A Beginner's Guide

Good idea, thanks.

I’ve completed a good bit more (same link): https://www.dropbox.com/s/w6ict67txjzjfme/A%20Beginner’s%20Guide%20to%20Dorico.docx?dl=0

My goal is to get through Write mode at this point. I’d appreciate feedback on how much detail to cover. Of the sections I’ve done so far, is the level of detail adequate? Should it be more in-depth, or keep it concise?

Thanks. Also posting on FB group for suggestions.

I think the level of detail in your guide is just right for new and less experienced users to gain confidence is using Dorico (and as a handy refresher course for more experienced users) and the official Dorico manual is available when more detailed questions arise. I especially hope that your guide becomes widely read by new and prospective users - it would be a shame for them to struggle with learning the new program unaided when such an excellent guide is close to hand.

I noticed a small typo - in the section on the Properties Panel (#4), it is the panels to the right (rather than left) that change depending on the selection. Also, in the Viewing and Navigation part you mention that the top bar can be hidden by clicking on the small arrow at its centre. It can also be closed using Ctrl-6. (You already mention using Ctrl-7, 8 and 9 to close the side and bottom panels.)

Ooh, can I suggest something that indicates the following, with better wording, please? This has certainly tripped numerous people up in the past.

Ctrl-0 hides all previously open panels, and acts as a toggle. Having applied it, you may find that Ctrl-7/8/9 don’t work until you’ve reused Ctrl-0.

Congratulations on this guide. It’s a great way to get someone started. I even learned one trick I didn’t know about!

A couple of things:

  1. The crescendo-decrescendo combination is called “Messa di voce”.
  2. Although you are trying to keep the guide simple, I think that the tied notes sections could include an exception to that rule by including the possibility of entering dynamics and playing techniques where the caret is placed, rather than limiting it to adding these markings before tying a note (or by extension, after untying them). Ties are often the first thing beginners butt their heads against and explaining how that can be done in a more Dorician manner right off the bat is probably a good thing.

Great work. I’m impressed with your sharing spirit!

Great, thanks guys, I will make those updates soon.

You know, I was re-reading my comment and I just want to make sure there is no confusion:

The crescendo-decrescendo combination is called “Messa di voce” and not “Mezza di voce”.
As far as the inverted marking (decrescendo-crescendo) is concerned, I don’t know what it’s called either!

Updated - let me know if you think this is sufficiently clear.

tied input.png

Looks great to me!

Thanks, Dan - this is amazingly generous and helpful (even to those of us who have worked with the program a bit more). A great example of the overall “giving” spirit of this forum! I’ve already exported it from Pages as an .epub file so I can view it “on the go” on my iPhone in iBooks :slight_smile:

  • D.D.

I think I’ve finished Setup and Write mode, at least as in-depth as I want to go:


Please let me know if you see any errors, or something that really should be added.

I probably won’t do Play or Print modes, since I don’t think they need to be part of this document. I’m planning on doing Engrave mode next, since that has some pretty important features that would be helpful to discuss.

Feedback welcome.

Again, many thanks! I am off to have a look.

Dan, this is enormously helpful.




Thanks, Dan! I have had a close look through the latest version of “A Beginner’s Guide to Dorico” and highly recommend it to anybody who would benefit from a written guide to Dorico’s main features. Dorico’s numerous video tutorials are also wonderful but it is SO nice to have a concise, clearly-written document close at hand when questions arise during the composition process.

If it isn’t already in the document (I didn’t see it) a link to the tutorial document in the files area of facebook (I think that’s where it was) would be very helpful also; that was a revelation for me and made things work in my head :slight_smile:.



I looked in Facebook and couldn’t find the tutorial you might have been talking about, although I am largely unfamiliar with Facebook and could easily have missed something. I wonder, though, if you might be referring to the following tutorial from the Dorico Blog:


That’s a really huge work !!!
Very useful for me.
Thanks Dan.

Yes, Mike. That was the document I was thinking of.


Dan, great job on this! I just noticed a typo:

“Write mode is where you enter the musical elements in the score. Switch to
Write mode by pressing Ctrl-1.”

(Should be “Ctrl-2”)

Dan, I see that you now have more than 1,200 views to your “Beginners Guide to Dorico” post. This is both wonderful and well-deserved! Dorico users are lucky indeed to have ready access to such a finely-crafted and broadly-focussed guide to using Dorico’s essential features.

I look forward to completion of the in-progress section on Engrave Mode and wish you luck in finding another experienced Dorico user who might be willing to take on sections on the Play and Print modes, as you have requested in the past. (Personally, I would love to help but am clearly not up to the job - I am essentially a retired music enthusiast studying composition and both my composition and notation skills are comfortably below the professional level.)