Expression text - am I the only one who misses it?

I know it’s not the first time I’ve brought this up, but I would like to know if I’m in a minority.

First of all: I love Dorico with all my heart, I really do. It’s user-friendly, logical, and produces good-looking results with minimal effort. But I don’t really get why there is no dedicated expression text function, it’s such a common convention.

I know, there are workarounds. I can either:

  1. use dynamics and remove the intensity marking
  2. use the generic text function.

When I started out with Dorico I tried the second option, but since staff text doesn’t really work that well with staff and note spacing, I’ve more and more gone over to the first option. But I still think that a) turning the intensity marking off is a few clicks too many for such an integral part of notation, and b) expressions aren’t really dynamics, even if they can be. Therefor it seems like what it is: a workaround rather than a dedicated function.

I know, it’s not that big of a deal, but considering how Dorico is so neat in almost every other capacity it seems like an odd thing to leave out.

Am I the only one thinking this? Is this something that’s going to happen in the forseeable future?

No, you’re not the only one, and I agree that we have probably not hit upon the optimal way to handle these kinds of expressive markings just yet.

In the meantime you can create your own suitable paragraph style, save it to your default library so that it is available in every new project you begin, and then assign a key command to it so that you can easily create it on demand. You can’t specify that it should go below the staff by default, but it’s pretty quick to hit F after you have created it, so it’s not too painful.

Thank you for your answer. Again, most of the time Dorico works so fantastically well, it might be the perfection is what makes you notice the little wrinkles. :wink:

You’re not in a minority of one, at least! :slight_smile:

It’s not high on my list of “things that Dorico doesn’t have”: I have Expressions (and Expressions Italic) Paragraph Styles in my defaults, as Daniel suggests, and I haven’t found any problems with staff and note spacing.

Admittedly, I can’t change every instance of one expression to something else in one go, but it’s easy enough to Alt-click to make copies.

Another current workaround is creating a dynamic, put some text in the ‘suffix’ property, check ‘hide intensity marking’, ‘suppress playback’, and click the property to line it up with the left side of the note. The advantage of this is that you have the possibility to group them with (other) dynamics.

(The only disadvantage of the suffix property when you don’t want to hide the real dynamic, is that the space is a little too narrow between the dynamic and the suffix. In this example, the text looks a bit like ‘fappassionato’ and I don’t want to know what that could mean…)


Screenshot 2020-01-21 at 14.11.19.png

Yes, that’s what I’ve been doing. It gives the nicest looking result (for me), and I can change the font of all such “suffixes” at the same go.

Just want to echo the OP. Loving Dorico (I’m a brand new user) but really wish there was a simpler (yes, OK, Sibelius-esque) approach to expression text. Yes, I see that there are workarounds, but why must there be workarounds when a direct, simpler (yes, OK, Sibelius-esque) approach to this very important data type can be so easily implemented?! Seems that I am far from alone here. One day, perhaps??? Thanks!

For some reason, whenever I have to hide a fake dynamic in what should be an expression mark I think of the White Knight:

‘But I was thinking of a plan
To dye one’s whiskers green,
And always use so large a fan
That they could not be seen.’

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