Hiding Divisi

Correct me if I’m wrong, but in the context of a divisi not actually changing there is currently no way to hide any empty divisi staves for a temporary time? Though this functionality used to be present, it was removed in Dorico 2.1 or 2.2 sometime?

For example, consider a contrived situation of two soli violins (solo divisions drawn from the first stand), then second stand and a third stand as section divisi. Let’s say at some point, the division of players remains the same, but only third stand is playing for ages. An additional three staves in the score or the part is extraneous, since they neither play nor need even be present to clarify the division.

First System:

Unnecessary Empty Divisi:

So far I have attempted a few work arounds, one which simply does not work and one which is very frustrating.

  1. If one tried to “hide” these staves by using “Remove Staff”, it looks beautiful! But, for Section Players, you cannot Create Staff above or below, so there’s no way to get the appropriate staff count back. Once you’re at this point, you can no longer Restore Unison either without some unusual effects…

Remove Staff:

  1. Now, most things I’ve read on the forum suggest changing the divisi. First, a mere semantic point, but the divisi hasn’t actually changed. It’s just not necessary to show empty material, nor does its placement clarify the divisi in general. But, I digress. Let’s try and hide divisi staves by changing the divisi. If this occurs at a system break, this looks wonderful! Though, this then interferes with one of the core tenets of how Dorico accomplishes divisi—it shouldn’t have to occur at a system break.

    Hiding by Divisi:

If I need reformat the page for some reason…the second system looks great still, but the point of divisi change is confusing and does not actually reflect the material, because the program is forcing a divisi change where semantically one is not actually present.


Certainly that’s the better of the two work arounds currently, but it’s such a backwards way to achieve what should be a fairly straight forward process. Is there some plan in the future to allow more manipulation of the hiding of divisi staves? I understand that in some contexts it would not be clear, but there are plenty of situations where piles of empty divisi simply aren’t necessary.

Welcome to the forum, Joshua, and thanks for your feedback on divisi. You’re quite right that, at the moment, using the “hiding by divisi” method is the best available one. We made the decision when we were implementing divisi that “hide empty staves” shouldn’t operate on divisi, but in this case that would actually be the best solution for you, since it would produce the result you want automatically and in a way that would adapt to changing system formatting and casting off. We’ll have to have another think about this, though I’m afraid it’s not likely to be something we can work on in the immediate near term.

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Daniel, thanks kindly for the welcome. The combined knowledge of the forum and the Facebook group brought me to the conclusion you say but it’s nice to hear it corroborated—too often a solution is plainly looking us in the face that we’ve missed and I had been hoping I had done my due diligence.

I totally agree though that what you say about the ordinary “hide empty staves” function shouldn’t operate on divisi, at least as both functions stand now, as there are more usual string divisions than the one I’ve contrived here where having all divisions present is simply necessary for clarity. For instance, having strings divided a 3 but only the first two divisions present could be misleading unless the group name further clarified it. I could however see it being very useful to have something like an option within the divisi flag which would allow the user to set which solo and section divisions could be hidden or not within the span of that divisi change. This would hopefully allow for more input and consideration into each of the oft-complex and in flux divisions a piece may have.

Regardless of time frame, I’m happy that you’ll have a think about this. I’ll be curious what a future solution might be within the current frame work—divisi can become so complicated, so I’m sure you have to tread with caution.