Correcting copied music - best practice?

I’m struggling to find a good way to organize correcting copied music against the reference (printed page). Two options I’ve tried so far are:

  • Option1: Run Dorico on 2 monitors, one window in Engrave Mode, another in Write Mode. Printed reference aligned with Engrave Mode monitor. Corrections are input in the Write Mode and verified in Engrave Mode.

  • Option 2: Run a single monitor window and switch from Engrave Mode to Write Mode manually. (Alternatively, switch from Page View to Galley View)

Since I’m copying from (and trying to recreate the look of) a published work, Engrave and Write Mode side by side is nearly ideal. It’s very easy to orient myself and, most importantly, to spot mistakes. However, Dorico is unbelievably, maddeningly slow like this. For instance, inputting a single missing accent takes 3 to 7 seconds, other types of corrections take much longer. The save times are extremely long now as well. Option 2 takes even more time because Dorico takes very long to switch views. I am frequently saving and restarting but it doesn’t seem to make all that much difference.

There is a ton of formatting that’s already been input, including multiple condensing changes, casting-off overrides, manual staff visibility overrides and so on. But I can’t imagine I’d have to undo all that work in order to speed up the corrections.

Is there a better way? I’d be very grateful for advice. Cheers!

For new projects I do it this way. First step, turn off condensing. I would say don’t bother doing anything in page view or in engraving until you have every note, articulation, rehearsal mark, bar line change, time signature, dynamics, or lyrics entered first. Once everything is input, then go to page view and see how things look. (Condensing is still off). Use layout options to adjust all vertical and horizontal spacing as much as possible. Avoid using engraving mode to adjust those items if at all possible. If you have to do it in engraving, make it one of the last things you do. Once in page view, if it looks mostly okay, no major engraving issues, then turn on condensing. Then go to engraving and make minor changes there. Be sure you have your page templates finalized before you start entering music. (It might be quicker to start over with formatting as I agree Dorico can be very slow with large projects and when condensing is turned on).


Of course. But how do you do a run-through to double check there isn’t an occasional accidental or slur missing? I find working on such corrections in galley view to be very unreliable (since I’m using the printed page as my reference). The presentation in the galley view is so different it keeps throwing me off.

I don’t find it hard at all to spot missing slurs or accidentals in galley view. All you care about in galley mode is that the content is there, not how it looks on the screen. For proofing like you’re talking about, use filters and do a few instruments at a time (in galley mode). When entering music, stop every 4 or 5 measures to make sure you haven’t missed anything. Any proofreading will take time and require intense focus to make sure you don’t miss anything. I find because the presentation in galley mode is different it forces me to see the music in a different way, a way that often helps me spot things I don’t spot in page view. Just like anything, the more you do it, and not try to do in a hurry, the better you’ll get.


My method is to input the music from bar 1 onwards by system/player, one at a time; once I have reached the last bar I do the proofreading on the way scrolling back to the beginning.
I correct beaming, accidentals, dynamics, slurs and articulation and wrong notes of course. If things do look strange I do an aural proof/check on that very bar. If it had been a vocal line, I would then enter the lyrics, starting from bar one again. Once at the end again I proofread and correct the lyrics via the Menu „Edit Line of Lyrics“.

I also use a printed page as reference. What I tend to do is label (by hand) every single measure in the original, and then turn on measure numbers for every measure in dorico. The only editing I do is to make system breaks the same. Otherwise do all your data entry first and then go back measure by measure with a nearly identical layout to spot anything that’s missing.

If there are multiple instruments, it’s often easier to go one instrument at at time, and sometimes in multiple passes (notes; then slurs; then articulations). But it can be a lot easier to make mistakes if you’re trying to synthesize multiple instruments at once, rather than just focusing on the oboes right now.


Thank you for this! This sounds like what I should have done - align the presentation between source and target as much as possible but be sure to do this final data check before crossing the threshold (“into the abyss”) with other types of editing that really strain the system.

This made me think of something else too: some settings are project-specific and others are layout-specific. I really should investigate this to see if I can still make some kind of a layout just for doing this one last run of corrections that aligns the presentation as much as I can squeeze.

And it would be great to know the degree to which different operations contribute to the project becoming too resource intensive. Condensing is always mentioned as the biggest contributor, but what about manual staff visibility vs layout options, custom templates, etc.

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Romanos, I use a scan of the printed version to check against my Dorico input.
I have the scan open on the lower half of my (only) screen - and Dorico in Galley View in the upper half. For proof reading I concentrate on one system only; with the Y/X keys (in my case) I quickly adjust the size of the notated music so it approximately matches the bar width of my scan below. I shift the upper Dorico window from right to left, while I shift the scan of the original from top to bottom. Somehow it works very well.
I did try with a second screen and with a printout. Both are too far away for direct and fast efficient comparison…

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I do this as well. Depends on the score and where I source it.

Either way, I try and match the layouts, even if it’s just temporary for data input before I do final formatting. It helps tremendously.

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I should mention: one advantage to a physical score is that I can literally cross out each measure as I complete it. (Assuming it is a disposable score, of course.)

@Romanos I just want to thank you for your post earlier - it inspired me to try a simple “temp” layout just for input corrections. I am now happily using Engrave and Write Mode side by side on 2 monitors, checking in one against the printed score and correcting in the other, and everything seems to work quite well!

I’m also very relieved I’m finding a lot less to correct than I first thought. Wooo hoo!

Thank you! :pray:


I’m so glad!