A few more Chord Symbol requests

I know there have already been quite a requests regarding the functionality of chord symbols, but I wanted to add a few more.

  1. As the 6/9 is not subject to scaling under “Design: Scale Factor for subscript and superscript components” the default sizing can be quite small and difficult to read depending on the Chord Symbols Music Text Font size. I don’t know what it is hardwired to be set to, but I would guess around 50% which is too small to be easily read. In the example below, the “9” in my superscripted alteration is 70%, is quite a bit bigger, and is about the smallest I would want to go for legibility’s sake. (Also, requested before, but just reiterating the need for a chord symbol accidental baseline adjustment, as that is apparent in this example too.)

  1. The use of the character “j” in “maj” with its descender makes it instantly recognizable to the performer. Yet, there is no possible option for “maj69” in any of the Chord Symbols/Intervals options. There’s also no option to simply stack them without the bar like I can with alterations. (It’s not a fraction, the bar or slash is unnecessary clutter IMO.) I would really like to be able to do something like the following, which is much more legible for the performer than just a tiny “6/9.”

  1. When using chord symbol entry with the popover, Space always advances to the next beat. I would love to see a option to have it advance to the next beat or note, whichever comes first. Frequently I will have chord symbols off the beat which means I have to leave the popover, click the where I want the chord, and then resume entry. If I could just continue entry with the popover, and use Space to advance the cursor over any notes (and beats) that don’t need chord symbols, this would be much faster than having to stop and restart chord symbol entry every time I have a chord off of a beat.


For point three, there’s already a much faster way than what you’re doing - leave the popover open and use the right and left arrows to move forward or backwards according to the grid.

Thanks Leo, that is faster than having to go back and click. I would still love to see that grid functionality (or the next note/beat functionality) able to be applied to the space bar, so my hands don’t have to leave the normal typing position.

Also one addendum to #2: It is possible to have “maj6/9” if I set “Appearance of major triads” to “Bbmaj”. Unless I have missed a checkbox somewhere, that setting seems basically unusable though as Dorico will then assume all mixolydian chords and their variants are major. With that setting, typing C13 will result in Cmaj13, C7 will be Cmaj7, C9 will be Cmaj9, C7#9 will be Cmaj7#9, etc. A minor chord such as Cm7 will display correctly though.

You should be able to edit the appearance of the 6/9 suffix by going to the Project Default Chord Symbol Appearance dialog and typing e.g. ‘Ab6/9’ into the box at the top left. When the chord appears in the editor on the right-hand side, look at the grid of options on the right-hand side below the main editor: select the 6/9 there and click the pencil icon to edit it. You can now resize each bit of it, remove the slash, and add “maj” if you wish. Editing the 6/9 suffix in this way will change the appearance of all 6/9 chords in your project.

Wow, this dialog box is a lot more powerful than I realized!!! Thanks Daniel! If anyone else attempts this for any component, be sure to make the X and Y adjustments to the chord symbol component in the “Edit Chord Symbol Component” dialog, not the main Default Chord Symbol Appearance box as the X and Y values in the latter box have hardwired default values which you will need to compensate for in the former. If you just do it in the latter box then you’ll end up doing it for each possible root variation. (21 different roots I suppose, not counting double sharps or flats.)

This is also how to do chord symbol baseline adjustments!!! Just be sure to edit the character definition not each individual chord or else you are in for a lot of work. It’s subtle, but compare the positioning in the two following examples, factory and modified:

(I didn’t bother setting up a maj69 in the factory example so just used maj7)

I’m sure I’ll have more questions as I explore this in depth, but one came to mind right away: Once I’ve edited a “chord symbol component,” there’s no way to easily return it to factory, is there? For example, once I’ve edited the component named “comp.csac.6.smufl.glyph.slash.diagonal.9” to now be “maj69” instead of “6/9” that stays fixed for this file even if I delete all the chord configurations under Project Default Appearance, right? I guess I can always just mimic the settings from a file where this is unaltered if this is ever needed.

