Layout Adjustments

So far I have been working with small groups of instruments and have been able to get layouts that are appealing to the eye. this is my first project with an ensemble of this size. I like how the full score looks (and I didn’t have to lift a finger), but the parts are giving me fits. So far I have tried laying out systems and vertical adjustments between staves and the parts still look like the one I have here. I must be traveling down the wrong road and am open to suggestions so that I don’t have to use the marching band lyre version.

For starters, in the part layout,

  1. Get rid of all system and frame breaks
  2. Set your note spacing to 3 3/4 or something similar

Honestly, that should get you most of the way there. Frame and system breaks are largely the source of your problems here, and they should be one of the last things you do.

Thanks, Dan. I’ll check for system breaks, although I haven’t made any as of yet. I’ve toyed around with systems per page, number of bars per system, and vertical justifications .

No frame or system breaks. Another thing I have been curious about is that often the last system, as shown in this flute part, does not span the entire width of the page and I have to go through the system breaks process to get them right.

Layout Options–Note Spacing. Uncheck that box.

I would remove all fixed casting off, systems per page, bars per system, etc. Some people want those settings, but I don’t think you do.

Let Dorico do its thing, and you’ll generally be very pleased.


I agree with @dan_kreider. FWIW I suggest you make a copy of your project and return everything to Dorico defaults (use the Library>Library Manager to do this quickly). Also remember that Layout options are specific to each layout, so when changing them you need to select all the layouts you want affect (It’s all too easy to forget this!).
Then I would experiment with just space size and note spacing options.


Hey Art, @dan_kreider, and @Janus are right on the money. Call me if you need assistance in getting this straightened out.

I have made significant progress, gentlemen. Thank you!

You may find Lillie’s latest comment on this thread of interest as it gives a good summary of the sorts of changes to think about making to layout options (and why).