Workflow help - Multiple projects vs Multiple Flows

Hi everyone! New to the forum and Dorico!

I do a lot of orchestral arranging for live shows, so I started out with a single project with a Template flow which I duplicated and renamed for each song. I’m starting to think, though, that it might be better for my workflow to start a new project for each song, and use that Template flow every time. I realized this when exporting pdfs. I need flow-independent pdfs, and I didn’t find a “flowname” option for renaming files in the Filename Options dialog.

What are your thoughts? When is it more advisable to keep songs together in a single project? Is it only when you need to print them out in a single file?

Thanks and greeting from Costa Rica!

If the primary reason you want them separate is for exporting, you can have a separate full score layout for each flow (with only one flow assigned to that layout) and set the layout name to the same as the flow?

You can of course export and import flows as well, if you want to separate a project containing multiple flows into separate projects (or just save-as and delete other flows).

Keeping flows in the same project is probably most useful for when you want a continuous run of music, like assembling multiple flows into a single part and letting flows start on the same page as a previous flow to squish the part onto fewer pages.


Thank you Lillie, that’s what I thought!

Hi Lillie, this kept me thinking: Is there a way to save as Template in Dorico? I had a bad experience using Save-as with Finale:

After a few years of starting each project with a Save-as from the previous project (so as to keep the latest tweaks and preferences I liked), files began to work improperly, if at all. This was solved by using the Save as Template function.

Do you see a potential risk of continually using save-as after save-as? Do the files “degrade” at all?


This is probably a question best posed to the community in general, but as there isn’t a custom template function as such in Dorico, to my knowledge many users have a single template file that they perhaps save somewhere as a read-only file, and start new projects from that project.

It will contain a set of defaults based on the Dorico version in which it was created (the settings in Engraving Options etc), and those settings can get amended when new versions come out. For example, a version or two ago there were some changes to the defaults for slur endpoints and positioning which I for one certainly prefer over the previous settings. You always have the option to reset to factory, which should (I think) pick up the factory settings of the version of Dorico running when you perform that operation.

You also always have the option to export flows from one project file to another if you find you’ve ended up with a project-specific issue.

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The best way seems to be to take a file that suits as a template and (if it contains notes) to add a new flow and delete the one with notes in it before saving (Save as…) it in a suitable location. Subsequently you can make the custom template read only in Windows (and I suspect in Mac as well).

Your custom template may not (will not) come up in the template list, but if you open it you can use it as you would a Dorico template file.

(Ninja’d by Lillie–not surprised. :slightly_smiling_face:)

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Thanks a lot, everyone. Loving the support and this community!

That was entirely due to Finale’s original file format, which required re-writing every year to accommodate new features, but which still had to read old formats correctly. Corruption was a very significant problem, until the re-designed .musx format came along.

Dorico’s format is significantly more robust.