Instrument names in another language by default?

is there a way of having instrument names appear in another language by default?
I write all my scores in French, and the names and abbreviations are obviously different, and use lots of formatting (in my case) such as underlines and superscripts.

I can create a template document for myself with the correct names and all, but was wondering if there was a way of having Dorico do it for me in advance.
If I create a template document it gets annoying having to remove instruments when I’m not writing for as large an ensemble.

Yes. Preferences>General>Instrument Names: Default language for instrument names.

is there any way of seeing what abbreviations that option will use for names?

I do not know (other than seeing every instrument and the edit names option).

I tried changing the language for the instrument names in a test file I had (one where I hadn’t bothered to change any instrument names), but nothing happened.

I’m not sure how that applies to an already existent file. I tried to create a new file after changing that option and worked as expected.
I see now that the instrument names are in a xml file (instrumentnames_fr.xml) inside Dorico’s path (directory). It may be possible to search that file for full and short names and see the results.

ok, it only starts using whatever language you’ve selected in a NEW file.

however, I’m seeing some really questionable names, particularly in the abbreviated names.

You can indeed change the language of the instrument names in a existing file.
In Engraving options>Language>Staff labels
See: Changing the language for instrument names

And you may want to suggest changes to the abbreviations that you find questionable. The developers would surely considere them.

I’ll create a French score and look at what exactly Dorico supplies both name and abbreviation.
one that comes to mind immediately is “Cr en Fa” for horn.
I base my house style on Durand et Fils, and the key of the horn is rarely included in the abbreviated name, so it would be just “Cor” as the abbreviated name.
Another is the trompette, which it abbreviates as “Tpt”, while I’d normally see “Trp.”

And when it comes to some of the longer names there’s some formatting required. For example, Violoncelle abbreviated is “Velle” with the “elle” part as superscript, and the “ll” as underlined. The same type of mixed formatting goes for Hautbois: Htb., with the “tb.” being superscript.
instruments that would require this type of superscript and additional formatting (underlines) would be Petite Flûte (piccolo), Hautbois, Basson(s), Violon(s), and Violoncelle(s). (the bracketed “s” is if the instrument is singular or plural)

I’ll try and post some images of the names in my scores.

That sounds (with some characters in instrument names needing to be superscript or underlined) like you might want to set up a dummy project, customize the instrument names to your preferences, then save that project as a template for reuse.

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Thank-you Lillie.
I suspected that this was probably the most efficient course of action.

Does the file need to be empty for this? (ie: no notes, no time signatures, no movement titles, etc…)

I would need to know if I have to delete everything in this large project to then save it as a template.

When you save projects as a project template, you have the option to include existing flows and/or Project Info, or not. If you include neither, you can start fresh projects with all the instruments and customization in the original project (including to instrument names), but without any of the music or title, composer etc information. You don’t need to empty out the original project to do this.

Note that “saving as a project template” is a specific feature within Dorico, and “creating a local project file on your computer that you open and save-as for the starting point of future projects” is a different thing.

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Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you, Lillie!

I just saved it, then tested opening a new project using a template, and. It. Is. Freaking. BRILLIANT!!!

I spent a few hours yesterday having to set up this large score (full symphony, with auxiliary instruments, and lots of percussion), and having to do the formatting for each instrument name was very tedious.

This just saved me hours of work on a few upcoming projects!

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oops, I think I’m missing something that is tangentially related:

For some reason, I can’t seem to remove the English transposition name for instruments.
For example, I’m getting Clarinet en Sib (B Flat)

I went to the layout page and unchecked “show transposition”, but the “in whatever key” is still showing for all transposing instruments (clarinet, bass clarinet, horn, trumpet).

Do I need to manually change these and re-save my template?

What’s this current project’s instrument language setting set to?

probably set to English.
when I switched it to French the names of the instruments were mostly wrong.

a question: once I have my template, why does it automatically make the score “in C” (there’s a signpost), in 4/4, and fill with measures?

Before exporting to template I removed the “in C” signpost, the time signature, trimmed to end of flow. I get a single measure with no key signature, no extra measures.

But then, when I try to create a new document from that template, it reinserts the “in C” and the 4/4 then fills with 50 some measures.

Is there any way of getting a really blank new document from a template? with a single non-measured bar as the first and only bar, with no time nor key signature?

That’s exactly what you should get, if you deactivated “Preserve existing flows” when going through the “Save as Project Template” procedure.

If it’s not, please describe the steps you took and perhaps provide example project files.

I should be getting 50 measures in 4/4, in C?
or I should be getting a basically blank canvas document?

I mean, it’s not the end of the world. I rarely work with just a blank non-metered bar as my starting point. I can always just delete extra measures (though with this size of orchestra I doubt I’ll be needing FEWER than that! LOL)

The “in C” is a bit more annoying.

If you’re consistently not getting this result, please share a project file and detail the steps you took for someone to reproduce the issue.