FR - A few Note Input requests

To input notes into Dorico, I use a MIDI keyboard with the Pitch before Rhythm selected and have a couple of requests for possible features in Note Input mode.

  1. Make it possible to toggle Force Duration to always be on. I pretty much never want it off.
  2. Make it possible to input a rest by simply pressing the number key without holding down a note.
  3. Stop the pitch from sounding a second time when you press the rhythmic duration number.

I realize some of these have been mentioned in other threads, but wanted to reiterate them. Thanks for considering it.

  1. Agreed. I go back and forth with this, but I agree it should be an option for those who want it.
  2. This seems like a reasonable option to request and of course is how Speedy Entry works in Finale. In all honesty, I almost never enter rests in Dorico and simply let Dorico handle creating them. This would be quicker when a tuplet starts with a rest though.
  3. Preferences/Play/Recording/Enable MIDI Thru controls the first sounding pitch, and Preferences/Note Input and Editing/Audtioning/“Play notes during note input and selection” controls the second. You can turn off the second if you wish. Perhaps my setup is different, but that seems to work for me.

My first thought was that bkshepard should enter his notes in Finale and then XML them into Dorico with the appropriate import settings for further formatting.

  1. I admit it’s a bit of a struggle coming to Dorico after 30 years in Finale, but I’m making progress. I’m pretty obsessive about how I want my rhythm notated and don’t always agree with Dorico’s choices, so being able to leave Force Duration on would be great since I seem to sometimes forget to turn it back on every time I go into note entry.

  2. As for the rests, unless I’m missing something, I have to take my hand off the 10-key pad to move the cursor to input a rest–and then only by whatever the grid value is. Being able to manually enter any value of rest without removing my hand from the 10-key would be great.

  3. Thanks, I’ll check that out. I hadn’t seen that option. UPDATE: This worked! UPDATE to my UPDATE: while it worked for use in Note Input, it also silenced the sounding of a note when I click on it in other modes. I think I’ll live with the initial issue of having the note sound twice during note input.

You can press “,” and then any number to input a rest with that length. You can reassign the command of course to any other key you like

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I think the one concession to Finale’s workflow I made was to change Numpad 0 to “Advance Caret” (by the current note duration), which effectively adds a rest.

There’s certainly an argument for more Note Grouping options in Notation Options, which would reduce the need for Force Duration.

You don’t need to enter rests unless you need to specify a peculiar combination of smaller rests for a larger period of resting. You can arrow forward or you can press space bar to advance by the current note value; once you enter the next note, the intervening space will be filled by the appropriate rests.

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I have Numpad 0 set to toggle Force Duration. If my right hand is on the numpad, my thumb rests on the right arrow key, so it’s easy to advance the caret by the grid amount.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I had used Finale for so long that it became somewhat like touch-typing. I put one hand on my MIDI keyboard and the other over the 10-key numbers and pretty much never moved them until I had finished inputting the notes. I was really fast at it. While all the suggestions allow me to enter things as I want, they all also require you to move your hand and/or toggle things on and off. While, in most cases, I think Dorico is vastly superior to Finale, that’s one element of Finale that really worked well. Food for thought…

I’m pretty much the same. For 20+ years only used Speedy with a MIDI keyboard and numpad. I have made a few other changes to basically keep the same workflow in Dorico. Like I previously said, I almost never manually enter rests and just arrow over. I have Ctrl+numpad number set to control the grid value. Yes, my left hand has to leave my MIDI keyboard for that, but I can hit the Ctrl key in the bottom left of my keyboard without looking so it’s still pretty fast, and then I right-arrow over with my thumb. I use triplets way more than other tuplets so I have numpad 1 set to start triplet (3:2) input, and 2 to stop tuplet input. Numpad * toggles accidental visibility similar to Show/Hide Accidental in Finale. There are probably others too.

Dorico does give you a ton of flexibility with programming key commands, so definitely experiment with some different shortcuts if you find you are working inefficiently.

Thanks, Fred. Yes, I’ve been experimenting with shortcuts and adjusting my workflow. I’m, unfortunately, still at that stage where I wonder, “Is it something that can’t be done, or is it something that I just haven’t figured out yet?” I appreciate all the input and suggestions!

If you are repeatedly entering phrases for which you need to force duration, have you tried using alt-click to copy the first instance of the whole phrase then lock duration (L) to enter new notes? It’s extremely efficient.

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Yeah, I’ve discovered that one, but it’s more than that. Thanks, though!

FredGUnn, quick question: I see a key command for “Stop Tuplet Input” but the only one for starting a tuplet “;” just opens the popover. Is there a key command that just turns the tuplet button on? I’m not seeing it.

This one takes a bit of hackery. In your user keycommands file, which in Windows is located at C:\Users\yournamehere\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Dorico 4, add the following code to the kWriteMode context:

In general, you can create shortcuts to most items in Properties too this way, even if not officially supported.

Sorry, just realized I might have misunderstood what you were asking. If you only want to start tuplet input, but don’t want to use ; you can assign a numpad option to do that too. For a triplet, you don’t actually need to type in the ratio, just hit the shortcut to start tuplet input, then type 3 (from the numpad if you want), and enter. You don’t actually need to type “3:2” into the popover. I personally just like having a one-click triplet option as assigned above.

I’m sure the team would find it useful to know what rhythms and metres you’re using where you find you always need Force Duration. Can you give some examples?


From my personal list of grievances, LOL:

  1. There’s no Notation Option to get this without Force Duration, which is a very common rhythm in jazz at least:

  2. There should be settings to easily accomplish all 3 of these without Force Duration depending on what the user prefers:

  3. There should be more settings to accommodate 1-2-1 structures. As the eye can clearly discern a bar broken up into a 1-2-1 pattern, many house styles allow for a note value of half the bar to be placed 1/4 of the way through the bar, even though that obscures the midpoint. Examples like this are pretty common:

  4. The rhythm dot setting is too broad to be used without necessitating Force Duration situations. In 4/4 I typically do not use double or triple dots for rhythms greater than the beat, but do use them for rhythms less than a beat. There’s no way to do this without Force Duration:

That’s just off the top of my head, I’m sure I can come up with a couple more situations too.


This one is just wrong too:

There’s a setting to disallow dotted rests, but only at the end of the beat.

Many style guides only allow dotted quarter rests in 3/8, 6/8, etc, and forbid them in 2/2, 4/4, etc, so there needs to be a setting to avoid using Force Duration on the rest here.


Yep, FredGUnn pretty much nailed it. The issue occurs mostly with dotted and tied notes and with longer notes that begin on a weak beat or an offbeat. There are certain cases where it’s perfectly acceptable to use a longer note that Dorico wants to break into shorter tied notes to show the major subdivisions of the bar. I’m not much of a double-dot person either, but those first three examples are ones I run into quite frequently. While I know I can get there with various toggles and key combinations, I would really like to be able to just enter the notes the way I want them without having to go through a sequence of events that take me out of note-entry thinking. And I especially don’t like having to go back and fix what Dorico “fixed” because it thinks I don’t know what I’m doing, I do.

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