I need a special SATB/Piano template for all my compositions

I’m a choral composer/arranger. I want every piece I write to have the same exact published format. I don’t use Dorico enough to memorize how to do all that needs doing to recreate from scratch what I want every time.

Here’s what I want: I want to import first (top left on page 1) a tiny one-measure staff showing the vocal ranges for each part. Second, I want (top right on page 1) a small staff showing the tuning routine my acappella choir uses to tune each piece before we sing. (I know how to build and label both of these flows exactly as I want.) Then, under those, I want the song title and credits.
Then under that (still on the first page), I want to be able to put the new composition (or just write it here from scratch).

Will Dorico 3 do this for me? Yes or no, please.

I know EXACTLY how to build any ONE of these things that I want. How to get them all to appear on the page as I want them—that’s the problem. I’ve had the most insanely-difficult time trying to wrestle Dorico into submission----and the scope of the nomenclature is expansive, with each new “how to” paragraph in the Help site branching out into four of five terminology goose chases. (OK, what’s a “frame”? What’s a “template”. What’s a “Pages Panel” and how come those three help pages didn’t mention that it’s only findable under the Engraving tab? Why can’t I just click and drag a frame from one page to another? Why can’t I click within a frame to important a flow from elsewhere into it?

IS there a way to do what I want?

If I could talk to a veteran Dorico user for 5 minutes, it would save me 5 hours of trial-and-error agony, and possibly an aneurysm. The reason I paid for this automation was that it would be easy, consistent, and reliable. Just like I don’t want to have to be a publicist to run a successful community choir program, I also don’t want to have to become a professional engraver to put three flows on the same page.

Does anybody have any suggestions for me, other than just sending me links to the same “Help” literature that is so unhelpful already?

Maybe you can find this videos helpful:

Page Layout in Dorico | How to

You should find someone in the Training section here who can help, one-to-one.

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The short answer is yes, this is easily achievable as a template.

It might be easier to understand visually, if you have some sketch of what you want; or a sample project file that contains what you’ve done so far, which someone could tweak or comment on.

But: it’s entirely possible to create a First Page Master with Music Frames for additional flows that have your range and tuning music, before the main music frame and additional text frames.

However, if you’re going to persist with Dorico, then I’d recommend upgrading to version 5. There’s a lot of additional and improved functionality that might help you (such as the ability to create new projects from your own template files, directly from the File menu.)


I can’t help with your problem, but I sympathize with your issues with the Dorico manual. It’s getting better but it’s still program-centric and not user-centric. Some day I’d love to see a printed manual that starts with basic with use-cases. The YouTube videos are very helpful, and I frequently use them (and the manual), but it’s time consuming to go to the video and get to the key instruction or concept I’m looking for. It’s not helped by YouTube not having a +/- 10 second jump. Maybe someday Dorico could start with those and create written procedures from them.

Have you seen the First Steps guide amongst numerous other helpful resources. That is based around constructing a real piece of music so I would say pretty user-centric.

I have rarely known any software with quite such comprehensive support and help to be honest. And if that isn’t enough there is a community of experts here as well as active participation from the team.
Obviously it is difficult to please everyone.


Unfortunately, as has been pointed out many times, the manual must conform to the Steinberg style guide.

Yeah, but…

It has: L for forward 10", J for back. Left & right arrow keys for 5". Type ? on a video page to see the many shortcuts.

Also you can view the transcript and click on a line to jump there in the video.

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The biggest issue I have with the manual is that it’s very top down and wordy, and yet nearly useless if you don’t know what the thing you need is called. I also wish it was more “solution oriented”. Like, the page will say you can do something, but then you have to go to another page to actually find out the key combo, popover syntax, or whatever.

I have to say, I consult the manual fairly infrequently, and it was not my primary resource when learning how to use Dorico.

Anthony Hughes’s videos, along with John Barron’s Discover Dorico sessions, not only introduced me to the names of things, what they do and how they work: they also gave me sufficient grounding that I was able to figure out most of the rest of the program.

Plus, the good people of this forum, of course!