Difficulties with editing rhythms in Dorico

I’m really getting frustrated with how bad Dorico is when it comes to actually editing (changing) notation that isn’t at the end of a staff. I can’t dot one eigth note without it adding a tie to the next bar or inserting a sixteenth rest somewhere and ruining the rest of the music in that bar.

I thought maybe I inadvertently added a meter change somewhere (literally impossible, but the software is gaslighting me at this point), but that is not the case. It just seems impossible to get this done. Rhythmically, there is enough room to fit the music in the bar, but it will not allow me to change that one note. It just garbles up the music in it.

If I load the score into Finale (27), then I can change that note in 2-3 seconds and it doesn’t attempt to rewrite the music while doing so. This is only an issue with Dorico, and it’s been that way since at least 3.5. Basically, I have to be flawless when inputting the music (or be willing to commit with whatever I input at that time, forever), as I may never be able to edit it to make it right after the fact - at least without Dorico garbling up the music.

Sorry, I’m not following. I find Dorico’s functionality infinitely preferable to Finale in this respect. What do you mean exactly?


With all due respect (I say this genuinely and not as a put down) it seems to me like you are lacking some fundamentals when it comes to editing. I get exactly what I’m expecting and find no friction with the system. I wonder if some of the dorico tutorial demos might be of benefit to you.

This is not exactly an advanced topic.

The software just behaves differently.

What I am doing is VERY basic note input and editing. It’s not really something I am concerned with not knowing much about. But, thanks for the reply :wink:

I can fix it by exporting to Finale and Reimporting, so I’ll just do that :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

But you’re complaining that it’s hard and doesn’t work well. Not exactly fair, maybe?

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No. I’m complaining that the program functions in a way that is illogical and unproductive.

There is a difference.

I’ll fix it in Finale. Moving on.

Well, until you give specifics to be discussed, it’s all sound and fury, to quote that Bill guy.

I maintain Dorico is worlds ahead of Finale in this exact area.


What about this is non-specific?

If you cannot read and understand what the issue is, then I’m going to have to hide your posts. I don’t like my time wasting any more than you do.

Edit: I agree it’s not worth discussing.


I kinda get it. Finale values non-destructiveness over metrical accuracy. Dorico forces you into metrical accuracy even if it involves destructive editing. A downside of FInale’s method is you can easily have the incorrect number of beats in a bar so running Check Region for Durations is absolutely essential when proofreading. A positive of Dorico’s method is you don’t have to input rests. A positive of Finale’s method when composing is that you never have to worry about losing or overwriting something you’ve already input as it’s simple to insert within a bar without moving anything else. I’ve been on Team Dorico for a few years now, so I’m used to thinking the “Dorico way,” but the ease of non-destructive editing/input in Finale vs Dorico was something I had to initially get used to. After getting used to Dorico, I think the benefits of the grid and not having to input rests is big advantage, but it is a different workflow. It does take a bit of time to adjust, but I do think the Dorico method is superior, all things considered.



The issue is that there is enough room in the bar of music for the dotted note. Dorico is putting sixteenth rests in the bar randomly when I try to edit, so, there is enough room. It just won’t let me edit the music.

That’s the issue I am dealing with.

In Finale, if you put too much music in a bar, then it will color them red… so even there it’s pretty obvious when you’re overrun the meter. The difference is how the two applications respond when doing edits, and that’s the frustrating thing I’m dealing with. Finale doesn’t attempt to write music for you (no other way to describe this), so it’s actually easier and faster there to make edits in the middle of the music. You always get what you intend.

So, I’m just going to have to keep it around so that I can export to there to get these types of edits accomplished when Dorico decides to do its thing.

Several of us would love to see examples of what you’re trying to edit, if you would illustrate, perhaps in a new thread.

Having used Finale from 1988–2003, I understand how you’re used to notes being locked into measures. Breaking free of barlines (more like a midi sequencer) was probably one of the first design choices for Dorico. It’s what I had wished for in scoring software for 3 decades.



Was about to post the same thing


No new thread necessary, just a “before” and “after”, like, what you started with and what you’d like to achieve! Do it in Finale, if you must… :wink:

Sincerely, Benji

In Finale, music does not stay at a fixed point in a bar.
When you have 2 quarter notes in a bar and you dot the first one, you get a dotted quarter note and a quarter note. The second quarter not will not shortened.
It’s a bit like Dorico’s Insert mode, but with each bar being a fixed border for such editing operations.
And bars can get filled more than 100 % via this method, so even the last note in a bar will not be shrunk by dotting hte first note (as far as I remember).

This can be useful - like I said, it’s just like a regionally limited Insert mode in Dorico.

Sounds like you’ve got Insert mode on. But again, put me down as another former Finale user who would like to see a specific example of what you’re trying to achieve.

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Change the resolution of your grid in the lower left corner. Dorico is definitely not putting rests “randomly”. Sounds like you are not on the right grid spacing according to what you desire.

You are correct that editing rhythms in Dorico is sometimes hard. Often I find it easier to edit the duration of the notes (using the modifier+arrow keys) rather than use ties. Sometimes I will copy-paste an existing bar into a different instrument or create an ossia above the same staff to temporarily save what I wrote, and then mess around with the original measure; if it doesn’t work out or creates a mess then I can still refer to the temporary bar, to continue edits or to paste back in the original. Sometimes when writing original music it is far simpler to use a pencil on a scrap of staff paper to write out the music or rhythms manually and then after it works out as intended, then enter the musical phrase into software. That is the reality of the situation in music.