Suggestion for future version: Add Export option for iPad layout

I would like to see an option for exporting for iPad that automatically creates a pdf with customized layout, with features such as:

  • making frame breaks at multi rests (total number of pages or systems per page not relevant on a digital reader)
  • insert frame breaks so that repeats show on one page only (no backwards scrolling)
  • inserting copies of Segno/Coda sections automatically at the right position so that no backwards page turn is needed, nor turning forward several pages to hit the Coda- but without altering the number of bars of course.

Since there is still one portion of players using paper and another reading on an iPad, we still need to make pdfs for printing (save paper / seeing 2-3 pages at once), but also pdfs optimized for ipad (only one page visible at a time / backwards scrolling cumbersome). This would be great to have as an option in the print menu without having to alter the layout one has designed in engrave mode.

I would like to see that option is a future version.

What do you think?


Welcome to the forum @BorisBeMusic!

You can create as many layouts as you want in the same project, so you can have e.g. 2 part layouts per player, that display exactly the same music (which both get updated if you change some notes) but with different page dimensions, frame breaks, etc, such as “Violin (iPad)” and “Violin (print)”.

I add my own welcome to Lillie’s, @BorisBeMusic.

Something we would like to add in a future version of Dorico is features that allow you to give Dorico some more hints about how you would like to see the music cast off. It’s an interesting idea to have a break after any multi-bar rest – presumably you would still expect Dorico to put e.g. at least five systems on the page before it allows it to break? You wouldn’t really want your performer to be turning the “page” after a single system?

I assume he means at the nearest earlier rest over a certain length – optionally on right pages only, for print.

Read his initial post more a bit more closely, Mark, and I think you’ll see that he’s not worrying about facing pages at all. Let’s let @BorisBeMusic tell us what he means, as requested, rather than assuming we know?

Apologies. The part before the dash was what I thought he meant; the part after is an additional concern that people would want for print purposes.

Hello, thank you for your quick relies!

Let me explain where I’m coming from.

I conduct 2 jazz big bands where about one third of the members use ipads, the others paper. When someone has to be replaced for a gig or a rehearsal, that person will bring an ipad or not. This is why I need both, paper and pdfs. I spend quite some time on layout because it saves a lot of rehearsal time, plus I consider it to be respectful towards the players to give them readable parts. But I don’t like this work much. That’s why I am hoping Dorico will at some point do the job for me. :wink:

I could imagine a workflow like this:

  • write the music and make the layouts optimal for printing on paper
  • then hit the “export to ipad pdf” button and Dorico creates additional pdfs that I make available for the players via Dropbox

The reason why I was thinking about a different layout for ipad is this: players report some trouble when
a) having to turn pages backwards (e.g. when a reapeat section extends over two pages, or there is a segno on page 3 of an 8 page part and you quickly have to jump backwards from page 7 to page 3)
b) jumping several pages forward (e.g. when the “to Coda” is somewhere on page 5 and the Coda is the last three systems of page 8)
c) when there is not enough time to turn a page (e.g. when the part layout assumes you can see 1-3 pages at a time)

This becomes clear in this video: Formatting Sheet Music for Tablets - DEMONSTRATION - YouTube

After watching this guy fooling around with Sibelius I thought there must be a better way. Especially when you need two different layouts for the same parts.

So by optimized for ipad I mean:

  • repeats are visible on one page (if possible)
  • page breaks occur before or after multi rests, so that there is always time to turn the page. This could also be with a threshold of a certain number of systems per page.
  • no segno/coda jumps. I’ll explain this further: I am thinking of something like a “ghost copy” of the music between the “segno” and the “to coda” that is inserted right after the “D.S. al Coda” (maybe with a little gap in between and the markings) and before the “Coda”. A bit like when you export audio. The audio file is a continious stream of the music without jumps. With this “ghost copy” you wouldn’t need to make musical changes in two seperate sections (which would be the case if you don’t write any segnos at all in the arrangement), because the “ghost copy” is only added when exporting to ipad - but the player will only have to scroll forward throughout. And the paper users can still have less pages and see the segno signs.

I have no idea how this could be programmed and how complicated it is. Also, I haven’t thought this thru all the way- So I don’t know what other difficulties you would run into. It is just a wish from me as a user. I am sure that you guys will come up with a great solution (as you have prooven), if this idea fits in with Dorico’s concept.

I hope I made myself somewhat clear. Regards

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Thanks, yes, very clear. When we were originally planning how repeats would work in Dorico, we tried to design them in such a way that they could be dynamically shown “unrolled”, i.e. written out in full without using any repeat barlines or jumps etc., for precisely this kind of purpose. We never quite achieved it, but it’s certainly something we may return to in future.


That would be great! Thanks a lot for the reply.