Feature request summary from the point of view of a composer-engraver

Dear Friends, dear Dorico staff,

while waiting for another major update of Dorico 5 (favourite software for us all), I would like to collect the most important feature requests from the point of view of engravers. In other words, for those who attach minimal importance to the DAW and MIDI capabilities of the software, and for whom Dorico is the primary tool of their daily work as a stable and powerful music notation application.

Don’t get me wrong: after 8 years of Finale and 13 years of Sibelius, I don’t want to go back to using either of them, but Dorico is for me the main tool for composing and engraving. While I am absolutely in love with the software and maybe I can now use it quite well and quickly, it would be great to have it even more powerful and stable.

While I know that the development team is not large, I respectfully submit the request of many of us (which request, I am sure, has been interpreted many times): in addition to developing of the Key Editor and other DAW-like tools, which are, of course, very useful for many people, please pay more attention to the development of the Engraving tools, which are crucial for us.

Here’s the list, feel free to add your own requests:


  • fixing of the annoying bug when the view of the score jumps away from the place you are currently working to a different place (f.ex. if changing from Write to Engrave mode)


  • abbreviated Player Group names
  • simple ability to rename the staves just by clicking on


  • possibility of independent Fermatas on single notes
  • at the beginning of new systems automatic round bracketed accidentals on tied notes
  • native round or square bracketed (=editorial) Articulations, Holds and pauses, Dynamics and other things
  • simplified Pickup bars, with selectable graphical note durations
  • native Metric equations in Tempo texts (f.ex. Allegro, dotted quarter = quarter = 90 – now it is possible only with Metrico font)
  • improved and simplified Figured bass (with support f.ex. of – signs)
  • more time signatures and independent barlines together
  • predefined Text style for “attacca” at the end of a flow


  • lock protection of whole flows or pages against reformatting
  • automatic Staff Spacing ability, let’s say, some kind of “Make the page narrower/wider” command
  • cutaway scores
  • native Condensing feature of more than one player with different tunings (f.ex. Clarinets in B flat AND A, Horns in D, E flat, F and so on)
  • resolving of too much, unnecessary “a2”-s in Condensing view
  • simple possibility to resize pages (to use more rastral sizes in a score, like in Sibelius.) Changing the Space size in Engrave mode by Frame Breaks now is very complicated and slow)


  • correct playback of Holds and pauses, especially of Fermatas, with adjustable length in Properties
  • playback of ornaments

That’s all I think of at the moment. Please add more items to this list. Dear development team, please don’t be angry for the requests and criticism. I am guided only by the desire to improve.

Thank you so much, yours sincerely,


Yes! And also redundant “1.” “2.” when it’s already evident by the presence of another voice, preceded by pauses.

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Uhm, the OP explicitly asked to not include any of that silly playback stuff, because he doesn’t find it important. Just saying.


Well, you’re absolutely right. The fact is, when I I finish a new work and I want to deliver a good quality demo to the client along with the score, I’m fine with NotePerformerm which is great - I don’t need the DAW-like features of Dorico.
However, the lack of these two things (especially the ability to play fermatas) makes this task not so professional – it’s difficult to imagine a new work if the fermatas are missing.

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You can create a new Paragraph Style for this; right-aligned, and then use System Text. (Save it as a default, and give it a key shortcut.)
If you don’t mind the style, you can use a ‘Fine’ repeat mark., and change the text.

As Daniel has mentioned before, this is notation defined by its position in the layout, which could change the layout of items from that point, which then causes other notes to be redefined by their new position, which then affects…
(Though I have to say, I’m unlikely to change pitch on a tied note, even over the page. If the following note after the tie is chromatically different, then that one can have an accidental. )

I’d love to see some increased flexibility in the ways that staves can be “concertina-ed” up and down the page; and ‘local’ Layout changes. But surely you can make the page narrower by adjusting the frame?

As you say, these are all well-rehearsed requests. Perhaps it might be better to wait and see what’s coming in the next update before starting another list; (though at the same time, it seems ill-mannered to receive a new update for Christmas and then say "Actually, what I’d really like… :grin:)


Perhaps you’ve just missed this method, rather than simply double-clicking the group name in the Players panel?

While I understand the motivation behind this request, it’s worth bearing in mind that thanks to condensing, divisi, shared instrument names for adjacent staves etc, staff labels don’t necessarily have a 1-to-1 correlation to instruments.

I’d like this too, and I know it’s something Daniel would like to add at some point as well.

Could you expand a bit on what you mean here? Maybe share an example of a demonstrative context?

There’s this which locks the casting off for the whole layout (which you probably know about).


Did you perhaps mean “move time signatures and independent barlines together”?

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Yes, I know this workaround, I just would be happy to have it predefined :slight_smile:

I’d like to clarify: I think ONLY to cautionary accidentals on the beginning of new staves. Yes, of course I can understand the difficulty of this. But if could be achieved in Sibelius… (see an example below), I think maybe can be resolved in Dorico too :slight_smile:

Let’s hope for the best :slight_smile:

No, I mean Staff Labels have full and abbreviated names, but as far as I know, Staff Group Labels have only full names, so you cannot use a CHOIR group label from the 2nd system as CH. (or whatever).

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Great news!!! I’d be extremely happy with this :slight_smile:

I made this score in 1997 with Finale. Do you think I could achieve this in Dorico too?

Yes I know. I think to a fantastic new feature which assures me that if I insert bars or pages everywhere, the LOCKED pages don’t move and the formatting (f.ex. the Staff and Note Spacing made in Engrave mode) doesn’t fall apart :slight_smile: (which now often happens if I insert a title page before previously formatted pages with music).

(Really sorry because of my very BAD English).

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Your time signatures are clearly unconventional, but I believe the barring you want is achievable using local time signatures.

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I have done many similar scores with Finale.

Dorico is easier by several orders of magnitude, and isn’t as buggy as Finale

Try, for instance inserting a hairpin as a smart shape. It’s basically impossible. You have to create a graphic symbol instead. And extracting parts… What a nightmare.

I agree with @Janus. Except for the non-standard appearance of the time signature symbols (which I would assume took some workaround to do in Finale as well), this example is downright trivial in Dorico.

I’d make those groovy time signatures using MusGlyphs… easy.

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A small thing: The ability to easily add (or easily fake) a tie between notes/chords at the end of a flow into the beginning of the next flow for attacca things. It would be great to do this without manually moving and stretching l.v.'s.


Actually, I don’t think it’s a small thing, since there’s been dozens of threads requesting this “small thing” in the past five years… Think it has to work in Repeats context too… and if it were easy, it would already be there! Which doesn’t invalidate your request, of course :wink: