Master Pages

I have been using Dorico a few months now although not as much as I would like to. The software is great and such a relief after 20 years of Finale. However, I am still struggling to understand master pages and I am confused about how to create a default document. Previously, in Finale I set up my default document and then saved it as a template to a folder of my choice. This included things like line thickness, size and spacing of staves and tab staves, tab grace numbers the same size as regular numbers and all of my default fonts for everything plus loads of other settings. If and when I had to reinstall Finale then I could just load my template and all of those defaults would be there. I’m not sure that this is the case with Dorico and quite what is preserved? And if I have to reinstall if say I get a new machine and I am doing a clean install, where is the default master page that I created? Sorry to be an idiot but despite loving the program I am finding it hard to get my head around this particular feature. I have watched videos and looked at the manual but that has left me more confused. There is something I’m not getting about the concept I think. Probably like switching from PC to Mac!

Dorico divides these areas in a different way to Finale.

Everything in Engraving Options, Notation Options and Layout Options can be saved as default (and stored as xml files in your user folder - you can back these up and/or copy them to another computer).

Master Pages simply store the arrangement of text frames, graphic frames and music frames on the page. They can’t be saved as default, but as of 3.1 they can be exported from projects and imported into other projects. Note that the size and shape of each frame can be defined as either a self-referential measurement (e.g. 35mm width) or relative to the page (e.g. left side 3mm from page margin, right side 80mm from page margin). This means that if your page sizes change, your frames may or may not scale accordingly.

Thanks for reply. I think that is what I am finding confusing. That it isn’t just a simple matter of saving the template or master page with all of the previously altered defaults. If I change things like the stave line thickness does this then change the master page? Can I create a document (saved to my own location) with all of my favourite settings and then use that as a default? Somethings that would be really useful is a clear exposition of which files contain the default settings and where they are stored. This is very important it seems to me.

Back to Layout/Engrave/Notation Options:
each project carries its own Engraving Options. Your default Engraving Options only apply to future projects, but can be applied to any project by going Engrave Options > Restore (reset?) to saved defaults.

Each Layout carries its own Layout Options (and there are two sets of defaults: one for parts, one for scores). Again, these defaults only apply automatically to new projects/layouts, but can be retrospectively applied to any layout.

Each Flow carries its own Notation Options. Defaults work in the same way here.

You can save a document that contains ALL of these things, then use that as a template. It just won’t actually show up in the Templates section of the Hub.

…and no, if you change the staff line thickness (which is an Engraving Option) it won’t alter the Master Page. Master Pages just store the arrangement of frames, as I said earlier.

Thanks Pianoleo!

Where are the default files kept?

On my Mac

/Users/your-username/Library/Application Support/Steinberg/Dorico 3/

Okay. Got it - thanks! So if I save the contents of this file and I need to reinstall, I can simply overwrite the default files with these? And presumably the four xml files specifically relate to the my default settings? I would never have guessed!!

Reinstalling Dorico on the same user account shouldn’t overwrite the user preferences, default options, keyboard shortcuts.
If you need to transfer your preferences to another machine then the easiest way is to copy and paste this whole folder. This way you’ll get all the application preferences, custom playing techniques etc., too. The only thing to watch out for is that the AutoSave folder path is stored in “preferences.xml” - if copying to a new computer (or a new user account) you may need to either edit this file so that it has the right path, or delete it - it will automatically be recreated correctly the next time Dorico runs.

Thanks again