In praise of slices, and some requests

I just finished the first draft of a project that required more than 130 musical excerpts. I always thought the concept of graphic slices was a great idea, but always in the abstract. Then I actually needed it… and it was phenomenal. A life-saver. Thank you to the team for this.

A few suggestions:

  1. Remembering slices? When I create some slices on certain flows and then delete those flows, the slices vanish as expected. But when I later add additional flows and click “create slice,” those slices are re-populated in their original page and dimensions, which I don’t necessarily want. If the flows have been deleted, I don’t want Dorico to “remember” the slices; instead, I expect to re-create them using click-drag. It’s not a huge deal, just a UX suggestion.
  2. Duplicate dimensions. I often want slices that are the exact same dimension. I don’t know how this would best be accomplished, but it would be nice to be able to somehow duplicate the same size frames without having to manually type in numerical values (which is how I did it).
  3. Convert to curves (paths). These examples all had to be imported into a Word document (an external requirement of the project), and I was absolutely committed to keeping them vectored, so PNG was out. Word can’t import PDFs, or at least not reliably. SVG was the way to go… but of course SVG does not embed font data, so anyone viewing the Word doc needed to have all the fonts installed to display the examples correctly. What I ended up doing was exporting everything as PDFs, then using Cloud Convert to convert them to SVGs, checking the option to also convert text-to-path. It worked beautifully. It would be a huge help if Dorico could convert to path when exporting an SVG, since I imagine the user would always want the SVG to function like a picture: a predictable visual output, no matter who was viewing it.

Thanks!

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Oh yes #3. There’s no sense offering pdf and svg if they will essentially export the same; to my mind PDFs should have font data, while svgs are just fancy vector images, as such. I’ve been surprised on occasion when I’ve imported svgs elsewhere that didn’t render the text in the image correctly; I was expecting everything to be outlined and not a pdf simple jazzed up in a different file container.

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Many thanks for this, Dan @dankreider. I agree about Graphic Slices being a great invention.

+1 for #2 - being able to set a standard dimension to copy or duplicate would be very useful.

Yours is a timely post, because I am in the middle of making quite a few graphic slices myself for a music theory course. The workflow I have devised is to use a different document for each sub-heading within each chapter, so I never have more than, say twenty graphic slices in any one file. I use a new flow for each example.

Also, I note that there are boxes for height and width in the Properties Panel for each slice, but they are greyed out for me. Using Left, Top, Right, and Bottom, especially when they are distances from the edge of the page (I think) is awkward for me.

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The reason for that is because your slice dimensions are locked to the page margins. on the left panel, click on the right and bottom blue lock icons to unlock.

Sorry - could you please send a screenshot, or annotate mine? I don’t see any lock icons, in blue or any other colour.

Many thanks

Oh, well… I’m wrong. Sorry. It seems to be a function that is not possible yet!

I was thinking of the same function for frames:

PS: I can’t help asking, I’m sorry, but… do you really want those quarter notes to be stems-down?

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OK - thanks. I suppose Height and Width must be “prepared for.” As an organist, I am used to that terminology - you reach for the Ophicleide and the stop is stuck in, because they ran out of money before finishing it, but they have prepared a space for it.

The quarter note stems are down because the exercise is “Add a note above the given note to make the interval of a fifth.” and so on. Good catch, though. Thanks.

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I’m making some teaching materials for new pupils, training them how to read music.

Dorico made it super easy to create these PDF’s to use in a Google Classroom quiz.

Like @dankreider I’d like to quickly duplicate slices that are the same dimension. I had to do this manually, which wasn’t impossible, but a Copy and Paste, or Duplicate function for slices would be great.

Attached is a video of how I duplicated most of the slices, the file with all of the notes I want for a “Name the Notes” quiz, and some of the PDF’s.

2021-09-10 name the notes.dorico (524.2 KB)
Ab4.pdf (8.8 KB)
As6.pdf (9.0 KB)
Ab4.pdf (8.9 KB)
As6.pdf (9.2 KB)

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