Unwanted piano condensation

Newbie to Dorico, still learning the ropes after decades with the “other guys”.
Unusual thing today with a piano/instrument score. Been doing quite a few lately but this hadn’t come up yet. From the screenshot, you see the first system reduces the piano part to one staff (because the hands don’t play together). The second system is fine because they play together for 2 bars. Haven’t found a way to force it onto 2 staves as it should normally be. Can’t understand why Dorico would insist on this.
This is an xml import which might complicate things.
Many thanks!

Staff reduction

Hello there! I suspect your XML import has resulted in the 2 piano staves being treated as 2 separate instruments, and the “Pno” labels are actually instrument change labels, where Dorico is switching between the 2 instruments with instrument changes.

If you check in Setup mode - when you expand the player in the panel on the left, do you see one instrument label or two? If two, then change the first into a piano instrument (which makes sure Dorico definitely thinks it’s a piano), then copy and paste the music for the bottom staff from the 2nd instrument onto the piano instrument’s bottom staff. You might find this easier to do in galley view.

Thank you so much for the quick reply. That’s exactly what happens, they are 2 separate pianos coming in from the xml. I wish I could find a way to avoid that from the start. It’s a several step workaround but at least that fixed the problem.

Unfortunately that’s somewhat unavoidable with XML. While it’s definitely great for importing and exporting, it’s impossible for all the different notation programs to talk together in exactly the same way, since they each do things differently.

Agreed. In the end it’s still a definite time saver and a couple of extra clicks will still be far less than doing it all by hand!