Time signature change in dorico

is it possible to change the time-signature of one bar only, without the subsequent bars all being changed and all of the notes - as it were - sliding to left or right?

Welcome to the forum, Steve.

There are a few guiding principles here:

  • Dorico will only rebar as far as the next explicit time signature.
  • Changing time signatures is non-destructive.
  • Dorico won’t automatically add or remove time mid-flow.

For instance, if you have four bars, all in 3/4, and you decide you’d like bar 2 to be 4/4, with everything subsequent shunted a beat to the right, you’d need to do something like this:

  1. Put a 3/4 time signature at the start of bar 3. Anything to the right of this will now remain untouched.
  2. Turn on Insert mode (hit I or click the insertion cursor in the left panel). This gives Dorico permission to add beats mid-flow.
  3. Add a 4/4 time signature at the beginning of bar 2.

If you forget to turn on Insert mode, you’ll find yourself with a bar that says 4/4 but is actually only three beats long. There are a couple of ways of rectifying this: you can select where you want the extra beat, then type Shift-B 1q Enter (Shift-B is the bars and barlines popover; q is short for quarter/crotchet)

…or you could switch on Insert mode and re-enter that time signature (which can actually be achieved just by selecting the existing 4/4 time signature, hitting Enter, then hitting Enter again).

If you wanted a shorter bar in the middle - a 5/8, for instance - the same principles apply, and you’ll find that Dorico won’t automatically delete music.

With Insert mode turned off, notice how Dorico truncates the bar to 5/8 automatically, but shunts the leftover quaver/eighth to a new short bar. You can then use the System Track to delete that bar (or Shift-B -1 Enter - if there’s no letter after the number, Dorico will add or remove entire bars).

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crumbs thanks for such a detailed response. I’ll take some time to read now. I’ve been using Finale for 20 something years and have just made the dorico switch.

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