Unused instrument removal

Hello all,

In setup mode it would be nice having a way of highlighting unused instrument. Normally I work with a large ensemble, but when the piece is finished I would like to get rid of unused instruments.

I know that there is a way to “hide” unused instruments, and this is fine if an instrument is used in a flow, but not in others. But when an instrument is completely unused, it would be nice to have a quick way to know it.


Very useful request. In the last Discover Dorico session, talking about MIDI importing, the need for this was very apparent, especially in large projects.

I think this is a good feature, but wondered exactly what „unused“ means for you:

  • not used in any flows
  • not used in any layouts
  • both, and only both

For the time being I think you should be able to select all the flows and see from there which instrument is still unticked.

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I think that if, in Setup Mode, there would be the possibility to select one o more flows or layout and having the not used instruments marked somehow (differently coloured background, or name, or whatever) it will be fantastic, covering all your possibilities.

I’m rereading this, trying to understand. The last post does not answer klafkid’s question.

Do you mean an indication of where an instrument has no music in a given flow? Probably the easiest way to do that is check the part layout for TACET with a multi-bar rest.

If you go to setup mode and select a flow (or several I think), you should find the unused players to be unticked.

OK, here there is a problem regarding the meaning of “used”.
In all my posts here “used” means has notes to be played for the selected flow. An instrument ticked in the instruments list for the selected flows is “available” to the flow (I mean it has its own staff, etc.). It becomes “used” as soon as I write its first note.

So, when I begin writing an orchestral score I start with a template with many instruments ticked in the instruments list. Only at the end of my writing I would like to discover which instruments is without notes (usually some percussions, the 2nd piccolo flute, etc.), because I want to remove it from the project, I don’t want to save audio file for it, nor an empty (tacet) PDF.

I hope I was a bit more clear.

I usually switch to the instrument part to see if it has any notes in it.

Admittedly that is not the ideal way to check, but it is the fastest I have found.