How to reposition a system on a page?

I have a piano work with 3 systems on the first page but the middle system isn’t centered. I’m afraid the whole format thing still eludes me on the engrave page so how do I center it?
The last page only has 2 systems on it leaving too much blank space under it and the bottom of the page. Is there a way to reformat and if so, can it be explained in a walk-through from the beginning?.

Also, in a triplet with 3 eighth notes, first one being a rest, when I try beam together to connect the beam to the rest, nothing happens.

Also note that for short long triplets the bracket doesn’t center between the short and long notes but looks the same for an equal 3 note triplet.

Also, the score jumps around a lot after an edit in write mode. This happened in Sibelius too.


If you switch to Engrave mode and then switch on the switch to enable the staff spacing controls (at the bottom of the left-hand panel), you will then see handles appear at the left-hand end of each system. The large handle on the top staff in each system can be dragged with the mouse or nudged once selected (using Alt+up/down arrow) to move the entire system without adjusting the position of any other staff or system in the frame.

To change things such that you don’t have two systems on the final page, you can either make the music a bit smaller to try and absorb the contents of those two systems into systems on earlier pages, or you can make the music a bit smaller or spread the music out a bit to try to fill out the last page with more systems. All of these are done from the Layout Options dialog (Ctrl+Shift+L). To try making the music a bit smaller, adjust the Space size on the Page Setup page, and click Apply to see the effect. If the music is all relatively long note values (8th notes or longer) then you could also try making the spacing a bit tighter, e.g. change the value for a quarter note from 4 spaces to e.g. 3 1/2 spaces on the Note Spacing page of Layout Options. You could also try reducing the distances between staves and/or systems on the Vertical Spacing page of Layout Options.

Unfortunately, there’s no one single answer to how to solve this kind of problem, but these are the tools that you need to do the job.

If you decide to spread the music out a bit, e.g. to have one fewer bar on each system on the preceding page or two, then you may still want to consider widening the default note spacing or making the staff size a little larger rather than intervening directly in the casting off, but if you do decide you want to get your hands dirty, switch to Engrave mode, and select the note at the start of, say, the last bar on a system and type Shift+S to insert a system break before that note, which will have a knock-on effect on the formatting on subsequent systems.

If you want to beam rests, you need to use the options on the Beam Grouping page of Notation Options (Ctrl+Shift+N). There are lots of positioning options for tuplet brackets and numbers both to change the defaults on the Tuplets page of Engraving Options (Ctrl+Shift+E) and for individual ones in the Properties panel.

Thanks again Daniel, after playing around with your suggestions I was able to get more satisfactory results and understand the program better know.

There was one thing I still can’t seem to figure out and maybe is not yet possible, but when a group of notes starts with a rest I can’t extend the beam to the rest (or over multiple rests at the start of a beat). In the attached pic I would like the beam to extend over the rest and then possible even use a stemlet. It’s not crucial but would be nice.

Also I was happy to see/hear that the cross symbol for l.h. pizz for strings works, but it doesn’t shut off. Typically there’s no need to write arco after a section that uses l h pizz, but it’s no big deal to do so if you could hide the word arco, but it can’t be made to disappear.

Thanks, Richard

As I said in my previous reply:

Specifically, you need to scroll to the bottom of the Beam Grouping page and set the ‘Rests in beam groups’ option to ‘Use stemlets’.

Resurrecting this thread from the depths of the forum to save making a new one…

I’ve just started playing around with the Engraving Mode today in Dorico and while I like a lot of the features I’ve seen so far there are a couple of things regarding system spacing optimisation which I’ve either missed so far or have not yet been implemented, which may make my life a bit easier.

  1. I had to watch one of the tutorial videos on YouTube to learn this but the alt-drag command on the top bar handle to concertina a system up or down is nice. I just wish there was a similar bar on the bottom of a system so I could for instance increase the relative space between the individual instruments in a system without moving the position of the top instrument stave of that system.

There’s probably a way to this with the individual handles on the side of the staves but I haven’t quite figured this out yet myself.

  1. Maybe this isn’t necessary given that Dorico generally handles the spacing side of things extremely well in my experience, but I really do miss the “Optimize Staff Spacing” feature of that “other” score writing program. I used that all the time in the past along with “Reset Note Spacing” to quickly fix a cluttered score before making any fine adjustments.

I’m still in the first day or so of getting to grips with Dorico so I don’t doubt that I’m probably just missing obvious features or ways of working that the more experienced on here will already know all about, and maybe there are more improvements to this due in the imminent 1.1 patch anyway. I just thought I’d drop my initial thoughts here and throw myself upon the mercy of the forum gods (be gentle). :wink:

There’s no need for an “optimise staff spacing” feature in Dorico because the staff spacing is always (Dorico’s view of) optimal, i.e. with all possible collisions always automatically resolved. If you have adjusted staff spacing yourself, then you can put it back to Dorico’s ideal defaults using the reset staff spacing command in the Engrave menu.

As for dragging multiple staves closer, in Dorico 1.1 you’ll be able to make a marquee selection of multiple staff spacing handles and then move them all at once, either with the mouse or with the keyboard.

Yeah I’m probably nor explaining myself too well… not that it matters as I’m sure it’ll improve over time anyway and as I learn how to use the program better.

The only reason I bought it up was because I was trying to figure how to fix the system formatting in this particular score… well actually it’s just the percussion layout from a larger full orchestral score (which looks fine by the way).

I would recommend trying some adjustments to the Vertical Spacing page of Layout Options, and perhaps also try changing the values for the top/bottom margin inside music frames (not the page margins, but the margins within music frames) on the Page Setup page of Layout Options. You may also find that reducing the staff size by a small amount allows Dorico to get two systems on the first page. A final option would be to edit the ‘First’ master page pair in the ‘Default Part’ set of master pages and make the music frame taller at the expense of the height of the title/composer/arranger text frames.

Hi Daniel,

Cheers for the tips! I’ve been playing around with all the options you mentioned a bit more tonight (I had to find them first of course… and dump a load of Sibelius workflow preconceptions in the process, Dorico is quite a different beast) and I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of it now.

So now I’m looking forward to seeing how things develop in this area (and others) in the next patch or two, thanks again. :slight_smile: