Comments/suggestions on usability

Hi, there. I’ve had Dorico for a while now but have just started to really use it. Previously, I’ve used MuseScore and Sibelius.
I came across a couple of usability/interface items in Dorcio that trip me up a bit.

1.) On macOS at least, when you open a window—such as the chord symbol editor—the close button in the upper-left corner of the window is disabled. Is this an intentional design choice? There have several times now when I’m looking through the different options (e.g., notation, layout, engraving) and realized I wasn’t in the right place and I’ve instinctively moved my cursor to try to close it and then I realize that I can’t use that button.

2.) I’m not sure what the correct terminology is, but I wish items such as the popovers would remain open if you need to switch over into another application and then return back to Dorico. In MuseScore for example, if I’m entering lyrics or chord symbols and am referring to a website or PDF for them, I use Command+Tab to move back and forth between Chrome or Preview and MuseScore. MuseScore will remember that I was in the middle of entering lyrics/chords and stay in that mode once I switch back. So, I can type some lyrics or chords, switch to Chrome, switch back and enter some more lyrics or chords. It’s very quick. If you leave Dorico and Cmd+Tab over to, say, Preview to look at a PDF, once you switch back the Lyrics (and Chords) Popover has closed and you must open it again. It gets very frustrating to have to go bring up the Lyric or Chord popover again and again and again. And I know some may say, “Well, why don’t you do splitscreen?” And the answer is the screen real estate on my MacBook is already at a premium and trying to put the windows side by side creates other problems—shrinking the width of the apps, which creates excessive scrolling. Also, sometimes I need to zoom in to read a particular sheet of lyrics, chord symbols, etc., and trying to do that with half of an app’s normal window width is impossible.

I really love Dorico so far! #1 is not that big of deal—I suspect it may be a design choice. But I would love if you guys could look into the #2 and see if there’s a way for Dorico to remember the state you’re in when you leave the app. Thanks!

Thanks for your feedback, Aaron. Normally dialogs don’t contain the traffic light buttons at all, but because many of our dialogs are modeless and are designed to stay open while you work, they do have the normal window furniture. We may be able to re-enable the close button in future (it would require a bit of jiggery-pokery to make sure we correctly trap the case that you have unsaved changes).

Unfortunately the issue with the popover is not something we can realistically solve: the whole point of a popover is that it is semi-modal, and you can get out of it by clicking anywhere else in the music: when the popover loses focus, it closes. Therefore when the application loses focus, the popover loses focus, and it closes.

I would definitely like the close button on dialogs in Windows as well.

I’m also having this difficulty with the lyrics popover closing every time I want to click to the new page of the reference material on the second screen.

Maybe you can make an option to ‘make the popovers sticky’ (leave popovers open unless one presses the escape-key). Then one can enable that option before lyric-/chord heavy copying from another screen, and disable it when done. I don’t know if it’s trivial to implement though…

Thanks for the feedback. Several people have requested this over the years. We’ll give it some further thought.

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If you’re on Mac, you can actually scroll the contents of a window that’s NOT in focus. If the pointer is hovering over a window, you can scroll it with mouse wheel or trackpad WITHOUT bringing the window to the foreground.

I regularly scroll through a PDF of a manuscript or libretto while keeping Dorico in the fore, with the popover active.

Is this functionality possible in Windows?