Program Hierarchy / Templates / Master Pages / Default Pages / Global vs. Local

I want to create a song book. I envision the pages as (1) Cover page (includes composer name, volume title, Publisher, photo [question: would this page also include the Back Cover? If so, further summary info and image.] (2) introduction page (Title, Works name, ISBN #, Distribution info., Publisher, Copyright info.). (3) Text describing the works; (4) User information (use of chord symbols, etc.); (5) (Master) Table of Contents for the entire book; (6) there will be multiple sections (consonant pieces to dissonant pieces (light to dark); I haven’t decided on how to title the sections); each section might have a table of contents too; (6) within each section there will be multiple pieces with different instrumentation (sometimes the same piece will be presented with different instruments. I think I understand the multiple flows. What I am having a difficulty understanding is how to use the Master Pages and Default Pages to structure the book. Also, understanding the Global versus Local level: what should I do on the global versus local level? Is there an existing template I can use? How would experts, like yourself manage this project (keep what on the Global level vs. Local level). If a video exists explaining the hierarchy and structure of Dorico, please post it as a reply. Thank you.

You probably do not want to hear this, but if I were doing a book as complex as what I think you describe (with multiple sections and tables of contents) I would probably export the music sections from Dorico and assemble the book in a program like InDesign or the like that can handle text sections and pagination more easily than Dorico.

That is not to say it cannot be done in Dorico, but even for one that understands creating multiple Master Page sets to handle your text pages, it would be a lot more work.

It depends on how many pages and how many different sections, to be honest. The rule of thumb for your situation is to create a master page for literally every type of page design you have, so you don’t end up with any page overrides.

There are two types of Master Pages that get created automatically: First and Default. But you’ll just create all sorts of new ones, not based on existing designs, and then Insert Master Page Changes at every page where you want a certain page design.

It works quite well, but the crucial point is to avoid page overrides. They make it too easy to lose your work, especially detailed formatting!

Thank you for the information. So, I should start by making Master Page Sets based on Default Full Score. Is that correct? Then rename each Master Page Set to fit the different page requirements I need. Sounds like I could end up with many different Master Page Sets. Is there a limit to the number of Master Page Sets Dorico can manage? Will Dorico become unstable at a certain size? I expect the single file could be 200-400 pages in length (100 pieces, 2-4 pages each). Has the team verified stability based on size and complexity of the file? Thanks.

I’ll consider your approach but I’m trying to understand the limitations of Dorico before I use another program.

No, use only one master page set, the existing Full Score set. But within that set, you can create different master pages from scratch.

Don’t base those pages on anything: just create them from a blank page, and add frames and such as needed. Name each master page with a title that will help you easily identify what it is! And don’t make too many… I wouldn’t do more than 8-10, as it’s hard to keep track of them all. But I can’t imagine you’d need more “page design templates” than that.

Then as you’re creating your document, add master page changes at the places where the design needs to change.

I really recommend waiting until the end to make any modifications to the pages themselves in the layout, which will create page overrides.

200-300 pages is not a problem per se, you just need to do it the right way. Other users have successfully worked with layouts that size or larger. Make sure you have a powerful enough machine to handle it.

Thank you for your suggestions.

A simpler approach than using InDesign for combining pages and jobs from different software is FinePrint, which I use all the time.


Thank you for the suggestion.

Does Dorico have videos on the “right way” to create something similar? That would be useful. Thanks.

Not per se, but the “right way” is simply to create the master page designs you want, add Master Page changes where they’re needed, and avoid page overrides as much as possible. Sent you a PM.

Thank you. Are there “text flows” in Dorico for handling text that flows from page to page? Or are flows only for music? Thanks.

Dorico cannot automatically flow text from one frame to the next. If that’s something you need (and it’s entirely likely that you would), that would be a good reason to use a different application to assemble your book. We do hope to introduce text flowing from one frame to the next in a future version of the software, but it’s technically quite a challenging problem.

I’m sure it is. Thank you for your reply.