How to hide a barline?

I have some unmeasured music that I’ve done with one bar per system with hidden time signatures. Now I’d like to hide some of the bar lines. Is that possible ?

Many thanks

In Write Mode just select the barline and press backspace. You could also have notated the entire unmeasured section without barlines, then you wouldn’t need to hide any of them. Why did you use hidden time signatures?


you don’t actually need hidden time signatures.
Just write your music in one big flow (without time signature) and then in Engrave Mode make System breaks where you need them.
If you like to try, make a file copy of your project, then in the copy delete all time signatures, one by one.
You will end up with one flow (or bar, if you want to call it that way) of your music.
Then just, as explained above, do your System breaks, wherever you need them.

Yeah I should have done some huge un-measured bars. I knew of that possiblity, but just did some say 35/16 bars to accomodate all the notes, and then hid the time signatures. It’s only part of the piece that is un-measured. I’m still not able to get rid of the barlines I want though ?

You’re still thinking in terms of bars. Of of Dorico’s many strengths is that it doesn’t need to do this. You don’t need large, unmeasured bars or to make large time signatures to ‘accommodate all the notes’. Or does the piece you’re notating have several staves and it’s in only one of the staves that you need to get rid of the barlines? If that’s the case, then you need to insert time signatures into one stave only and then hide them. Perhaps you could post an example here of what you’re trying to do.

It’s only a small part of the piece that has these long (3 system) non-bared music. It’s a piece for organ, so 3 staves. I should have input those long sections as one long bar, but I didn’t. That long passage that needs to look like one long passage with no bars, is actually 3 bars with hidden time signatures. Everything now looks like I want it to. Is it not possible to not show 2 barlines? I see the ticks, double bars, final bars. Where’s the “no barline”? Is that not possible ?

Change the barlindes you want to hide to “dashed barline”.
Then, in Engrave Mode, change the design of dashed barline:

If you do not need standard dashed lines in your project this is a possible workaround.

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Great idea! Many thanks !!

You’re a smart guy. Thanks for taking the time for the picture !!

THX :wink: You’re welcome!

In future, just type “open” into the shift+M popover for non-metered sections. It’s soooooo much easier. I think the default setting is to show an X rather than a time signature, but it is easily hidden and can be affected in engrave settings. This is a perfect example of the type of “de-programming” that pretty much everyone who has switched to Dorico needed to go through. We are so used to the old methods of workarounds in other programs that it’s hard to see the forest through the trees sometimes.

I’m adding my question here, since it is probably related.

I’ve a piece that is unmetered, but with dashed barlines to mark the beginning of episodes.

I would also like to end the score with open staves, so no barline. The best approximation I could find was to insert a ‘tick’ barline. It is small, but it still a barline. Changing color to transparent did nothing. pressing backspace made the final double bar appear.

The only solution could be the one described in a message here above: use a barline you wouldn’t use, and edit its design. Unfortunately, I have to admit that I can’t find a way to design a barline, other than changing its positioning.


If by “end the score” you mean change the final barline at the very end of the music, there’s a notation option for that which you can set on a per-flow basis.

Lillie, thank you for the hint! I was looking in the wrong place.


Any suggestions for how to group eighth notes when using an unmetered piece? For example, I’m playing with an arrangement of some Satie music, which has no barlines, but the eighth notes are grouped as if it was 4/4. It seems I can either manually change all the groupings, OR go in and hide all the barlines… neither option seems particularly appealing.

In open Meter, Dorico beams eight notes for me automatically in a long endless chain.
I just select the points where I want the beam to split and chose edit > beam > split beam. Assigning a shortcut to it seems quite quick to me.

It still ends up being just as many key strokes as hiding barlines. Hiding barlines is also better for automated accidentals… as I’m going more, I think hiding barlines somehow is the best alternative…

I agree! The problem with “open” is that the beaming groups have to be done all per hand. So the workaround is unfortunately necessary to avoid the step by step beaming.

Hello Lillie,

I have tried clicking on the ‘notation option’ link you kindly posted but I am returned with a 404 error page. I am wondering if you please re post the link.

I am trying to end a musical example engraved in Dorico 3.5 with an open stave without vertical the barline and wonder if there is a quick way to achieve this considering that Dorico at present doesn’t offer an ‘invisible barline’ which I must say it would be a very useful addition.

Many thanks in advance and blessings,


The documentation structure (and indeed the most recent version entirely) have been changed since that link was posted. I’ve edited my comment so it points towards the latest version of the docs, also here.

That’s the best way to end a flow without a barline. If you don’t want any barlines at all throughout the flow, you can input an open time signature or indeed no time signature at all. You would then need to handle beaming/note grouping manually.

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