Problems with placement of trills above 8va line

Hello - I have a question. I’m writing a score with a violin part that both uses the 8va sign a lot and has a lot of trills and mordents etc. Dorico places the trills ABOVE the 8va line, which makes very little sense. Any way to swap this globally, so that the trill signs are placed under the 8va line instead of above, or do I need to go in engrave mode and move each of them down manually?
I’m currently using Dorico 3.5 and yes I will buy the latest update once I’m finished with this project.

The usual answer to this is to go the other way round : select the octava line, flip it (F) and then move it up in Engrave mode. Not as easy as a good automatic feature, but still way less objects to move ! And all the other signs will be perfectly placed.


Thank you! That works. Only thing is that the little vertical line that ends it than looks upwards instead of downwards, and if I try to change that, it just disappears and there is no vertical ending to the ottava line. That’s of course a small detail, but any way to make that look as it should?

ah! Found it out one second afterwards - negative value for hook length in Properties panel. Properties panel is often a good way to look for solutions :slight_smile:


But then I have to move the ottava line up in every system, since there is no Gallery view in Engrave mode - not very practical either. There is no workaround for this?

This is the workaround, for the time being. Sorry!

1 Like

It’s not really a good workaround though, because now the dynamics are under the ottava line below, so I have to move all of them upwards, so it’s about the same amount of work. There should be a function to determine the order of such things, lines, ornaments, dynamics. And the ottava line should by default be on top of things like ornament anyway.

FYI this problem has been brought up many times in the last 6 years – more often regarding harmonic circles than trills, but it’s the same issue. See for example this thread from 2017, and Daniel’s brief explanation of the situation from last year.

Can you select the first octave line and use Add More to change them all at once (and then fine tune any that need fine tuning)?

this is admittedly a very odd design choice for octave lines, which should by priority level, be above trills, articulations, and dynamics.

Dorico really needs to include a feature/function where the user can - if the need arises - set default vertical priority for items.


I agree, I can’t think of any example where it would make sense that harmonicas, trills etc. are above the ottava line. If it’s too complicated to create a function for vertical priority, at least the ottava line should be set to be on top by default.

What do you mean by Add More?

True, I’ve had the same issue with harmonics many time and got very annoyed about having to move each harmonics sign below. At least now I know the workaround.

actually, I should have said “Select More” = CTRL/CMD + SHIFT + A