Editing instrument names as in a spreadsheet


I feel I’ve suggested this earlier, but I can’t find it, so I’ll post it again.

Something that I find very time-consuming, and very carpal-tunnel prone, is editing instrument names. I use many custom names, so I might be affected by this more than others.

The current procedure involves clicking several buttons, clicking into several fields, opening and closing dialogs, without being able to jump between fields by pressing Tab. In an orchestral score this becomes fatiguing.

A first addition that I would find useful would be a pair of Previous/Next buttons, to jump to another instrument name editing dialog without closing the current one.

A major addition I would like is a way to edit instrument names in a spreadsheet-like window. This would be incredibly fast. Imagine what this might mean in something like Ligeti’s Atmosphères, where you have to edit all the instrument names for each desk in a big string section.

Done with an instrument? Press the Down Arrow, and you are editing the next one. Do you feel you did something wrong with the short name of some other instrument, one hour earlier? Just go though the sheet, and check for coherence between names.



Nice idea!

You’re probably already aware, but clicking the “Save as default” box at the bottom left of the Edit Instrument Names dialog box will save your custom names so you don’t have to do it again in the future. Of course if you are switching between naming conventions or languages that’s not much help.

When you click that “Save as default” box, all it really does is create an entry in your userlibrary.xml file under instrumentNames. I haven’t tried, but I imagine once you’ve created all your overrides and saved them as default, you could copy them all into a doricolib file. Any time you wanted to use that naming structure just add that doricolib file to DefaultLibraryAdditions. You could switch between multiple naming conventions with a click just by swapping doricolib files around.

It would take a bit of work to set up, but theoretically you might be able set up an Excel spreadsheet where you view, order, and edit the names and it adds the appropriate code needed so you can copy and paste into a doricolib file. When I created my Jazz score order file, I did it in Excel and had it add the commas, space, etc so I could just copy and paste the result.

The top of the Edit Instrument Names window just looks like this:
It certainly could be useful if that was a dropdown so you could select another instrument without closing the window. If the normal shortcuts for navigating to the previous/next Layout could work in that window to navigate to the previous/next Instrument, then that would be great as well as there’s already some muscle memory there.

My problem is a bit different: I don’t want to change my naming conventions, but to use particular names for each score. Each score is different. For example, I could have to use something like “Vni A”, “Vni B” and “Vni C” in a score, and “Vni 1-2”, “Vni 3-4” and so on in another one. Another score may require “Vni 1.2”, “Vni 3.4”, and the like.

So, in any case I would have to enter new names each time, whichever the names of the “standard” setup.


If you had these conventions saved in separate doricolib files already, couldn’t you swap the naming conventions in all at once by placing the doricolib file with the correct convention in DefaultLibraryAdditions?

EDIT: Oh, I guess you mean for multiples, so yeah I guess you do have to edit each one as that isn’t saved in the doricolib file.

I share your vision for our ability to easily see and manage our custom instrument names in the program. The suggested workarounds are apprecitated, but working with text and support files requires a degree of confidence and ability to do it that not all share.

Right along with the ability to change is the simple ability within the program to see one’s custom names laid out in a systematic way.

In my case, I like to use custom names that reflect my unique naming conventions for not just instruments in general, but also for the exact library instrument assigned to that general instrument and it’s iterations for a particular project.

“s Ob 1” (Synchron Woodwinds Oboe 1) may be my Oboe1 of choice for a project, and “s Ob 2” for the second oboe. Even within a project, I may at times want to use “z Ob 2” (Synchron-ized Oboe 2) for the first oboe, or “z Ob 1” (Synchron-ized Oboe 1) for the second oboe. Or I might even want to switch mid-project. Or I may want my first Oboe to switch between two different VST oboes. When I look at the instrument in use I want to see exactly what I am dealing with.

There is instrument function, the general name, and there is actual VST instrument. The two, while associated, are different things. It is a many-to-one relationship. I can use Players for the general name, and player-held instruments for the VSTs. But I don’t want to have to re-edit my custom names or do file swapping every time this is required, which is every project.

To be sure, this request has, like all others, to be prioritized, but I think it is a sound suggestion pointing to a real need for some. I may be seeing things wrong or missing something, but I wholeheartedly support the request.

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