How to download and use the PDF version of the Operation Manual

As a newbie, I have found the main documentation to be very well done. However, I do have difficulty navigating within it.

I notice that some applications, for example Affinity Photo, have a fixed table of contents panel on the left of the help document, so that one can easily jump back and forth between the text and the table of contents.

In Dorico, I must first find the desired entry in the Index or Table of Contents, which requires looking through many pages, and then if the entry I go to is not what I am looking for, the back arrow doesn’t take me back to where I was, so that I have to start the process all over again. This grows wearisome and one begins to resort to Google searches as mentioned above. Perhaps there is a better way that I am missing?

I did wonder about the necessity for explanations of basic terms, as if the software were designed for someone with no previous knowledge of music. In one case, the definition is not quite correct: “Grace notes are notes without a fixed duration, which are intended to be played quickly.”

And since the document seems to be divided into two main parts, I think that this and the organization of the Notation Reference section could be shown more clearly in the Table of Contents.


Where are you accessing the manual, as the online webhelp or in a PDF?

Either way, you should find that there is a TOC on the left of the webhelp once you’re viewing any page (e.g. here), and likewise for PDFs, although its visibility depends on showing it in the app you’re using. The left-TOC has disclosure arrows that let you expand sub-topics.

You should also find that pages have links at the bottom to related pages; if something has been alluded to but without much detail, there’s a good chance that detail is on a separate page and is linked at the bottom.

Thanks so much, Lillie. I am glad I asked! I was using the PDF version on Safari. Perhaps there is way to show a navigation panel in that version? I am on a new OS and computer and a little at sea.

In any case, the webhelp has what I am looking for. For some reason, both versions come in at 300% or more on my monitor and it is hard to make out what one is looking at, so the webhelp didn’t appear to be the manual at first sight and I went to the PDF.

John, you can install Adobe Reader on your Mac, it’s really good for reading pdf’s and has a sidebar showing all the pages so e z p z to navigate them.

Thanks for the tip, Rob. I no longer have access to Acrobat, so I guess that is what I need to do, as good as Preview seems to be.

Actually the only way I could download a PDF of the manual was to print it to PDF and then the page numbers don’t work to take one to the locations. And the only sidebar that I could find are the thumbnails in Preview. So the webhelp version seems to be the best way to go at this point.

You don’t need Acrobat Reader to view Table of Contents in Preview. You can see those in the side-panel, just as in Acrobat.

However, if you’re looking for a third-party PDF viewer, I recommend Foxit Reader.

There is a dedicated PDF version on the landing page when you click “Dorico Help” under the Help menu in Dorico.

The only way I could download the PDF from the Dorico Help window in Safari was to Print the manual to PDF. Then I could see a side thumbnail of each page in Preview, but not a Table of Contents for navigation, nor did the page numbers work for taking one to the desired location. There must be a better way to download the Manual in PDF form that I am missing.

Yes, that was the version I was using. But I see no sidebar with a Table of Contents.

The Webhelp has what I was looking for, but at first it was not clear to me that it was the actual manual because its initial appearance. Here is an example from Affinity Publisher. To me it is immediately clear that this is a manual with a navigation sidebar since I immediately see the layout with text and sidebar:

On this page there are buttons to get the PDF, in various languages. When I click one, Safari first displays the PDF onscreen, that’s true, but if you then hover the mouse in the lower part of the window a few buttons appear. The one on the right will download the PDF to your default Downloads folder.

Schermafbeelding 2022-08-17 om 15.32.53

Apple’s Preview has a command to show a Table of Contents. It is in the View menu. The keyboard shortcut is Cmd-Opt-3.
Some PDFs will automatically open up with the table of contents showing, with others just displaying the first page of the document. I suppose it depends on how it is saved - I know that Adobe Acrobat (which is designed to create and edit PDFs, as opposed to Adobe Reader which is principally just a PDF viewer) has various options which can determine, for example, if a PDF opens in full-screen view, displays a table of contents, displays at a particular size, has scrolling enabled, displays in 2-page view, etc.

Here is Preview’s sidebar, with the different options:

The sidebar options are also in the View menu.

Manual or no, this is fairly clear that this is worth looking through?

Right click on the link and choose “Download Linked File”. That should work.

Apropos of Affinity: they use Apple’s Help Viewer app, which annoyingly stays in front of every other window. I’ve just bookmarked the internal files that these Help pages use in Safari, so I can view them there.

Thank you PjotrB, stevenjones, Ben, and notesetter! What great help one can get here, even for very basic things. I had forgotten the control bar that appears when you hover. It seems a little different in OS 12 from OS 10.12, but I may be mistaken.

Anyway, now the Table of Contents and page numbers work in the PDF; they don’t from a printed PDF. I do prefer deal with the whole document in PDF form rather than piecemeal, so this helps a lot. Thanks again.