Working with master pages / page sets etc

I have a full score and set of parts. There are 3 movements, so 3 flows.
On the first page of a part (and hence the first page of Flow 1), I want shown:
instrument name
project title
flow title
work number
copyright line

So that’s done using Master Page / Default Part / First, using Master Page Set / Default Part, yes?
Most of those items aren’t already there, so I’m going to have to edit the Master Page Set / Default Part, creating frames and inserting tokens into them, I think? Have I understood that correctly?
(Subsequent music pages will be Master Page / Default Part / Default.)
On the first page of the remaining 2 flows, however, I just want flow title. Can I do that? I’m not at all clear how.
Also: depending on where page turns fall, some parts may need a title page, so they’ll need their own Master Part Set, won’t they?
I’ve watched the videos (and read the various manuals), but if there’s one that covers all this, I’ve not found it.

Yes to using Default Part master page set.

I think edit the First master page to add the extra text fields you need.

Create a new master page (“First title only”?) with just a text frame containing {@FlowTitle@} and a music frame. Then right click in the top right panel of Engrave, and add Master Page Change to any pages where you need a title.

Alternatively reverse my last two paragraphs: remove everything but the title and music frame from the default “First” master page, then add a new master page with all the additional text on it, and just apply it to page 1 of each part layout.

Then for title pages, construct a further new master page that you can insert where necessary (again from the Pages panel at the top right side of Engrave mode). Bear in mind that, for the time being, {@FlowWhatever@} doesn’t work on pages where there is no music - Dorico doesn’t know which flow you want to lift this data from - so you’ll have to manually override each instance with {@flow1Whatever@} or {@flow8Whatever@} , where the number corresponds to the flow number as shown in the bottom panel of Setup mode. The development team are working to improve this behaviour.

And no, you only need one Master Page Set, but you likely need to add some more master pages to it.

Thanks! I realise I didn’t make it clear - the remaining flows will have music, but only the flow title.
What I find really tiring is that I reckon I’ve finally got it, try to do it, and something else doesn’t work. This time, I’ve clicked on the ‘insert text frame’ icon. The F1 help says I can click and drag, but it doesn’t do anything. I’m in Engrave / frames; it says ‘Editing Master Page First’ so presumably I’m on the right screen. I thought clicking and dragging would give me a box on the page I can then move around, re-size, and so on. And where do I find the token names, so I can enter those in a frame? Is it one token per frame?

Tokens here:

You can put as many tokens as you want in a frame. Here’s what the header on my Default pages looks like: {@flowTitle@} – {@layoutname@}, p. {@page@}. That gives me a header like “Song Title - Flute 2, p. 4.”

I believe you still need to have the Frames switch turned on (top left corner of Engrave mode) to insert Frames.

You can have as many tokens as you like in a text frame.

Frames are switched on. I click, drag the rectangle to the page. Am I supposed to see a new frame sitting somewhere? The page is full of frames already. Perhaps I need to move them (how?) to make room for new ones - point taken about being able to have multiple tokens in the same page, though.
And now I find that for a new Master Page Set I made earlier (thanks Dan!), the page numbers are all shown on the left hand side. I don’t know how I’ve managed to do that. I certainly don’t know how to alter it. Within its frame, the page number is right-justified; it’s just the wrong end of that ‘line’. If I could switch the frames round, it might do the trick, but I cna’t persuade it to do that.

It’s probably because you copied from left to right, so regardless of which “side” the page is, the number is showing on the left because the master page is defining the location of the page number.

To fix that, alter the master page layout so one page number is on the left, and the other is on the right (outside margins). And DON’T copy from left to right, or vice versa.

Or if I remember correctly, there is an option to set frame alignment to outside margins, or something like that. But I’m not in front of my computer at the moment so I can’t recall exactly where it is.

On the problem of creating frames: I’m baffled. Shouldn’t matter if there are lots of frames already existing - frames can overlap ad infinitum. Frames toggled on, click on a text frame, click and drag.

Maybe a problem with page overrides? Any red triangles on the page numbers?

Yes, but HOW do I alter the layout? Where is the bit that allows me to switch from left to right? I can’t find it.
Nope, no red triangles.

When you are editing your master page, there is a left page and a right page. The point of that is that you may want a slightly different layout, depending on whether your pages are right facing or left facing. That’s why editing a master page shows you a two page layout.

For most of your layout design, you want it to be the same, so you edit one side or the other, and then copy to the other page at the top. But this is a case in which you do want the different pages to have slightly different designs.

Indeed. What I can’t fathom is how to tell the right hand page to show the page number on the right hand side. Within its frame, the page number is showing as right-justified, but the frame itself is on the left-hand side. Looking at the layouts for other parts, this is not so.

