Printing manuscript paper

Almost that !

I do not find how to hide measure bar at the end of each system !
Only the last is hidden …!

Here is the file:
10 (582 KB)
Let me know if you find the solution.


Alain, guess there are several options. You can hide them with a piece of white text on white background (must be explicitly set before you type) or you could use one flow per line and set the final barline to none, or use 10 staves with the same approach or use the approach Thomas used above…

Hello everyone,

I was searching this topic and thought it may be helpful for some people to have this Dorico file that I made to print manuscript paper. One could adjust the size and the number of staves per page, etc.

Thank you to all of you for all the great help.
manuscript (315 KB)

Thanks @guitarlos, that’s awesome.

Carlos, I will link this file to a Dorico resources page on my website, if that’s OK.

Great Dan! Thank you

Best regards

Posted, thanks!

Would the team consider adding a menu item “create manuscript page” perhaps with options to customise the look? Creating worksheets /exams in Dorico and then needing to have a blank manuscript page to students to do their work on. Having this all contained in app would be very useful.

Manuscript templates for printing would be great.

That’s an interesting idea. I’m not entirely sure how it would work, I guess as a Master Page of some sort? It’s pretty easy to use Remove Rests to get rid of the whole rests though. I generally use a dashed barline with the dash length set to 0 in Engraving Options/Barlines to effectively have invisible barlines when needed too. Here’s a midterm I started preparing last night with some blank measures for students to fill in that was really easy to do in Dorico:

I think you said in another thread that you didn’t currently have access to any sort of PDF utility, but if you did you could also have a sheet of blank manuscript paper already exported as a PDF that you could just amend to the end of any PDF. Headers and page #s wouldn’t work on that page though unless you added them in the PDF utility.

Would taking the file guitarlos posted and modifying it to fit your needs work? You could export a PDF and have it ready to print whenever needed. I have 8.5x11 and 9.5x12.5 single staff manuscript paper, and 11x14 big band manuscript paper all already created so I can print on demand.

There’s freeware and web sites such as this where you can customize and print:

Likewise, Google is your friend. The following search terms: blank manuscript paper brought up a large number of sites.

Using Dorico for this purpose is like applying a tourniquet for a paper cut.

Obviously there are lots of sites with this available, but I just exported clean versions of my manuscript files if anyone wants them. The landscape big band files are probably a little tougher to find online.
Music (30.2 KB)

A lot of these sites have extra information at the bottom, web site etc. Can’t customise spacing exactly how you want it. When preparing a complete exam paper, book etc, it would be fantastic to have the ability to drop in a page of manuscript, and then when you need to print 300 copies for an exam, year group, whatever, it’s all there ready to go. Adding low res watermarked manuscript from external sites is painful in this regard. I don’t think the ability for a notation program to easily produce a page of blank staves is too extreme…

Just thought of another way to fairly easily add a page of manuscript to any project in Dorico. This is not a perfect workaround as it is contingent on not ever needing a double whole rest or dashed barlines, but otherwise it’s pretty fast.

First create your manuscript paper template file:

  1. In a new file, create an 8/4 time sig at beginning
  2. With Force Duration on, input a Double Whole Rest, and copy it to fill 40 measures.
  3. Invisible Clef, hide time signature
  4. Assign a Frame Break in the first bar with Staff Labels: None, then in bar 5 assign a system break and select Staff Labels: None. (Yes, this can be done in Layout Options, but when we import this into another file with different Layout Options it won’t work, so this needs to be done here.)
  5. In Write mode Alt-click the System break every 4 bars. (Same issue with Layout Options) You now should have 10 systems, 4 bars a piece. By doing it this way you will override virtually any final system justification setting in the destination file, plus preserve the option of the fixed 4 bars across look.
  6. I’m not entirely sure what the fastest way to do this is, but change all barlines to dashed if you don’t want barlines (by Alt-clicking?), or leave them if you want the even 4 bars per system look.
  7. Template file is now done so save the file, then export the flow. We don’t care that this doesn’t look like manuscript paper yet because we will need to make all the final changes in the destination file.

To add a blank page of manuscript to another file:

  1. Import the flow you just exported in step 7 above into the file where you want the page of manuscript paper.
  2. In Engraving Options/Barlines/Design change #7, the dash length, to 0 spaces.
  3. In Engrave Music Symbols/Rests, select the Double Whole Rest, and simply delete the glyph.

That’s it, you’re done!!! After the initial file creation, you now have a blank page of manuscript ready imported into any score with 3 steps. Depending on your measure # settings for the rest of the project, you may need to get rid of them on the manuscript page, but Select More x2 then Alpha channel 0 does the trick quickly. If you want the barlines for standard 4 bar spacing then you obviously don’t bother with changing the barlines to dashed, and you don’t need to make that edit.

Using the above method, you could also configure all sorts of different manuscript layouts in different flows in your same template file: 8 staves to a page, 12 staves, grand staff, etc.

Unlike buying commercial manuscript, right? Oh, wait a minute… I bet you’re too young to ever have done that. Spoiler alert… BTW, the point of printing out manuscript is to use pencil or pen & ink.

BTW, you are absolutely wrong on what one "can’t" do. There are inexpensive and free pdf tools for the PC & Mac that will do everything you need with the freeware. Also, there are inexpensive and free notation apps that will let you lay out staves exactly how you want and drag them in place.

For what the OP was asking, Dorico is the wrong tool. In fact, it’s probably the absolutely worst tool for that job. All the right tools are quick and easy and there are many.

Back in the day, I used to do presentation manuscript. I brought my large sheets of art paper down to a blueprint shop that had a plotter, load a usb stick with a pdf of the staves and have them printed. No one ever complained that the staves were too perfect to have been done by hand. The notation was done with a calligraphy pen & India Ink, of course.

Dorico works perfectly well for manuscript paper, as about a half-dozen users have already demonstrated above.

This is the best way I have found. (with a few tips from others here at the forum)

1: Create a new score
2: Add a solo player
3: Write mood: Add 10 whole notes
4; Engrave mood: add system breaks every whole note
5: Write mood: Delete the notes
6: Shift-C invisible to hide clefs

Layout options Bar Numbers = None
Layout options Note Spacing untick Only justify final…
Layout options Staff labels = None
Layout options Players untick Show bar rests in empty staves

Notation options No barline at end of flow


…if you want to waste the time — as I have pointed out. Every other way is faster and easier — including editing the pdf downloads from the free sites.

I stand by my statement that, of all the ways to crack that nut, Dorico is the worst. Just because you disagree, it doesn’t mean I’m wrong.