All Options Dialog

I like Dorico very much, but I find I spend a lot of time trying to find which Options dialog contains a specific setting. For instance I had a joyful experience with Condensing a few weeks ago, and went to try it on a new project, only to spend a while trying to remember where the Condensing Groups settings were. Oh, it’s under Players. In Layout options.

I wonder if we couldn’t have a universal options dialog. It could have tree-style navigation on the left. It could even have tabs or filters corresponding to the modes of the main window. But it would also have a global search box. You could even leave the existing menus in place and they’d bring up this über-Options dialog with appropriate filtering.

I’ve seen something like this in the Eclipse programming editor.

Thanks for the feedback. One difficulty with your proposal is that the various options dialogs operate on different scopes: Engraving Options, Note Input Options and Playback Options are project-wide, but Layout Options applies differently to different layouts, and Notation Optins to different flows. However, we agree that the wealth of options available in Dorico can be a bit overwhelming and we’re always thinking about things we could do to try to make it easier to find your way to them.

I see your point, although Setup->Layout Options is enabled whether or not I have a Flow or Layout selected. I suppose I haven’t had occasion to exploit multiple layouts yet.

Perhaps the navigation in the dialog could include the scope somehow, or perhaps per-layout options should only be accessible via the gear button on a scope.
Thanks for listening.

All the options dialogs are accessible from any mode using the corresponding key command, so they’re not limited to the menu option or current selection/button in Setup mode. Although Notation and Layout options do have the current flow/layout automatically selected when you open them (e.g. if you open Notation Options with a note in the 3rd flow selected, the 3rd flow will be selected in the dialog; if you’re in the Oboe part layout, that’ll be selected in Layout Options)

They’re all Ctrl/Cmd-Shift then a different letter for each dialog: E for Engraving Options, L for Layout Options, N for Notation Options, I for Note Input Options, P for Playback Options. e.g. Ctrl/Cmd-Shift-E

You can also leave them open, e.g. on a second monitor.

I agree that this is very logical, and I like it. But in new users’ defense, it took me a while to remember which additional options were in Properties (sometimes hidden off the righthand side in narrow screens) and the context and Edit menus.

While I have become more confident navigating all these areas, I can understand how beginners can be confused. Thanks to Lillie’s work on the manuals, these things are likely easier to learn now than in the early stages of Dorico 1.0.

I look forward to the next update and the opportunity to learn some more options and menu items. :smiley:

That’s good to know, but not very discoverable. In that case I would probably have considered putting them all in a Preferences submenu the way Logic does.

But they are not “preferences”. You can (and often do) set the options different ways in different flows and layouts of a single project. The clue is in the name, “options”.

The things that are in the Dorico “preferences” dialog apply to all your projects, and once you have set them up the way you want, you probably never change them.

I guess you’re right. Edit->Options then? Perhaps simply adding Layout Options to Write menu would help. After all, there’s precedence for multiple options in individual modes. Of course now I’m using Command-Shift-L like a champ after months of switching to Setup purely to access Layout Options :smiley:
Definitely room for improvement in this area, in my opinion, but I appreciate that it’s complicated.

Hi Daniel and Lillie,

Lillie, I did not know the menu commands can be input no matter what! That’s a terrific tip.

I would second the OP’s sentiment, although I appreciate how difficult it is to solve. I’ve already spent time on my own thinking about this and don’t think a single global menu is possible. It’s way too complicated and interconnected. But the divisions ARE confusing as they stand. Don’t know the solution, but I know there’s a problem! Super helpful I know.

I have definitely had dozens of episodes spent searching for the correct menu. The problem for me is that there are numerous ambiguous cases, where I know what I want to change, but it could apply to multiple option categories. Or when a single feature like condensing has options spread over 3 (4?) different menu sections. (But I’m still grateful for condensing. Please don’t take my condensing away…plsssss)

If I’m thinking about options related to “notation”, “layout”, and “engraving”, there’s quite a bit of overlap between those three concepts without clear demarcations, at least in my mind. They feel more like arbitrary divisions than obvious ones. I consider myself a (new) power user, and am willing to do the work of just learning where everything is, but this has been an obvious hurdle that I’m sure every new user will go through. That being said, the program is astonishingly good and I’m very happy with it :slight_smile:.

One off topic p.s. suggestion: I think a very very good idea would be to somehow railroad new users to the visual hot key layout. The one where you see a keyboard, can click cmd or alt, etc, and see how the rest of the keyboard changes. That tool is EXTREMELY helpful and it took me about 10 days of continuous usage and YouTube video watching to find. I say make it unmissable somehow, it’s extremely valuable to a new user. Thanks again!

In case it’s in any way helpful (although it sounds like you’re already getting used to the division to some extent), there’s this topic towards the start of the manual that covers the different options dialogs and their scopes in very concise, broad terms. There are links at the bottom to more information about each dialog specifically, including the key command for opening the corresponding dialog.

Thanks Lillie, I appreciate it!