I tried Dorico for a week and I have to say (no you don’t you may think) that it’s the most counter-intuitive piece of software I’ve ever used (and I speak as someone who has written software for thirty years).

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Intuitiveness comes from experience. Do you have any experience with other notation software and if so which?
If you share more experiences we might be able to help you, as dorico is surely different.

I used Sibelius about ten years ago (or more), but these days I like Musecore.

Certainly intuition is based on experience from the standpoint that there’s an expectation of how things will work. But if I knew the product inside out then intuition wouldn’t play a part.

Thanks for sharing your experience, Matt.

Have you had a go working through our First Steps guide? It’s intended to walk new users through key parts of Dorico functionality, with some tips and insights into the philosophy behind why things work the way they do along the way. If you’ve not already tried it, it could help you become more familiar with how Dorico works, and then get more out of it?

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Sure, but it’s about the thought pattern that you have when approaching dorico. „Intuitively“, you try it the way you know from Musescore, where you will receive pushback.
It’s not about knowing the program by heart, but about being open towards different patterns.

Sibelius and Musescore are extremely similar in their design philosophy IMO.


And what response to this statement are you anticipating?

Give us some clues to the source(s) of your frustration and folks here will be able to help.


I’d certainly be glad to hear specifics about things that you have found difficult to understand or achieve when using the software, @matt.whitby. Obviously we want new users to have a good experience getting started with Dorico, and it would be helpful to know where in particular Dorico has been tripping you up.

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I don’t disagree at all. I’m happy with different patterns of working. It’s that the patterns employed seem to be counter-intuitive.

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I could answer but it would look like I’m citing one specific thing whereas it’s many things just like it.

I can tell you that I went to delete a bar. Going to “Create” and then saying, effectively, create a negative. That’s not intuitive. If you want to delete something you look for a delete option, not a create option. That’s simply bad design (imo).

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Or, another example, would be:

I go into Note Enter mode, with chords.

I then click on the stave and it reverts to this.

Now I’m quite sure the answer is; “Well you do X.”, or “You did this, but shouldn’t have.” But it’s just endless annoyances like that.

Thanks, Matt. I agree that the lack of a menu item (say) for “Delete Bar” is a bit of an oversight! We anticipate that people, and new users especially, will use the system track to do this, as the system track is shown by default and hopefully makes it reasonably clear how to select and delete music.

I’ve boosted your user level so you can edit your post and attach your other image(s), if you’re of a mind to do it. Thanks!


Thanks for attaching the extra image. When you clicked on the staff, what was your expectation at that point?

That it would place the note.

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“We anticipate that people, and new users especially, will use the system track to do this, as the system track is shown by default and hopefully makes it reasonably clear how to select and delete music.”

I’d like to think if it was clear I’d have done it. I don’t think of myself as being overly obtuse.

I think the biggest thing that I miss so far (as I enter notes with a mouse) is being able to drag a note up, as opposed to having to select it, then hold Alt and use the arrow keys (or others if I’m moving an octave). Dragging notes is so much quicker.


I’d have to agree that to click a note and drag it is easy.

However, I quite like that you can’t just move things so easily - it’s also very easy to move things unintentionally.

If you don’t mind me asking, is there a particular reason why you’re using the mouse to enter notes rather than the keyboard (or a MIDI keyboard)?

The biggest annoyance so far (as I hope this is useful feedback, as opposed to sounding like whining) is the constant need to keep toggling Select on and off. It doesn’t appear to have a shortcut (

Two reasons, I guess. Firstly it’s just the way I work and I like doing it that way. Secondly, the keyboard is elsewhere and I just play on it. I don’t want to have to set up a keyboard just for note entry. I like my desk having a standard keyboard on it.

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I’m not quite sure what you mean by “select on/off”? Would you mind describing it in a little more detail?

Each to their own!

I would strongly encourage you to use the mouse as little as possible. It’s far, far easier to get in the swing of things without it. There is very little that you would need the mouse to do that the keyboard can’t.