Instrument names and lines AFTER condensing

Having set how I want the instrument names, defined and added lines, I have condensed my score and (at least) three important things have changed:

  1. The instrument name format at the beginning of each stave has changed.

  2. There are now braces at the beginning of each condensed stave.

  3. My lines do not display.

How do I fix these problems, please?


Could you perhaps share a screenshot or a project file that demonstrates the issues and how you’d like them to be different?

Lines not being condensed is a known issue, I believe.

Item 2 might go away if I remove the braces from the uncondensed file.

Items 1 and 3 are crucial to this project.

I cant believe that there isnt a defined shortcut for Edit/Condensing. I dont like to have to define my own, as my experience with Sibelius was that they were always pinched for new features in later versions!



Ah right, well this might be one of those cases we were talking about where the fact that lines are really designed semantically to apply to a single instrument comes into play – I didn’t realise then that you were intending to use condensing. When “forcing” items into a position that’s not their default, it’s good to have in mind whether you have any significant changes to the staves/casting off etc planned, and do those first to minimise the chance of disruption.

For the braces shown on single staves, check in Layout Options > Brackets and Braces, there are options at the end for whether or not to show a single brace or sub-bracket when there’s only one staff “left” in the bracketed/braced group.

Edit: Oh yes, and the staff labels – I think they can’t reliably consolidate if you’ve edited the instrument names in the Edit Instrument Names dialog.

I made a test, as you can see: 1. & 2. Horns have lines that only apply to one stave!

Of course I am using condensing. Is it not a prime feature of Dorico and fundamental to the philosophy of the program? It would seem that the alternative is to do it the Sibelius way, put several voices on a stave and then have to take them off to make the parts!

I have cast off; but this is temporrary, so it agrees with the score I am working from.

Fixed that!


Yes the lines only apply to one instrument in the horns, but as I said I don’t think lines are handled in condensing yet. If you want lines extending across multiple staves (which is already stretching the lines feature) and to use condensing, it might be worth considering another approach: like graphics frames.

It was also a general point about having a smoother ride if you hold off on getting things graphically into position until after you’ve got a layout (as far as it’s possible to know at the time) into its “final state”.

Sorry, I dont understand what you mean by final state.


Structurally in position: casting off bars into systems, systems into frames/pages, staves hidden/shown, condensing on/off - that sort of thing.

Although this is not yet a complete project, I’ve done all that and am now at the last item in your list!

I dont want to input the whole score and then have to repeat the process because of a non-existent feature. What is the point of lines if you cant use them when the score is condensed? :smiley:


Might I humbly suggest that graphically extending vertical lines to span a certain number of staves, and then changing that number of staves by enabling condensing, means the staves were not in their final state. Condensed vs uncondensed staves are 2 different things, and local properties can be different between them, therefore it’s generally best to leave precise changes until everything else is sorted to reduce the amount of duplicate work required.

Unfortunately lines aren’t condensed yet. In your case, where you’re wanting staves to span multiple staves, an alternative approach might well be best regardless, as already alluded to.

And then discover that a crucial feature is unavailable!

Could you be more specific and direct me to where I can learn how to implement the alternative approach you are alluding to, please?


Have you tried adding a line on a staff which is not condensed and then dragging it to where you want it in Engrave Mode?


Just tried that, thanks! Moving the line caused Dorico to crash and exit! :smiley:


It didn’t cause a crash when I tried it.


I put it on the first violins and I think I may have moved the top end up too far.

Putting it on the timpani and then moving it up to the Ww before extending it seems to have worked.

The only question is whether I can rely on this line being stable! :smiley:



The end points of the line will probably move if you change between condensed and non-condensed staves, but I would assume that basically everything else except the line will, by now, be in their final positions.


I have two questions about graphic frames.

– If I put them in the stave, do they erase the stave lines or not?

– Would not using jpg files for the lines mean that I have to make a new jpg for each different length line?

I still have to solve the problem that I need 1. 2. Flöte, etc, at the beginnign of the staves, rather than

  1. Flöte
  2. Flöte

Graphics frames will draw on top of music frames, so if you put an opaque graphic into a graphic frame, it will indeed mask out any and all material shown in the music frame behind. You can use a graphic format that supports transparency to avoid that. I would recommend using a SVG file with no background.