Instruction manual - Pizzicato 3.6.2 EN470 - Revision of 2013/05/29




Drums and Percussion





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Page layout

Subjects covered:

Watch also the following video:

What is page layout? [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]

Page layout is the art to arrange measures and staves on pages so as to print them.

Two working methods are available to encode the notes: the linear mode and the page layout mode.

Most examples seen until now were in page layout mode. The measures are represented as they will appear on the printed page. In some cases, working in linear mode is more convenient. If you prepare for example a large orchestral score which and you don't know yet the final aspect of page layout, we advise you to start with one of the linear models and build your score progressively. The whole score behaves as a large roller where measures scroll thanks to the horizontal scroll bar. Similarly, when you create an arrangement only to hear it and not to print it, it is useless to work in page layout view.

When you need to print the score, this linear mode is no more appropriate, because it is then necessary to take the paper format into account. The operation which consists in laying out measures and staves to adapt them to the paper format is called page layout. The constraint introduced in page layout is that Pizzicato must calculate the page layout each time you modify a measures width or you erase or add measures or staves. For a complex score, it is better to work in linear mode and to make the page layout when the score structure is finished.

Page setup structure in Pizzicato [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]

In Pizzicato, the page layout is done with pages and areas.

A page corresponds to a sheet of paper. Its size is the size of the paper you put into your printer.

In most cases, a page has printer margins that limit printing close to the borders. These margins are defined by your printer and cannot be changed. Most printers have a limitation to how close it can print to the borders of the sheet of paper. Some inkjet printers may have zero margins and in that case you can print everywhere on the page. We can represent this as follows:

The sheet borders are shown in black and the printer margins are displayed in red. The area between the black and red rectangle cannot be printed.

In Pizzicato, an area (or printing area) is a precise zone inside a page, in which Pizzicato can print music systems. Here is an example, showing an area defined in green inside the page:

A system is a set of one or more measures from left to right, on one or more staves playing together. They form a graphic unit on an area.

Here are three systems (1 measure of 1 staff , 4 measures of 2 staves and 3 measures of 4 staves):

One area can include zero, one or more systems.

Here is one page, with two printing areas. Each one has four systems and everything is printed on one sheet of paper.

Page layout dialog box [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]

We will see an example of score creation in linear mode and then how to do the page layout.

This dialog may also be called from the File menu, Page setup item.

Here is a description of the main elements of this dialog.

The frame entitled Printing areas is used to define one or more printing areas on the page, where Pizzicato can place music systems. Here is the detail:

The frame entitled Actions is used to specify the following parameters:

The left frame specifies various options regarding the way Pizzicato will assemble systems and place them in the printing areas. Here is the detail.

The Background frame is used to determine the background of pages on the screen. You can have a white background (No background), a colored background (click on the color box beside it to select a color) or a bitmap pattern (24 bits BMP image). You can find a paper bitmap pattern in the following folder: Programs / Pizzicato 3.x / Data / Bitmaps / Texture-2.bmp or Texture-3.bmp. On Mac, you find it in Applications / Pizzicato 3.x / Data / Bitmaps. It only affects the screen display.

Two buttons may be used to validate this dialog. The first one is Compute and OK and Pizzicato will save the parameters and apply them for a new page setup. The other choice is OK - No compute and only saves the parameters without applying the parameters to a new page setup. Click Compute and OK. The score appears in page layout mode and displays the way in which Pizzicato laid out the measures and staves:

According to your printer, it may be slightly different.


On the main palette, activate the tool. It is the reference marks tool. Its shortcut is the key with two superimposed dots ":". When it is active, margins are visible. To disable it, click it again. The complete page is presented as follows:

The white background represents the paper physical dimensions. A red rectangle shows the printer margins. It delimits the paper area where your printer is able to print. Outside this red rectangle, nothing will be printed, even if by error you place text areas or symbols. The maximum size of this red rectangle is specific for each printer.

A green rectangle is located inside the red rectangle. It shows the margins defined for the printing area. It is inside this green rectangle that Pizzicato places measures and staves.

The measures are laid out starting at the top of the first area. When Pizzicato cannot add measures to the right, it continues below, going back to the left border of the area, as you do when writing text.

Page contextual menu [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]

When you click with the right mouse button in the background of a page, a contextual menu is displayed.

The first item is Display and it has 6 subitems to select the way you want to display pages:

The next menu item is Insert. According to the Pizzicato version, it displays one or more items:

The next items are related to the pages:

This dialog is used when you want some pages to have a different layout than other pages. You can select a printer setup (it can even be another printer, for instance if you want a cover sheet in color on a color printer and the other pages on a black and white printer), another print scaling factor and apply it to one or several pages.

The next items are related to the printing areas:

You can modify the size and position of that area inside the page and you can adjust the internal margins. You can apply these changes to this page, all similar pages or all pages.

The last menu item is Page layout... and it simply calls the general page setup dialog that we explained above.

Modifying the layout of measures and systems [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]

The calculation done by Pizzicato does not always correspond to the way you want to lay out the measures on the pages. The number of measures per system, the number of systems per page and the spacing of systems on the page can be modified thanks to the measure layout tool. Similarly, when you work with templates with a prepared page layout, it can be useful to modify the layout of measures and staves.

You may also reach this dialog by clicking on a measure (without an active selection in the score) with the right mouse button (option click on Mac). A contextual menu appears and contains an item Measures and systems setup... which calls this dialog.

Three types of operations can be executed with this dialog box, simultaneously or not.

Another set of choices specifies how Pizzicato will shift existing measures. This is used to limit the impact on an existing page layout. A check box is used to recompute the page layout for these pages automatically.

Another set of choices specifies how Pizzicato will shift existing systems. This is used to limit the impact on an existing page layout. A check box is used to recompute the page layout for these pages automatically.

We will examine an example for each of the three operations.

You can of course adjust measures and systems manually with the measures and staves tool, as previously considered. But the horizontal modifications of the systems are cancelled if the automatic horizontal adjustment of systems option is checked in the page layout dialog box. If you need a free page layout, disable that option.

Since version 3.6, when you display the marks and margins, you will notice the presence of "+" and "-" blue buttons right to each system, as well as in the bottom of the page. The first may be used to add or remove one measure in the system (the others are shifted accordingly). The buttons below may be used to add or remove one system in the page (the other system are shifted accordingly). These shortcuts are useful to adjust the page layout visually and avoid to open and set parameters in the above dialog box.

One more word of caution. The above dialog moves and rearrange existing measures and staves. It will not create new ones. To create new ones, use the measure and staves tool.

Printing the score [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]

After the first page layout is done, you can always calculate the page layout again by changing the values.

To print a score, select the Print item in the File menu. A printer dialog box appears. It is different for each printer model. Most printer lets you select the number of copies and the pages to be printed (All or From page… to ...). Some models also propose a choice of printing quality. In a general way, select a normal quality. If you find that the ties and the notes look irregular, increase the printing quality or the resolution (if your printer allows this). Click OK and the score will be printed.

Show or hide the staves of a system [Professional] [Notation]

In page mode, when you click on a measure with the right mouse button (without any selected measure in the score), a contextual menu presents an item named Visible staves... which calls the following dialog:

The example displayed here is an orchestral score (you may open it through the menu File, Open a template..., Orchestra, Symphony number 2 - Beethoven - 1 page).

This dialog is used to individually determine for each system which staves are visible in a conductor score. We explained the page setup option handling this automatically according to the presence of notes or symbols in the measures. The above dialog provides a direct manual control on this. Here is how to use it:

You may then click on OK to apply the modification to the score.

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Drums and Percussion