Change 6/4 to 7/4 and measure still wants to be 6/4

The first thing I noticed in this video is how Dorico won’t change the measure from 4/4 to 5/4 (adding the extra rest). I have seen this video before, but hadn’t noticed that. Again, I find it odd that Dorico is incapable of adjusting the measures number of beats and it is not addressed anywhere that I’ve seen so far. That, to me, seems like a major software issue / bug.

Doug :blush:

Doug, as outlined several times in your other thread, Dorico is far from incapable of doing this: you simply need to “tell” Dorico that’s what you want by activating Insert mode prior to inputting or changing a time signature.

It is addressed in the documentation (not just here, in other places as well), as was also outlined in your other thread.

Additionally, this only occurs when you change a time signature at an earlier position in a flow than another, existing time signature. If a flow only has one time signature at the start and you change that, you should never run into this issue. This corner occurs because Dorico has two conflicting instructions: existing notes relative to each other, and a time signature at a fixed position. By activating Insert mode, you’re telling Dorico to add time if needed before the next time signature, which will affect the positions of notes relative to each other.

@Doug2430, I’ve taken the liberty of moving your most recent post to this thread, to try and keep your repetition of the same (inaccurate) point contained here. Your feelings on this matter are well-known by now, and do not bear any further repetition. Thanks!


This is a bug in Dorico due to incomplete implementation in Dorico. It is not a symptom of, “Oh, you should have used Insert mode first” or “Oh, this happens to new users only”. It sounds like the same bug which I regularly run into with time signature changes, and tried to explain in my previous thread (Time signature changes cause incorrect measures from incorrect number of beats) .

The bug is that Dorico does not Signpost any incomplete-meter bars as it should. No amount of documentation will get around the fact that Dorico has a bug:

  1. Dorico knows the time signatures of all measures and knows the notes currently placed
  2. Dorico knows the measure is incomplete
  3. Dorico has a Signpost (a fairly confusing signpost, “q, 1+1…”, that is already cryptic and hard to find in the documentation) which it places when an added barline causes a measure to be ‘incomplete’
  4. Yet Dorico does NOT use this flag when the measure is incomplete due to time signature, and that is a bug.
  5. Dorico has many “View->Signpost” options but does NOT have an option “View->Signpost->Incomplete Measures” and that is a bug.

This bug has nothing to do with “Oh, we don’t want Dorico inserting time for us” or even “Oh, the user does not understand Insert Mode”. This bug is a failure of Dorico to properly implement Signposts to show the composer that measures are incomplete when Dorico internally knows that a measure is incomplete.

The only developer excuse could be that Dorico does not actually know when a measure is incomplete. Yet that should never be possible, Dorico always has to know the number of beats in measures. So it must be a bug (incomplete implementation) in Signposts.

The Signpost of this style could appear on incomplete measures:

If Dorico, for some bizarre design reason, can’t display a Signpost for incomplete measures in real time, then there should be a new feature added to specifically check a flow for incomplete measures, such as “Edit->Verify Time Signatures and Meter”. (Which would be a ridiculous feature to have to add, a huge step backwards.)

A bug is not an incomplete implementation. A bug is a defect where the software deviates from its designed behaviour. We are the ones who make the determination whether something’s a bug, because we’re the designers of the software.

To be clear, the behaviour that Dorico does not shift any subsequent time signatures rhythmically when you insert a new one at an earlier position unless Insert mode is active is not a bug. This allows you to create e.g. pick-up bars or irregular bars after the start of the flow.

However, I do agree that Dorico should make it clearer in more cases that a bar does not have the same duration as the prevailing time signature. The absence of this kind of indication is not a bug, but it would be a useful feature for us to add.

I’m going to close this topic now, as I really feel it’s been beaten into the ground, and there’s nothing further to be gained from continuing to flog the poor, expired horse.