You’re right that it’s currently tricky to restore an individual component back to its factory appearance, but if you ever have need of it, you can contact me directly and I can sort it out for you upon receipt of your userlibrary.xml file (from your user-level application data folder).

Thanks again Daniel! I suppose I’d like to submit a feature request for some sort of reset to factory functionality here. I don’t know what percentage of users are ever going to mess around with this (probably not many), but it seems pretty easy to screw it up and not be able to get it back, especially if working on files that may have already been edited by someone else.

Hi Daniel & all. I’ve been exploring this more in depth and there are really a lot of options for customization. I now have no problem adjusting the chord alteration baseline by editing the definition of the chord symbol component for root alterations, but I’m a bit stuck editing the alterations in any chord suffix. As Dorico thinks of the suffix as a predefined entity, obviously I need to delete the factory version and recreate my own using the individual components, but I can’t figure out where the characters come from exactly.

For comparison, in the image above the top #9 is default, the # below it is from the “Standard accidentals for chord symbols” set and the # under the 9 is from the “Standard accidentals” set scaled to 70%. Neither of the sharps below the default #9 are the same as the default sharp character. I much prefer the design of the default sharp as it will be more legible at smaller sizes, but I’m not sure what character set it comes from. If anyone knows where to find the character of the sharp that comes in the default #9, please let me know. I basically want to recreate the altered suffixes so the sharp visually appears balanced with the 9, instead of literally sharing the same baseline. Thanks!

As you are in the middle of this topic may I ask you how you manage to get the x value that you set in the “Edit Chord Symbol Component” dialog to be recognised in the “Edit Chord Symbol Appearance”?
On my system (Windows 10 Pro) only the y values are recognised and I need to set the x value manually.

BTW the sharp symbol you would like to use may be this one:
Sharp (superscript or subscript)
From the range Standard accidentals for chord symbols / Recommended stylistic alternates

I’m pretty sure it’s this one:

…and no, I don’t have a magic method - this is pure trial and error.

Ah, thanks Leo!

EDIT: Sorry, I just realized I misunderstood what you were asking. Do you mean the X and Y scale or positioning? I left the hardwired X and Y position values alone in “Project Default Chord Symbol Appearances,” and then just compensated for them in the “Edit Chord Symbol Component” dialog. Can you not set X values there? I’m also on Windows 10.

Are you talking about the X and Y scale values? The way it currently works (whether by design or not,) is that it’s impossible to not have the X and Y values linked. If you change one from 100 to e.g. 117, the other internally changes to 117 too.

No, I am talking about the offset values.
I am in the process to apply the changes done on one chord symbol appearance to all roots.
But right now for some unknown reasons the x values are recognized!
I just tried several times before and it did not work, now it seems to work.
I must search further why this happened.

Just ran into another issue …

So I can easily modify a suffix such as #9, but I guess because I am not actually modifying the underlying character as I was with the main root alteration, the modification is only for that one specific chord. Here’s an example:

Does anyone have an easy solution to this? Obviously I can spend an afternoon and try to create a comprehensive chord library for all possible roots, but I’d much rather just edit the alteration and have it applied to all roots if this can be done.

That is not something I’d use very often, but I understand how it could be useful. In my case, I generally enter the chords before any explicit notes.

Nonetheless, your request sounds tantamount to “Enable Lock Durations to work while entering chords”.

The ideal should go far beyond “return to factory”. What is needed is a comprehensive library/template system that allows one to manage a whole library of styles, and “factory default” would simply be one of the styles. The settings I would use for a jazz band are nothing like what I’d use for a symphony orchestra, hymnal or anything else.

And when writing for jazz groups, their preferences vary a bit, so I’d love to be able to select a saved style for the River Rats House Band and a different style for the Bob’s Boisterous Bagpipes. The library should allow any of the engraving, notation and layout pages, pis any graphical items (such as chords), and all the font settings (which are blindingly numerous.)

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