Show flow number to left of first system?

Is there a way to show the current flow number to the left of the first system, instead of the instrument name? This is very common in piano music — screenshots below are Paderewski Chopin preludes, Henle Chopin ballades, and U-E Beethoven sonatas — but I don’t see an option to do it in Dorico.

No, there’s no automatic way to do this at present. You could set up a master page that includes a frame positioned appropriately to show the flow number (using the appropriate token) and tell Dorico to indent the first system sufficiently to move it past the frame containing the flow number (on the Staves and Systems page of Layout Options), but that will only provide a solution for a flow starting in a fixed position on a page, e.g. at the top of the page. You’ll end up needing page overrides (or many master page definitions) to achieve it at arbitrary vertical positions on the page.

An alternative workaround has been suggested by @pianoleo on the forum before, which may be of interest:

Thanks for the suggestions!

Daniel, I wondered if something like what you describe might be possible. However, not only do some flows not start at the top of the page, but none of the first systems have quite the same height either. I think I’d end up with a separate layout per page of the score….

Lillie, the suggestion you linked to seems really promising! Unfortunately, it runs up against this wall:

Scroll down to the bottom of that thread I linked to above until you get to:

Unless you need to add extra staves at any point, it shouldn’t really matter whether the piano is held by a section or solo player.

Oh! Unfortunately…

I tried dragging the extra-staved piano part into an empty section player anyway, but Dorico wouldn’t let me.

I ended up just creating a custom paragraph style and adding text items, which works reasonably well:

I have to manually position each one, but given that there are only 6 flows in the piece, that’s not so very terrible.

Enabling “Align with systemic barline if at start of system” in the paragraph style helps a lot with the manual positioning: the x coordinate at least is stable, so copying and pasting the text item from one movement to the next gets the horizontal positioning just right, and the vertical positioning at least in the ballpark.

Thanks for all the help! Maybe there will be a “custom system label” feature in the future that supports {@flowNumber@}, but for now I’m set.

Those g-clefs… :open_mouth:

To clarify: I like them…

Thanks! My own design.

They are lovely.


Well, that’s nice to hear! I guess I should make the font public at some point. The noteheads, rests, accidentals, and flags are also part of the font too.


I’d just like to add my voice to say that this would be a really good feature to have as an automatic thing, not requiring complicated forcing. It is, as has been said, very standard in traditionally-engraved piano music. But AFAICS it still hasn’t come to Dorico 4.

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