Circumflexes

I use Interceptor Solutions’ To Bach program to create circumflexed versions of the seven Welsh vowels â, ê, î, ô, û, ŵ and ŷ. It involves pressing the Alt Gr key before the required vowel. I’ve used it without any issues in Dorico for years, but since I moved to Dorico 4 it doesn’t work, and To Bach’s developers haven’t yet come up with a solution. So I’d appreciate any advice about a macro or app that might work with (or indeed within) Dorico 4. (I’ve been trying to find out more about the Script facility, but am getting the impression that it isn’t meant for the kind of operation I need.)

Nearly every font will give you a circumflex on the “five” vowels: but OpenType “Pro” fonts, such as Minion, and most TrueType “system” fonts should give you diacritics on y and w, too.

(Even Nepomuk!)

Thanks, Ben - I shall look into this. It has to be said, though, that Dorico’s native font was able to produce all seven before the upgrade (‘dŵr’ and ‘tân’ can be seen here, for example):


…and all without recourse to using Alt+nnnn. Unfortunately, the Alt codes for ŵ and ŷ don’t work in Dorico even if I change font (e.g. to Times New Roman), so it seems that I’ll need to find a way to import one of the fonts you mentioned into the system and use that as the default for Dorico. Luckily, though, copying and pasting circumflexed vowels, including ŵ and ŷ, does work in Academico, so maybe it’d be best for me to keep a document open with those on it.

If you prepare (hyphenate) the lyrics in a text editor and then copy and paste into Dorico’s lyric popover, do you get what you want?

Indeed I do.

This has nothing to do with J S Bach as I first thought, does it? Something specially for Welsh, is it?

This is a relatively expensive solution, but I use the PopChar program for Windows. It presents the full glyph set of any font on your system and the best part is you just click and it inserts the character in any program - you don’t have to copy and paste. Really useful for all sorts of glyphs that are hard to type at the keyboard, and you don’t have to worry about Unicode codes and so on.

https://www.ergonis.com/products/popcharwin/

So much better than the Windows Character Map.

We do need to know what your OS is to help you though.

On Mac there are very easy built in key commands to make these happen. On windows it is trickier, but there are “international” keyboards that permit these characters in various combinations without involving unicodes. On windows you could also use auto hot key to do automatic substitutions if you press certain combinations (“yy” = y^, for instance)

I’ll certainly look into this, thanks. (To Bach means ‘Little Roof’, which is the affectionate nickname in Welsh for the circumflex.)

I’m using Windows 10. I’m not familiar with auto hot key, so that’s another line of inquiry that I’ll follow up. Thanks.

Yes, AutoHotKey is another indispensible utility for Windows and free. I use it for making ‘macros’ such as setting up tuplet entry and so on.

In this context the only downside is that you are still having to deal with the keyboard input keystrokes. AutoHotKey merely automates the sequence, relieving some labour.

It has a very powerful scripting language, really easy to learn, and very, very well documented.

And back to PopChar, it builds up a rack of recently used characters you just click on, so it learns what you do and you don’t have to scroll through hundreds of glyphs all the time.

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Many thanks, Andro. I now have lots of options to choose from!

The plot thickens.
I’ve just discovered that To Bach is able to insert any of the seven vowels in Dorico 4 - provided I click outside the window (e.g. on the other monitor) between different ones. The ‘didn’t work’ phrase in my original post should have read ‘doesn’t work properly’, since the first vowel I use which needs a circumflex does get provided with the correct one (including ŵ and ŷ), but then all subsequent vowels get the same one no matter which vowel I press. That is to say, if the first vowel in a session happened to be ê, the letter showing on all subsequent attempts would be ê, even if I was pressing Alt Gr + a, or i, or any of the others.

Now I find that clicking outside the window seems to clear some kind of internal memory and allows me to use any vowels I choose - and this even works for syllables of a single word using the popover. Clicking away from the window, therefore, will be the way to go for me, but I’d be interested to know what, technically, is happening when I do this, and whether there’s a keyboard equivalent.

I presume that Dorico ‘hijacks’ the Alt key before “To Bach” can.

I also recommend PopChar for Windows (on the basis of its Mac counterpart) as the easiest way to browse and enter any glyphs from fonts.

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You shouldn’t need any 3rd party software. If you have the Windows Input Language set to Welsh, I find AltGr+6W will input the required character even in Dorico 4.

Thanks, Craig. However, when I try that I still get the problem I mentioned regarding the persistence of the original vowel, and I still have to click outside the window in the same way. Maybe the reason for that could be something to do with my computer setup, but I haven’t changed anything since the time the To Bach app worked in Dorico without need for the clicking-away.

It may be a Multi-Monitor issue as I don’t get that behavior at all. I don’t have a second monitor to test.

Interesting. I don’t actually need to click on the other monitor; if the Dorico window is reduced down to less than full screen I can click on the desktop with the same effect. But, wherever it’s done, the action is necessary with the setup that I have. Strange.