Question for people doing textbooks

Does anybody have a good solution for doing things like this?

I’ve started with a Dorico project that looks like this:

The + and = signs are custom Playing Techniques, dragged into position, and there’s some manual note spacing going on (though I guess I could use scaled white rests for this). Then the “fill in the blank” box is just some blank Shift+X text with a hefty border. Then finally I’m deleting the staff lines from the resulting PDF, which seems to work OK. (The actual book is being produced outside of Dorico.)

I’ve done this sort of thing as text. It works ok if you assign character styles. Honestly, I wish there were an easier way (there probably is).

Thanks Dan. It hadn’t occurred to me that you can extend the beams between 8th notes in Bravura Text, and that does make it a little more pliable. I think for this project I’ll stick with what I’ve got.

Would defining the plus and equals as noteheads and placing them without stems make the job any easier?

Ooh! I’ll have a go.

This is genius. Way quicker. Thank you!

Coming from you, Leo, that is a profound compliment. Thank you.

Here is a file with no staff lines if it helps.
No Staff (401 KB)

Derrek, credit where credit’s due, and it’s definitely due here. Thank you again.
Craig, nice one, and thank you. Unfortunately I’m midway through this project and my colleagues are very keen that it all lives in one Dorico project. I’m keeping this one for the future, though.

why not just enter a ridicule low number in staff thickness in engrave mode to get rid of the lines?

I have about 55 flows in the project that DO need staff lines.

For what it’s worth, Metrico can do this painlessly, except for the empty box:


I’m not sure changing the staff thickness to 0 works - I think I tried that one some time ago.

I don’t have a solution - whenever I’ve had to do this kind of thing, I’ve invariably ended up hiding ledger lines to give me clean space, then flipping stems etc. and, frankly, it’s all ended up taking far more time than it should.

I think that as a principle, textbooks are probably best created in WP’s and Dorico’s job should be to enable perfect images to be copied across. As many of those images are very similar to the one you showed in your first post - for me, this raises the age-old topic of being able to hide things. I’d still argue that if hiding something gives you the results you need, well then yes, it’s valid.

Florian, I couldn’t find an obvious way to extend the beams to make room for text underneath the eighth notes, or, for that matter, to easily add bigger spaces between the quarter notes. Am I missing something?

I guess ‘Metrico can do this one painlessly’ would have been more precise.

You’ve probably found out that space allows you fine control over the, well, space between unbeamed notes. Unfortunately I never got around to adding the same flexibility for beamed notes. And there’s currently no way to quickly add greater amounts of space.

I do plan to get back to Metrico, there are a few other things I’d like to add – but I don’t know when I’ll be able to take the time.

No worries Florian - I feel your pain! :wink:
Thankfully I now have about four viable ways of doing this, as opposed to the one obvious way I thought of 12 or so hours ago.