Dorico for iPad not saving imported Dorico files

Here’s what happens:

  1. I tap “Open or import file”

  2. I navigate the folder in iCloud Drive where I store my Dorico for macOS files and select a file.

  3. Dorico for iPad opens the file and presents the “Project Opened from Read-Only Location” notice, saying “This project has been copied into Dorico’s own Documents folder…”

  4. I tap “OK” and the file opens without issue.

But the file does not appear in the “recents” list or in the Dorico folder in the iPad. I tried this multiple times with the same result.

Dorico for iPad, 4-part version
iPad Pro, 10.5 inch, 2017
256GB capacity, 172 GB available
iOS 14.7.1

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Is it a read-only file? Does it appear with a padlock icon next to the filename when it is open? That could be why it doesn’t get saved.

It does appear with a lock icon.

Is a “read-only file” different from a “Project opened from a Read-only location”, and if so, what’s the difference? I thought the whole point of the dialog is that Dorico will save it on the iPad so it can be written to.

They are indeed different things.

A “read-only” file - one with the lock icon - is one containing more players than your current limit. (The starting limit is 2 players, but you can increase that to 4 players by signing up to a free Steinberg account, or to 12 players by taking out a paid subscription.)

The warning about a read-only location is to do with how iOS stores its files, and how we interact with that. Typically files on iOS are stored in areas on disk that relate to a specific app, so when you open an existing file using Dorico for iPad what is actually happening is that Dorico will copy the file into its own area and will edit the copy.

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The limit only applies to editing, not to viewing and playing. So it seems to me it should save a copy of the file.

Unless I missed something, I don’t see any mention in the iPad version documentation about limits to the saving of files. If limits exist, the app should notify the user (e.g., “this file can’t be saved because…”).

If Dorico doesn’t need to edit the file then it doesn’t need to make a copy, because none of the information will change. You can always manually copy the file into the Dorico area (e.g. using the Files app) if you wish.

The point is that Dorico for iPad says it’s saving a copy of the file when it is not.

That’s either a mistake or it’s poorly designed.

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Thanks for the feedback. We’ll certainly think about modifying this message in this particular instance.

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Yep, it states “this project has been copied into Dorico’s own Documents folder” when this currently isn’t the case.

An option to copy it anyway even though it’s read-only might be useful so if it’s a cloud-based file, it could be accessed in the future without a connection.


Is Richard correct that if Dorico for iPad can’t edit a file, it won’t save it (by design)?

And it won’t appear in “recents”? If true, that makes no sense to me.

If it can open a file, the file should appear in recents.

Although iPad Dorico does not save the file from iCloud to the Dorico folder on the iPad, one can go to iCloud and have it move/save the file to the iPad.

Yes, that’s correct. We take the view that we should only save a project when it has changes. But I have heard your feedback, and I will take it into consideration, as I’ve said. There’s not much more I can add at this point.

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Specifically, how can I import a MIDI file from a DropBox folder in iPad version? When I try, Dorico never connects to the server and the error states contact the administrator.

Probably best as a new question. What server are you connecting to? Can you connect to it with other apps?

I’ll be specific.

  1. Click on Open or import file in Create new
  2. Click on the … menu
  3. Choose connect to server.
  4. Enter DropBox as name with the .com of course
  5. Press Connect
  6. Enter Name and password.
  7. Press Next.

Spins for a while

Error: Can’t connect to server

That’s a very odd way of accessing Dropbox from an iPad, and I have no idea if it’s supposed to work. Tap Open or import file…, then click the arrow in the top left corner to take you out of the Dorico folder, or “On my iPad”, or wherever you are. You may need to tap it two or three times in order to be able to see the Browse section, which should have a list of locations.

If you’ve correctly set up Dropbox to work with your iPad, it should be in the list of locations.

Do you not have Dropbox as an app with local folders? Dropbox is in the Locations list. (Also shown in

Can you access DB your way from any other app, or do you get the same error? What iOS version?

I do not have DropBox on my iPad, so I thought connect to server would work.
So I’ll just install DropBox and use this method.

I am new to the iPad so I have not connecting with anything other than the Apple Store.
Thanks for the help.

Dorico project opened from read only location when having granted permission to use dropbox! Please respect the access granted to Dropbox in iOS system preferences. This makes Dorico virtually useless for Dropbox synched file work. This is the only app that behaves this way so far.

Welcome to the forum, @res. The issue here is that Dorico does not currently support “Open In Place”, which is the iOS feature that allows an app to read and write files outside of its own application sandbox. This is certainly something that we plan to add in future, but it’s non-trivial to add for apps that don’t use all of Apple’s low-level document classes; the reason for this is that Dorico is a cross-platform app written to run not only on iPadOS but also on macOS and Windows. But we will get to this as soon as we can.