System objects and layout

Any idea how to fix this mess automatically, without manual intervention? (I have hundreds of pages of parts).

Rehearsal letters demand extra space and ruin the staff separation, tempo indications cannot be word-wrapped so they go outside the frame…

Screenshot 2022-07-18 at 22.56.55


There’s no automatic way to resolve these kinds of collisions, I’m afraid. You can make the staff spacing more even by using the options on the Staves and Systems page of Layout Options to fix the number of systems per page in your parts (depending on your page size, a value between 8 and 10 would produce reasonably generously-spaced parts that won’t need too much manual adjustment; a value of up to 12 will be tighter and save pages, but will need more intervention), and on the Vertical Spacing page, disable the option Automatically resolve collisions between adjacent staves and systems.

This will give you pages with absolutely consistent placement of systems, which is a good starting point. You should then be able to make whatever adjustments are needed to the placement of individual items pretty quickly – but you will still need to check every page.

For resolving things like tempo changes running off the end of the system, there’s a good chance that your players would prefer to see those tempo changes at or near the start of the system rather than at the very end, if you can arrange it (it’s easier to scan down the left-hand side of the page to find landmarks like tempos and rehearsal marks). Dorico 4 makes it quick to shuffle bars back and forth between systems in Engrave mode using the , (comma) and . (full stop/period) keys.

Thank you, Daniel. I guess I was hoping there would be a more straight forward solution by now. Is this something that will stay like this because it’s supposed to work this way, or will there be changes in the future in the way these collisions and text are handled?

As of now it seems a lot of manual work will be required… especially with the constraint of string parts that incorporate divisis, etc., where going from one type of divisi to another dictates much of the bar layout. Not always easy to move bars around to gets those adjustments you mention.

Certainly we would like to have some more automation in handling these kinds of situations in future, but the possibility of Dorico doing this more automatically in future won’t help you complete this project any more quickly in the immediate term!

These are also tricky problems to automate – in particular the most efficient and clear resolution of multiple tempo changes, playing instructions and rehearsal marks clustered around a barline. Doing a better job of the casting off, or even being able to create line breaks in tempo marks more automatically, are more feasible improvements.

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Ok, understood. Thank you for taking the time to explain.

When reviewing parts, I have found pushing even one line or so to the following page with a frame break can solve a lot of collisions very quickly.

I make parts very compact in the settings – both horizontal and vertical distances smaller than the defaults – and then loosen pages that are too tight with breaks, as I look for good page turns every other page.