First hand, manual for 1.1, simplifying Dorico's usage

Hello Daniel,

When is the manual will be updated for 1.1

It will be great that

  • you allow to move notes using the mouse
  • Add help that guide you in the menus and sub menues
  • Simplify !

    I have import a music into Dorico.
    I have to do a few editing, add orchestration and articulations.

In general, I dont find Dorico’s easy to use, editing is not obvious compared to Logic. it is made for doctor in computer sciences not for musicians.

When you develop you have to think we are musicians that are using a few software so it is impossible to remember all the commands ; so instead of using shift/CRTL/Fn/COMMAND, you use menus and mouse.

PLEASE make thing simple to use only menu and mouse, we are not programmers and we are not in MSDOS time anymore

Can you add the interpretation of the force of the midi notes so it is easy to edit it

Thanks in advance



Hi Cyril,

Many of us on the forum DO think that Dorico has been designed for musicians. I found using Dorico a little frustrating at first, until I decided to commit to understanding Dorico’s proper workflow. Once I did that, I realized that it was very smart the way they designed it. While I totally respect you wanting to use your mouse for many things, it is very inefficient for certain tasks. If you can cope with the key commands you will find Dorico very FAST to use. I have owned full licenses of Finale, Sibelius, Dorico and used a free online tool as well. I can tell you that Dorico is BY FAR the easiest and quickest to set up a score. I don’t have to remember what menu (or submenu within a special tool pallet like in Finale!) to input a meter or any other thing. I just hit shift-m and type 3/4. So fast, and so very easy once you learn the command. Dorico is in a league of its own when it comes to allowing you to compose into a scoring program. I think it all boils down to the “ethos” of the program which is different from its competitors by design. Once you get the hang of the program you’ll find you like it much more. It will surprise you but give it a little time.

Dear Cyril,

I could not agree more with Romanos401. Please take the time to watch the Youtube videos on Dorico Channel, you will not waste that time ! The manual is being written so I do not think it will be available until some time when you’ll already be very efficient with the software :wink:
And if you have any question about how to do what, please feel free to check this very rich forum, or ask !

I have Finale, Sibelius, Logic and Dorico. Dorico is great and I deleted already Sibelius from my computer. Unfortunately I have to use Finale for one not finished project. But in future I will only use Dorico for my scores.
And I understand Cyril: Many things in the score of Logic are very fast and intuitive. Logic’s concept is just as good as Dorico’s. Unfortunately the possibilities for notation are limited. Personally I miss also the event list and the transform window from Logic. I hope that something like that will come also for Dorico.

Hello Maximillian

Thanks very much for your support.

Dorico is great for setting the articulations and all the ornaments for printing a score, but not at all intuitive when you write a piece from scratch. I am not a youngster that can remember all those CTR ALT SHIFT commands.

I was hoping that with 1.1 I could, after I have imported the main theme, write a piece.

So for the moment I will do all the editing and all the orchestration in Logic and at last I will add the articulation changes in Dorico.

In Logic

  • when you want to move a note up and down, or right to left you just click on the note and you move or transpose it
  • when you want to cut mesures select the scissors, put the mouse where you want to cut and click.


All is very intuitive.

I have watched all the Video in Youtube.

This morning I was looking for the transpose menu, when to the help search for “transpose” —> no result


Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 19.03.44.png

You should be able to find it with the search field in the help menu inside Dorico.

See the screen shot
The search is done in the help menu of Dorico

Skjermbilde 2017-07-02 kl. 18.22.10.jpg

A lot of areas in Dorico are not obvious compared to Finale or Sibelius either; that is the whole point of innovation, and that is why many of us bought Dorico when it first came out, to become comfortable with the new approach by working with it so that, when we really needed to depend on Dorico, we would have enough experience to use it productively.

It’s the “10,000 hours Rule” (only because Dorico is so well thought out, it probably only takes 5,000 hours). :wink:

Different people have different opinions about what is “obvious”. It’s a long time since I looked at Logic to compare with other sequencers, but I couldn’t get my head around it at all - it seemed to have been written for Martians, not computer scientists or musicians!

In order to make Dorico as ‘obvious’ as possible for as many users as possible, everything should IMO be doable in several ways. This means that Dorico needs a lot more key commands (having twice as many won’t hurt anyone, they simply won’t use them if they don’t need them), contextual menus everywhere, menus for everything, and popover help all over the place, for those who want it.

As Dorico grows more feature rich and complex, these things get more important. And since many of us rely on 2-3 or more main apps, we shouldn’t have to memorise key commands for… anything.I also bought Dorico early to start the learning process, and once D. gets real time MIDI recording and a couple of other crucial features I’m missing, I’ll start to actually use it (as opposed to mainly checking it out).

“when you want to move a note up and down, or right to left you just click on the note and you move or transpose it”

Yes, and such actions should IMO be possible in all DAWs/music apps: IMO everything relevant should be movable left/right/up/down with the mouse.

“While I totally respect you wanting to use your mouse for many things, it is very inefficient for certain tasks.” But nothing is slower than having to search for and memorise key commands for all relevant actions. Once one starts to know an app properly, and use it regularly, of course key commands can speed things up a lot. But in the phase many of us are with Dorico, needing to search for/learn/memorise key commands slows down the workflow a lot as well.

This is what I used

If you only use the mouse, when are you ever going to learn some key commands?

But hey, I know at people at work who have been using computers for 20 years or more, but still can only type with one finger of one hand, and seem to forget where the letters are on the keyboard even though they typed exactly the same letter only 10 seconds previously. Maybe their minds are full of more important things than “QWERTY”.

