Layout Options per Flow

I dare say this has been discussed before, but:

I would love to be able to change the Casting Off and Vertical Spacing settings per Flow, rather than just for the whole project. I often work on projects where Flows have wildly differing staff scorings, and different settings would be super useful.

Ben, how do you work around this currently? Do you create a separate layout for each flow and uncheck the other flows from it in Setup?

@benwiggy
I am also waiting for this too!
BTW not only for casting off but for all Layout Options!

@dankreider
I do not wan to answer for benwiggy but maybe you find this solution usefull:

I found out that if you lock a frame it will not react any more to the casting off setting.
I then do this:

  1. I choose a casting off setting for the first page of a flow and when I like the result I lock the frame.
  2. I choose another casting off setting for the next page in case the first casting off setting did not fit.
    When the setting is right, I then lock this page too … and so on.
    Of course working this way you cannot first lock a frame in the middle of a flow and then try to find the right setting for a previous page in this flow.
    It is necessary to work from the first page of a flow go through all the other one after each other.
    It works for me :slight_smile:

Currently, I don’t! I can Lock systems into frames, change the Note Spacing, change the Staff Size, but that’s it.

I have gotten around to this by doing the method that I mentioned above. It’s unwieldy if you have lots of layouts or lots of flows, obviously. But for smaller projects it works fine.

We cannot in general allow all layout options to differ by flow, and that is not in our plans.

However, we do anticipate introducing features to insert e.g. a “fixed casting off change” that will allow you to use different sets of fixed casting off values at different points through the layout, and this idea might be extensible to other things, but in general there cannot be different sets of layout options per flow, because material from multiple flows can appear nside the same frame. The program just isn’t designed to accommodate it.

This sounds great!

This sounds great too.

The other—albeit somewhat cumbersome—option is to create a score layout for each flow. That would allow you total control. You’d just have to only have one flow per layout.

This is about only one aspect of the Layout Options: Vertical Spacing
And this is about the great results of the global settings without making any manual adjustment.

The features of the “Vertical Spacing” in Dorico are extremely powerfull.
I believe that the combination of “Ideal Gaps”, and “Vertical Justification” covers almost all possible situations and if something still needs some editing, then “Casting Off” or “Make into Frame” will probably solve the very last issue.

The fact that when you use either “Vertical Justification” or “Casting Off” the “Ideal Gaps” values are still taken in account and adapted makes the whole thing incredibly flexible.
There is almost no need to make any manual adjustment after a judiciously use of these global settings.

I am very very happy with these features and I can indeed quickly achieve results that look perfect to me.

But … and this is a great “but” the downside is that this perfection can be only achieved at the moment if you work with only one flow.
It is already great as I suppose many people are working with only one flow per project.
But if you use the other powerfull feature of Dorico and work with multiple flows this is a whole other story.

If you find a perfect combination of values for vertical spacing in a flow, these settings will also work with other flows only if these flows contain the same number and the same type of players.
As soon as something differs the result cannot and will not be as perfect.
And as soon as you have flows with a completely different number of players then only one setting simply cannot work any more for all flows.
It means that you then have to find a compromise between several settings (depending on how many types of flows you have in your project) that aproximatively works for all your flows.
But it will never be so perfect as if you could use an individual combination of vertical spacing setting for each flow.
Which is sad considering how good the result can be otherwise.

I find this a very important issue.
On one side you can easily achieve perfect results working with a single flow.
On the other side it is not possible to achieve perfect results working with multiple flows which have a different number of players.
(Again I am talking about the global Vertical Spacing settings, I am of course aware that you can manually shift every single staff.)

And yes I am very aware of what Daniel already wrote a few posts above:
“We do anticipate introducing features to insert e.g. a “fixed casting off change” that will allow you to use different sets of fixed casting off values at different points through the layout, and this idea might be extensible to other things”

There are two reasons why I insist on this point.
The first is because I am just working on the second musical using mutiple flows (BTW I already had finished it but with single flows but I decided to rework it because of the great features of multiple flows) and right now I am working on the vertical Spacing of the full score and of the small orchestra score and I am simply not able to achieve the same results as I could with the single flows.
Of course it looks already nice, but it could be much better.

The second reason is because I am wondering what “this idea might be extensible to other things” will lead to.
In my view the power of the vertical spacing features is because of the flexible combination of ALL vertical spacing features together.

I plead then for a feature allowing to use different sets of ALL vertical spacing values at different points through a layout.

I don’t think you should need to change the Vertical Spacing values for projects with multiple flows; indeed, it’s already the case that within a single flow you can have systems with wildly varying numbers of staves, and it’s not necessary to change those values to accommodate those systems. In general what I would suggest is that you set the values such that you are allowing justification and not the ideal gaps themselves to do the heavy lifting: in other words, set the ideal gaps to the smallest values you can, and then rely on vertical justification to spread the music out correctly.

Thanks Daniel for your usefull advices.

Before you answered I took a different approach and used the best possible values for “Ideal Gaps” and I took the word “Ideal” too literally!
It seems it was not the best way.
Indeed your advices lead to better results overall and after testing (a lot) I finally found values where everything (21 flows and 178 pages) seems to look good except for one flow only:
. I found a value where everything is good for all flow except for this flow which is justified and should better not be justified
. increasing the first Justify value with 1% makes half of the pages of the flow justified and the other half not.
. increasing 2% more all pages are then not justified in this flow (which would be good) but this changes too much things in several other flows!
. At the end I come back to the first value which is good for 20 flows and not so good for this one.
But I can live with this compromise.

I find these vertical spacing values quite challenging but very powerfull.

@ Daniel at Steinberg
Out of curiosity I would really like to know what would be your strategy in the case I described in my last post:
All flows ar ok except one which is justified but should better not be.
Of course I can manually edit all the staves of the flow but because they are all justified it means each staff from each system has to be edited (13 staves x 19 pages), this is not really a solution.
And as I previously described, slightly changing the “Justify distance between staves and system” value is not an option because it changes several other flows.
I also tried several values for the “Ideal Gaps” but then it changes also too much other flows.
What would you do or advice to get rid of the unwanted justifying in this one flow only?

Without seeing the project itself I can’t advise. You haven’t specified what the nature of the problem is, whether the pages are over- or under-full, or something else. You know what tools are available and how I recommend you use them. If you want me to offer further advice, you need to show me the project.

OK.
I just have send the project and some explanations at your e-mail adress.

How about setting them for different flows? This still seems like a needed feature. Currently trying to do this and its a complete
mess.

You’ve quoted my answer in which I explained why these settings cannot be set on a per-flow basis, and the probable approach we will take to address this in future.