Editing slurs in Engrave mode

Hello, how do I in Engrave mode edit the position of a slur without actually changing its shape?
I can not find a key combination to select more than one handle.

To move a slur, navigate onto the slur itself so that none of its handles are selected, and then use Alt+up/down arrow to move it up and down. You can also drag it with the mouse by clicking on the main body of the slur rather than on any of its handles.

super, thank you Daniel!

The bounding area around slurs is much smaller now, making it much easier to select slurs without catching the objects around them (or, especially, vice versa).
Editing slurs in Engrave mode could perhaps be handier if we could click-select more than one handle (perhaps with Shift or Cmd/Ctrl). This already happens automatically when selecting the handle at the apex of the slur: the two handles around it move together with it in one line, making it easier to maintain the shape of the slur. For me, at least, it would often be easier if I could do this with the endpoints, as well. If I move an endpoint handle to another spot, it deforms the slur in such a way that I have to go back and forth between several handles readjusting the shape. It’d be nice if we could either select more than one handle, or if moving the endpoints didn’t distort the slur shape.

Yes, I agree that it would certainly be useful at least some of the time to move the control point at that end of the slur when you move the closest end point. I’m sure we’ll be able to implement this at some point.

One thing you can do, if you switch on the option to show handles all the time, in the Engrave > Show Handles submenu, is make adjustments to several slurs at once because you can Ctrl+click the corresponding handles on different slurs, and then move them together.

I’d like to revive this old thread to bring to attention that it still would be nice if the editing of slurs could be rethought. I find it quite counter-intuitive that I can turn a regular slur into an s-shaped slur by simply dragging one of its endpoints. The way the two main other applications handle this, namely rotating the slur around the other endpoint, to me seems the logical thing I would expect.

Luckily Dorico does a very good job drawing slurs in the first place so the necessity to adjust them occurs not too often, but like in the example from the OP, on system breaks there is room for improvement.

Dorico sets the endpoint of a slur close to the system, disregarding the staff position of the following note in the next system. So when you have a note with 2 leger lines above the staff the slur will make a significant downward curve, even if the next note is even higher.

Gould states, if the slur starts on the last note of the old system it must be inclined towards the following note. It would be nice if Dorico followed that rule or at least to have an engraving option to do so.

The team have said plenty of times that cross-system slurs are on the to-do list for the future.

This thread is very old. At the time I last replied to it (the best part of three years ago) you couldn’t rotate a slur by dragging its end point and holding Alt, which is reasonably quick (though not at present possible to do only from the keyboard).

Oh, great, I was indeed not aware of the alt-drag function. I only found the manual entry on editing the control points an had expected to find such a function there.

Personally, I would expect the behaviour to be the other way round, l am used to the way logic pro does require to hold the ctrl key for finer adjustments when dragging items, but I certainly can get used to it.


Most google searches in the form of “dorico engrave slur” for example still point to the version 2 manual. I do not know if Steinberg has any influence on that, though.

Another suggestion, regarding the online manual itself:

It would be nice, if the sidebar could be scrolled indepently from the content. Many detailed explanations to specific topics - like slurs - are found in the notation reference, which, when unfolded, is a pretty long list and even longer when the desired topic - like slurs - is then unfolded as well. Chances are high that the list of subtopics is way beyond the bottom of the window while the manual content takes up only a fraction of that length. That way you always have to scroll all the way down to see the portion of the TOC that is actually relevant to you. That is the reason why I did not see that there is a dedicated topic “changing the angle of slurs”.

It would be great, if the sidebar would stay at the same scrolling position when clicking on a topic.