Using Multiple Layouts at Once

I’m fairly sure this doesn’t exist in Dorico at the moment, but just to be sure…

I’m making a book of piano music, and have a number of flows which are of course for solo piano. However, I also have a flow which is for a duet, and as such uses a slightly different formatting and layout set.

My issue is this: I can create individual layouts for the solo flows and for the duet flow, and each works exactly as I need them to. However, I have no way of keeping them together as a whole project - the ‘full score’ layout forces a single master page template set and overrides every unique setting, which is not what I want at all.

So basically I have no way of viewing both layouts at the same time - they’re in separate tabs at best, and I can’t move the duet into the middle of the project and have it shift the page numbers of the solo pieces after it.

I’m hoping I’ve just overlooked something and there actually is a way to do this…

There are two page template sets provided by default, but you can have as many in the same project as you like, including one where the left/right pages are set up to show secondo/primo if required. Then change which set is used by each layout.

E.g. see this video –

I am currently using two page template sets, along with some small formatting tweaks to flows in the layout options. It’s probably easier to give an example file to show what I mean, but the forum isn’t letting me upload anything (file size must be greater or equal to 1??).

Edit: Solved the upload issue, it wanted a *.zip file: (691.8 KB)

Basically the issue is that I need multiple page templates and flow settings to be usable in the same layout, which it appears is currently impossible. Even in this video, he makes edits to the ‘full score’ settings, which would also affect any solo pieces, if he had any.

It seems to me that the note sizing, flow settings, etc. need to be divorced from the layout options entirely - the layout settings should really just be page size and margins. Then, the actual note spacing and flow settings should be tied to individual flows, and allow master page template sets to be assigned to flows directly.

I’m afraid I don’t quite see what the issue is – a layout uses a page template set. In that set, you can have any number of page templates, it starts with a First and Default but you can add e.g. Title, Notation information, Short page etc page templates and apply them to individual pages where needed.

If you wanted to edit the First page template in the Default Full Score set, but didn’t want that to affect other full scores in the project, you set up a separate page template set for that full score layout. If you need to share page templates between sets, you can do that.

Note spacing you can also change within layouts where a change is required. Ditto staff size.

Part of the issue there is that you can only have one First page template in a set, when I need two (one for solo pieces and one for the duet).

So instead I used two page templates as you mention. But, I can only assign one of these to a layout, and the one that is assigned to ‘full score’ overwrites the others.

If it were possible to make multiple first page templates in a single template set then I might be able to make it work, but I also still need the ability to change staff labeling and starting page settings for individual flows, which I’m not sure how to do.

Also, I’m avoiding using per-page overrides as I move things around a lot.

Meanwhile, using two completely separate layouts solves everything, except Dorico basically views them as separate projects then.

I had the opposite problem, when piano duet was the norm and solo piano the exception. In the flows with the solo piano I just deselected the second piano:


Unless you have additional things to consider in your layouts, you could setup the whole piece for two pianos and deselect the second piano for the solo pieces.

For starting page number, do you mean for the layout as a whole or for each flow? If the former, see here for the initial page number in the layout or here for page number changes e.g. for numbering prefatory pages. If the latter, change the page number token on the Default page to use the flow page, which resets to 1 for the start of each flow.

Yes, you can only have one First page template in a set, which Dorico automatically uses in the circumstances set. Beyond that it’s necessary to assign page templates to pages - and I appreciate this starts locking material into place, but you can for instance swap page overrides with neighbouring pages if you want to “move them along” the layout. And although it can be a bit of work, keeping the necessary frames “saved” on a page template means if you need to remove them and re-assign them to pages later, you don’t have to recreate the arrangement at least.

Staff labels you can change at system/frame breaks just like changing the staff size.

It’s for the layout as a whole, because by default Dorico puts the first page of a flow on the right, while for a duet it needs to be on the left. That requires a couple of other changes in the layout settings too, such as ‘start on the existing page’ versus the main score which uses ‘always start on a new page’.

I suppose I could manually create ‘first’ pages specifically for the duet (but they would secretly be default-type) and manually assign them as overrides. But it still causes formatting issues because of the above settings also needing to be changed.

So I’m kind of stuck - I can either use one template with manual overrides and have the duet start on the wrong page, or use two separate layouts and be unable to work on them together. Or I can use a single layout and master template set, and keep the settings all the same, in which case both players are on the same page (which is awkward, and with my current settings, squishes everything vertically).

@ Juerg: I did go ahead and only select the relevant players for each layout, it just gets awkward because I’m trying to put the duet parts on separate pages. Then again, I could do it that way and just use a whole lot of manual overrides, maybe?

Oh, I see, you have the two duet parts on facing pages, not below each other. So the secondo player must be on the left side. Maybe this tutorial gives some hints (I think Lillie has posted the link already). You probably have to accept a few overrides.

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I can probably still do what you suggested earlier of starting with the duet and nixing a player, but I would need 50% of the pages to have overrides then. Quite a lot in an 80+ page project haha.

I think it’s pretty clear at this point that Dorico doesn’t support what I want to do very well, so I’ll leave this as a feature request for the future.

Divorcing a lot of the settings from page layouts and making something like an intermediary flow layout that can be directly assigned per flow would be the ideal solution here, in my opinion.