Layout concern

I had a score completed, staves hidden when not used, a few manual adjustments, etc. I sent the score to the conductor who asked me to change the abbreviated names of three instruments - making two of them shorter by a letter, the other longer by a letter. I’ll admit I did not lock the format before doing so, and I suspect this was my downfall. When the edited abbreviations were applied, the score exploded - going from 32 pages to 73, everything hidden now visible. It took a lot of work/time to get the score back to where it was.

Should this have happened like this? Again, I did not lock the layout - I figured it was such a small change, but… If that is where I goof track, then lesson learned. If not, any clues as to why this might have occurred?

As always, and insights are greatly appreciated!

But don’t you have backups enabled? Dorico can save up to 99 backups, and triggered on save. I often just revert to backup after major goof - should be no need to redo work.

Clearly Dorico thought it should! Had it happened to me, my first response would have been to hit UNDO! Or, as Andro suggested, load a backup. You can find the backup folder in preferences (ctrl-,)

As to what caused it, it’s hard to say without seeing the file.

I should have thought for that! I rarely have problems, so backups are something I’ve never had to call on. So…I just went ahead and re-worked all the formatting. But thanks for the reminder!

Yes - and I use UNDO all the time when making changes (well, the ones I don’t like). Instead, I just forged ahead not really thinking. For some reason, there wasn’t a backup - something I need to investigate. I do appreciate the friendly knock on the head of using the tools at our disposal. Sometimes, I just see red! In the future, I will still see red, but also count to 10, then hit cmd-Z.


You change the location and number of backups in preferences, but by default they do exist! Seek and you may well find!

I think Undo is an unsung hero of Dorico

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Undo is great, but I still start a new file with an appropriate dateStamp (yymmdd) whenever I begin a new revision.

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It’s impossible to provide much insight without actually seeing the project. But yes, small changes can have big effects. Adding one accidental can be the difference between having 6 bars or 5 bars on the system.

Reducing the width of the staff labels means more room for the music. There is a indent width setting, I think, in Layout Options that might restore the indent to the previous size.

That having been said, I very rarely ‘lock’ layouts.

Yes - I’m aware that small changes can have large effects. My main question is whether or not changing the abbreviations causes hidden staves to suddenly appear.
Great suggestion to reduce the width of the staff labels - I will use that option going forward.

Great advice. In fact, I usually do that. My thought (foolish) was that changing one lettering an abbreviation name wouldn’t result in large changes. But yes, renaming and then fiddling is my normal route. Thanks for the reminder!

Ah - sorry I missed that detail. No, I wouldn’t expect changing the staff Labels format to affect System Break Visibility. That is weird.