How to shorten a very-long first-ending line?

My song has a first ending that lasts for 16 bars over four systems.

I. want to shorten the first-ending line so that it’s only 4 bars long (and has no hook at the end).

In one of the Parts, I went to Engrave mode, clicked on the end of the line in the 16th bar, and dragged it. I could only get it back to bar 13 (i.e., the start of that system), but no further.

Can I shorten the line further without changing the length of the ending, and if so, how?


Try dragging it in Galley mode?

Not sure this will work, but it’s what I’d try…


Changes in Engrave mode are only graphical. If you want to change the semantic meaning (such as which bars are actually included in the repeat ending), do so in Write mode.

If you want to indicate that a section should be repeated but don’t want to show a repeat ending bracket above the region, perhaps simply using start/end repeat barlines works too? (Depending on any other repeats etc you’ve got going on around this section of course.) I would expect that if you gave a part to a player with a recognisable repeat ending bracket that only covers 4 bars, those are the only bars they would repeat.

There are some properties relating to the appearance of repeat ending segments available when you select the repeat ending and look in the Properties panel in Write/Engrave modes (more properties are available in Engrave mode like for other items, that is, properties that relate to graphical position and more detailed appearance options). You could try looking there to see if anything is more like what you want?

@Toaster1974 This solution works in Sibelius (I tried it just now), but in Dorico, Galley view only applies to Write mode, and in Write mode, dragging the line changes the number of bars in the ending such that the second ending bracket moves as well, which I don’t want.

@Lillie_Harris I don’t want to change which bars are played in the ending, only the length of the line (see the last line of my post).

The first screen grab shows the 1st ending line as originally entered as it appears in Engrave mode. Each system has 4 bars (sorry for the ugly redaction graphics!). This single line has four segments, the first three in blue, and the last in orange because it’s selected.

The second screen grab shows what happens when I grab the end of the 4th segment and drag it to the left. I can shorten it a little further, until it’s just a vertical line. Similarly, I can take the 2d and 3d segments and drag them to the left until they’re just dots.

But what I want to do is to shorten the line so that instead of covering 16 bars, it covers only 4 bars, without changing the location of the end-repeat bar line or the 2d ending line.

Unless I missed something, nothing in the Properties menu will do this.

Since Dorico allows me to shorten the ending line appearance, I don’t see any reason it should be limited to one system.

I found a work-around: by selecting a line segment and clicking in the middle of it, I can drag it off the page in Engrave mode. Back in Write mode, the line length is unchanged, both in Galley and Page views. This gets me the result I want, as in the third screen grab.

The problem here is that if I ever change my mind and want the line to appear as originally entered, I can’t access those off-screen elements; I’d have to delete and re-enter the ending.


I think this is what D.C./D.S. al Codas are for.


I had the same thought. Usually brackets are only 1-4mm long.

I hear you both, and I realize that in some circles my request might be unconventional.

However, in the context of jazz, and the overall structure of the song, I think repeat endings make more sense.

I already have one DS al coda, and while it’s certainly possible to add another, I think it would make the road map unnecessarily complicated.

I still think it’s reasonable to be able to drag the end of the 1st ending line to shorten it in Engrave mode, then that shouldn’t be limited to one system.

EDIT: On second thought, I’m keeping the first ending at its default length! Ran it by a colleague, and he thought the shortened one looked odd.

The reason I wanted to do this in the first place was to reduce clutter on the page; in comparison, my Sibelius version of this chart seems more spacious.

It eventually occurred to me that this is probably because several of the graphic elements are bolder and/or thicker in Dorico. Maybe I’ll try making the ending line slightly thinner.