(Actually, I know some people who have been trying to learn to play an instrument for years, and can still only read music one note at a time, the same way as those one-fingered typists!)

I remember the suggestion in the (brilliantly written) early Sibelius Handbook: Put your mouse into a drawer and try to get everything done without it.

I mainly use key commands, because it’s faster. In the DAW I use, that is. But I have bought Dorico and Cubase in addition to my main music app, and use other apps as well, and don’t want to have to memorise more than I have to. So the plan is, of course, when/if Dorico will become the/a main tool for me, to mainly rely on key commands. I can work extremely fast in my DAW thanks to the 1000+ available (all user configurable) key commands.

At the moment, I won’t become fast in Dorico, because it is still missing some of the features I hoped that had been implemented already. I’m sure they will come. So the situation right now is that I experiment with Dorico, learn something new, then take a break for a few weeks or more, and then come back to experiment more, and hope to remember the stuff I learned some weeks ago. And I find myself thinking, every time, that if every relevant action would be doable with a contextual menu/mouse, I would spend a lot more time in Dorico.

  1. Again, D. is still missing some important features.
  2. Some of the things I want to do in Dorico COULD have had an easy and obvious workflow, but don’t.
  3. IMO, great as Dorico is, needs a lot more key commands.
    And D. isn’t a complete DAW (it’s actually not a DAW at all), and whatever plans they have for integration with Cubase, it will take time. So many of us will rely on 2-3 or more apps when we compose/arrange/produce/mix/notate/engrave music. That, alone, is IMO a reason to implement no-brainer ways to do… everything. And the great thing about both mouse movements, key commands and contextual menus is that they don’t add clutter; if you don’t need them, you want see them.

I fully support the suggestions in various threads to make things more obvious in D. This will also mean more time for the Steinberg team to come up with more good solutions (Dorico 1.1 is already a good step in the right direction), because less time is needed to explain how things are done.

So… sorry, but your ‘when will you ever learn’ comment isn’t relevant in this context - not for me. Besides, many of us simply don’t have time to learn a program properly when we know that it’s missing things that are needed for the stuff we want to do with it.

I more than agree. As a composer, I used (and taught other professionals to use) Finale for 25 years and Sibelius for as long as it has existed, and am RELIEVED to have something as SIMPLE AND FAST TO USE as Dorico. Designed for composers, arrangers, engravers and…

Dorico team really DO know what they are doing. I thank them again and again.

Have you checked out the customizable key commands in the preferences pane? There are many more operations that you can assign your own commands if you like. There are a few things that I’ve added customs to and I really enjoy it and it has increased my productivity. I actually think it is nice that they don’t force all the possible keycommands on you so you can focus creating ones for yourself that work just right.

Regarding number 2, I’m genuinely curious what some of those things are. I know people dot them all over the forum but every user has a different perspective and I’m always intrigued when someone thinks of something in a radically different way. Personally, the only thing that I struggle with is remembering where certain features are to be adjusted in the engraving/layout options since they are so extensive. That said, they are easy enough to find most of the time. Nothing strikes me as particularly difficult so I’m wondering: what strikes you as difficult not obvious?


Regarding number 2, I’m genuinely curious what some of those things are.

I’m one of those who have posted such suggestions earlier, and don’t like to repeat myself too much. But the answer is simply: Anything that can be done with a mouse should be doable with a mouse, and the same goes for contextual menus, and key commands. (And menus.) One example I have mentioned earlier, from the top of my head: If we want a bar in the middle of a system to become the first bar in the next system, the easiest way would be to simply drag it to where you want it.

And if you are used to working with programs that have proper implementation of contextual menus everywhere, you already know that this is a massive time saver. For instance, whatever you want to do with a note/note head should be doable by right-clicking or control-clicking on that note/note head. Whatever you want to do with a rest (eg remove/hide it): same thing. Want to change treble clef into alto clef? Choose alto clef from a contexual menu. Want to add a nnote at any random position? Same thing. Want to increase the distance between treble and bass clef in a piano score? Grab any of the clefs and drag up or down. Want to insert a time signatur eat any given position? Contextual menu. Same for time signature change. Want to rename a text? Double-click on it.

Dorico already has many great mouse functions, and I’m sure more will come.

But for all of us who are either in…

checking-out-Dorico mode or
can’t-use-Dorico-yet mode, or
still compose in another app and only use Dorico occasionally, or
or are over 60 and already have the head full of key commands from other programs, or
plan to actively keep using multiple programs in parallel for a while, or
have written many software reviews and have become rather stubborn about what the easiest possible UI solutions for complex apps consist of…

(I’m in all those categories, btw!) :slight_smile:

…a more obvious UI is IMHO even more important than some of the features I miss the most. Except real time MIDI recording from an external MIDI keyboard, which is way faster than using key commands. It also allows entering of pitch, length and velocity with only one keyboard click - which, to me, is a more musical way to do enter music than having to do it with a computer keyboard.

While it is true that there are more opportunities for Dorico to be able to set some things via context menus, I would argue that if you were to add everything users may want to do with a particular item, then you would have a massive menu that would make it harder to find anything (and be physically harder to navigate too).

The same goes for dragging - how does the app know if by dragging a bar you are wanting to move it, select it, select the items within it, move the items within it, change the spacing or scroll the page? Every one of these is a legitimate thing that users may wish to do.

Good UI design is hard, and every decision we make has a lot of consideration put into it. Some things are not quite there yet, other things are stabilising. You may not find it intuitive if you are used to the behaviour of other applications but many users who take the time to understand the power of Dorico’s workflow do find it so.

Isn’t that the “Christopher Columbus Method?”

Discover and land?