Questions about Master Pages (Engrave mode)

This is kind of long because I’m trying to give context; feel free to skip to the two specific questions at the end.

I’ve recently upgraded to Dorico Pro v.3.5 from Dorico Express v.3.5. I am using a woodwind trio as an example to learn to do the typesetting, including a cover page and text on the inside cover page.

I was led a bit astray by this video: How to Create a Title Page and Instructional Sheet | Page Layout in Dorico - YouTube which is about how to add a title page and instructional sheet, but tells you to do it directly in the page layout. The problem is, if you follow that exactly, you then are stuck when you go to duplicate your cover and instructional sheet for the parts - quite simply, if you use this method you will have to redo your work again for each part, which is suboptimal.
I learned from searching these forums that a better way is to use master pages, but the manual is a bit sparse on how to use master pages for the purpose of creating a title and instructional page.

Through trial and error on a dummy project, I managed to figure it out. Now I’ve got a couple of problems and I’m not sure whether I’m missing something or they are bugs or shortcomings.

Just to be clear, the method that I’m using is to create a new master page in the full score master page set, called Title, in which I put the instructional page on the left and the cover page on the right. (A bit counterintuitive but it follows logic.) Once I’ve got that how I want it, I go to the parts master page set and import the Title master page. I make any changes to it that I want for the parts, and then I can go to each layout (full score and all the parts) and add two pages at the beginning based on the Title master page, and it’s there. (Assuming I used appropriate tags for things like part names, this should be the last step).

Question 1: My understanding is that for master pages, if you make a change to the master page, then it should flow through to everywhere in your layouts that the master page is used. However, that does not seem to work. I make a change to the Title master page, let’s say in the parts master page set, and the only way I can find to get those changes to show up in the parts layouts is to go into each of them, delete the cover and informational pages, and then put them back again. Am I missing something?

Question 2: The only way I’ve found to get the new Title master page from the full score layout to the parts layouts is to go to the parts master page set and import the Title master page from the full score master page set. However, when I do this, it loses the content of all the graphics frames in the Title master page. It’s not a huge deal, because I can simply reimport the graphics, but it doesn’t seem right. Text frames carry over both text and formatting just fine. Am I missing something here?

Many thanks for your help! Sorry this was so long.

No need to apologise for the length at all - your attention to detail is great.

When it comes to master pages, the manual isn’t specific because as I’m sure you can see, master pages could be anything you want. However, it might be worth me looking at something tailored towards title pages (which is a common use-case) so I’ll make a note.

The only thing you’re missing that is if you insert pages, whether or not those inserted pages are “based on” a master page, they’re considered page overrides: a page override that starts with a specified template. Page overrides don’t get updated when master pages are.

This is different to if you assigned a master page change directly to those pages. I have in the past added blank pages, assigned my title/prescore info master page to the added pages, then removed the overrides (leaving the master page changes) to “see the process” but you can simply assign master pages directly to e.g. page 1 and the first page of music will move up accordingly. (You will need to change the layout option for when the First master page is used to “Any flow starting at the top of the page” or assign a master page change for the First master page on the first page of music though.)

The left/right page pairs are intended for when differences to a specific template are required depending on which side a page falls - so I tend to have a master page (pair) for the title and a separate master page (pair) for additional prescore information, but as long as you know how you’ve got it set up that’s the most important thing.

Importing the master page from the full score set into the part set is right, but yes it’s possible that images have to be reloaded. When you import master pages from other projects, the music frame chain on the imported pages is different to the existing one in the project (usually MA).

For related/further reading, there are posts like this one that might be helpful.

Thanks very much, Lillie, for your detailed reply. I’ve got it working properly now, so that the changes flow through.

For the benefit of anyone reading this, what I did was to delete my added pages (that were overrides), so that I only had the pages with music left. Then assign Title master page to page one and page two (selecting current page only.) Finally, assign First master page to page 3 (current page only) which is now the first page of music. Repeat this process for full score and all the parts.

Probably it would be better to have a separate master page for each page, as Lillie suggested, rather than the counterintuitive bodge of putting them both in one as I did. That was me misunderstanding how it was supposed to work.

Thanks again, this helped a lot!

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As Lillie suggested, I use separate title and blank pages (albeit with running headers on the “blank” pages) in case I have multiple pages of prescore info to add.