Feature request – Lines

Making use of the holidays to write up a list for Santa, even though the wonderful elves won’t mind the request for this Christmas. A few request to take in consideration when implementing lines in the future:

— Naturally, lines should be defined by their rhythmic position, like other objects in Dorico;
— Multi-segment lines – with each segment having its own anchor point in a rhythmic position, like pedal lines – would be very, very useful.
— Primitive lines of various width, including the ability to modulate said width, would be amazing.

— Smart voice leading lines as their own object.
— Support for playing technique transitions with automatic arrows.
— Support for playing technique continuation (both like ottava symbols and by showing the end with a small bracket or symbol).

— Custom tempo and dynamic lines. Indications like ca…lan…do… are impossible to produce as of now, as are simple equivalents to cre… scen… do… but in another language other than the conventional italian, for example.
— It would be golden if each syllable had its own anchor to move in Engrave mode.

Feel free to add more suggestions, people.

—lines with inflection points that can be dragged for curviness, with the ability to add as many inflection points as needed
—lines that can be saved and recalled (similar to playing techniques), especially if their particular curves are carefully drawn and planned out

— Free-floating brackets and curly braces to indicate manual changes for organ or when multiple lines of text condense down to a refrain/chorus.
(I know you can fake these with text boxes and the SMuFL library but it’s very cumbersome.)

Actually, and seriously, I hope we’ll get some basic vector drawing functionality: a proper pen tool and the ability to draw basic lines and shapes. (If control points and curvature nodes for lines are added I hope they will be usable for (multi segment) slurs too.)

  • fully featured vector design tools a la illustrator (saves me a job)

Oooh, boy, opened a can of worms! I use a multi-pronged workflow myself, but what do you guys exactly mean by vector drawing tools and why is it vital to have them in Dorico – or, rather, why isn’t it better to do those tasks in a dedicated, powerful, flexible vector graphics software?

I’m sure someone will think of a better example, but here’s what I could find quickly:

The wiggly line in 481-482 is trivial to achieve in Finale, and displays fine in the score and parts.
In Sibelius, it’s a real pain.

Different sorts of lines, curves and shapes have become an integral part of music notation. That’s why I think it’s just logical to have them available in a professional notation software.
Maybe ‘vector drawing tools’ was a bad wording. I’d be happy with the few basic things that I listed: a pen tool for flexible lines and curves (maybe with the welcome side-effect of better control over multi-segment slurs), and the ability to quickly draw rectangles and triangles and fill them if needed.

I don’t know whether it’s within the scope of Dorico to make really advanced graphic notation possible…

But that line is actually rather simple, or at least it can be defined in simpler terms. Keeping with Dorico’s philosophy, whatever we have available should be defined musically (rhythmically, in most of these cases). That can be either a multi-segment line with control points for the curves, or a simple straight line substituted by an appropriate font glyph (and, in fact, the “stitches” visible betrays its nature as a composite shape). That’s why I find that a gfx-software-style Pen tool is rather more than it is truly necessary. You’re right in saying that it would be a pain in Sibelius – that’s why I’m rather more worried that these things make musical sense, rather than dumping a Pen tool on the problem and calling it a day. I do a lot in InDesign (or Illustrator), and I’m sure I would continue doing it even if Dorico had those kinds of tools, because they would very likely be less robust. It sounds, to me, like the wrong question, or the wrong request. It would keep things in one program, perhaps, but it would solve little or nothing of the underlying problem (ihmo).

The same thing with shapes. People keep requesting free repetition boxes, for example. Do we want the ability to draw a box ourselves – with the ability to mess it up, do it badly and inconsistently, as most composers seem to do on their own –, or do we want to define a region that’s supposed to be boxed, and have it automatically and properly sized, spaced and consistent?