Getting faster

I admit the only thing I miss about Finale is the Speedy entry (when not using MIDI). I was darn fast, if I may say so.

I’m resisting the urge to map Finale commands to Dorico. I did map the dot on the keypad, but that’s it. And I know it’ll take time to learn any new method. But it is excruciatingly slow to enter notes (again, when I don’t have a MIDI keyboard).

Any advice besides, “just keep doing it”? Do you force registers, or shift octaves after the fact? Other suggestions for best practices as I’m learning?

Definitely shift octaves after the fact, with the shortcut.
I’m still much quicker in speedy too. I’d love to be able to input the note then add accent, dot, accidental etc. Too much mental load.
But…I’m much quicker in Dorico than when I started and adding just about anything else is much quicker than Finale.

I found that the quickest option for me was to re-map the keyboard shortcuts, but not to the same as Finale.

Left hand goes on the main keyboard. A-G and Q are in good places already for left hand typing. Map the other keys that are easy to reach to whatever you use most often. I “unmapped” X and Z from zoom in/out because those aren’t useful to me in note entry mode. so I could re-use them for something I liked better.

Note, Dorico shortcuts are “mode dependent” so the default meaning of X and Z still applies outside of node entry.

Right hand goes on the numeric keypad. I mapped the numbers for note durations onto the keypad from the top row of the keyboard, / * - do accidentals, shift-/ and shift-* do double sharps and flats, and + and - on the keypad do octave shifts without ctrl-alt-whatever multiple key presses.

There are a few more things I re-mapped, but those are enough to give the general idea. If you can type with both hands, the general idea is to avoid multi-key short cuts (with shift, ctrl, alt) and to avoid having to move your hands while typing.

Thanks Rob, that sounds really helpful. I’ll try those mappings.

Do you find yourself using “extra” things in note entry like insert mode, or “increase/decrease note duration (I think it’s ctrl+alt+L/R or something like that)? Some of the things Dorico can do are pretty cool, but I’ve never thought in those terms, so it takes me a long time to stop and think “Is there a better way to do this?”

And entering chords using Q really seems like a pain. I’m wondering if Shift+I would almost be faster.

Shift-I is definitely faster than using Q, in my experience.
In fact, why not remap the Intervals popover to Q?
I’ve not bothered, because I almost always have a MIDI keyboard…

I followed the general principle that if I do something a lot, it’s worth assigning a short cut to it - and if I do it a lot, I won’t have problems remembering what the shortcut was. My current complete set of shortcuts evolved over a few months, I didn’t sit down and try to invent the “best” way all at once.

Much of what I do is fairly light on dynamics and articulations, so for me adding those after note entry isn’t much of a pain. But YMMV of course.

IIRC Shift-I came in a later Dorico update than Q. Maybe I just haven’t bothered to change my working habits yet!

Speed doesn’t necessarily come from the minimum number of keystrokes. The minimum amount of thinking how to do what you want also helps :wink:

Shift+I is pretty spiffy, no doubt. You can specify multiple intervals, above or below, diatonic or not.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that, a) Shift-I can applies to any selection, so if you want to add thirds to a whole line of notes you can do so in one go.

Also, I’ve often found it quicker to type in an extra voice, then grab the whole bar/passage and change to upstem voice 1.

Err, maybe I’m misunderstanding, but how does that work? What about when the melody rises above the middle staff line? Stems up still?

It works like anything else in Dorico - Upstem voice 1 is the default voice. If there are no other voices present it obeys the usual rules of which direction stems should point.

Ah, I misunderstood. You mean you move V2 notes into V1. Is there an easy way to do that?

Also, are custom shortcuts good only for that project? Or are they saved as global preferences?

EDIT: Sorry, I’m needy. :laughing:

Select the bar/passage, then Edit (or right-click) > Voices > Change Voice > Up-stem Voice 1. Or for speed, right-click, type V then C then Enter (don’t question this - just try it!).

Custom shortcuts are global.

Many thanks!

One thing I still miss is Finale’s metatools: being able to click on a note (or drag-select a number of notes) while pressing a key for entering dynamics and articulations. Dorico’s entry of common articulations is quick, especially if you do it on the fly, but entering, let’s say, a number of fortissimos takes a lot longer than in Finale: holding a key and clicking as opposed to selecting a note and 5 keypresses (Shift-D-f-f-Return). I’ve made the process for the common dynamics a lot quicker with a macro program. For example, I’ve set Ctrl-1 through Ctrl-6 to enter fortissimo through pianissimo.

I know, sometimes it’s quicker to copy a dynamic to the buffer and paste it everywhere it’s needed…

No doubt this sort of thing will be added once more of the basic architecture is in place.

I’m doing my first piece ‘from scratch’ - (i.e. not importing from xml). I used to use Simple Entry in Finale (and let’s not get into the ‘which is best?’ debate) - but I could go along and change clef, time sig, key, add artics on the fly pretty quickly.
I’m getting up to speed with entry in Dorico, using tricks like shifting strings of notes forward and backward, reducing or extending the size of a note, etc.

I’ll admit that some aspects of Finale are faster, but I’m prepared to forgive Dorico that, firstly because the sheer range of symbols and texts that are at my disposal relatively quickly is so great, and with such a responsive and consistent interface; and secondly, because once I’ve got the music in, there’s much less to do.

I’m hoping that the Popover texts will be editable for all items in the future.

That’s exactly to the point. Couldn’t agree more.

I also used Simple Entry most on Finale, both for non MIDI and MIDI entry. For MIDI entry in Dorico I created a set of macros to enable all that Finale style entering extras on the fly, all reachable from one single right hand position on the num pad. (Including delete and undo, that I need all the time :slight_smile:

I think that there is hardly any program where you can get really up to speed without some amount of personal UI customisation. Also, with a Swedish keyboard I am kind of used to having to change things in the first place because of the differences in layout…

Select the bar/passage, then Edit (or right-click) > Voices > Change Voice > Up-stem Voice 1. Or for speed, right-click, type V then C then Enter (don’t question this - just try it!).

Thanks pianoleo for the tip about typing the first letter in menus and submenus, that is excellent. It reminds me of the power of the Sibelius 7 ribbon, but still keeping the menu interface.

Thanks Leo ! This letter thing works also on mac, I’m delighted ! This is super fast :slight_smile: