Inserting Master Page before page 1

I ran into a Master Page issue: I’m in a part in Engrave mode and want to insert an empty Master Page before page one in order to use it as a title page (only this part). Master page current set: default part - Pages window: selected page 1 (blue border). Clicking Insert Pages - 1 page to insert - before page 1 - Use master page: First. Click OK: there’s a red corner on the 1st page but nothing else happens, no new page.

When following the same procedure and at the last stage choose Use master page: None, there’s a red corner on the 1st page and a new blanc page (no headings) is inserted before page 1, which appears to be correct.

I managed to make a work-around by inserting text in a text frame of this new empty page but I wonder how to insert an empty Master Page before page 1? Thanks for any replies!

You could make a new “Title” master page and use that I guess.
At least, that’s what I do.


You can simply insert an empty page (no master page) than fill it with what you want: pictures, texts copied from the first master page and so on…

I don’t recommend that, because that gives you a page override, which is easily lost.

You should create a new master page, then insert that on page one using a master page change.


After that you need another master page change on the new page two (old page one) to restore the First Page formatting.

I began this topic a couple of years ago, I see. Thanks to everyone for their helpful and considered replies - I’m very grateful. I’ve done a few projects using Dorico now, to give it a thorough workout, but just find it so cumbersome and plain user-unfriendly that I have reverted to Sibelius. I have got too tired of having so many problems, at every level, that require help. I know some people have said they find it intuitive, but I really don’t. The final straw was when I was asked to edit an opera, and realised I just couldn’t face the prospect of doing that in Dorico. I bought a three-year licence, so I’ll keep upgrades up to date till the subscription runs out, and I might give it another go some time, but not yet.

Yes Dan, absolutely right, in fact it’s what I do normally, especially if something should be changed afterwards. And it’s worthwhile to save a master page title to use it in other projects.
I just posted the simplest quickest way.

However, overrides aren’t the devil, after all! :wink:

It’s worth being aware though that inserting a page is always an override, even if you selected a master page to use for the page. Essentially doing that adds an override with the frames from the master page, but as I understand it, if you later update the master page, the inserted page doesn’t get updated.

If you have a master page for e.g. a title page and want to put it at the start of the layout, you don’t have to insert the page - just assign the title master page to p1 (as already outlined by Dan). However, if you like to think the process through, you can insert a blank page, assign the master page to that page, then remove the override. You only need to re-assign the First master page to the first page of music if the layout option isn’t set to use the First master page for any flow starting at the top of the page.

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I understand your frustration, piano888, as I am myself having a hard time learning Dorico. I have to keep repeating under my breath: “It will get easier if I persevere, and I shall remember how to achieve this seemingly trivial bit of notation next time!”

The day that I find using Dorico to be fun, I shall tell you all unequivocally! :smiley:


@dankreider : Thanks for replying. As I pointed out in my post, the problem is that I don’t seem to be able to create a master page. Procedure: Engrave mode - Pages panel - Selecting first page - Insert page - Use Master page - First (before page 1): nothing happens.

No, you need to create a new master page first, using the + button in the Master Pages panel.

Then once it’s created, right-click on page 1, and insert a Master Page change, selecting that new master page, on current page only.

In a way, I think it should not make a page override when you make a new page based on a third “Title” master page. It’s not really an override, is it?


I agree, I asked about this in a recent post. Inserting a page based on an existing master page shouldn’t create an override… it feels unintuitive.


@dankreider : Thanks for your video, but I can only see a part of it, without a time line. Is there a way to view it full screen?

Dag @kleinesteentjes, maybe a short explanation can be helpful here (and apologies if you don’t need it):
Normally, Dorico automatically adds as many ‘Default’ pages after the ‘First’ page as necessary. Not only will extra pages appear when the music expands, but when it gets shorter, Dorico will automatically delete any unneeded ‘Default’ pages at the end as well.
So when you insert a new ‘First’ page at the beginning, Dorico will again distribute your flow(s) over a range of ‘Default’ pages after it (possibly with extra First pages in between if your layout options are set to do so), which results in the last page being discarded. Since your layout already started with a ‘First’ page, the result will be identical to what you had before.

Here are the steps in the manual for creating a new master page, that you can subsequently assign to pages.

Inserting a page using the First master page just adds a page with a page override that uses the frames and formatting of the First master page.

Here is something I have been working on this morning and last night that you can play around with.
MasterPageConstructionTemplate.dorico (690.7 KB)

@dankreider : The result I have now is that I see the draft-text of my new “Title” Master Page laid over the notes of the first page of the part. So the “template” is there, but how do get to see this “Title - master page” as an extra page before my first page with notes? Thanks!

Firstly, I’m not Dan :wink:

Secondly, if you want to share you project here so I can take a look, please go ahead. It’s very hard to guess in the abstract when talking about master pages. You can send it in a private message if you don’t want to share it in the thread.