Coloured text and switching to Dorico

Hi, I am thinking of switching some of my work from Finale 2014.5 to Dorico - probably Dorico Pro 5. I originally started using Finale because I am writing music for the Roman Catholic Mass, with lots of plainchant. I liked the ability in Finale to manually reposition notes and to set measure lengths and lengths of staff lines. The lyrics overlap when I rebeam and rebar the music to add beams. I understand Dorico makes it easy to position notes, so I hope it would be easy to put many lyrics words to a single long note, as in plainchant.

I would like to be able to use different colours of text, as some boxes of text need to be in red in the Mass, whilst numbered parts of the Mass and lyrics need to be black. My work could be rejected otherwise. Please could you advise me if Dorico offers easy text colouring? I ask because I would need to update my Mac OS to 10.15 Catalina before I can try Dorico, but then my Finale 2014.5 would no longer work.

Please could anyone advise me also if it is easy to transfer and import files from other notation software, to keep the page layout and any text boxes in place?

It takes a bit of formatting to space everything, but…


I used Finale from its start, and it took a while to learn how to use it. The same was true of Dorico: (the best one can do is not to expect it to work like Finale), but I now use Dorico almost exclusively.

I definitely urge you to try the (Pro) trial version of Dorico to evaluate it.

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I came here to post something similar, from a large project I finished a few months ago, entirely in Dorico.

I didn’t use colors, but that’s easily done using the function Edit Single Lyric.

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Welcome to the forum, Chloe. You should find that Dorico is more than a match for your liturgical music requirements. You can easily colour individual text items or lyrics as needed, and even set up custom paragraph styles that will always appear in a certain colour by default.

You can import music from Finale in MusicXML format, and it generally works very nicely, though you will need to reformat the music after importing it into Dorico.

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You should find that in Dorico, manually repositioning notes is largely unnecessary, except in a handful of cases; and you won’t find lyrics overlapping just because you’ve changed the beaming, either!

It’s easy in Finale just to drag the system in from the right hand side, in order to make the system shorter; in Dorico, you’d need a slightly more structured approach, dragging the “Music Frame” in which the system(s) fit.

Daniel wrote an excellent introduction to this kind of thing here, though some features have changed/improved since then:

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Thank you very much for all your fantastic replies - they are all very helpful. Dorico it is! - Chloe

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