Staff layout on page

Tuba Part.png
Hi, All,

I can’t find however it is that you can change staff layouts on the page. I just did a test project, a brass quintet arrangement of a short movement from the Nutcracker. I’m fine with everything about it except the way the staves are laid out.

Most of them are at least reasonable for a “quick and dirty” print for rehearsal. But the tuba part only allots staves to the top half of each page, turning a two-pg layout into three.

I’ve looked everywhere I can think of: the forum, the help system, and all the settings I could think of in Dorico, but I couldn’t find it.

I’ve attached a png screenshot of the offending tuba part.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Why don’t you just change the size for this layout ? And I find it strange that the staves do not expand through the whole page, maybe you should change the percentage in Setup/Layout options/select the tuba layout on the left and then adjust size in page setup and adjust the percentage of “Justify distance between staves and systems when page is at least XX % full” in Vertical spacing page. Hope that helps !

I’ll try those things, but I doubt it will have an effect. All the other parts cover the whole page(s); only the tuba part stops halfway down the page.

But thanks for the suggestions.

[Addendum] OK, I tried changing the distance between staves percentages thing, and that did result in the staves going to the bottom of the page. However, all it did was spread out the five staves on the first page and six on the second; it didn’t move any of the p.2 staves onto p. 1. It’s still a 3-pg part. The only different is the staves are all spread out.

What I need is to figure out and correct the fact that it’s limiting the number of staves per page.

Again, thanks for your suggestions.

Yes — Looking at the sample image and trying to put the question specifically:
Why does Dorico put only 5 lines on the first page, when there is certainly room for at least 7?
What is causing the “widowed” line on page 3 rather than easily balancing 6 lines on each page?
I wouldn’t want to have to change the staff size to fix such a thing. There must be something else.
It looks as if there’s a hard frame break after bar 34.

Is that part using a different template (layout) that might be designed to produce a marching band part?

I suspect it could be the rehearsal marks. It’s all due to how Dorico estimates the height needed to fit the music on each page, and for various boring technical reasons it’s not always accurate. You don’t need to muck with the vertical justification threshold or change the staff size: instead, use the Make Into Frame button in Engrave mode to force more music into the first frame.

I appreciate your suggestion, Daniel, but I couldn’t make it work, probably through “operator error.”

I went into Engrave Mode and tried simply clicking the button, but nothing happened. I then tried selecting the seven staves I thought should easily fit on the first page and clicked the button, and again, no change.

Can you give me the specific steps to take?

I’m sorry to keep bothering people, but getting the right number of staves onto a given page is going to be a recurring need, so…

Thanks much.

Sorry for not providing more detailed directions. Go to Engrave mode. Click the note that you want to form the start of the frame (presumably the first note in the first bar). Hold Ctrl and click the note that you want to be the last note in the final bar on the frame (presumably the last note on the third or fourth system on the second page). Then click Make Into Frame.

Hi, Daniel. I tried what you suggested, but no go.

First of all, the selection process you described doesn’t work on a Mac, or at least not on mine. Assuming Ctrl means Cmd on a Mac, clicking on the first and last notes that are to make up the frame selects only those two notes—nothing in between them. I tried the same thing with all the other modifier keys; Opt and Shft do nothing, and Ctrl gives me the right-click dropdown menu.

But even when I drag-selected the staves on the first page and then Cmd-clicked each individual item to the end of the first staff on the next page, so that everything was selected, clicking on the Make Into Frame button again did nothing—it all just sat there.

And just to pass on a little more info about selecting multiple elements, the ONLY method that works for me (besides Cmd-clicking individual elements) is drag-selecting. As you pointed out in an earlier post, using Cmd-right arrow to extend the selection is iffy at best, and I have discovered that that’s only in Write mode—in Engrave mode, it does nothing at all.

Do you have any other suggestions?

Again, thanks for listening.

You only need to select the first and last notes.

The same applies when creating slurs, etc in Dorico - you don’t need to select all the notes, as in some other notation programs.


Well, I said earlier that Operator Error was highly likely. I was assuming (yes, I know about that word “assume”) that what Daniel was describing would result in a continuos selection and that that was necessary for it to work.

When I did exactly what Daniel (and now you) described, of course it worked immediately and perfectly.

Thanks much, and once again, my apologies to both you and Daniel for not understanding the first time.

OK, new problem. I’ve learned how to combine measures into systems and lock the systems, and how to combine systems into frames and lock those, giving me a part laid out exactly as I want it. However, the minute I switch to a different part, all the locks come undone and the 2-page part I spent time making perfect is now sprawled over 3 pages again, just as it was before I “fixed” it.

What am I missing?


The changes you made to a layout only affect the layout where you made them.
They don’t automatically carry over to other layouts (parts).

That’s not the problem; the problem is they aren’t sticking in the layouts I make them in. If I get Tpt 1 looking right and go work on Tpt 2, when I return to Tpt 1 it has come all undone.

This is a bug. Daniel says it will be fixed in the first update (expected before the end of November).

See the last post in

OK, thanks much. I can be patient, and I’m really glad that I wasn’t missing something obvious. :slight_smile: