How to create this custom line

This line starts with a plain line, becomes a wobble, and ends with an arrow. How can one create this? I was unable to see how to put the line part at the start in the editor for repetition…


Again, this is a resort to Playing Technique. The line tool will only allow start and end caps to “ordinary” lines, so… merely stating that it is (kind of) possible, but not an enjoyable undertaking as such :slight_smile:

It should be possible to do that as a repeatable line - you can set start/end segments and then whatever you like in the middle. See here - in the section labelled 7, use the Add to Start / Add to End options to set the start and end glyphs (a flat line and the arrowhead, respectively) then add a wiggle/set of wiggles to the Middle.

I tried that, but Dorico crashed repeatedly… I’ll have another go at it in daylight :slight_smile:

EDIT: a reboot fixed the crash, but didn’t find any flat lines or arrows… (?)

You can add and edit repeatable symbols (which you can then add to line bodies) in the Edit Repeatable Symbols dialog, as mentioned on that page.

Thanks! It’s too late :woozy_face:

In fairness, there are a few inter-connected dialogs and layers for Dorico’s custom lines - it’s what makes them so flexible and powerful :slight_smile:


Perfect. But I can’t find the start line and end arrow. Where are they hiding? In the repeating symbols area I only get wiggles and so on.

Ok. I’m editing my original post to detail how I created a complex line. In the “Edit Repeatable Symbols” dialog (in the Engrave menu), I created a new symbol, and in the editor chose from the drop-down menu the ‘staves’ group. In that group there are many single line ‘staves’ and I chose one to begin the line. Then in the “Multi-segment line” group I chose an appropriate candidate and added several of them, aligning them with the first line I’d placed and then with each other. Finally, I added the arrow (from the “Arrow and arrowheads” group) and aligned it with the previous material. The result:

Screen Shot 2021-05-09 at 8.51.18 PM

Having created this beast, it’s not clear to me how I can actually use it in a piece of music except by re-creating it as a playing technique.

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+1. Yes. I cant figure out the start and end parts at all.

Create the start line and arrow in the edit repeatable symbols dialog.

Then in the Line Body editor->Repeatable symbols (inside the Edit Lines) , use the add to start, add to middle and add to end.

Finally, select your new Line Body style.

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My initial blunder at least provoked several recipes on how to do it properly. After a long day, I initially didn’t spot this little pencil: (in red below - I wish it could be a little more protruding…)

Then I would probably have arrived at a solution on my own, but I now also learned that this editor can be accessed through the menu.

The bottom line is, anyway, that straight arrows and lines are not part of the default set of repeatable symbols, so they have to me made by the user, in much the same fashion as you make playing techniques with glyphs. They are added to the selection table shown in the picture above.

Someone asked so here’s my recipe:

  1. Engrave menu/Lines…
  2. Open the Line Body Editor (button in the middle below Body style)
  3. In the category menu top/left select Repeatable symbols
  4. Add a new line (+) NAME IT and then click the tiny pencil icon bottom/right
  5. add a new symbol
  6. where it says RANGE: upper/right, select STAVES
  7. select any of the 3 last glyphs, ADD GLYPH (lower right) – OK out
  8. NAME it “START” or whatever
  9. Repeat from 5. but choose ARROWS under range … select a suitable arrow –Add Glyph, OK – NAME IT
  10. Locate the START line in the selection table and click ADD TO START at the bottom
  11. Locate the END (arrow) in the table and click ADD TO END
  12. Choose a suitable glyph for the middle segment and click ADD TO MIDDLE.
  13. Click OK
  14. back in the EDIT LINES dialog, click the Body Style menu and select your new LINE STYLE
  15. Give the new line composition a name at the top. Click OK
  16. the line appears in the lines selection panel.

(When attempting to create this line in a new document, it was not possible to apply it from the lines selection panel until Dorico had been restarted. Or rather, it didn’t show up in the score until after the restart…)

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@jesele Thanks so much. This is totally great. For a newbie like me, none of that is clear without guidance. This is so execellent, because the line extends to cover any number of notes which is precisely what I want.

Thanks to all on this thread for help.

This would be a good topic for Anthony Hughes to do a tutorial video on, if he is still making them.

It’s hard to do a single tutorial on lines, given the sheer amount of possibilities available. However, Ant’s introduction to the line editors included in 3.5 is available here and covers some of the nuance in the repeatable symbols dialog.

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Glad it helped.


Thanks to fratveno and Jesper for the very clear directions. The process is much more sensible than what I came up with and ends up with a usable line!

I took a the line from articulations and the arrow from the arrows and arrowheads.


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