Create New and Project Templates

A few thoughts and suggestions on the Create New / Project Templates addition in v 4.0

A little bit of background first. I’ve been making my own templates and modifying Dorico’s own templates. The aim is to minimise the amount of work I need to do right after a template loads. So, for example, they load with vst’s defined, Instruments loaded, Playback Templates set, Page Template Sets imported, Page Sizes and Fonts defined, and some aspects of Layout Options changed. Obviously I can go a great deal further but for the moment I’m limiting it to that.

And, for the most part, it works really well. Just I was hoping for from having User Templates included as part of Dorico.

Small issues

  1. The “Empty” Playback template isn’t registering in the “New From Project Template” section under the “File” menu.

  2. Saved Templates and new Folders are registered immediately in the “Create New” Section of the Hub, but Dorico needs to be restarted for them to appear under the “File” menu. This also works in reverse - deleted Templates and Folders still appear under the “File” menu until Dorico is restarted (clicking on a deleted file opens an empty template).

  3. The Dorico Templates all load with Full Score Layouts set up for a Transposing Layout. That seems to run at odds with Dorico’s own approach as outlined in the manual and I’ve found I’m changing that aspect for all of them.

It would be good if the above can be fixed but they can all currently be worked around. However, one issue can’t.

  1. Fonts that are set as part of a template are overriden by the settings in the right hand column of the Create New window. Any Fonts that aren’t set as Default Fonts need to be re-selected before the template loads which works, unless, of course, you’ve forgotten which Fonts you used to create the Template. Relatively easy for Music Fonts, occasionally very difficult for Text Fonts. Unlike the Time Signature and Key Signature, there is no tick box facility to turn off adjustments to fonts. It would be very useful if that was also included so that Fonts established as part of a Template are loaded as they were when the Template was saved.


  1. It would also be useful to be able to define the behaviour of the tick boxes in the right hand menu of the Hub’s “Create New” Tab by having the ability to pre-set in them in the Preferences Window. One less series of things to manage.

  2. It would be really good if the right hand menu reflected the contents of the Template. At the moment it’s all default settings and you just have to trust that whatever’s there in the Template (Page size / Orientation, Rastral size, Music and Text Fonts) loads.

  3. Dorico’s own Templates are an excellent starting point for a lot of work but inevitably they will be tweaked by users. Rather than do all those tweaks (vst’s defined etc.) after loading, I would humbly suggest that users should be able to overwrite Dorico’s Templates and that some “Reset to Factory” function is added for those Templates. This enables users to update Dorico Templates to their needs without having to save them under a different name, or in different folders (just more clutter and confusion) and it also gives users the ability to revert them if that’s needed.

I’ll end where I started - the templates are a great new addition to Dorico. Thanks.

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If you don’t want the settings on the right-hand side in the Create New page of the Hub to take effect, use File > New From Template to create your project: that way, only the settings from the template itself (whether one of the built-in ones, or one you have created yourself) will be used.

You should also find that if you save your own user template in the same category and with the same name as one of the factory templates, your own user template takes precedence over the factory one, effectively replacing it.

Are you sure you didn’t save them that way? I find it respects what I saved it as.

Thanks Daniel. The first para makes perfect sense - I should have thought of that.

However, I’m not getting the response I’m after from your second para - maybe I’m doing it wrong.

If I take a very simple template (Solo / Lead Sheet), change it to Jazz style fonts for Music, Font and Paragraph Styles (I used Finale Jazz), save it as a Template in the Solo Directory with the same name (Lead sheet) - if I then close it and load it up again from File / New From Project Template / Solo / Lead Sheet - the font changes aren’t reflected, nor are any other changes. This is also the case if I restart Dorico. It looks to me like I’m still loading the original Dorico Template.

If I save it in a new directory, it loads as expected if restart Dorico (my point 2 above) and then follow the advice in your first para.

