Hymnal project: Flows or separate files?

I’m going to engrave a large number of hymns from a very old hymnal. I am still getting my head around the concept of Flows and trying to use Dorico as it is intended to be used, rather than imposing old ideas onto it.

Each hymn will only ever be printed on its own page containing a single music frame. However, every hymn should ideally share the same engraving and page layout settings.

What is the best way to do this project? One file with up to three-hundred small flows or three-hundred separate files?

Thank you,

Sounds to me as one file with multiple flows is the perfect solution to your project :slight_smile:

Thanks for your reply, Anders. Would you mind elaborating? I’m still trying to understand why and how Dorico is meant to work.

One advantage of using flows would be the ease of changing the engraving settings for all of the hymns at once, I would think.

I agree.
A few steps you will need to complete:
1.) Edit your master pages (engrave mode) to accommodate exactly the layout you want for each hymn. Set up the music frames and text frames just as you want them.
2.) don’t forget about making sure your page size is appropriately set.
3.) create a new “flow” for each hymn. Enter your music and lyrics as necessary. Since each hymn will be its own flow, you can then apply the same master page style to each one and they should all have the exact same dimensions, frames, fonts, etc. That will give you the uniform look you are after.

If you make use of the text tokens, you can edit the information for each flow (composer, lyricist, etc.) and those will all fill in to the appropriate text boxes that you set up on your master page editor.

A great thing about D is that you can create your “instrument” (two vocal staves) and assign that instrument to every flow with just a few clicks. This will put the same instrument template on each flow as well. D makes it tremendously easy to create a hymnal setup with (quite literally) perfect repetitions of the same layout so all scores are perfectly matched.

You might be interested in having a look at the tutorial recently posted on the blog at Tutorial: Typesetting choral Preces and Responses in Dorico – Dorico. Very informative.

Thanks, LAE. It’s a wonderful tutorial and I plan to recreate it when I get a chance. It’s what got me thinking that individual files might be the wrong approach. The main difference with the tutorial and my project is that I will only have one flow per printed page.

If you include several flows in one layout, by default each one starts on a new page, so you probably don’t need to change the master page format at all to get started.

Having 300 flows in one file might slow the program down too much. Maybe a compromise like 10 projects each with 30 flows would be better. It can also speed up the program if you create a “work” layout that contains just the one flow you are currently working on.

That sounds like good advice, Rob. I’m curious to see how performance will be affected as I add flows. When/if I notice a decrease, it will be time to divide the project.

divide might not be the right word.
Deactivate the flows you are not working on, but keep it all in one file.

Based on the advice that I received here, I have been working away at my hymnal project. So far I have 70 flows (of 350) happily contained within one project file. I have experienced no delay or lag because I deactivate each flow once I am done with Write Mode. (I’m not going to enter Engrave mode until after all the writing is done.)

This question may be for Daniel:
Is there a practical limit to the number of flows that I should keep within one project? If I try to put all 350 flows in this one project file will I cause Dorico to bog down when I move on to Engraving and Printing to image files? I’m planning to active perhaps 50 flows at a time for these stages.

The answer to your question may depend on the length of each flow and the number of instruments/parts. In the case of a hymnal, most flows are (I expect) relatively short and have few voices, which would work in your favor.

True. The flows are melody only and run about 12 bars on average.

Before Dorico 1.0.30, the program would crash on Windows when you had 80 flows in a project. We fixed that problem in that release. We have a suspicion that the problem that caused the crash could still occur if you have many, many flows in a project, but we’re not sure how many it might be, or what sorts of characteristics those flows would need to have in order to trigger the problem. So it’s probably fine to have 350 flows in your project, but I wonder whether you might find some aspects of working with that many flows (e.g. if you need to re-order them!) a little unwieldy in other ways.

Thanks, Daniel.

I don’t mind being a bit of a test case. Each flow will be exported to a separate image file, so ordering is not an issue.
I’ll let you know how it works out.

Dorico worked perfectly for the first 100 flows, but at flow 101 the scroll bar started to behave as if it did not want to go beyond 100 flows. Nearly any operation in Dorico will cause the scroll bar to reposition itself so that flow 100 is the last flow displayed on the screen. This happens if I rename flow 101, toggle instruments in the Layout, switch to another mode and then come back to Setup mode, etc…
Scroll Issue.jpg
This is mostly an inconvenience, but one that would become increasingly annoying if I were to add another hundred flows. I imagine that this will be simple to fix.

Well done, Evan ! You’ve pushed the limits.

Didn’t I see, that in 1.1 you can drag flows around?

Romanos 401 is in love! “Dee”! :laughing:

Yes I am! I’m also lazy when I’m typing a lot :laughing: