Dorico: A potential customer's thoughts

Hi community, I’m BalancingScales and this is my first post.

So I decided to download the 30-day trials of both Sibelius and Dorico to see which one I liked more. At first I tested them with fairly simple scores which yielded pretty much equal results e.g. both Sibelius and Dorico were a-okay when scoring MacDowell’s “To a Wild Rose”, but today I tested an excerpt of Rachmaninoff’s mighty Piano Concerto No. 2, of which Dorico completely throttled Sibelius into the ground at the cross-staff slurs. My mind is subsequentially pretty much set on purchasing Dorico some day in the near future.

Naturally, being new notation software for me, I initially found Dorico a bit frustrating as I got stuck on this or hit the wrong shortcut for that, but I think I’ll get used to it eventually and I think that moment will be highly rewarding. I think my biggest gripe with Dorico so far is an apparent lack of a shortcut to flip stems. Sometimes the note on the centre of the staff (B for treble, D for bass, etc.) has the stem pointing upwards and I’m more used to it facing downwards there, but to do that I have to go into Edit < Stem < Force Stem Down, which is time-consuming. I would like there to be a quick shortcut to flip stems up or down, like the “X” key in Sibelius. Or maybe there’s some other way that I don’t know about? Well, that’s what these forums are for, after all.

Oh, and I should give a congratulations to Daniel and co. for designing this new software.

Engraving Options > Notes has settings to specify whether you want stems on the middle line stem to be always Up, always Down, or Variable according to context.

The great thing about Dorico is there’s always an option somewhere that avoids repeated manual intervention.

I’m delighted to hear that you’re enjoying Dorico so far, BalancingScales. You can assign a shortcut to the Force Stem Down command, but there’s no equivalent to X to flip a stem up or down (you could also assign a shortcut to Force Stem Up if you wish), but as Ben suggests, it may well be that changing the default stem direction on the Notes page of Engraving Options (or indeed preventing Dorico from determining the stem direction of notes on the middle line of the staff contextually) gives results that are closer to what you expect.

Hi benwiggy,

I’ll give that a go and see if it works for me. Thanks for the help.

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for taking the time to reply and for the help.