Items (lines, text, etc) move when using Alt-click to copy

When I use Alt-click to copy an item (e.g., a line, staff text, etc) from one staff (same or different flow) to another, pre-existing items on the target staff are disturbed (displace, moved, or replaced). Here’s an example:

  1. I want to copy the text (“stage 1, stage 2, stage 3”) from the upper staff to the lower one:

  2. I select that text, then click on the first note of the lower staff while holding Alt:

  3. . . . which copies the selected text to the lower staff, but, in so doing, moves the positions of the existing lines (they are now much higher above the staff):

This kind of thing sometimes happens when simply creating a new item on an existing staff, without using Alt-click.

My hunch is that this has something to do with Dorico automatically adjusting things so that they don’t ‘bump’ into each other, but I’m not sure about that – and I don’t know how to address that, if it is indeed the case.

Thanks, in advance, for any help!

p.s. I’m (unfortunately) still on Dorico 3.5 (using Windows 7).

Could you share the project? It’s not obvious how you’re handling these items – is that text that’s part of the horizontal lines but positioned above? Or separate text items?

(If the latter, is there some reason you’re not using the in-built “add text to line” function, given that that’s what you seem to want?)

Hi, Lillie;
The text was entered separately from – and after inputting --the horizontal lines. You’re right – I could have used the “add text to line” function – but it seemed quicker to do it this way (as there is a lot of text in the file).

I’ve just uploaded the file, but a heads-up: I was using the file as a place to create slices and/or screen captures to utilize in teaching material, using flows to separate one from the other, so the contents of the file do not “flow”, musically or otherwise :wink:.

ascending 5ths - modal progressions in disguise.dorico (580.9 KB)

This is a very good example of when doing something “quicker” ends up slower. Adding text to a line is much more robust when other things change, because the different elements know what they belong to.

Thanks, Mark.

I’m not yet convinced, tho’: first, based on my (rather limited) use of the ‘text-in-line’ feature, things can get very finicky if/when one wants the text to be positioned in unusual ways. I find it much faster to type in some staff text and position it as I need it, on the fly. If copying items didn’t cause pre-existing items to move, my operations would be quite fast.

Dorico will sometimes re-calculate how to position items in relation to each other, when the items present at a given position change: that’s one of Dorico’s strengths, but of course it means you need to be familiar with that behaviour to make the most of it.

It’s up to you to assess the different functions available, and decide what’s best for you. If you want the flexibility of having the line and text be separate items, go for it; but of course, being separate items, they’re liable to be treated, well, separately for the purposes of spacing etc. Dorico will move one out of the way of the other, because in most cases that’s what you would want separate items to do.

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Is there any way to tell Dorico to not move things out of the way of each other?

For text items, yes. In general, not really. Although for things like tuplets/slurs and playing techniques, you can control their order using a tucking index (there’s a separate tucking index for tuplets/slurs/octave lines vs playing techniques relative to other playing techniques).

Thanks, Lillie. I hadn’t known about the “tucking index”.

Is there a way to assign font size, style (regular/italic, etc), and colour to the ‘text-in-line’ feature?

BTW, so far, I’m finding that unchecking “automatically resolve collisions between adjacent staves and systems” within Layout Options/Vertical Spacing seems to allow me to copy lines and text without Dorico automatically moving pre-existing items.

You can define your own font styles, which allows control of font, size and style, but not colour. You can use those font styles when you define line annotations.

Thanks, Daniel.

I vaguely remember how to create new/custom paragraph styles, but I can’t find – or recall – any info on how to create a custom font style. If you can direct me to the appropriate info, I’d appreciate it.


How about this? Top result when searching the manual for “create font style”

Thanks, Lillie, but I couldn’t find this anywhere . . . I see that the way to access this"Edit Font Styles" is via “the library” – which doesn’t exist in Dorico 3.5 (which is what I have, using Windows 7). While it does appear that one can create a new font style in Dorico 4, I can’t find that feature anywhere in Dorico 3.5.

When I’ve searched the Dorico 3.5 manual for this (searching for “Font Styles”, “Custom Font Styles”, “Create Font Styles”, etc.) I’ve always gotten this result: Edit Font Styles dialog

. . . which details what I’ve been looking at, in vain, all along:

. . . and this doesn’t seem to offer any option to create a new font style.

I had searched the forum, too, which had no mention of this – not even of the v.4 manual entry that you found.

If there is a way to create a new font style in Dorico 3.5, please let me know.

Yes, if you’re using Dorico 3.5, you can’t create new font styles. That was introduced in Dorico 4. (Apologies if you’ve clarified you use 3.5 in previous correspondence, unfortunately I can’t always remember such details if they’re not in front of me in each thread!)

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Sadly. There are a number of v.4 features I wish I could be using with Windows 7.

. . . understandably!

Just found a way to change font style that’s used with Dorico “text-in-line” feature while using Dorico 3.5:

Go to Engrave mode/engrave menu/Font Styles/horizontal line font, and change the font, font size, and/or font style accordingly. The same can apply to “vertical line font”.

The text-in-line’s colour can be changed – but only along with its line – by selecting the line and using the color feature in the Properties panel.

As far as I can see, this cannot be made a default for subsequent projects, but of course it can be used within a self-created template.

Thanks again, Mark – I’m edging closer to being convinced :wink: . This is definitely helpful when the text I need to use conforms to text-in-line features.