To have barlines drawn in partial bars of the last bar in the system


I am working on a hymnal translation and redo project. Now I am testing and trying to mimic layout of the orignal English version so I made some system break in Engrave mode.
The original version was made by Finale and there are barlines drawn at some partial bars of the last bar in the system. I found that Dorico would let the bar shown open without the barlines like the orignal version. I could not find the option to have it. Is there a way to still have barlines even if they are not a complete bar?

And if it is a right thing to have the barlines there, what’s the best/correct practice in a common hymnal layout convention?

Thank you all for any tips!

The original English version by Finale:

The chinese verison I made by Dorico:

Click on the first note of the second system and insert a barline.

It looks as if the Finale operator didn’t know how to make a split point in the bar. The barlines in your Chinese version above are correct.


Although some hymnals do put a bar line at the end of a line with a partial measure and treat the start of the next system as a pickup.

I suppose it depends on the publishers style book.

I tried the way Steven mentioned, and it did work. This way we are actually creating some partial measure and using hidden time signature to divide bars. But as Derrek and Mark shared, if I understand correctly, leaving them open is actually a right way to do.(like my Chinese version) not wrong at all.

And why some publishers/authors add barlines at the end of each system is depending on their preffered style and taste. Not necessary wrong either. Am I right?

It’s fine to have differing bar lengths if there is no written meter. More than a few hymns are like this, with changing meters that are not written. But this one is clearly in 9/8 (3 beats) with a 1-beat pickup to each line. So editorially the extra barlines contradict the meter.

This doesn’t prevent some editors from insisting on a barline at the end of every system. (Perhaps they just don’t like the appearance of no-barline.)

In many years working as a church musician, and recently joining a team that is digitizing lots of hymns, it’s rare that I see a barline in a split measure like that.

Thank you James! So my chinese version is totally fine, or I can say correct to have the bar open like this right? (Which is what Dorico automatically do when I use Shift-S to split part of the bar to next system).

Really appreciated all the feedback from all fellow Doricians!

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I would argue that the systems with a closing bar-line look better optically. It might just be a preference of aesthetics.

It’s absolutely incorrect and also very confusing to put a bar line at the end of an incomplete measure created by splitting a measure between two systems. An exception: when a double or final bar line is used.


A lot of the older original hymns got “pressed” into a rhythmic pattern with bars at a later point. Thats also sometimes confusing… just saying…