Use Dorico in an "old school" way, no condensing, Sibelius style

Hi all,

For this specific project I need to use Dorico in a “old school” way, without using condensing.
I have to keep the players on one staff (Flute 1&2 Clarinet 1&2 etc etc) and only add the second staff if I need it. In a word, I need to use the old Sibelius workflow of hiding staves if needed etc etc.

I know VERY well how much more advanced Dorico is in this regard, and already use it that way, but for this specific project I don’t have a choice.

Is it possible to do so?

Ho can I achieve a basic layout like this (done in Sibelius) ?

Many thanks


1 Like

Well yes. Simply tweak the instruments’ names in the name editor. The good news: although it will be time consuming the first time, the library manager will make next projects like this very easy…
[Edit] not so sure about the bracket on the optional horns. This might need a graphical workaround.

1 Like

This makes me quite curious about the circumstances of this project, and is there really isn’t a better way of handling things. Perhaps with some further explanation we could help streamlining things?

I need to write with a single staff (e.g. flute 1&2) and make my own decisions on a2 or divisi, and be very flexible. I have to copy a score from another composer and that’s what was required.


I couldn’t find a way to stack 1 and 2 one above the other the way I want to though, for some reason.

What about this?

Just use Section Players and “divisi” if you need it :wink:

1 Like

thanks, what do you mean by “using divisi” ?

You right-click and under staff select change divisi.


1 Like

Thank you!

and is there a way to achieve this?
Screenshot 2023-05-11 at 16.12.38

And then restore unison if needed.


1 Like

Thanks so much

with condesing I get this,

Thanks, I meant how to write the 1 and 2 on top of each other in the staff label

Can I ask why? Are you exporting XML to Sibelius at the end?

1 Like

yes that too, and also for familiarity and because there is not much time I can dedicate to testing things I am not entirely familiar with yet

In cases where a lot of flexibility is needed, I was able to accomplish this with manual condensing overrides in the score. You might want to have a look at that too, as an alternative to doing things the old fashioned way. They are quite powerful. I’ve been able to use them to exactly match the way existing scores are condensed on a system by system basis.

I’ve attached a Rimsky-Korsakov engraving where I used the manual condensing to get things looking the same as they did in the original public domain engraving (aside from two systems where I elected to make a slight change).

Procession of the Nobles.dorico (2.6 MB)


My concern is also that I want to orchestrate on single staves to have just a few instruments in sight, rather than having a massive amount of staves to deal with.
Condensing in Dorico is fantastic, however I can’t use it as condensed staves are not clickable and editable etc etc which in a sense defeats the purpose (for me obviously)

This setting in Engraving Options