I know this has been talked about, but is there any word on an expected date to have a manual? I would even be happy to get a partial manual, that is added to over time.


Yes, we are still planning to publish a big chunk of documentation before Christmas, probably around the middle of next week.

Good news. The online help function doesn’t suit me as much as did the manual you wrote for sibelius at that time Daniel!

Daniel’s manual for Sibelius was a joy to read. I especially liked his description of the undelete function enabling to you to go back to before your purchase of the software.

:smiley: Ah, the good old days! Yes, probably one of the best lines ever written in a user manual! Daniel at his satirical best! And don’t forget the demotion of the mouse! Funny stuff! I hope Steinberg’s shadow doesn’t completely block out all witticisms. Perhaps it was just a different era. My vote for the new documentation would be for some judicious sprinkling of “Danielisms” here and there between the seriousness of the explanations. :smiley:

I always enjoyed ‘headless whole notes are very difficult to see’!

Well, you might be able to spot them semi-brevely.

Most of the good jokes in the Sibelius manual were written by Ben Finn, rather than by me. I probably came up with a couple of good ones, but all of the ones people remember were Ben’s, not mine. Anyway, you shouldn’t expect the Dorico documentation to be a laugh riot, but I hope you will find it useful!

I look forward to it, nevertheless. Thank you in advance.

Jokes aside, it was a model of clear and engaging writing - it was the only manual I truly enjoyed reading.

So, whose joke was it that stated it was necessary to put the legs of the bed into pans of salted water to ward off vampires? It was in the quick start info for version 2.

That one was Jonathan’s I think! He was also responsible for “octopus” instead of “octuplet” in the list of keyboard shortcuts.

I consider the Sibelius version 2 user guide to be the quintessential paradigm of a good user manual. Incredibly well organized, very clear, complete, and entertaining. I still have my hard copy which I have shown to numerous people involved in software writing as an example of how good software documentation can and should be. It was also the primary reason I bought Sibelius instead of Finale back in 2001-2002. I am really looking forward to the new Dorico documentation.

The Sibelius document was produced by a small company with essentially one product originally written by two brothers and then somewhat expanded. It was a family affair and that gave them the licence to do and write whatever they liked. As Daniel indicated, most of the jokes were written by a founder of the company.
Dorico is part of a major conglomerate with many products and documentation will follow style guides and must reflect the whole company I should think. A very different situation.
I love the Sibelius reference but I’ll be perfectly happy to have a Dorico reference that is well organized, thorough, and well cross-referenced.

I totally agree. I struggled with the three-volume Finale manual for a week and decided that life was too short to give up ms paper for this. The Sibelius handbooks, on the other hand, despite gradually covering more ground as time went by, were models of what such things should be. Engaging, entertaining, accurate, logical, informative and concise, they were a great encouragement to master the program and the best possible ambassador and PR for it.

Dorico deserves documentation of comparable quality in all areas!


Please let it be a pdf, not some interactive online thing!
Please consider publishing it as a book that I can buy.
Over the years two manuals have been my bedside reading - the original Sibelius manual and Digital Performer’s equally well-done manual.

Does anybody remember the absolute first Finale manual? I still look around for a copy on eBay etc., because nobody believes me when I describe it. (I was supervising a university computer lab that used it, and unfortunately someone got rid of it a year after Version 2 (for which an expert was brought in who complete revamped it) came out, while I was on vacation, or I would have swiped V1 for my own home library.) It was messianic about how we should think about the software, and uncompromising about how to use it.

20 years or so ago, Managing Your Money, back before it was bought out and went all corporate, was funny itself, plus it had an excellent and humorous manual. My two favorites:

If you entered a net worth of minus $10M, the application itself responded, “What are you, an airline?”

And in the manual’s Index, looking up Loop instructed you to “See Endless Loop.” Which of course said, “See Loop.”

Good stuff, and bygone days…

+1 on documentation. Anything that is searchable works for me. I just started using Dorico and having trouble finding how to do various tasks.

Searchable is paramount.

Hi pianoleo,
thnx for the info…