Clearer Indicator That Insert (Voice) (I) Is Enabled

Hi Guys,

I keep dreading having the Insert (Voice) (I) Enabled because sometimes I’d just want to use it for a couple of measures and forget to Disable it and end up undoing most of the work.

If there was a better indicator like changing the color of the selected notes from Orange to I don’t know, Blue or something to indicate that one would be adding notes to the stave and not writing over them, that would be a great feature.

Thanks, Nicolas.


The caret changes shape when Insert mode is on. Is that not enough?


I’m using Insert mode a lot these days and I’m kind of unconsciously training myself to look over at the left side of the screen to see whether or not the insert icon is blue. But I do think something more drastic would help - the insert caret does look different but it’s easy not to notice it if your attention is elsewhere.


I recognise that there can be an issue when the caret is not visible but Insert mode is active, since of course it also takes effect when editing music. Then only the icon in the toolbox is illuminated. Anthony and I have spoken about this from time to time and we’ve thought about different possibilities to help strengthen awareness for when Insert mode is active, but we’ve not come to any firm decisions about what we might do.


A flashing red screen and audible alert would work for me! :joy: In all seriousness, what about a user-specifiable page tint in Page view or an entire background tint in Galley? For those that don’t desire any change in behavior, they could leave it as it is currently, but I would definitely change it dramatically so it would be obvious I was in Insert mode.


I often wish that insert mode and tuplets could be set to ”one shot” - one insert edit or one tuplet and then it deactivates.

(Also, could double tapping the dot give a double dot? (like double tapping note lenghts gives a single dot))


Elaborating from this, if the Insert mode is in player- or voice-scope, then everything outside of that stave/player would be blurred or get some out-of-focus effect.
If global insert would be on, something like a red border around the editing area, maybe flashing once or twice when activated, would help.
Maybe too Sci-fi for a notation program, though! :smiley:


Interesting, @Michele_Galvagno1 . If that were true, I’d hope it weren’t too out of focus, in case one wanted to see the bigger musical context while writing/inserting.

And as for flashing borders, I’m sure Steinberg would want to be cautious about potentially inducing seizures!

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Generally the Dorico Team prefers users to identify the problem and let them work out the solution, at which they generally succeed in exceeding expectations.


Indeed, flashing is not a good idea, even though a certain notational software has been having flashing UI at every single click on macOS for many years…

I think this would be insert voice mode, not the normal insert mode. I may be wrong (I don’t actually know what “insert voice” is :joy: but I don’t see why insert mode and insert voice mode would be the same thing.
(Edit: I found out that I was wrong. I thought the different tools in the insert dropdown were not all insert.)

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Do you mean that you would want notes to be different colors (according to their voice) when selected?

This kind of reminds me of the issue of pilots forgetting/ failing to put the landing gear down despite the warning horn, red lights, etc. The consensus in the industry is that training and consciously making good habits worked better than anything else - like Stephen mentioned above.

There are cases where it’s alleged that the distraction of the alerts themselves (what is that noise?) contributed to the error. The pilot would have put the gear down in a second by muscle memory but the unusual event interrupted their flow… Humans, Go figure.


I like the idea of a background tint (page and/or galley view). It would signal the invocation of insert mode and be unobtrusive as well. Perhaps the color of tint could indicate the insert mode.


The idea that the user just needs to “notice what mode is active on the sidebar” is probably fine for young eyes and smaller, non-wide monitors. But for less than stellar eyesight combined with wide monitors, it can be problematic to instantly move your focus so far left and then back to the score edit location.

I don’t necessarily have a brilliant solution to suggest to the team, but I would love to see some indicator short of police sirens and flashing.



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The insert button should be red if activated and in addition a narrow red line at the top of the screen would help. It would have saved me in some instances many minutes of reconstruction. Now I am trying to be super conscious on the status of the insert button i.e. when adding or changing time signatures.


Is the line with arrows at the ends not enough though?

Having to think about why that button is red would be no different from wondering why it is blue!

It is when inserting notes yes, but the issue here really is about when editing the note duration. When working with big scores it gets really hard to try to maintain the idea you have because you’d have a lot to process and try to translate to notation and their relation and relevance to each other that having to focus every time if the insert mode is on becomes scary just to think that you’d have to go through the thought process of what your Musical idea was initially.

But i completely respect the person who doesn’t have to go through this thought process and can just be aware of the software while creating music.

I just wanted to quote a music software developer on YouTube who once said something that really stuck with me. “A great music software is one that doesn’t make you aware that it exists while you’re working.” In other words, like a pencil when writing you don’t want a pencil that breaks every time you go to write and have to sharpen it every time and start writing with the fear that it might break easily as you write.