Red staff lines


I realize this might be less of a Dorico question and more of an Affinity Designer question, but I’m hopeful someone here has done this. Perhaps it can be done in Dorico…

I need to make the staff lines in a Dorico project red. Is the only way to do this to modify the PDF in something like Affinity Designer? If anyone here has done that, could you set me on the right path? I’m afraid I’m not very experienced with AD. Thanks!

PS: cross-posted to the FB group.

Do you mean like this;

I use Adobe Illustrator but Affinity Designer will prob. work as well.

Yes, that’s it! I don’t have a subscription to Illustrator and don’t want to learn a completely new program just for this, but perhaps it’s almost the same in AD…

If we assume they are “clones”;
– Open PDF
– Pick the selection tool
– Drag over the staff lines (vertically)
– Pick a color from the colour palette
– Save as a new PDF, or over-write the old.

AD might group the objects when you open the PDF so perhaps a “split objects” is needed first to avoid notes and “other stuff” to be included when you select the staff lines.

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If you’re familiar with Illustrator, then ADesigner is very similar. As said: select the objects (you may need to ungroup things just to get the staff lines); and then use the color picker to choose a stroke color.

Tip: SHIFT click adds to the selection in AD, not CTRL.


Got it, thanks! In AD, I had to select the staff lines and “Expand stroke” in order to apply a color. Kind of beautiful in an odd way… hopefully the client likes it.


What is the musical reason for the red, and why the square noteheads?


I was going to say, interesting text and music font for a hymnal (if that’s what this is). But of course the client is always right.

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I agree it’s a bit odd, but it was a fun challenge. This was all in an effort to imitate a calligraphic sample from the mid-20th century at the request of the client. The red lines don’t mean anything, except for a conversation piece. These will be printed 11x14 on parchment-type paper.

So is it then being used as a graphic wall hanging?
That would be very interesting as a graphic design.

Did you design the clefs too? Or are those from an existing font?

I used Fiverr. :sunglasses:


What is Fiverr?

Red lines were quite common for plainchant staff lines in medieval times.

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Yes I know, and these red lines don’t mean anything. :sunglasses:


I thought it was the font. Did you pay someone to make the glyphs?

Yes, the client had provided some low-res images of the clefs and asked me to match them. I’m not very adept with that sort of thing, so I hired someone on Fiverr to create SVGs.

It’s further worth noting that even some modern editions still employ this style as well.


James, do you find a particular shade of red is better for printing? Or anything is fine?