Best practices

In the ASMAC interview with Daniel, (April 2, 2024), he provided some useful insights into how much behind the scenes ‘thinking’ Dorico does. For instance, he mentioned that having more tabs open than necessary can interfere with Dorico’s normally fast performance. (Apologies, I’m surely misquoting…)

What are some best practices to maintain the fastest performance from Dorico? Avoid having multiple windows open? Save project and reopen occasionally or after major changes? yada yada yada…

Those two things you mention are certainly things I would recommend, not only for optimum speed, but also for ones own oversight of things and keeping focus!

When a score is getting large:

  • Leave condensing off until all the music is in
  • Minimize the number of simultaneous views, as they all have to be updated
    – This can apply to tabs already closed, so after closing them, Save and reopen
  • If switching between page view and galley view gets too slow, you can use 2 tabs with one of each view
  • Adjust the auto-save interval so it doesn’t interrupt you too often. I increased it from the default 5 minutes because I have had very few crashes (and with every crash I have lost only a couple minutes’ work at most).

In my experience Dorico does not slow down the more edits you make.

For efficiency, try to defer all cosmetic adjustments until all the music is entered. The “thinking” Dorico does for layout is quite sophisticated, and it can take a long time to understand how the settings and page templates interact with the content and with each other.

The general principle for changing anything from the default is: Set the settings for the majority of cases, and use Properties (and adjustments such as note spacing change, manual staff visibility, etc.) for exceptions. It may be easier to find a switch in Properties, but if you know you always want something a different way, it’s worth looking for an option setting. Engraving Options are project-wide; Notation Options are per-flow (can set for any number of flows at once), and Layout Options are per-layout.


Is this something known and logged by the team?
If a closed tab is still influencing performance, it may have persisted in memory, intentionally or not.

Yes, it’s known. I got this tip from Daniel himself recently. I may have misinterpreted the advice in my description, above; if so someone please correct me.

Not having the best performance on note input, copy paste or whatever operations are acceptable on the current version, even in wide projects. However, I hope by version 10 they will be tackled and attempt to optimize to the bone.
Just need to be patient :slight_smile:

Beyond the suggested steps, from my experience, and the confirmation by several users here on the Forum, if you go into Engrave mode and click on the Lock layout icon (and consequently work in Galley view), this increases the performance of Dorico in the music-input/editing phase of work (probably due to reduced spacing calculations that Dorico needs to do when the layout is locked, meaning when the frames and staves breaks are locked).