ability to hide any selectable item

I’m sure I saw a post about this a long time ago, but haven’t been able to find it again…

Feature request: could Dorico someday have the ability to truly “hide” any element that’s selectable in a score (clef, key signature, time signature, individual instrument change labels, etc.)? LilyPond has this ability and it’s a wonderfully useful feature.

I know the current workaround for hiding things in Dorico is to give them a custom colour and then set that colour’s opacity to zero, however this still exports the elements as shapes to the resultant PDF. For those of us who rely heavily on apps like Illustrator as a final step to perfecting a score, it means you still have to deal with all these “hidden” items after export (just a small item on my Dorico wish list!).


That’s been on my wish list since I started using Dorico back in 2017.

1 Like

It was a deliberate decision by the team not to include a generic “hide” functionality, in that there are in most cases other ways you could handle needing to hide something. To that end, things like invisible clefs and atonal key signatures are possible, as are open time signatures with the flexibility to add barlines wherever needed. You can also hide instrument change labels without changing their colour: just pop to Engrave mode and change their custom text to an empty space. In a lot of cases, this is also true (that the colour/opacity isn’t necessary).

It’s likely you already know about such things, but to be sure: you can also hide/show clefs depending on the transposition - e.g. if you want to show them in the concert pitch score but hide them in the transposing part.

Hi Lillie,

That makes good sense - I know there are lots of item-specific hiding options that might have conflicted with a more generic approach, so from a software design perspective, I understand the argument.

That said, if it’s still technically possible to visually hide something by changing its colour/opacity anyway, would a toggle switch for hiding it altogether really be that different in principle? It would achieve the same visual end result, but the exported PDFs would be less cluttered with empty paths.

This isn’t a big issue by any means (and one I’ve learned to live with over the past few years), it’s just always seemed wrong to “trick” Dorico into hiding things with single spaces, 0% opacity, etc. when a deliberate on/off switch would be so much clearer in intent from a UI perspective.

Thanks for your time and response!


FWIW, I recently wanted a quick way to hide time signatures without having to open the Preferences Panel and click the minuscule toggle switch. It involved editing the JSON file and removing the command which toggles between the Marquee Tool and the Hand Tool (which I don’t need), and then adding the ‘ToggleHideEvent’ command to enable showing and hiding the time signature instead. It works perfectly and has saved me a lot of time.

I’m new to Dorico, and finding it really great, but I agree that a ‘make invisible’ option on everything would be incredibly useful. If nothing else, there’s always going to be some use-case that the design team can’t anticipate, so giving the user the option to hide stuff covers those cases (seconding Andrew_34’s suggestion).

I’m a long-time Sibelius user, and while that programme was problematic, the ability to hide almost anything meant it was easy to create workarounds for something that the system wouldn’t ‘normally’ allow.

Case in point, I’m writing an orchestra piece where I need the whole ensemble to hold while the soloist does something unmeasured. I need to hide the fermata on the solo part but the only option (AFAICS) is to drag it off the edge.

1 Like

Create a custom playing technique that looks like a fermata.

1 Like

Thanks! at first I couldn’t see how that would help, but combining it with inputting on multiple staves at the same time means I can add fermatas to every bar then delete the one I don’t need. Much appreciated.

I know this has been brought up many times before, but I’d really love the ability to hide any element that affects playback. Dynamics can already be hidden, hairpins and slurs can be hidden with Alpha 0 (although it would be nice if this could be supported more intuitively), but there’s no way to hide an articulation. Since I generally think in notation and not MIDI, I find it a lot easier to simply use notational elements to get the playback correct for a mockup, and then hide what isn’t needed or what the composer didn’t actually have in the score. The ability to add a staccato then simply hide it seems a lot easier than going into Play and modifying the playback duration. The ability to hide any element that affects playback would be a great help when creating more realistic mockups.

Are there ways to create a custom PT that would mimic an articulation but which you could then hide?

Probably, but it would be a bit of a hassle to set up. For example, I could make an invisible PT called “short,” then to map it to a Playing Technique which would then have the length of 50% defined in all my Expression Maps in my main default, but I currently have close to 100 expression maps. The ability to simply hide anything affecting playback would be very useful.

Staccato, Marcato, Accent, etc are all Playback Techniques that can be assigned in Playing Techniques.

That’s enough to trigger Dorico’s alteration of the note, as in Playback Options, without messing with every Expression Map.

Interesting, I didn’t realize that would work! Won’t every hidden “staccato” PT have to be cancelled with a hidden “natural” though? That’s still twice as much work as just hiding a staccato, but probably worth doing.

Actually, just tested and accent doesn’t seem to work, although staccato worked fine.

I tested a staccato with a continuation line, which stops afterwards.

1 Like

That seems to work as long as there are multiple notes so the line appears. If it’s just on one note it either needs to be cancelled with another PT, or the initial application needs to be multiple notes (to create the line) and then the line dragged back so it’s only one note.

Does accent work for you? I still can’t seem to get that to work automatically.

What if you extend the line just a little with option-shift-right arrow?


Thanks! Yes, that works too. 99% of the time when I use PTs it’s for brass mutes, pizz/arco indications, or percussion markings so I don’t end up using the continuation lines very often. That’s definitely faster.

I guess a StreamDeck or macro is the fastest way to go to hide these. Fastest way for an individual note with a staccato for example seems to be 1) Assign PT (I thought the star made this selectable for a keycommand, no? Easy enough to assign a shortcut with a json edit anyway.) 2) Alt+Shift+right arrow once with a small grid 3) Hide the PT (again, easy with json edit)

Obviously not as fast as 1) use existing articulation keycommand and 2) hide articulation, if only this existed. Also, the PT method only seems to work for staccato and tenuto, but not for accent and marcato. Maybe it has to do with the libraries I tested, but those didn’t seem to work, which would mean a lot of expression map editing. Simply adding a hide articulation command would make this complicated workaround a whole lot easier.

Agreed. In Finale and Musescore it’s one keystroke to toggle visibility of nearly anything, but in Dorico it seems much more complicated.

Yes, just made the jump to Dorico from Finale, but this would be a valuable feature, design decisions notwithstanding.

1 Like

This is indeed a feature I want to see. There might be a way of doing things without the “hide” feature. But it most often end up being a workaround that is quite tedious. I don’t see the purpose of spending half an hour on a forum every time to find a work around to something that could be done easily with this function.

1 Like