System track displaced during "First Steps/Layout Lesson"

Hi again to the (very patient) Forum -
I notice that, somewhere during the “First Steps” Layout/Formatting lesson, the System track got displaced. In fact the System track for each staff is now embedded in the staff above. I have not been “freelancing” but simply following the lesson. Is there an explanation or a fix for this? I have attached a JPEG that demonstrates this displacement.

Did First Steps have you set up a specific paper size or “space” (staff) size in Layout options which have somehow gone askew?

Derrek - thanks for your help. There was a lesson on paper size and spacing which I attempted to follow. I certainly can go back and review it but I would find it hard to think that the system track would not conform to such settings. Nonetheless I will certainly review the spacings specified int he lesson ASAP. Again thanks.

It is’t attached to the staff above, there just isn’t enough space on the page. This is one area where Dorico’s layout engine leaves a LOT to be desired.

It makes a guess of how many systems will fit before it actually lays the page out and then sticks with, even when the results are simply ludicrous (I’ve been far worse than this, like to the point of actual notes and staves colidding.

Thank-you Tyler. Makes sense. Dorico seems truly magical at what it solves “under the hood” so this kind of surprised me.

Hi Manny.
I understand you’re starting your journey with Dorico, so some questions arise… You’ll soon notice that this one is not really an important matter. Why? Well, in the first place, you’ll learn that system track is not a tool you should leave on when you don’t need it, because it’s just cluttering your vision for nothing. Alt-t (opt-T on PC) will toggle it on/off, use that! The only circumstances I use system track are either at the start of a project, when I’m on galley view — I use page view once almost everything in the music is written down. Or at the end of a project, when I need to transpose by chunks (when key signatures get in the way of transposing all at once). Of course, this could vary with the kind of work you’re doing. But all in all, what I’m saying here is: “turn it off, unless you really need it”.
And, clearly, there’s no good reason I see where Dorico should alter its casting off only to let us see that tool clearly. It’s not going to be printed on the page, so it’s the best implementation I can imagine. If it’s not useful in page view, toggle to galley view!
Hope it help!


Thank-you Mark. I am doing the “first steps” tutorial which required jumping to different measures to fix stuff. I found the System track very helpful in “Write” mode and it appears to not exist in the Engrave mode, so it is difficult to get to the bars I need to get to. Luckily there are some bar numbers inserted in the music…alas, I don’t know how they got there (yet) but, personally, I would have liked to see the system track.
I do not know what Galley view is because the tutorial has not mentioned it, but I will keep it in mind. When should I be using it? I also noticed that the System track got a bit more cleaned up if I togged it off and on. I may be imagining this.

I see the term “casting off” mentioned in the tutorial but not explicitly defined. If you have a moment could you supply the definition (it appears to be some sort of version rendering nomenclature?) Sincere thanks, Manny

Manny, for any term in First Steps that you don’t understand, search the full manual:

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Re: Hiding/Showing Bar Numbers: is this a setting in addition to the system track? May I ask how to access it? What are the common uses that differentiate the 2? [Ok found the entry in the manual]

Also…since this is a “layout” and I am actually using “first page” and “default page” according to the “getting Started” exercise, do need to Chage this option in both layouts? I am sure I am confused here regarding what a layout is. When I open “Layout Options” it does not display “default” and “First Page” but only “Full Score”. So, if I change bar numbering does that affect all pages?

re: Galley Mode: Wouldn’t the flute part want to contain the piccolo part if they are played by the same player? On the stand it’s a single part, yes? not understanding the explanation.

The system track is a tool within Dorico that appears in Write mode. It lets you do things like select everything on all staves within a range of beats/bars, insert bars/beats, and delete bars/beats. It handily displays bar numbers to help you orient yourself. It doesn’t affect the music as it appears on the page (except by enabling edits), and the system track doesn’t appear when you print/export layouts.

Hiding/showing bar numbers in Layout Options does affect the printed/exported music: at changes where bar numbers appear alongside the music itself.

A layout is defined here – basically, a full score is a layout. A flute/piccolo part is a layout. Think “parts and scores” when you see “layout”.

That’s because Layout Options shows you the layouts that exist in your project.

Layouts in turn use page templates to determine the frames that appear on pages, and the contents of those frames. “First” and “Default” are page templates.

Yes, absolutely – the suggestion in the manual is because when instrument changes are enabled, you won’t see both staves in page view. You’ll only see the first instrument. Once you’ve input notes on both the flute and piccolo staves, Dorico shows you instrument changes automatically in page view. More information about instrument changes here: