Can't delete text after MusicXML import

Hello there –
I’m a recent convert to Dorico, after years of using Finale. Overall, I’m pretty impressed with the MusicXML import of my file from Finale (an orchestra piece I’m working on). I did learn some useful tips regarding MusicXML imports by searching this forum already, but haven’t found a reference to my particular issue: After importing, there are various bits of text (identified as “Staff-attached text”) that I cannot delete. In Write mode I can’t even select them – in Engrave mode, I can select and move them, but I can’t find a way to delete them.

The text bits in question include some notes to myself about orchestration, etc., but also some percussion instrument labels that I had input into Finale as text objects.

Thanks for any suggestions…

Are you able to upload a screen dump showing the text that can’t be deleted?

I have the previous version of Finale, not the current one, and generally speaking I don’t have many problems importing.

Best wishes.


Are you working with condensed staves (e.g. Flutes 1+2 on a single stave)? If so, you need to be in Galley View, where each instrument will be shown as a separate stave.

Thanks, both, for the quick reply and solution. Pianoleo, you were completely correct – I needed to switch to Galley View to select/delete the text, since I am working with condensed staves. That totally solved that newbie issue. Thanks again.

On a related note, I want to retain some of the text that came via Finale, (several unis. and div. markings). I can’t seem to find a way to change the font size of this imported text, however. (It’s identified as “Staff-attached text.”). It’s all just about 1 point too large, in comparison to other Dorico-created markings. Apologies if this is an obvious newbie oversight – I’m still learning my way around Dorico.

Thanks –

You should be able to change text size by double clicking the text, which brings up the text-edit panel.
Highlight the text you wish to change and then adjust the number in the size field. (Admittedly you may need to experiment to see what the various fields of the text-edit box do, but there is quite a bit of useful capability there.


If, in Galley View, you double-click on one of these text items to edit it (or select and hit Return), what text style shows in the text editing toolbar? It’s the second dropdown along - I’m guessing it may just show “Default Text”. If so, jump into Engrave mode, and from the Engrave menu select Font Styles. Choose “Default Text” (or whatever style you located in the text editing toolbar) and set the size to a point smaller. Click OK and theoretically you’re done.

Yes, Leo’s method will let you change everything at once.

Thanks, guys, for the quick suggestions. I can’t believe that I didn’t simply try double-clicking on the text. (I thought the various panels would give me some options.) So, yes – that is what I was looking for. I did try Leo’s suggestion of setting the Default Text style, but even though the imported text is identified with the “Default Text” style, the font size chosen for the style is not being applied to the individual imported text items. (Default Text style = 10 point, but the imported text, with the default style applied, remains at 11.8 point.) It would be very helpful to be able to apply a style to all of the text imported as “default,” as opposed to selecting each item and adjusting the font.

Thanks again for the help.

I created my own “TextBox Text” paragraph style and applied it to textbox items in one piece so I could alter them all by changing the size of the custom Paragraph Style, but I have yet to find a way to make the SHIFT+X textboxes automatically adopt that style. Leo suggested using a keycode, but I have to admit I do not know how that would work.

You can assign a new style to a custom command by selecting the paragraph style you’ve created and click Save as Default. Then you can find that user-created paragraph style in key commands, allowing you to assign a key command to it. So you might use Ctrl-Shift-X to invoke your custom style.

If you mean retrofitting existing text items, you can’t, except for editing the Default Style.

Do you have its size set to Absolute, or Staff-Relative?

If it’s staff-relative, it changes based on the space size of the staff to which it’s assigned.

Not retrofitting.I would just like the SHIFT+X and ALT+SHIFT+X Text boxes to open with my custom paragraph style as their default. I have set the Paragraph Style as a default Style, but I do not see a way to have it automatically installed in the SHIFT+X box when I first open it. The option did not seem to exist in the Preferences > Key Commands list.

Hi there –
I was successful implementing the suggestion to apply the Default Text style to change the font size of all default imported MusicXML text. My initial mistake was that I was changing the “Default Text Font” options under Engrave>Font Styles, which had no effect on the existing imported text. I switched to editing the “Default Text” options under Engrave>Paragraph Styles, and that did the trick.

I didn’t realize the individual words were subject to a paragraph style. The difference between the two options is a bit confusing. In any case, thanks for all the suggestions – very glad I don’t have to individually edit the text items. Also, it was helpful to learn about the staff-relative versus absolute text size option. Thanks again.

Sorry, I gave you a bum steer there.