System Break

Hey there,

would it be possible for you programmers to add a little feature depending system breaks? At the moment you can do a system break (shift + s), which is really nice. But you can only create breaks to the next line.
I would love to have something like a revert system break to the system line before. For example you have 4 Bars in a line and you want to get bar 5 also in this line. At the moment you have to mark all 5 bars and put them together. In Finale and Sibelius there is a shortcut to put any bar in the line above. In word this would be backspace to get the word in the line above. This is a much better workflow because you don’t need to mark everytime bars to put them together.

What do you think? Do you understand what I mean? Possible for you?

Just in case you’d missed this, but not disagreeing with your feature request in any way: if your System Breaks are already set to Wait for Next (which they are, if you’ve used the Make Into System function), then you can move the existing System Breaks by the grid, using Alt+Left/Right in Write mode.

I do this all the time when doing layout work and I [temporarily] change the rhythmic grid to correspond to one full bar. This makes shifting system (and frame) breaks almost as quick as it is in Finale and Sibelius.

Thanks for your help. Didn’t know that. I tried it this way but it still doesn’t work properly (when I change the break with the grid, it doesn’t move the bar into the system above every time. Sometimes only one bar is the line then). I miss a feature which makes this easier. This way you have to switch between modes and there must be an existing system break and even then it doesn’t work properly. Would it be possible to have system breaks in two directions in the future? Or aren’t there any plans changing this?

If you’re ending up with a single-bar system, you’ve not set the previous Break to “Wait for next”. Having used the current Dorico methods for some years, I find it to be a pretty robust way of doing it; certainly no worse than Sibelius. Finale’s method is quicker, I believe.

Ah ok this was the problem. Thanks. Is there a way to set system breaks on default “wait for next”?

If you use the “Make Into System Break” button then the first Break will automatically be set to Wait for Next.

All right thanks


This is a great time saver - thanks for explaining it!!

Is there a technical reason the “Alt+Left/Right” technique doesn’t also work in “Engrave” mode? (feature request??) Given that system breaks can’t be created in “Write” mode - it would be great not to have to switch to “Engrave” to add them, then “Write” mode to move them around.


This one has come up several times, including just recently. I agree it makes sense to be able to move them around in Engrave mode, since they’re created there.

I totally agree.