow wouldn’t be the right solution for my problem. Is there any way of doing this in Dorico Pro 4?

Note: It’s not my intention to start a debate on musical notation. Thanks!

If you can’t start a new flow, you’ll have to use a Coda. Input the Coda and hide it in Properties. You’ll likely need to go to Engraving Options and set the gap before a Coda to 0 as well.

(EDIT: Just realized you were asking about time signatures, not key signatures. Sorry! Workaround is the same though.)

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Thank you for the workaround! I would then need to fix the playback of my piece with extra workarounds, but it is a solution and I appreciate it. It would be even better if they implemented an option in Dorico to hide cautionary time signatures properly.

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Yeah, that’s an issue with this. Both Codas and Flows have playback implications (audio export is Flow-based) so neither is a really good solution here, but that’s all we have for options. I’m not gonna rehash one of the other threads about this, but I too would like an option to simply hide a cautionary key sig. This issue comes up in my educational handouts, etudes, patterns, etc., quite often.


I think that that option has been required for a long time now.
I really thought that that kind of basic options wound have been sorted out in Dorico 4.
The “coda option” is a workaround and it mess up the whole layout if you need to do some modifications afterward.
Dorico 5 maybe.


The issue is in providing the ability to hide cautionaries in a semantic way. The “correct” way to do it is to use a new flow, because the need to hide cautionaries is (almost always) restricted to the breaks between flows—except when it isn’t. Providing a general “hide cautionaries” option fixes this, and I agree there’s the need for that ability, but opens up other cans of worms that aren’t solvable in a semantic way. It would actually make the software less intuitive to use. You want to hide cautionary time signatures? Just break the flow there; you probably actually need that anyway. (Except when you don’t!) Ok, now there’s a “hide cautionary time signatures” option, so you hide them—but now people who are new to the software have input 5 movements of sonata all in the same flow, with hidden cautionaries and measure number changes and all the other cruft, and are wondering why their movement titles aren’t showing up like the ad copy says they will, and then the forum shows them how to fix it which is obnoxious to do because they didn’t follow best practices from the get-go, and then “the last state of that one is worse than the first”. So I fully support the development team’s slowness in regards to supplying this ability, as frustrating as it is in the meantime for those use cases when I need the option, because I’m sure when they get to it they’ll have implemented it in the most organic way.

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Hi, @Coranglais16 , you are righrt, as long as we are talking of pieces of music.
In the moment were are talking of studies and etudes and othe pedagogical stuff, using different flows generates a lot of other problems: incorrect numbering of flows, you have to manually hide flow headings, because in this context you normally have more than one flow heading on a page.


I wound not mind to use the “correct way” if that way wasn’t introducing other problem, ex: in the same project you can’t allow each flow to display chord diagrams individually.
So if I want to create different exercises with the same chords but different time signature, I have to use the “coda workaround” but then, if you want to go back and modify anything, it’s a nightmare.
Also, if the coda function allow us to hide the time signature, why not to turn it into a proper option?
At least people using one flow to create 5 movements have the opportunity do do it properly if they take the time to read the manual.
But, thank you for your comment.


This problem with stating a “correct” way, is that Dorico’s “correct” way is unacceptable for an entire genre of music, namely etudes, exercises and educational handouts, where the standard accepted practice is to NOT show cautionaries if the piece is following a set pattern. Here’s a page from Hanon for example:

I have dozens of books with similar examples where cautionary key signatures are not used and I regularly create handouts for my students where I don’t want them to show either. My instinct in the above example would be to use a flow for a single exercise pattern as that’s a logical “chunk” of music to me. Instead I have to use a dozen flows for the same exercise as a workaround. If I need to use normal Codas in the same project then setting the gap before a Coda to 0 is problematic as that’s a project-based option, not flow-based.

True, you don’t often need to hide a cautionary for most actual “music” music, so it’s understandable why this feature may not have been included if that’s all that was considered, but it’s pretty essential for etudes, exercises and educational handouts.

(After stating above I wasn’t going to rehash an old thread, I did anyway. Daniel’s probably gonna lock this LOL)


Sometimes it helps to restate something with the perspective of previous discussions. I think the above post makes the point better than I have seen elsewhere.

I for one would not even attempt to use Dorico in its current form for writing exercises, when I have Sibelius on the other computer.


Wait … I just realized the original post was about cautionary TIME signatures and I responded with KEY signatures. Reading comprehension fail, oops. Same principle applies though and the workaround is the same. Even the Hanon example is the same as they restate the time signature.

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Here is an example where hiding cautionary time signature would have been useful for me. I’m writing a piece with complex time signatures that appear on top of the bars, as an “analytical tool”. (as if Messiaen would have put time signatures above his non-metrical music). In that situation, showing cautionary time signatures is useless and take too much space. I had to hide them with white rectangles as Graphic frames


Here’s another workaround I just thought of, for hiding cautionary time signatures without the coda.

After the page break, create a bar with open meter, “none” for the time signature. This will leave no cautionary time signature on the previous page. Then you can make that bar however long you wish, put a hidden time signature after it; and then create a fake time signature as described here. (Maybe there is a newer, better way to make fake time signatures? I don’t know.)

HideCautionary.dorico (624.9 KB)


Thanks, I’ll give it a try!

I have a score where basically every page ends with something like this:

Screenshot 2022-03-09 at 13.19.01

The cautionary time signatures are making the entire thing extremely confusing to read, especially also given the repetitions. Not having the option to hide them in a per layout way is a real pain.