Check for duplicate time signatures

Through the process of editing, rebarring passages, etc., I sometimes discover I will end up with redundant time signatures. For example, I’ll have a 3/4 in some random place in the middle of a passage that is already in 3/4. I’m wondering if anyone has advice on how to easily check for these instances. Is it possible to create a script that will scan for it?

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I understand that scripting is not really available yet in Dorico 5 for general purpose work. I may be wrong! As evidence, although there is a script menu, a search of the manual for the terms scripting or script gives nil results.

If you select a time signature, you can use right arrow to step to the next one…

Thanks, both. Using the arrows to advance through is probably the best option—thanks for the suggestion.

I know the Dorico team has indicated not wanting to pursue things like parallel interval and other “error” detection, which seems reasonable to me. I wouldn’t mind, however, some tools to spot notation/engraving errors, like funky rests, time signature duplication, slurs that do not extend over ties, etc. These things often occur when entering music quickly, or with accidental key presses. Maybe it’s just me!


I’d definitely like some more proofreading type of tools too. The biggest one for me is making sure all bars have the correct number of beats according to the time sig, as it’s really easy to have incomplete bars in Dorico. Other things I routinely proof for are making sure I add “to” indications before mute changes, checking for unis. after div., etc. Duplicate time sigs and incomplete bars are definitely things I’d like to see flagged with a signpost, or fixed with a script, or something …


Is it? Surely Dorico just puts in rests where you haven’t put any notes…?

For example, if I change my mind and make a 4/4 bar into 5/4, Dorico won’t make all the bars complete if there’s a time sig later in the flow. Gif below:


I now have a 5/4 bar with the wrong number of beats. Maybe I want that on purpose for some reason, or maybe not, but since this is so easy to have incorrect, it would be nice to be able to have it flagged with a signpost as a proofreading tool when writing music with lots of meter changes.


Just make sure you engage Insert mode before adding a meter change and all will be well.

That seems like the opposite of Dorico’s usual concept though. In 4/4 I can’t place a dotted quarter on beat 2 because that’s “wrong,” so I need to invoke an additional step of Force Duration if I really want to do it. Here Dorico allows the wrong number of beats by default and I need to take an additional step of Insert for it to be done correctly.

I’m not really asking for the default behavior to be changed though, I’m just asking for a proofreading tool to flag all bars where the number of beats doesn’t match the time signature. It’s because the default behavior allows for the wrong number of beats it would be nice to have this automatically flagged in music with complex metrical structures so I don’t have to proofread for it. I know running a separate subroutine like Finale’s “Check Region for Durations” isn’t the Dorico way either, but turning on a signpost certainly seems like it is.

I’m curious about your expectation when you change a 4/4 to a 5/4 knowing there’s the brick wall of a later fixed meter? Without insert on, Dorico cannot add more time.

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The point I was trying to make with the request is that the expectation isn’t really relevant. If Dorico is going to default to incorrect notation in a situation, it would be nice for a way to alert the user that something is incorrect as a proofreading tool. (Not that it really matters, but Finale throws in a rest at the end of the bar by default in this situation so you don’t have an incorrect # of beats.)


This is a bit off topic I suppose, but I’m hoping that as AI continues to develop, there might be more subtle proofreading tools for apps like Dorico down the line. I’d love, for example, to have a tool that would scan a passage and check for matching slurs/articulations in similar/unison parts. I find those kinds of things really difficult to find on screen especially—much more difficult than on paper.