Thanks Craig. I’m also finding it respects what I’m saving it as providing I save it with a title that doesn’t exist in a Dorico Template directory or in a non-Dorico directory. And no, I wouldn’t have saved Templates with a Full Score Layout changed to show a Transposing Layout - a curious change to make ! :grinning:

No, you’re not – I’ve checked this again and a small bug has been introduced there at some point since we added the ability to have user project templates. I’ll make sure this gets fixed ahead of the next update.


Thanks Daniel - appreciated as always.

FWIW, this font behaviour confused me enormously until I read this thread. It seemed so odd that the fonts I’d saved with the template wouldn’t be present in a new document I created with that template, and I didn’t join the dots to figure out that the font options in the “Create New” tab were to blame, or that there was a way of bypassing them to get the results that I wanted.

It’s a small thing, but it would be nice if custom categories appeared in the File -> New From Project Template menu as well (they are only available in the Hub).

Which version of Dorico are you running? At least here (in 4.1.10) they do appear in the File > New From Project Template menu.

Ah, they weren’t showing here - but I restarted Dorico, and now they appear in the menu. Thanks!

Thanks for the update in this area. I’ve just done a few checks and all looks well so far.

Has this problem actually been solved? I’m finding the same thing that @David_Tee described. If I save a project as a project template, in the same category and with the same name as a factory template (ignoring the warning that “An existing template with this name already exists”, which makes me want to reach for a red pen), then create a new project using the template in that category with that name, what I get is the factory template.

Yes, so far as I’m aware, this has been fixed (I was the one who fixed it). If you find it not to be the case, please provide us with some more details.

Thanks, Daniel. If you’ve fixed it, clearly I’m doing something wrong.

I’m trying to replace the “Solo piano” template with one that uses a VST instead of HALion Sonic SE. I get the warning that this template already exists. I tick “Preserve existing flows” and “Preserve Project info” (probably irrelevant in this case) and save. I get the message “The file for project [not project template? – is this a clue?] Solo piano has been modified on disk”. I close and reopen Dorico. I choose “Solo piano” in the Hub. What I get is the original version, without the VST. Likewise if from the File menu I choose New From Project Template > Solo > Solo piano, except that in this case I don’t get 32 empty bars of 4/4.

The revised version does appear in ~/Library/Application Support/Steinberg/Dorico 4/Project Templates/solo, and it seems fine when I open it directly as a project.

I’m on Dorico and macOS 12.6.1.

I’ve been checking into this again, and I find that it does work. I started a new project based on the Solo piano template, I changed the music font via Library > Music Fonts, and then did Save as Project Template. I typed Solo for category and Solo piano as the template name, and confirmed the dialog. When I returned to the Hub, as expected, I see a single entry in the Solo category for Solo piano, and it shows the little hamburger menu in its top right-hand corner that allows me to remove it, so it’s definitely the user template as expected.

Daniel, my problem was that if I saved my project as a custom template with the same name as the factory template (“Solo piano”, not “Piano solo”) it didn’t replace the factory template. So I ended up saving it with the name “Piano”. I then had both “Piano” (with hamburger) and “Solo piano” (without hamburger) in the Hub.

But, on looking at the “Solo” category today for the first time since my previous post, I see that both of them now have the hamburger. And, on opening “Solo piano”, I see that it uses my VST instrument. I am sure this wasn’t working when I posted a fortnight ago. But I don’t know what I might have done to, belatedly, get my edits into the factory template. The update to 4.3.20 couldn’t have had this effect, could it?

Apologies, I mistyped in my previous reply. I did of course call my template Solo piano, the same as the factory template, and as expected I found that I was then presented with my template and not the factory template.

It sounds like this is also now happening for you, though Dorico 4.3.20 makes no difference in this regard.

But I just tried adding a piano to the “Classical orchestra” template, and saving it with the same name. A “Classical orchestra” template now appears with my other custom templates. But the one in the Hub has no hamburger, and no piano.

Do Help > Create Diagnostic Report and attach the resulting zip file here (if it’s smaller than 4MB). This should include your custom project templates so I can take a look and see what might be going on.