Margins question and a suggestion

Hello all,

I know that margins are set per layout, and that it is not possible to put anything outside of the margins.

Q: Let’s say that I have margins of 2cm and the style sheet demands page numbers to rest on top of the upper margin, would the best way to accomplish this be to raise the margin up and adjust the music frame accordingly (or just altering the music frame margin)? If there is a better way, please tell.

S: I often run into cases when I need to put things in the margin, or straddling the margin. Maybe I am not getting around this correctly, but if I for instance have to insert one full page (SVG) of music from another source into my Dorico file it would be very handy to be able to override the margins on that very page, instead of changing margins to 0 and adjust all the other frames. I think this would be a powerful tool.

Have you thought of setting page margins to zero and then configuring various Master Pages with frames set to standard “margins” and others Master Pages customized for more flexibility?

Well, I am actually thinking about it. Is that what you do?

I am a bit reluctant to it because it seems to defeat the purpose of Dorico’s way of setting page margins.

I think that Derrek’s suggestion is the only practical way to achieve your aims, given Dorico’s current (and likely medium-term future) options in this area.

I have a similar question here, and am trying to figure out what is the best way to go about it.

I have about 8 pages of music and text for a solo. The composer has art work he would like on the first page (almost a full bleed graphic). Since I cannot place things outside the margins, what is the best way to get page 1 only to show this full bleed graphic, while still keeping all of the other pages with the current margins?

I see a lot of math work ahead, if I change the margins to 0, then go back to the music pages to ensure that the frame align where they would if the margins were there.


Robby, I don’t think it’s too arduous as long as you do it at the master page level. Just anchor each of your frames a couple of inches (or whatever) further from the top/left/right/bottom than you normally would. One thing I have noticed in my cursory experiment: it’s much easier to grab multiple frames in the Master Page Editor while there are still margins on the page.

Hmmm… ok. Maybe I am thinking of it wrong. Let me take a look at trying it.


If you really do need to print something full bleed, then I don’t think Dorico is currently the right tool for your cover anyway, as you can’t define any bleed beyond the page edge. You might be better off sparing yourself the trouble of doing this in Dorico (for now at least) and producing the cover in an illustration program with proper support for bleed beyond the edge of the page. Even if you output the music as PDF in Print mode, you’ll be limited to RGB colour rather than the usual CMYK process colour, and even if you export with printers’ marks, the graphic will still stop right at the page edge, rather than providing the necessary 2-3mm bleed.

Thanks Daniel! I appreciate this information.

I had decided to do it in another program after all.

However, after recently speaking to the composer about other print questions I had, I learned there is no intent to sell work in published form. This work will be PDF download only, to be printed by the user. That information somewhat changes the needs at the moment. Despite not printing the work to sell hard copies, the composer still wants the cover page to have that look of a full bleed page. My thought was to still create that in another program, and then place it as a graphic in the file. It would be nice to have custom page margins available for specific pages in Dorico.


We don’t have any plans to make the margins changeable on individual pages.


I understand your thoughts, and understand more that there are so many more items needing attention over this. Perhaps in the future, this might be reconsidered, or perhaps a feature to allow the user to place items outside the defined page margins.


What kind of output does the composer want. IIRC A good PDF program would let you replace a blank (or text) title page produced by the Dorico PDF with another (full bleed?) created in another program.

Of course whether the eventual printout would be full bleed would likely depend on the capabilities of the end-user’s printer.

Well, this is more for my ‘house keeping.’ I would like 1 file for the entire project, as opposed to 1 graphics file, 1 Dorico file, 1 PDF file for the music, then another PDF/SVG of the graphic, then a PDF of the 2 combined.