Cleaning up a score

sample.pdf (45.0 KB)

I am a long time Sibelius user and exploring switching to Dorico. I’ve been trying out the demo of 3.5.

So far many things are impressive, although I am trying to navigate my way. I really wish the key shortcuts did not change from Sibelius which was very intuitive (i.e., 1 for whole note, 4 for quarter, 8 for eights etc.,). But I can live without this given the other nice features.

The major issue I am posting about is shown in the attached simple orchestral score: the ties and dynamics are overlapping in many places and the score looks like a mess. I do not recall having this issue ever with Sibelius.

I hope the answer is not that I need to go to the ‘engrave’ mode and manually clean up the score. That surely defeats the purpose of the software as reducing our labor in producing nice looking scores. Besides it will take me hours.

Is there an automatic way Dorico can make the score look better, at least remove overlapping markings?

I hope there is a way as I am liking many aspects of Dorico, including the good customer base and support.

Thank you

Try Layout Options (command-shift-L on Mac, or Setup mode, under the Setup menu) and decrease the space size (found in the Page Setup category).

Phew that was easy. I am relieved. Thank you!

Welcome to the foum ak12311.

You must have customised these in Sibelius at some point. Sibelius has 6 for whole note, 4 for quarter and 3 for eighths, or if you set the preference for it to use 5 for quarters (essentially the Finale set) it’s 7 for whole notes, 5 for quarters and 4 for eighths. Neither of these is any more “intuitive” than the Dorico default key commands, to a new user, and if they feel intuitive to an experienced user then that’s more down to familiarity than any connection between the numbers and the note values.

You could similarly customise the keys in Dorico if you so wish, from Preferences > Key Commands. I’m not sure how you’d make 16ths, 32nds and 64ths “intuitive” - six for sixteenth, three for thirtyseconds and seven because it’s otherwise unused, perhaps?

For your situation with cramped layout, either increase the page size or decrease the staff/space size.

You’re welcome, and welcome to the forum!

Just reading about the Sibelius key commands made my brain hurt. I need to go take a nap now.


Hi pianoleo,
thats amazing, I somehow thought those were the default keys for Sibelius. I must have completely forgotten that I customized it.

And here are my ‘intuitive’ shortcuts. :grinning:
1-whole, 2-half, 4-quarter, 8-eights, 6-sixteenth, 3-32nd

Its so great I can customize the same way in Dorico (somewhere I mistakenly read that this is not possible)

But I agree its all a matter of familiarity.

Thanks so much all for the fast responses. I am all too excited now and looking towards an exciting musical journey ahead with Dorico and VSL.

Ive also been exploring ‘Articulate presets’ for connecting with VSL and it has been quite impressive. Besides their expression maps, I feel that Dorico interprets hairpin dynamics and legato much more smoothly (probably many more dynamic levels) than Sibelius, so I am getting expressive scores right off the bat with hardly any tweaking. I wonder if I am correct in this assumption that this is indeed an improvement with Dorico.

I am attaching the audio corresponding to the score. I am pretty happy so far.
stringstest - Flow 1|audio

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I used to feel the best (most intuitive) feature of Sibelius input was the use of the number pad for input, which put the majority of basic things you need for step input right under your fingers, and was represented visually on screen.

I still think this allows for very quick step time input, however Dorico’s design allows for almost complete control with the keyboard without a numpad (most keyboards now) and although the lack of visible cue makes it difficult to learn at first it allows you a great deal of control