How to add a pickup bar

Would it be possible to use the same syntax for pickups that the Bar popover uses for inserting or deleting beats? E.g. 4/4,1q for a quarter note pickup in 4/4? I don’t have any serious trouble with pickups in Dorico anymore, but it did take several trips to the manual at the beginning, and I still have to think hard to come up with the appropriate fraction. Syntax that reflects actual note values would lubricate the process for me, and might help beginners catch on quicker.


I have the same problem. Can’t get a pickup bar for the life of me. And when I see that pickup thing you were just talking about, there’s nothing to make it change. I click it and nothing. What am I doing wrong? And it seems to me there’s a way to open up a new project where you add a pickup bar, but I don’t see it.

Which exact pickup bar do you want? Meaning which time signature and how many beats?

Hi @Suzanne_Demontigny here you find a detailed case-by-case explanation on how to manage the pick-up bar:

Okay, I’m at the beginning of the piece. When I set up the orchestration, it didn’t give an option to have an upbeat. It’s in 3/4 time with a quarter note upbeat. But right now, I have two beats of nothing.

That was absolute Greek to me. How do you activate insert mode?

@Suzanne_Demontigny please use the Manual as a reference (even if in the videos, I showed where it is…) . If you search for “insert mode”, in the search of the manual you will find that the first result is exactly that.

You can change the scope of insert mode by long clicking on the icon and choose the desired scope:

Do you mean that arrow thing?

BTW, that’s the first place I go. I go to you guys as a last resort.

It should be as easy as pressing Shift-M, writing 3/4,1 and then pressing enter.
If this doesn’t give the result you want, please share a screenshot of what you have in front of you either before or after you tried to insert a pickup bar for detailed instructions on how to achieve it in your case.