Hiding staff lines, but keeping notes

Craig’s MusicXML up the thread is probably still the least painful way, as long as you start the project from there. There’s also a way of doing it by manually editing your instruments,xml file

Agreed! Would you happen to know if its possible to make the bar lines taller, (as if there were five lines) or are the bar lines height determined by the amount of staff lines?

Edit: Found it! Engrave Options, Minimum barline protrusion! Sweet!

Off the top of my head it’s the barline protrusion settings as used for percussion grids/single lines. I’m not in front of Dorico so can’t tell you where in Engraving Options it is - sorry!

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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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