Parts font sizes, as opposed to Full Score

I’m keen to learn, and be pointed in the right direction, but now that I’m working on Parts for the first time, there’s clearly something I’m not understanding.

I have the Full Score looking good. Now I want all the parts to look good, but the font sizes for the Score don’t work for the parts. System Text (e.g. Verse labels), Rehearsal Marks, Tempo markings, etc. If I make changes to any of the parts, then the Score changes too.

I suspect I don’t have a full understanding of Master Pages yet. But when I double-click on Engrave > Master pages > Default Full Score (or Default Part) to edit the layout, there’s nothing there that relates to the font sizes I want to change.

Layout Options appears to contain the only things that are set up differently between Score and Parts, and there’s nothing there about fonts. What am I missing?

I’ve watched some videos and scoured help before writing. I learned about propagating layouts between parts, but again, nothing about fonts. Thanks for any help.


Fonts are controlled in two places: the Edit Font Styles dialog, and the Paragraph Styles dialog.

Items like tempo marks and rehearsal marks are controlled by font styles in the Edit Font Styles dialog (Engrave>Font Styles). Font size can be either “Staff-relative”, meaning it appears larger on larger staves and smaller on smaller staves, or “Absolute”, meaning it always appears with a fixed size regardless of the size of staves in the layout.

If you’ve got quite a large score and have therefore got quite small staves in the full score, it might be worth making the relevant fonts “Absolute” and experimenting with the font size - I find that can result in a good balance of readability in both the score and parts. What you can also do is use the Scale/Custom scale properties in the Common group of the Properties panel to adjust the size of items like tempo marks and rehearsal marks in individual layouts (for e.g., if your font size is good for all the parts but needs to be a little bigger/smaller in the score, you can then adjust their size just in the score).

Thanks for that, Lillie. Two good suggestions that I will check out.


Hi Lillie,

Is there a reason that tempo marks need to be under font styles as opposed to paragraph styles? To me it seems like it could just be used similar to the bar numbers property in the paragraph styles (with two separate settings for score and parts). But perhaps there’s some functionality between the font/paragraph styles I’m not quite understanding.

It’s mostly a quirk of (Dorico’s relatively short, but long enough) history. Font styles were implemented first, and paragraph styles (which provide a richer feature set) were implemented later, though both before Dorico 1.0 was released. The long term plan is to migrate text-like notations away from font styles and towards paragraph styles, but this is not a trivial thing to achieve.

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