How to Format Staff Labels in Dorico | Getting Started with Dorico

🎬  This article is a transcription of one of the excellent tutorial videos posted to the official Dorico YouTube channel.

Presented here in written form with the kind permission of its creator, Anthony Hughes, this tutorial is titled “How to Format Staff Labels in Dorico 2″…

Hello, I’m Anthony Hughes and in this video I’d like to show the improvements we’ve made to staff labels here in Dorico 2, the advanced music notation software from Steinberg.

Edit Names

It’s now possible to edit the names of instruments that are used for staff labels using the same rich text controls that are found when editing text items and frames.

In Setup mode, (1.) disclose the player card that holds the instrument you need to name; (2.) hover over the instrument label and click the arrow to open its menu, then (3.) choose Edit Names…

Here you can edit the full and short names of the instrument, and format them exactly as you choose, including changing the font style, size and colour midway through the string – if that’s really what you’d like to do.

You can also include line breaks,

so it’s possible to create labels such as this piano part that is for rehearsal only…

or this part that could be played by Organ or Piano.

For the purpose of the instrument label in the Players panel, all formatting will be stripped out,

and it will be this plain string that appears in such places as instrument change labels and cues.

You may find it useful to define further Paragraph Styles to be used by certain Staff Labels, and you can do this in Engrave mode by opening the Engrave menu and choosing Paragraph Styles.

New Engraving Option

There is also a new Engraving Option, found on the Staff Labels page that lets you choose to combine the instrument portion of staff labels when instruments of the same type and the same name are adjacent.

This leaves the number by each staff and centres the instrument name between them, as is often the convention in orchestral scores.

Create horizontally centered staff labels in Paragraph Styles

… I’m Anthony Hughes, thanks for watching.


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I very much hope you’ve found this video transcription to be helpful. If you have, please subscribe to OF NOTE and follow me on for ongoing music notation news and info. And don’t forget to subscribe to the Dorico YouTube channel to see many more videos like this one. ~robert puff

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