Adjusting Slurs

I’m trying to figure out how to remove (i’m assuming they are called) the shoulder or hook that exist, more prominently on short slurs than on long ones, but still do exist. I went into Engraving options and saw the numbers that represent these hooks/shoulder but found it cryptic. I guess what I want is that the slurs look like the ones in Finale (which I happen to like).

Can you post a picture of how you want the slurs to look, and I can try to recommend the appropriate Engraving Options settings you might want to use?

Please see the TWO attachments below:
Dorico Slur.png
Finale Slur.jpg

In a related issue, i’m trying to adjust the slur to staccato note articulation. In the Engraving/Articulations/Slurs preferences, Dorico shows various slur to articulation adjustments BUT does not show STACCATO. Since the staccato articulation is so small, the slur, at times, seems to blend into the staccato making it difficult for the performer to see. It would be great if the staccato articulation was added to the articulation preferences along with the other articulations that already exist. See Attachments:
Dorico Staccato Slur.png
Finale Staccato Slur.png

All of these adjustments should be done on the Slurs page of Engraving Options.

  1. To make the ends of the slurs almost invisible like Finale, under Thickness, for Curved slurs set Slur end thickness to something more like 1/32 spaces, and Slur middle thickness to something like 1/5 spaces.

  2. I think Finale’s slurs are slightly taller than Dorico’s over the same length, so open the Advanced options section under Design (directly below the options described above), and set Height for a short slur to 3/4 space, or perhaps a little more as you wish.

  3. The main difference between Dorico’s slurs and Finale’s is that the shoulders, i.e. the position of the Bézier control points relative to the ends of the lines, are much closer to the centre of the slur in Finale than they are in Dorico. In the Shoulders section within the same Advanced options section, try setting Offset shoulders by fraction of half length of short slur to e.g. 3/5, and set Offset shoulders by fraction of half length of long slur to e.g. 1/3.

I think you’ll find those settings take you a lot closer to Finale’s slurs, though you may want to adjust all of them a little further.

As for the way Dorico positions slurs relative to staccatos, I don’t know how you’ve managed to get the result you show in your example: Dorico positions slur endpoints outside slurs by default. I would need to see the whole project to diagnose this further, I think.

Thank you for your detailed answer. I’ll try it out. How would I get back to the the default engraving options? Just in case I changed something that gave me the staccato slur problem I mentioned?
The example came from a XML import. Maybe that’s the problem.

There’s no good way to get back to the factory default Engraving Options at the moment, but as it happens that is something I have been working on this week, so it will be a feature in the next update (you will be able to reset either back to your own saved defaults, or to the factory defaults, and indeed to remove your saved defaults if you decide you always want to go back to the factory defaults in future).

Your advice on adjusting the slurs to my liking were ON THE MONEY, with just one small change. Also the slur to staccato problem I questioned was the result of me changing one of the parameters that you suggested I might have done. I found it by opening up an old file - before I made that particular change and found the problem. I fixed it and now and it looks great!
Thanks again. Your help is very much appriciated.

I’ve spent some time trying to find satisfying settings for slur conturs. In the end I found something very odd. I hesitate to ask but…
Is it possible that the values for ‘offset shoulders by fraction of half length of long/short slur’ in Engraving options have been reversed?

Compare these screenshots (I exaggerated the values in order to make it more obvious):
slur settings.png
slur settings reversed.png
Apologies if I’m missing something obvious or misunderstand the meaning of these settings!


By the way, wouldn’t ‘MINIMUM slur length to use long shoulder’ be a better description?

No, these options are not inverted. They are a bit difficult to explain, though, and possibly we need to work on clearer wording.

The slur shoulder values are interpolated between the minimum length for a short slur (where the short slur shoulder value is used) and the maximum length for a long slur (where the long slur shoulder value is used). Any slur shorter than the minimum short slur length uses the short slur shoulder, and any slur longer than the maximum long slur length uses the long slur shoulder.

Thanks for your answer, Daniel! That’s what I understood – or so I thought.
It seems I’m being thick because I still don’t understand why I get the results in my screenshots.

If anybody can spot the error in my logic, please tell me! This makes me feel stupid:

I’m looking at my second screenshot (‘slur settings reversed’). Isn’t the left slur obviously shorter then the maximum length for a short slur (set to 8 spaces) so the shoulders should be offset by the short slur value (set to 1/5 of half length) rather than by the long slur value (here set to 1/1 of half length)? But the short slur does look like the shoulders are offset by half of its length…?!