How to efficiently put slurs in music that has already been entered

If you have a sequence of notes already entered and you want to go back and enter slurs (I know you can enter slurs as you enter the notes, but sometimes entering slurs needs to be done after notes are in), how can you use the arrow keys to move through the notes and, after selecting a certain number of them, hit S to enter the slur on those notes and THEN CONTINUE to select the next note as a start of a new slur grouping? Everything works great for the first grouping, but as soon as I hit S to place the first slur, I loose the focus on the notes and can’t continue to use the arrow keys to advance to the next slur?

I’m sure there must be a way to do this since Dorico has so many input/notation techniques that focus on efficiency, but I can’t seem to figure it out or find it in the documentation. . I bet there’s some additional keystroke that I need…

Try pressing Tab to switch back to having a note selected after inputting a slur.


Every once in a while I come across something I didn’t know existed and is extremely useful! Thanks Lillie!

Thanks Lille. Very helpful (as always)… but I don’t think I have it right yet. After (for example) ‘arrowing’ my way through a group of four 16th notes and placing a slur over them with an S, if I hit Tab, I find that the FIRST note in the previous group of 16ths is selected. This is certainly better than losing the selection altogether, but still necessitating that I ‘right-arrow’ my way through the group of notes I just slurred to get to the first note in the next group that needs slurs added. What am I missing?

You’re not missing anything, Tab will move the selection to another item at the same rhythmic position as the previously selected item, which in the case of a slur references the earliest possible rhythmic position for that item, namely the beginning of the slur.

You can use other methods, such as Ctrl/Cmd-right arrow to navigate directly to the start of the next bar. Depending on the specifics, that might get you closer to your desired next selection point quicker.

If the slur you set, is the last slur for this instrument, you can hit the arrow key to move to the first note after the slur. If there are already more slurs, it jumps to the next slur.

If the pattern of the slurs is always the same you can use Edit > Paste Special > Paste Articulations.

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Thanks to both of you. I have a few more navigation skills now…and moving back to the beginning of the just-slurred set of notes and then quickly right-arrowing to the start of the next group certainly is way more efficient than what I was doing before.

I know the focus of this post is navigation (using the arrow keys), but I’ll mention two other ways that can be pretty quick that involve the mouse.

  1. If the notes are beamed, clicking the beam selects all notes in that beam grouping, allowing you to click once then hit “s” - Done.

Screen Shot 2023-06-07 at 8.38.35 AM

  1. The other way is to select the starting note of the slur, then ctrl/cmd-click the last note of the slurred passage and hit “s” - Done. [Very helpful in long passages!]

Screen Shot 2023-06-07 at 8.37.50 AM

Screen Shot 2023-06-07 at 8.38.04 AM


Thanks! These are both time savers for sure. I started using them as soon as I read your post. Nice!!

The other really useful tools are: alt-click (select a slur, and alt-click to copy it wherever and as many times as you want) and paste special>paste articulations (copy the pattern to replicate, select the target and paste articulations)

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