Changing the page size and margins

The next thing you can do to increase the available space on each page for music is to change the page margins. You can also change the page size to A4 so it’s the same as in our example.

In Dorico, there are the following types of margins:

  • Page margins for all four edges, which control the available area for frames. Frames cannot go beyond page margins.

  • Music frame margins at the top and bottom of music frames, which control the gaps between the top and bottom of music frames and the top and bottom staff lines. Very high and very low notes extend into music frame margins, so in a very low cello part, for example, you might want a larger bottom music frame margin.

  • You can change your Preferred unit of measurement on the General page in Preferences (key command Ctrl/Cmd-,). This task uses millimeters and inches.

  • You can press Tab to select the next value field in options dialogs.


  1. Press Ctrl/Cmd-Shift-L to open Layout Options.
  2. Click Page Setup in the category list.
  3. In the Page Size section, select A4 from the Size menu.
  4. In the Page Margins section, change the page margins:
    • For Top, enter 11 mm or 0.433 inches.

    • For Bottom, enter 12 mm or 0.473 inches.

    • For Left, enter 14 mm or 0.551 inches.

    • For Right, enter 14 mm or 0.551 inches.

  5. In the Music Frame Margins section, change the music frame margins:
    • For Top, enter 12 mm or 0.473 inches.

    • For Bottom, enter 8 mm or 0.315 inches.

  6. Click Apply, then Close.


The margins on all pages in the layout are changed and the page size is set to A4. A combination of this change and hiding the staff labels in the previous task causes the casting off (the distribution of music into systems and pages) to update automatically.

Full score with page margins reduced