OK, managed to sort that. I found you have to grab just the right bit of the frame to persuade it to move.
I’ve still no idea how to drag a frame in, but I’ve just had enough; every last bit of this project has been a struggle and I’m only half way through it. It is entirely thanks to the extremely kind and generous help of the people on this forum that I’ve got this far.

Frames are locked to the top/bottom/left/right edges of a page. You can choose which sides to lock the frame to using the padlocks in the left panel, and you can adjust the distance from the edge of the frame to the edge of the page by typing numbers into the boxes in the bottom panel.


Have you watched these Dorico videos on frames? It may help.

Thanks! I’d not found these ones. I’m finding dealing with Dorico such, such hard work - I’m exhausted by the continual vertical learning curves and need to take a break from it for a couple of days - I’ve got another life to live - but will watch these very soon.

For what it’s worth, I can sympathise with this. I find Dorico’s inclusion of proto-DTP elements to be a big step forward in the capabilities of scorewriting software, and I already find it extremely useful, compared to the elaborate workarounds required in Dorico’s rivals to do this stuff. Daniel’s tutorial on laying out preces and responses is a case in point. I used to do this job in Sibelius too, using endless instrument changes, invisible staves and other kludges, and believe me, Dorico is MUCH easier.

But having said all that, to me Dorico’s DTP features are still very much in the “proto” phase. As someone who uses InDesign every day – a program which has two decades of development work behind it – I find Dorico’s implementation of basic functionality awkward and frustrating to use. That is not the fault of the Dorico team as such; it’s simply a consequence of (a) the vastly shorter development time that the program has had so far, and (b) the degree to which the program’s main focus is not, and probably should never be, DTP stuff anyway.

Of course, the question of how far Dorico really should go in the direction of becoming a full-featured page layout program for music is up to the developers. I doubt it would ever catch up with InDesign, nor would most people want that. (InDesign itself is often accused of feature bloat.) But separately from the question of adding new features, I think there is plenty of room for improvement in usability and discoverability of the current feature set.

piano888, reading your posts I feel unhappy that you are finding the software exhausting to learn. It is very different than Sibelius, for sure, but I believe that you will find that it clicks once you are able to think of things in terms other than the terms you’re used to in Sibelius.

The confusion about creating a new frame I think I can explain: I think your expectation is that you click on the text frame button, then keeping the mouse button held down, you drag from the button into the score, expecting to see some kind of frame under the mouse pointer, which you can then drop into the score and then work with. That’s not how this button works – indeed, that’s not how any button in Dorico works. There is nowhere in the program where you can click and hold a button down, then drag the mouse pointer to drag something off one of the panels and insert it into the score. Instead, all of these buttons work by “priming” or “loading” the pointer with an item. So here’s what you actually do:

Click on the text frame button; just click, and release the mouse button. Move the pointer over the page to the rough place where you want the top left-hand corner of the frame to go. Now click and drag diagonally down to the right to create the frame and set its size. Release the mouse button when the frame is roughly the right size. Thereafter you can adjust it in the way you would adjust any other frame.

OK, I’ll try that, and thanks. In this instance, I don’t think it’s anything to do with Sibelius; it’s not, for example, how inserting shapes works in MS Word. Some people have said they find all this intuitive - I don’t, and I - and perhaps others - could really do with something really basic, a ‘how to get into it’. A hover-over instruction, perhaps? If this is how buttons work in Dorico, then perhaps say so, somewhere? But say something, so I’m not forever thinking ‘I want to do this - how do I do it?’ On which subject - having now created the frame, how do I get a token into it? I’ve looked up in the F1 help ‘insert token’, as that seems to be what I need to do. Nothing. This is what gets so frustrating, being stymied at every turn and not being able to find out. The information may already be there in the manual, but I probably need to know half the answer in order to be able to put in the right search terms. Or do I just copy and paste, having found the token in the F1 help? Seems very convoluted if so. I do realise you’re working on updating the manual, and I fully understand that there’ve been problems. But as and when things happen on that front, I do hope you will consider including the basic stuff, all the useful little things. I can’t be the only one.

Double click in the frame and either type the token you want of paste one you’ve copied.



Or, with the frame selected, simply press Enter to begin entering text.

piano888, how are the YouTube tutorials not what you’re looking for? They seem to be written and produced for just such a purpose as you’re seeking.

In the search field for the online manual, simply type “frames.” Or you can navigate through the table of contents on the left side, which seems to be fairly clearly laid out.

As you said, for everything else, there’s the forum.