Overlapping systems with almost default layout settings

Hi, when I enter engrave mode I find on some pages that systems are brutally overlapping. The only settings I changed from default are narrower page margins, and the staff size (made it smaller. As you can see in the screenshots I have not manually meddled with the vertical spacing. What’s going on here?

Yeah this happens sometimes. It’s a circular thing. Dorico is trying to calculate multiple factors and sometimes trips over itself in this regard.

To answer your question: you are asking dorico to put more on one page then it’s possible to fit. You need to reduce your rastral size or only have one system per page.

As a new user I’m kind of confused by this. Dorico already automatically chooses per page if it fits one or two systems, it alternates when needed, and then it combines these two on a single page creating this overlap. Why doesn’t it just automatically spread the two systems over two pages when it does this successfully already on other pages?

Unfortunately Dorico can’t always correctly predict whether a frame is going to become overfull, and once it has decided on the casting-off result, it can’t change its mind once it discovers that it was wrong. Dorico doesn’t know exactly how every item on every system will be positioned until the music is fully spaced, and of course the placement of some items, like beams etc., is dependent on the spacing itself, so there is a circularity to this process: it can’t figure out whether or not the music will fit in the frame until it’s cast-off, but it can’t cast it off until it knows whether it will fit in the frame, and so on.

Dorico makes estimates before it casts off about the likely height of each system, but if its estimates are wrong, it can end up thinking that one more system can fit than actually can.

We don’t rule out coming back around to try and solve this circular dependency another way in the future, but it’s not something you should expect to change soon. For the time being, I suggest you simply set a frame break at the start of the final system on the first page.