Limiting how far forward Insert Mode will cause reflow

Let’s say I’m working on a piece (Dorico 3.2) and am not sure what to do in bars 1-8 for a player but I know what content I want in bar 9 and beyond. Then at a later point I have my breakthrough and start filling in bars 1-8. It seems to me that any use of Insert Mode (which I use all the time) while filling in bars 1-8 will shift the music in bars 9 and beyond around, which is clearly undesirable/inconvenient (although not impossible to clean up).

I’ve tried temporarily changing the bar line type between 8 & 9 but that doesn’t work – it even reflows across an End Repeat…

This question was asked a few years ago here:

and the implication was that a “local re-flow” feature was planned for the future, which sounds like exactly what I am looking for, but if it was ever implemented, I can’t find the documentation that applies.

Is there a simple way to do what I am wanting? It seems like a common way of working, so I’m curious how others are handling this case.

Why not turn off Insert mode when entering bars 1-8?
I turn it on and off regularly, very convenient!

Sorry, just read your post again and realised my answer wasn’t helpful. I would enter the 8 bars later in the score and copy them to m1-8 when they’re finished

Welcome to the forum, Jeff. As of Dorico 3.1.10, local Insert mode hasn’t been implemented. There isn’t a good solution except to either fix bar 9 onwards after the fact (which generally isn’t as scary as it looks, as everything that Insert mode does is effectively non-destructive), or not use Insert mode.

That said, you appear to be writing from the future, and it may be that in Dorico 3.2 a local insert mode will have been implemented. You’re to know that, and the rest of us aren’t, yet :wink:

Wouldn’t setting the caret at the start of the music and typing SHIFT+B 8 add eight blank measures (in all parts) within which Jeff could work without Insert mode on?

Or am I misinterpreting what Jeff wants?

I think Jeff’s talking about altering the lengths of notes with Insert mode turned on, (or inserting rests or notes between existing notes).


there was a similar discussion here last year.

Thanks to all for the responses. Indeed I had a brain cloud when I typed my original question and I am on Dorico 3.1 and not in fact writing from the future…

I think the alternate-voice workaround approach for filling in earlier bars (mentioned in other threads) makes the most sense for the workflow I have found myself using – at least, in a way that I don’t have to constantly adjust the content in later bars after it shifts around. And to clear up the misunderstanding: no, I can’t just go and insert 8 bars at the beginning because in this (not entirely) fictitious example, I already have music in bars 1-8 for other players.

The reason why Insert Mode is so useful to me is because I tend to find it most efficient in many circumstances to enter the melodic contour of a passage first, without paying attention to rhythm, and then tweaking the durations of notes as a second pass.

From the above-linked thread:

It’s probably not as easy to implement as it sounds, but having a “fence” property for barlines (with a key command toggle) would be very helpful indeed. Anything beyond the “fence” will be totally unaffected by any metrical edits made to the left of it…

This perfectly describes the feature I have in mind and, to me, a very effective implementation of it from the user’s standpoint.

Giving this thread a bump since Dorico 3.5 is out now…

I had thought that perhaps the new “Pitch Before Duration” feature might address this feature, but it seems that it doesn’t, based on an admittedly brief review of the new 3.5 Operation Manual and the video tutorial on this feature. Is there any update on whether this feature is under consideration for future versions?

See the last few posts in this thread where Daniel addresses future plans for Insert Mode: