Rehearsal marks! Grr!

Dear Dorico users, I’m struggling with Rehearsal Marks. Is there any way I can get them to default to appear under 1st / 2nd time bars. As it is, they make them fly up in the air. (See picture.)

Similarly, at the TRIO mark, the Rehearsal Mark has flown into the air. Is there no way to get the Rehearsal Mark to move quietly to the left of the TRIO mark, without displacing everything else.
Yes, I know it can be done in the Engrave page, but that doesn’t make the displaced stuff default to its proper positions.
These are just a couple of examples of cases where I have spent ages moving things around to accommodate Rehearsal Marks, in Parts and in Full Score.
Any ideas, please?

I ended up setting ‘no enclosure’ to rehearsal marks. This way, they can squeeze themselves in far smaller spaces, so they often don’t push other things away or create extra vertical space. It depends on your use case or client of course whether or not this is an option for you. Many classical music publishers like Henle show them without box. You can then still move individual marks in engrave mode if they hide themselves too well like the ‘C’ in this screenshot.

(By the way - I am also under the impression that without an enclosure, the rehearsal marks don’t respect the ‘minimum horizontal gap from other items’ - but in my case that’s not a very big problem.)
2 rehearsal marks.png

Rehearsal Marks and Repeat endings - there’s a thread here…

Thank you to you both. These are helpful insights.

Hi, I’m using the Dorico Elements version that doesn’t have an option for selecting the enclosure type for rehearsal marks since the Engraving options are disabled. The default enclosure type for rehearsal marks in Dorico Elements is “No enclosure”. With the Petaluma font this makes the rehearsal mark appear very much like a regular chord symbol. I’m aware of the possibility to use numbered rehearsal marks but that doesn’t really improve the situation.

Would there be any chance to change the default type of the rehearsal marks in Dorico Elements to indeed have an enclosure (rectangle or circle) to make them appear more distinctive?


Welcome to the forum, ZBW. The default appearance for rehearsal marks is to have an enclosure, a rectangular one. This is the case in all versions of Dorico. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t have an enclosure around yours. Can you zip up and attach an example project?

Hi Daniel and thanks for your fast response! :slight_smile:

I just realised that the issue occurs only with files that I have imported to Dorico from MusicXML files (exported from Sibelius). If the musicxml file generated in Sibelius has rehearsal marks they seem to appear with no enclosure after the import to Dorico. For completely new files in Dorico the rehearsal marks do have the rectangular enclosure just like you said.

Attached you can find an example file with a rehearsal mark after the two first bars. This was imported from a musicxml file.

test imported musicxml from (467 KB)

I can only assume that this is happening because the rehearsal marks are set to show no enclosure in the MusicXML file, which again is presumably because they’re set to show no enclosure in the original Sibelius file. If you have the option of regenerating the MusicXML file after setting the rehearsal marks to show enclosures in the Sibelius file, I think you’ll be all set.

By the way, it looks like you’re still using Dorico 3.0: you should update to Dorico 3.1 as soon as possible as it has lots of bug fixes and new features.

The original Sibelius file is set to show rectangular enclosure around the rehearsal marks. But Tadaa!! I’m happy to report that the problem does not occur anymore after updating to Dorico 3.1 :slight_smile: When importing the same musicxml file to v 3.1 the rehearsal marks now have the rectangular enclosures as expected. Problem solved!

Thanks again for your fast responses!!!

Yes. 3.1 is a milestone in Dorico’s import/export life with xml files. Thanks for that.

Mth, for what it’s worth (and I know this is unsolicited, so feel free to ignore me), I don’t think gigging musicians will like your rehearsal marks. They are so small and nestled in with the music that they are difficult to quickly scan and find. As someone who directs a choir multiple times a week, this would be a nightmare to me. Better to take the hit and allow extra space with the benefit that rehearsal marks are therefore conspicuous. (IMHO)

Thank you, Romanos401 for your feedback. That screenshot was deliberately taken to show a rehearsal mark that was too nestled away so I manually changed its position afterwards. But because of your comment, I still made this new topic to ask for a fix for the spacing issue.

But do you also think that in general, rehearsal marks without enclosure are a bad idea? (I’m writing string quartets, and many publishers, like Henle, show them without enclosure for chamber music works:)


It’s hard to argue with Henle, but that looks like style over function, IMO.

I’ve just had a look through some Broadway Vocal Scores and there’s a delighful lack of any consistency.

Bar Numbers w Square enclosures - 5
Letters w. Square Enclosures - 3
Numbers with Square Enclosures - 1

Bar Numbers w Round/Oval Enclosures - 1
Letters w. Round Enclosures - 1
Numbers with Round Enclosures - 0

Bar Numbers with No Enclosures - 1
Letters with No Enclosures - 0
Numbers with No Enclosures - 1

No Rehearsal Marks at all - 4

The Oval Enclosures occur with 3 digit bar numbers or with two digit numbers and suffixes. They make sense as circular enclosures surrounding more than two numbers/letters quickly eat up vertical space.

Mth, your more recent post is certainly much better. Much better indeed. Again, I hope I didn’t offend! My own preference is for enclosures, because it makes them all the more conspicuous, but the Henle example has demonstrated to me that sans-enclosure can be a viable option.

As a player, I always circle unenclosed rehearsal marks so I can find them quickly. Orchestra parts are often particularly bad.


Adolph Funster (the “u” should have an umlaut) never used enclosures for their rehearsal marks. Richard Strauss works are generally where you’ll find them.

Slightly different question on rehearsal marks: Is it possible to place one on the FIRST bar of a flow? Yes, the original score has one there – actually for a defensible musical reason, because the movement is in chaconne-type form, and these make it easier to count the variations.

Yes, you should be able to do so by selecting the note or rest at the start of the flow and typing Shift+A.

Thanks for the quick and complete reply, Daniel! I guess I had become so used to clicking on the barline, I had forgotten that there was another (possibly preferred) way, so none of my attempts were working. Sorry for wasting everyone’s time with something so elementary.