Inconsistent Layouts

The music I arrange has two to six instruments, and I often use a template with both notation and tab… The score and most of the layouts look fine, but one layout is always squished. Why? And how do I fix the template?


Have you set a fixed number of systems per frame in the Casting Off section of Layout Options, or propagated casting off from one layout to others?

If not, you’ll probably need to upload the project; your pictures show the symptoms but not the cause.

No, I have not set a fixed number of systems per frame for any of the layouts, thinking that Dorico would figure it out—which it has done nicely for some layouts. By the way, the two screen shots above are for two players who play the same instrument.

The we’d need to see a sample Dorico file that demonstrates the problem

Thanks for being willing to look at the file. Besides Ukulele I, and III Chords, being squished, something is amiss with the Composer’s name in Engraving.
Everyone’s First Minuets 6.18.dorico (1.4 MB)
I look forward to your analysis.

Hi Nancy,

In Uke 1, you have casting off set to 10 systems per frame, fixed. Turn that off in Layout Options–Staves and Systems. Also, you have a Page template change set to First for all pages, so the second page of music is showing the “First” page template as well. You can remove that page template change entirely, I think.

In III Chords, you have a frame break set to “wait for next…” which is forcing all the music onto one page. Delete that frame break.


A gremlin must have set those 10 systems per frame; I’ve now turned that off. How and where do I change the Page template to the “First” page template only for Flow #1?

I’ve deleted “wait for next” frame break, and that fixed III Chords.

I thought that creating the Title Page in Engraving would make each part and the score the same, but they are not. I wrote down the dimensions for each frame in each layout; they were different (remember, I started with a template I created for a previous project). But, when I looked at the dimensions in the lower panel for each layout, the dimensions were the same; I thought they would be the dimensions I had measured. How do I change the dimensions on each layout to be the same for each Title Page?

Layout Options ⟶ Page Setup ⟶ Flows ⟶ Use ‘First’ page template ⟶ First flow only

Further, I’m afraid you’ll have to create separate Title Pages for both the Score and Parts template sets, as you can’t mix page templates from different template sets in one layout.
Remember that when you manually change anything (like frame dimensions) on individual pages, that will create a page override (indicated by a red triangle in the page miniature). A page override basically means that the page doesn’t follow the template anymore, which makes it increasingly difficult to keep them aligned. In general, it’s a good rule of thumb (IMO) to avoid overrides altogether, and to solve everything in the templates, even creating separate templates for small differences.

In your score, I’d suggest applying a page template change on page 3 of both the Uke I and Uke II parts. Assign page template ‘First’ to page 3 only. All pages after that will follow the Default template automatically.
You might choose to remove the page overrides on pages 1 and 2, and let them stick to the template defaults of Title and Learning Tips, respectively. Then adjust only the template, if needed, and the corresponding pages in both parts will follow. Elements that differ between the two can be defined as tokens (like already is the case with {@layoutname@} ).

You can however import a page template, once it’s created, from one set into other sets, rather than re-create it from scratch in each set.

@Nancy_Piver if all pages are using the First page template because you assigned a page template change to the first page and all subsequent pages, you’ll need to remove the page template change in order to let pages follow the layout option.