Hiding staff lines, but keeping notes

Hellllooooo. Dorico 4 is with us and I love it - does it now contain a more elegant solution to this challenge? I also would like the ability to hide some or all of the lines in a staff.


It cannot hide staff lines (natively) yet.

I use this for educational exercises sometimes so I’ve added a 0-line instrument to Dorico with a bit of hackery. Be aware this is not supported, and will get overwritten with any update so be sure to back up both your original files before beginning, and then your edited files once you have them the way you want. Here’s a walkthrough on how to add a 0-line (or really any instrument) to D4 in Windows as below:

In Program Files\Steinberg\Dorico4 open your instruments.xml file in a text editor. I use Sublime Text but there are obviously plenty of alternatives. I simply copied the InstrumentEntityDefinition for a Piano and pasted it at the end of the file to give me something to start with. Change the name, give it unique entityID and nameID entries, change numStaves to 1, change numStaveLines to 0, and I also changed the clef ID to clef.invisible. It should look something like this:

Next, open your instrumentFamiliesDefinitions.xml file. I added the instrument entityID to the Sketch category, but you can add it wherever you want. It should look similar to this:

Next, in the l10n folder open the instrumentnames_en.xml file. (If you’re using English obviously.) Copy and paste an existing entry, then change the nameID, then change the staff names to whatever you want. I sometimes use this for a Cue staff, so I guess I have it default to “Cue” but this is obviously easy to change within the program.

Restart Dorico and you should now have a 0-line staff instrument! You can easily create a 1-line staff instrument in a similar manner.


Thank you pianoleo for your advice. Could you tell me please - is there a way to customise a length of all barlines? I was not able to drag it in Engrave mode. In my example they are in a lower position - so better readable…

If memory serves me correctly it’s this Engraving Option:

Thank you pianoleo. Your answer was very helpful!

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Sweet solution! Thanks for sharing.

Per questo (rigo invisibile) usa MuseScore (è free).

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Thank you. For teachers this is very useful, and it’s long been a possible to do this in Finale with two or three clicks.


Hello ! Did it work with macOS ? I try 7 times steps by steps, but without success…

Greetings to everyone! So if I understand correctly even with this new version, it will still not be possible to achieve this result.

There are ways to create a zero-line instrument, though none of them is officially supported by the application at the moment. You can search on the forum to find approaches to achieving this.

Many thanks, I’ll try to do a deeper search.

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Here it is.
Check @benwiggy post with a download “0 and 1 line staves.zip”


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Thanks for the answer, but even using the translator I can not understand the procedure.

I succeeded, but for the names of the notes in Italian?

You can use Library > Notehead Sets to edit the existing “note name noteheads” set to use sol fa noteheads.

I can’t get it to work. If you can find a way to modify the .pkg, it would work but I can’t find a way to do that

Hiding staff lines is also needed for creating a part that has just the time & key signature, barlines and chord symbols (big chord symbols between the barlines).
@dspreadbury is this being considered for a future release?


Certainly we would like to have a way to produce these kinds of chord charts more easily, but ideally I think we would create a dedicated feature for it.