Hide noteheads in Dorico

Hello there,

I am testing Dorico right now, I work with Finale for almost 20 years and switched to Lilypond four years ago. I thought I should give Dorico a try but there is the first problem: how do I hide several noteheads? I only read in forums and in the manual that one can change noteheads to other types. But I want to delete the heads itself so the beam remains. Imagine a glissando from c to b in a group of 8 16ths, where only the first and the eighth note have a defined notehead, noteheads 2 to 7 have to be invisible. Is there a chance for something like that? I hope so.

Otherwise I cannot buy it, due to it wouldn’t fit to my music.

All the best,

You can “color” the noteheads invisible quite easily : in Engrave mode, select the notehead and in the properties panel (bottom panel, ctl-8 or cmd-8) enable the color switch. Click on the black square that appears, the color editor should pop-up. Change the opacity (or alpha channel) to 0 and you’re done.
Hope it helps

Thanks, that helps a lot!!! Do you know how to draw a line? In Finale I have the Line Tool Box. I want to do something like s.p.-------->s.t.
All the best,

There are no lines in Dorico — yet. But this can be easily achieved, and the workaround depends on what you want to do.
I think you could use an arrow from the SMuFL page (copy the arrowhead, and in Dorico, invoke the shift-X popover, paste in the popover making sure you change the upper right option to Music Text instead of (None) and then place it where needed in Engrave mode). To draw the line of that arrow, you can use a hairpin with an opening of 0.


Thank you so much!

I have done that in a score of mine. But it only works for the full score, is there a way to propagate these settings to the single parts?
There are a lot of invisible notes :confused:
The same applies to whether the text of glissando lines is shown.

You should find that provided you use Propagate Properties when you have the note(s) selected in Engrave mode, the colour property is also propagated to the parts.

Thank you!
What would be the quickest way to do that for every note in one instrument, without changing everything else? crtl + a and then filtering the selection does’nt work.

I would expect Edit > Select More to work, starting from a note.

Great, it works. Thank you so much!

Another way is to create a special noteheads set. In the noteheads set editor, it is possible to set empty noteheads.

I think it is faster to use this than setting alpha chanels

There is a tutorial to create a special noteheads set ?

No, but the Engrave > Notehead Sets dialog is documented in detail in the Dorico 2 Version History PDF.

With Dorico 3.1, I think having stems without noteheads has not yet been implemented. I use it very much, to indicate ribattuto or repeated oscillation, or just a rhythmic passage.

If it is not yet there, I would ask a blank/transparent notehead type to be included wih the next release – if hiding noteheads in Write mode is not easy.


Caro Paolo,

If you have Dorico Pro, nothing prevents you from creating your own transparent headnotes with the headnote editor — unless I’m mistaken. I think that’s what Daniel was pointing to, in the #13 post.

I’m sorry, I’ve read the manual Daniel has mentioned and couldn’t figure out how to create an “invisible” (white) note-head in the Engrave > Notehead Sets dialog. I cannot find color properties there. Can anyone explain me what to do please? And I also join Paolo’s request to implement invisible noteheads to a future release. Thank you!

Can’t one just create a new notehead set (not from a selection) and then double-click and erase the one notehead that’s there? The name of this notehead set will be available in the Noteheads contextual menu and can be used to replace a single notehead or an entire selection of noteheads.

It’s advisable to use ~3 text spaces rather than leaving the notehead entirely empty. Selection of notes in Write mode depends on there being some sort of notehead to select -using text spaces makes this possible.

(Thank you Claude, who pointed this out here: https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=190934&p=1009847&hilit=Spaces#p1009847)

That’s actually quite easy, thank you!

There’s another way to accomplish invisible noteheads (and some other objects):
In the properties panel, turn on the “color” button and click on the color chooser, then reduce opacity to zero.