Best methods to use Dorico collaboritively

Hi Folks,

What options does Dorico have for collaborative use in an office environment? Situation: I need to copy out a large dorico file into parts given from a composer. I need to adapt everything to my house style, and let’s say the file is standard orchestra size and maybe 150 bars with quick turnaround time needed, so I need multiple people working on the file, copying out the parts. How do I make this happen in Dorico without an extract parts function?

I’m guessing that it may be best to copy and paste from one dorico file into a correctly formatted template file, or have every copyist “Save As” the original Dorico file, but has anyone else found good collaboration methods?

-Dan Brown

There aren’t any good built-in workflows in Dorico at the moment for this kind of division of labour, I’m sorry to say. Ideally we would prefer to make it possible for multiple people at different computers to work on the same project collaboratively over a local network, but realistically this is some way off.

In the shorter term I hope we’ll be able to develop some workflows for splitting and combining projects, so that you could have, say, individual copyists working on the parts for a particular section of the ensemble, and then bring them together into a single project by combining the music for individual players.

Thanks for the update Daniel. We use the “extract” method of Sibelius and a copy + paste into a template for Finale, and a big part of the collaboration is formatting the initial document to match our house style guide before individual copyists grab parts to copy. An edit filter system for copy and paste and a “library” our “house style” file that we could import to apply to a Dorico file received from out of house, for example something that puts default fonts in place, applies our spacing rules, loads in our chord libraries and custom technique texts and chord symbols (when those features are added, of course).

Certainly we intend to build these kinds of import/export features. It’s just a matter of time and priority! Thanks for confirming just how important these are to your specific workflow.

To edit a complex score, we are working simultaneously different pieces in different computers to later integrate them into flows in a master session. However, this process has been a bit tedious and requires great concentration and organization which consumes a lot of time.
I am curious if there has been any development in this area.

I think those capabilities are broadly desired, not just for this one particular situation.

For example, I probably have 250 lead sheets (with parts for all instruments – i.e. Treble C Eb Bb and F, Bass C, Alto clef). 125 were done in Finale. The more recent 100+ were done in Dorico. But as my understanding of Dorico evolved, I used different options and parameters. I have a template I use for all new lead sheets that has all the attributes I want. It would be nice to have an easy way to apply this to the first 75 lead sheets I created in Dorico. In other words, collaboration isn’t a driver in this case.

This “Apply house style” functionality would make my day. I too have tons of XML imports that I have to adapt individually every time…


Benji, if you import them into an existing project then they’ll take on the characteristics of the existing project.

Is this true for all settings? There are layout settings, engraving settings, notation setting, and other things like fonts and styles. It isn’t clear to me how much of that is reset upon import flow.

Clearly if I cut and paste into my properly-optioned document, I retain the options I want. it isn’t so clear to me that an import flow has the same result.

Regardless, it would be very useful to have the “apply styles” capability, particularly if it enabled us to control which attributes are applied. There may be cases where I only really want to apply notation rules, for example – or maybe only apply selected master pages layout templates.

It might be worthwhile for the developers to look at how many digital mixers are organized. They commonly include the concept of “safes” where certain parameters are safe from being overridden during the loading of the settings. This is desirable, for example when a band wants to bring their channel mix settings to a new venue, but must retain the house settings that are related to speaker connectivity and routing. The analog in the case of Dorico might be that we want to retain the paper size, orientation, and margins, but we want to update the engraving rules.

It’s everything - fonts/Engraving Options/Layout Options will be whatever’s already in the document. Notation Options (and Layout Options for newly created layouts) are as per whatever the current defaults are. Note that the default settings at Preferences > MusicXML Import are quite restrictive and can take precedence over Notation Options. Note also that if you open a MusicXML file directly you don’t get the same reliable results.

This seems to be a severe limitation. From what I can tell, you can update the defaults, but that still leaves you with only one operative set of parameters. Many of us do a variety of different projects for different clients, each possibly requiring different setups.

That leaves us with the only workflow to be to maintain template documents and then import the new music into it. I guess that works, but it is an awkward way to go at it.


thanks! Even though I knew of this procedure and have already used it, I still wish for a more elegant solution in the future…
But what works now, works now, all good!


¿Has been there any development in this area? I am curious. Thank you.

I think that, from the posts since your last on Nov. 17 (three days ago), you can see there has not been.
The Dorico Team only announces changes when they are imminent, so if you do not hear, the change is likely not imminent and you are only bumping the thread, which is discouraged.

I’m sure the capability is important to the Dorico team, and they will announce it as soon as they know it will be ready.

It was never my intention to offend anybody. I just thought that the subsequent answers would distract the topic from the main subject and the question would be lost and forgotten. I do apologize if I did wrong use of this space.

I look at the “scripts” option in the menu - and I hope that we eventually see a means to automate our own workflow steps. I’m always educated at the different ways that the community here needs to work - and I suspect that the only way to meet that many disparate needs is to delegate some of that responsibility to us via a scripting language.

Well, you already have (limited) automation, though it’s not documented. If you browse the forums, you’ll get a hint of how to do it.
Things you can do now are

  • Record a macro
  • Recall the last macro you recorded
  • Save the macros you’ve created, by renaming the “usermacro.lua” file in the scripts folder
  • If you’re tech savvy, edit the macros yourself in a text editor.

Macros have proven to be for me an invaluable time saver. I assigned a shorcut for start and end recording, then repetitive tasks are done in a breeze.


Daniel S. and the Development Team log each feature request, so you need not fear they will forget yours even if the thread you started takes off in a new direction.