Is there a way to do system breaks in write mode?

Is there a way to do system breaks in write mode?


No, though you could create a script to Go to Engrave mode, add a System Break; and then return to Write mode.

Usually, it’s best to do the writing, then do the layout when it’s all done.

One thing you can do is create a system or frame break in Engrave mode, then return to write mode. There you can select the break, copy and paste it to another spot, or ALT-click it to copy it to a new spot. I do that sometimes with condensing changes as well.


I’m not sure how many signposts can be copy-pasted but it’s a great feature indeed!

I am of the opinion that (and I’ve voiced this before) adding system breaks in write mode has it’s genuine uses. Sometimes you need to split long bars (cadenzas) or place breaks to even be able to properly enter music in in page view.

My own use of galley view is limited, because it doesn’t handle situations with multiple lines of lyrics well (even when you increase the default spacing values) so it is often of very limited use to me. Long phrases on reciting tones are not handled gracefully until the “lyric” is left aligned and measures are shifted around to permit proper spacing. In the absence of the ability to shift measures in write mode, you have to switch modes just to add the system breaks, because if you don’t, you literally cannot see what you are doing because of all the collisions.

I use Keyboard Maestro to do that and it works very well. It automatically switch to Engrave mode, inserts the system break and returns to write mode. I attach the macro I made in Keyboard Maestro if someone is interested. The shortcut to activate the macro is: control+option+command+S :slight_smile:
dorico system break in write (1.3 KB)


… yes it is possible to enter System Brakes in Write Mode: in Dorico SE! as there is no Engrave Mode in the SE version


I’m grateful to have your KM version; thank you for sharing it. I do something similar with my stream deck, but I don’t always have one handy, so this is great to have as a backup.

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I know this has been discussed before but - despite this going against Dorico‘s design philosophy - I STRONGLY still encourage them to add system and frame breaks in Write Mode for convenience.

My script has just one step and it still works:

local app=DoApp.DoApp()

I assigned it a keyboard shortcut in Mac System Prefs > Keyboard. So now with one keypress I can add a system break without apparently leaving write mode at all.