Confusion with Dorico 4

I am Thankful for the upgrade from Dorico 3.5 to 4. However I am having quite a bit of trouble with 4. The interface seems to have completely changed and not necessarily for the better. I am stumbling at almost every step.
Some example issues:
in 3.5 it was possible to quickly edit the instruments (the “e” button) under play mode as they were all listed on the right panel. But now I am having to click on each instrument under the inspector to expand the Routing…takes so much more time if I have to edit many instruments with multiple templates

In 3.5 the note lengths used to be adjustable very minutely in Play mode, without altering the notation…in fact that was the very purpose of having a sequencer like function to provide realism. But now the note lengths seems to have been discretized. Even if I choose the smallest step possible it changes the lengths in the notation! Also adjusting these lengths does not always work with clicking and dragging…sometimes it just doesnt respond

So frustrating that now I have to go searching for how to undo these features if at all possible to revert to the 3.5 version.

At this point I just dont see what the benefit of 4.0 is, other than that the interface is very pretty! Just beats me why were there so many changes that clearly mean another learning curve but not necessarily towards an easier workflow.

I am glad I didnt delete 3.5!

One can still get a complete visual of the entire ‘instrument rack’. It’s simply been moved to the left side. In the left panel click VST Rack. If the bottom zone is in the way one can close it by clicking the bottom margin of the window.

Play Tab with lower zone closed and VST Rack showing in the left pane

Now you don’t even have to leave Write mode to tweak playback note lengths.

  1. Open the bottom panel.
  2. Click the Key-Editor Icon.
  3. Click the Icon that looks something like a compression wave (not sure what it’s called).
  4. Click the selection icon (arrow pointing north-west).
  5. Now you can click-hold and drag the start and end points of the notes with very high precision.

Note that the colored bar represents actual playback position on the time-line. The black bar under it represents the written note value.

If you want to change the actual written note value on the score with the key-editor, then click the flagged notes icon.

Set a grid size that you want, and you can now drag the note beginning and ending positions where you like in relation to the grid.

Alternatively, you can use the write mode tools in the top zone to change the displayed note length.

Check out these videos:


Thank you Brian! I knew it was something I was missing.

Also Im excited to see that the Dorico pdf manual was released. It looks beautiful. I will be diligently reading this. I prefer the fashioned way of learning and hope to be bothering with fewer silly questions in future.


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We can choose different tracks for each voice in a stave? WOW thats so cool.

It’s such a big release that we’re bound to find some little glitches and hickups out here in the wild (all our different system configurations and OSes adding to a pile of potential problems).

I’m already impressed at how well Dorico is growing up! A couple of service releases ahead and Dorico 4 is going to be extremely OUTSTANDING!

(The v4 manual isn’t yet complete, so I’ll be updating it regularly over the coming weeks as I fill in the remaining gaps. If you’ve downloaded a PDF document locally to your computer, it’ll be worth updating that every now and then so you benefit from those updates.)

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sure will keep checking. Thanks !