Dorico iPad with Apple Pencil

I’ve started using Dorico for iPad and it’s been great so far. Big congrats to the team working on it!
I was wondering if it would be possible to increase the support for the Apple Pencil. It would be great if when using the carrot for note entry I could click directly on the staff with the Apple Pencil similarly to how you can using the mouse in the desktop version.
It would also be great if I could drag the notes on the staff up and down or left and right using the pencil too. Using the floating toolbar works too of course but this would be a helpful addition I think.
I find that when I’m looking at the staff, moving to the virtual piano keyboard for note entry breaks the flow slightly, especially when editing an existing passage and being able to enter new notes or tweak them using the Apple Pencil would be really helpful.

I do use Staffpad as well which I also enjoy and though I’m not asking for handwriting recognition or anything like that, being able to edit directly on the staff with the pencil is a very handy feature.


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Hi - and welcome to the Forum! I bought a “copy” Apple Pencil which was sort of OK, but then lost it after about an hour! In the meantime I bought a bunch of these (dime a dozen on eBay) and found them to be really useful with an iPad, and not just Dorico.

Strangely, I haven’t lost any yet.

Welcome to the forum, @Nolander. We’re certainly not ruling out further support for Apple Pencil in the future, but it’s not something we’re working on right now.

I’ve been monitoring Dorico for iPad in the hope that it may eventually replace my existing notation software (which is excellent but I fear may be discontinued at some point). I am encouraged that Dorico appears well supported for development. However, the current lack of direct note entry via Apple Pencil seems like a major missed workflow improvement and is definitely a gating issue for me. Any more recent update on whether this yet fits into Dorico development priorities?

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Daniel has indicated that an upgrade to Dorico 4 is expected “in a few weeks” and that an update to Dorico for iPad is expected at the same time. So stay tuned to see if the improvements help your situation.

Given Daniel’s earlier comment (in July) that “… it’s not something we are working on right now.” I would not be holding my breath for the next year or so.

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We don’t have any plans to support input via handwriting with the Apple Pencil, but we are certainly interested in making more use of the Apple Pencil throughout Dorico for iPad in general. However, we really need to move up to the latest version of the Qt framework upon which Dorico is built, so that we can take advantage of some API changes that provide a more unified way of handling inputs, whether they come from a mouse, trackpad, finger, or Pencil. This isn’t a small change, and it has impacts on the whole of the software, so it’s something that will hopefully happen in the timescale of the next major version of Dorico, rather than the next minor (but by no means insignificant) update.


Thanks. Just to refine my input. The software I use today allows me to use Apple Pencil for note input by either (a) tapping directly on the stave - note duration is first selected on a menu bar, then the note is “placed on the stave” by tapping the stave at the required pitch (then sliding up or down if I don’t get it exactly right), or (b) handwriting mode, allowing the note to be drawn onscreen, with the software interpreting both duration and pitch.

Despite the apparent attraction of (b), it is the simpler option, I.e. (a) that I use almost exclusively. It is fairly intuitive, accurate and input is extremely quick.