Layouts combine musical content, as represented by flows and players, with rules for page formatting and music engraving, and allow you to produce paginated music notation that can be printed or exported in various formats. For example, part layouts typically only show the music for one player, whereas full score layouts show the music of all players in the project.

Layouts can contain any combination of players and flows. They share the musical content of these players and flows, such as the notes each instrument plays. For example, when you change the pitch of a note in the full score, that note’s pitch is also updated in the corresponding part layout.

You can control practically every aspect of page formatting in each layout independently, including note spacing, staff size, page size, margins, and casting off; that is, the positions of system breaks and page turns. Changing these aspects in one layout does not affect other layouts. For example, inserting systems breaks in a part layout does not change the casting off in the full score.

Similarly, you can change the visual appearance of many items only in one layout, without affecting other layouts, using local properties. For example, you can hide text items in the full score layout but show them in part layouts.

The default formatting of pages in layouts is determined by page templates. By default, full score layouts use a different page template set to part layouts; however, you can apply a different page template set to each layout.

Dorico Elements provides the following layout types:

Full score

A full score layout includes all players and all flows in your project by default. Full score layouts are concert pitch by default.

Dorico Elements automatically creates a single full score layout in every project.


A part layout is automatically created when you add a player to your project. You can also create empty part layouts and assign players to them manually.

By default, instrumental part layouts contain all flows. They are also transposed pitch by default.

You can propagate the formatting of part layouts.

Custom score

A custom score layout initially does not contain any players or flows. This allows you to create your score manually and, for example, assign only one flow instead of all flows or only vocal and piano players to create a vocal score. Custom score layouts are concert pitch by default.

  • You can create as many layouts of each type in each project as required.

  • You can combine players, layouts, and flows together in any combination. For example, you might add all percussion players to a single part layout so that the performers can manage instrument changes themselves. In a large-scale work, you might also create a piano reduction for choir rehearsals, but only assign that piano player to the vocal score, meaning it does not appear in the orchestral full score at all.

  • By default, respelling notes in score layouts also affects their spelling in all other layouts, but respelling notes in part layouts only affects their spelling in the current part layout.

  • You can save options set in Layout Options as the default for score and part layouts independently. For example, full scores and part layouts often require different page and staff sizes.

  • Deleting layouts does not delete any music from the project.