Moving Frame or System breaks around

Although Dorico is very good at casting off automatically, sometimes it’s desirable to experiment a little with placement of frame breaks and system breaks, to facilitate nice page turns etc. It would save time if there would be a way of simply moving a break to the previous or next barline, instead of having to first delete an existing one, insert a new one (or the other way round) and (often) adjusting the ‘wait for next … break’ property again.
For example, after selecting the signpost, pressing Alt-arrow could move the break in small steps along the rhythmic grid (after all, a break may occur in the middle of a bar), and Shift-Alt-arrow could move it to the previous or next barline.
Maybe I’d also like to be able to drag a signpost to a new location.

(Edit:) Related request: if there is a system or frame break selected (or maybe even if there isn’t), to have keyboard shortcuts to select the next/previous break. In that case, fiddling around with breaks will be mostly keyboard-based, which may speed up work.

Another one: ‘make into system’ and ‘make into frame’ are now in the main menu only. How about including those in the right-click menu as well?

I like the idea of simply moving system breaks or page breaks to the previous or next barline. I’d be surprised if the team had not thought about it already!

It wouldn’t surprise me if it’s one of those things that’s harder to do than it would seem, simply because the developers have to consider fringe cases. The obvious one, of course, is local barlines.

This is an uneducated guess from an unqualified user :slight_smile:


This is a rare case where F… is far quicker to use, with up/down arrows to shift a bar or selection of bars.
Dorico doesn’t have a way to select a bar as an entity. I don’t know if this is a hindrance here?

I think a great solution for “final adjustments” of bars in systems / system breaks - could be to use arrow-keys (up+down) ONLY in Print-mode.
Like this, the user can simple and fast override Dorico’s ingenious spacing, if desired.
(This is one of the few things that works flawless in Finale - and I really miss this in Dorico).

Are you aware that you can move system and frame breaks with Alt+left/right arrow in Write Mode? (I think this was added in 2 or 2.1.) When you set the rhythmic grid to a high value you can make adjustments pretty quickly.
(Daniel: I just tried this on a piece in 12/8 and found that I can’t set the rhythmic grid to a dotted whole note. That would have been useful. Would it be possible to extend the range of values here once more?)

Oh! Usefull feature :slight_smile:
I did not notice this!

I am not really sure I understand what you mean here? I can’t do anything with alt+arrows in write-mode.

To get back to the question: How to move around, or change Dorico’s (ingenious, but not prefect) bars spacing:

  • I certainly like to have full control over my scores and parts… especially concerning the bars spacing!
    Yes, it is a darn tedious work, and before I got used to do it Finale (a MUST), I hated it - and wondered why this has to be done at all ?!
    Now, I can’t leave a single page un-checked.
    It IS great to be able to have a pretty darn good looking automatic spacing, but it is very dumb not to be able to (simply) override this.

I would really like to be able to change the staff-layout much easier (How many bars are to be in one staff).
Especially Jazz-musicians like to have a automatic layout of even bars on a staff. Even if it sometimes looks stupid. (waaaay to loose).
(a musicians part in jazz is NOT the same as in classical music!!)
I would like to have, at least an extra simple “command” added; “automatically create system breaks at double barlines, and/or rehearsal-marks”.
Alternatively; please add a possibility to create a set number of bars on each staff. (maybe this exists already… haven’t looked too much).

It exists. It’s a Layout Option.

That’s strange, because I can. What version of Dorico are you using?

I can’t either. 2.1.

Works for me - didn’t know this existed. Nice time saver. Can’t say why it isn’t working for some others - usually the other way around, for me!

I can do this by selecting a break signpost in write mode and using Alt+arrow keys. It moves according to the grid setting.

I use DoPro2.1.1067

Well. It has to be mentioned clearly: maybe you are talking about just moving your “view” by quickly scrolling through the (created) system-breaks? That is probably possible, yes… but I was talking about how to change the position of a BAR in a system/staff.
I think we got things all messed up here.

@Derrek - I found the stuff you referred to (casting Off-in layout…). (Why “hide” this THERE!!!)

But, don’t you people also think that moving bars around a bit should be a quick and simple issue one CAN do (if desired) on your score pages, just before printing them?
It’s great to HAVE this feature of course… (each staff should have XX bars)… but, if I can’t quickly and simple override this somewhere, whithout messing the WHOLE page up… I dunno.
As I said; this is actually one of the very few flawless things in Finale. Once you get used to it - dang spot on!

I guess the “Personal layout” whishes are known to the DoPro2 team… but this is probably waaaaaay low on their agenda.

Personally I would like to have an additional TAB = Layout.

(Edit: it has to be said: I don’t really “USE” Dorico yet. I just more and more often check things out… because I WANT to use it!
If I have to create a score for real use; I still work in Finale…)

Ah. Actually - to do what I am referring to - to move a bar to the next system; I just select the barline and Shift-S (for "System Break).
But, this is still not a solution if I want to quickly “override” DoPro2’s spacing. What if I really WANT to have only 2 bars on a staff. Or even 10 bars - even if it looks horrible! Why am I not allowed to do this in a quick and simple way?
(what about wanting to move the first bar of a staff UP to the previous staff?!?!?!)

I do agree with you, and I find Finale’s functionality still easier in this regard. Select a measure, and hit up or down to quickly change system breaks.

But I DO use Dorico exclusively now, for the other 200 functions it does much more quickly and easily. Literally every old file I need to pull up and continue working on, I export XML from Finale to Dorico. I did open Finale last week to make a couple small changes in an orchestration, and I found myself instantly frustrated. Apparently old habits can die… quickly! You just have to be willing to change your thinking and embrace a totally different UI.

If we’re honest, most of our complaints come from some variation of “Why doesn’t Dorico do this function like program X that I’ve used forever and am familiar with?” Not every complaint, of course, but probably the majority.

I suspect so that one can independently control the casting off in different layouts. I might want four measures per system in my melodic parts but eight per system for drums and (for purposes of putting everything on two facing pages) five per system for bass. So making the default measures per system a layout option fits in with Dorico’s (and most arrangers’) logic.

If you think about it, this is the same relationship you would find in Finale, except in Dorico you could select multiple layouts and apply the option to them simultaneously.

I, too, like the way Finale moves measures up or down a system with the arrow key. I expect Dorico will at some point find a similarly convenient way to rearrange systems; but that is down the road, and I am willing to wait.


I hear you!