Delete a rest

Hello. - So I have a rest highlighted in red, and press delete, but nothing happens. I right-click the rest - hit ‘cut’ - nothing happens. How can I delete a rest? If I use the trash can above the measure, it actually deletes everything in the measure, not just the highlighted rest. ??? Huh? Yipes. Help!! Thank you.

Edit—Remove Rests. Not to sound unhelpful, but it sounds like you should probably consult the First Steps guide to get your head around some of the basic functionality, or else you’re going to find yourself a bit stymied.

Yes - I am following the example in the getting started with Dorico manual, accidentally put in a rest, and here I am. Unable to remove the rest.

The solution @dan_kreider gave is the simplest. Rests are funny critters in Dorico: most of the time we don’t have to think about creating them, they’re just the empty spaces between the notes we create. But when one turns up where you don’t want it, it takes a special step to eradicate it (often, it means that two voices are happening on one staff).

Ok, this keeps getting worse. So I deleted an eighth rest, and now I have this:
IMAGINE!! A measure with 2 and 1/2 beats in it!!! How can I tel Dorico to remove a rest, but not change the measure length??? OMG! YIKES!!! HELP!!! Is Sibelius easier to use? Please advise.

You could select the notes and use Alt-Left to slide them along, or you could have used Insert mode to delete the rest and pull the music left. (Select the rest, hit I to turn on Insert mode, hit Delete key, hit I again to turn off Insert mode).

If you’ve done more stuff now so that Undo can’t be used, select the note to the right of the missing rest and turn off its “Starts Voice” property in the properties panel (lower zone, bottom of the screen). That should bring the rest back.

This isn’t your fault - you’re new to the software and don’t know the terminology - but inexact language leads to misunderstandings. If you’re only writing text, assume we’re really dense and need everything spelling out.

And Sibelius behaves near enough the same way if you delete a rest, incidentally - the first hit of Delete/Backspace hides it so that it won’t print, the second deletes it entirely. Yes, you’ll have a bar that contains the wrong number of beats. In both programs it’s expected that if you do so, you know what you’re doing.


Thank you all so much for your help. As for Dorico? - This is insanely user unfriendly and non-intuitive, and utterly unusable no matter one’s computer savvy. Staff paper and pencil will be mucho faster and easier. I think I’m ready to write some reviews and recommendations. Very disappointed and exhausted.

Steinberg - please let me know when your software advances to the point of a working delete button functionality.

Learning to speak French would be easier than trying to write a score in this coded, programming insider cryptic tool.

Dorico is very much in the minority of notation programs that have an Insert mode (or the ability to delete music from the middle of the passage and pull all the subsequent music left to fill the gap). Unusable? I think not.

If you’re new to notation programs, it sounds as though you’re not “ready to write some reviews”.

(And yes; that’s harsh, but I’ve just given you viable solutions to your problem. Dorico has a working Delete button, as I already said. It only works the way you want it to if Insert mode is turned on, which I’ve also already said.)


Yes, you have been very helpful and I thank you and others for your help. However, the daunting, overwhelming task of trying to perform simple tasks requires learning an entirely new programming language. For musicians, Dorico is utterly unusable. What Dorico IS good for, is for programmers and those interested in decoding and memorizing endless random illogical computer commands. Lesson learned: The bigger the manuals, the less intuitive the software. Peace.

This forum is full of musicians. Dorico’s user base is, on the whole, musicians. I am a musician. As we’ve already established, we’re genuinely a friendly bunch, but we’re also very grateful (and somewhat defensive, occasionally) about Dorico - it’s certainly more approachable than Finale and arguably on a par with Sibelius in that regard. If you want help, assume that you have something to learn, rather than that the software’s badly designed. It’s not.


I hear you. It’s a massive change - but it’s worth sticking through. I still get frustrated sometimes but each time I learn something I’m more glad that I’ve made the switch. There’s too many great features to go back to any other software. In my opinion.

And for what it’s worth, even some of the regular solution-givers on here still ask for help.

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Nonsense. If you want to use a powerful program by guessing how you think it ought to work, that’s the wrong approach.

I switched to Dorico after 20 years in Finale. Literally everything was different. I took the time to learn it, and I’ve found it incredibly user-friendly.


You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. I’m sorry you’re finding Dorico so difficult to navigate.

But as a professional musician and about the farthest thing from a programmer, I can tell you that in my opinion, Dorico is the nicest notation software program I’ve ever used ( I started on Finale in the 90s switched to Sibelius at V1 and beta tested Sibelius vs 4,5 and 6).


Well, LOL from ‘user friendly’ to ‘Insanely user unfriendly’. I guess I’m just spoiled by literally every other software program since the 1970s actually ‘deleting’ items when highlighted, and the ‘Delete’ button is pressed.

Yes, but have you been deleting rests, which by their very nature are already the absence of anything?

Dang! Gazumped by Leo again!.

What exactly did you expect to happen when you wanted to delete the rest?

The Dorico delete button deletes things. A rest is not a thing, it is just evidence of the absence of a thing!

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I have to agree with the others that you can’t “delete” a rest. Maybe your goal is to “hide” a rest? In which case, a delete button won’t do the job… and you’d need to find out how to do this in a new program? (Just like I did).

Also, re: actually removing a rest. The new Jump Bar is a godsend. Hit J and type in a keyword(s) for what you’re trying to do.

I think that if you wrote a negative review at this stage, when you clearly haven’t yet come to grips with dorico’s working model, it would be a disservice to your readers. Like countless others, if you give dorico a genuine chance, you’ll be pleased to have it in your toolbox. But as it stands now, you don’t truly understand the thing you would be ‘reviewing’.