Project, flows and subflows?

I am wondering if I am the only one missing another level of subdivisions, or maybe I am simply overlooking the already-there possibilities of Dorico!
The situation is:

  • my first D project consists of three arranged sonatas for carillon by Unico Willem van Wassenaer
  • the three sonatas all have a few different movements (4 mainly but not neccesarily so), and given the opportunity of flows, I junped to this and gave all movements their own flow, so I now have 12 flows.

But now in the layout phase I have some concerns about this.
The project tokens are only used for the first page of the project, for all subsequent pages I use the flow tokens, in this particular case that was not absolutely neccesary, but in other cases there are collections of compositions with all different number of movements, and different composers, so the project will be a more generic name.

The problem is that all flows are equal!
In this setup I cannot, automatically, give the start of each sonata a “first” master page, I have to change that manually, and then when I am trying to squeeze more music on a page, he pagenumbers shift, but the assigned masterpage does not, so the “first” master page ends up on a complete different page. There are no warnings, or warning flags for this, so one has to be aware.

I think that there are several solutions for this:

  • you can put each complete sonata (with all movements) in 1 flow, and then you can assign eacht “first” masterpage to the first page of a flow, but then you miss the advantages of each movement in its own flow
  • or Dorico could have another level of subdivision, a “subflow”, but that would be a feature request, so no solution for this moment
  • other solutions possible, any thoughts someone?

Maybe different layouts for different Sonatas?

Label each flow with the movement number such that the movement number will appear in a Flow Header, and if necessary create separate Page Templates for the first page of each sonata.


I am sorry, probably not skilled enough in Dorio (yet!), but how can you use different layouts to automaticaly assign the right masterpage to a first page in that flow, it is not in every flow hat I want to have a “first”?
And that same goes for the numbering of flows, is there a way to attach a masterpage to a certain number in the flows?

Here is an illustration using custom Page and Header Templates
threeSonataTest.dorico (549.2 KB)

(It takes a while, but there is no substitute for getting to know Dorico intimately–not that I am among the real experts at this–but this is a very powerful and flexible program once one has spent suitable time with it.)

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Thanks Derrek, correct me if I am wrong, the two “first” masterpages on p3 and 4 you have assigned manually, right? That’s what I also did, and then found out (after some playing with space parameters), that these masterpages assigments are fixed to a pagenumber. In other words if you insert a page, or if a page expands because of wider spacing, the master page is suddenly wrongly positioned.
In your example at first I thought that would happen also, but I found out that the pages remain on the same spot musically spoken, and not on the same page number! I need a little time to figure out what exactly you did, I can see that you use the flow-heading for composer and title, I did everything on the “first” master page and did not use flow-headings, and your use of frame-breaks!
I started with note-inputting, and thought to get the right layout afterwards, but an empty example is very usefull for this, many thanks!
(and yes I noticed that it takes a while, the main thing is that one cannot learn all the do’s and dont’s and best practice things from the manual, and I try to avoid the dont’s, but there are many ways to accomplish a certain result, and as newby it is almost impossible to always choose the right way, but I think I am learning!)

Make each Sonata a different Layout. Then the first page of each Sonata is automatically a ‘First’ page. No, manually assigning Page Templates.

In Setup mode, you would assign the appropriate Flows for each Sonata just to those Layouts.


Yes, I assigned the (customized) First Page Templates where I needed them. If subsequent edits move music to different pages, it is relatively simple to remove the templates from pages where they do not belong and reassign them. With only three sonatas, that cannot be a burdensome activity. Creating sophisticated documents does imply a little extra effort.

Starting with note input and only later dealing with layout is wise and is what the creators of Dorico envisioned.

Learning to use Dorico (or almost any sophisticated program) takes time and a fair amount of trial and error. This is why I signed onto Dorico when it first appeared. I knew from years with Finale how long the learning process could take. At the start, there was no manual at all. I was glad I had followed Daniel’s blog posts while the software was being developed, and sharing and support on the forum, both from the development team and (presumably) beta testers with prior exposure to the program, were a blessing.

Now of course the manual itself is formidable if only due to its size alone, but plenty of more recent users have integrated themselves into the program. That is why learning to use the manual and videos (as well as participating on the forum) is a great first step, and nothing will replace the willingness to experiment on a copy of a file or a test file. I read every post. Yes, that takes time, and I am lucky I have the time; but I am always learning things that help me work more efficiently or which I later learn I can apply to new situations. I just really enjoy the process.

Best wishes for your entry into the world of Dorico. Once you gain a sense of the logic behind the program–where various functions are located–using the program gets a lot easier than when one has just started.


Ah, you are some years ahead of me! I started just about 1,5 month ago…

But you did start, a major positive step. :slightly_smiling_face:

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That is also a possibility!
But I tried, and found out that it created yet another manual intervention.
How to combine several layouts into one pdf with consistent page-numbering?
Offcourse you can assign the correct pagenumbers, print each pdf separately, combine them together but that seems to be more error-prone, and not very efficient?

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Indeed it is a breeze in Dorico to reassign the page template to different pages, since shortly I discovered this (no need for removing removing, just swapping): using the little arrows icons in Engrave/right panel/Pages
(for whom it may interest) :slight_smile:



I don’t really recommend that method in this case. I was just explaining. With just 3 Sonatas, I think @Derrek is on the right track. Just reassign the PgT if the number of pages changes. If you had many, an alternate method might be in order. But as you surmise, manual page numbering and an external PDF editor would be needed.

Indeed moving templates is not difficult, but I had not discoverd these arrows, makes it even simpler, thanks!

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You are welcome. You can reach this function (and other functions) also with right click on the little pages icons in the same window… :slight_smile:
…and you can also cmd/control click on the desired little pages icons and change the assignment with the arrow icons all at once :-)))

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