I don't like the new locked items in the Elements menus

I’ve been enjoying using Dorico Elements and getting to know the features after trying out Dorico SE. I really don’t like the new locked features in the various menus in the latest update. I’m aware that Elements has some limitations but it’s features are more than enough for me to work with at the moment. If there is something it can’t do I can accept that and work round it. It doesn’t feel lacking in any way. However now when you go to the Library menu all the options in Pro appear with about 50% locked. If I click on a locked item I get a marketing advert. I could perhaps see the reasoning in SE as it’s free software and is a chance to try out some of the features and get people to use the software. However, I’ve paid for Elements and don’t need reminding that to get all the features of Dorico I need to pay a substantial increase in price compared to the cost of Elements. The cost to upgrade to Pro is currently £308.25 and that’s with 25% off. The advert reminds me to “Hurry - this offer ends soon”. It doesn’t seem in keeping with the welcoming community Dorico has created. We’re constantly bombarded with marketing every day - please don’t add it to Dorico. Can someone direct me on how to roll back to the previous version?

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Thanks for your feedback, @gps. We certainly debated this in the team over the last little while. Dorico Elements is absolutely designed to be sufficient for many use cases, and indeed we have consistently added new features and capabilities to it with each major update, so it is a very capable application. We don’t want any Dorico customer to feel like a second-class citizen, and certainly not our Dorico Elements users. So we will take your feedback on board and think about this further.

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Thank you for taking the time to reply.
I was very happy with everything in the last version and would still like to roll back to that version if possible.

You should be able to do that, yes. If you let me know whether you’re on Windows or macOS, I can send you the installer for Dorico 5.1.21.

I have a different take. I kind of like being able to see at-a-glance where the differences lie. What I would suggest is why not add a preferences switch to hide/unhide unavailable features. That would clean up the UI but still make it possible to see what’s missing if I want to.


Of course the first time you are presented with lots more disabled features is a bit unpleasant. But I find it’s easy to get used to such things, and seeing the unavailable commands can even help you understand how things are intended to work.

Thanks I’m on Windows

For me other than seeing the Hub I don’t like to have marketing as part of the software I use. Marketing is now embedded in the user interface within Elements. When I click on a locked item it doesn’t give me any more information and help me understand how things are intended to work but gives me an advertisement to buy another product.
I’ve got other notation software that I use but have started using Dorico to do some of the things I need, but this has put me off.

I also want to add that when I read yesterday that you are doing this in order to “help” your customers to know what they could be missing out on, all my BS detector alarm bells went off.

It totally feels like marketing BS to hide the fact that you want your customers to pay more for better versions.

Sounds like very aggressive upselling that you want to try to frame as “helping your customers”. Completely wrong decision in my view.

There are regular questions here about whether you can do things in Elements and SE.

This does nothing more than show people what they’re missing out.

Sorry it doesnt. It shows items that are on the drop down lists that are locked. Thats all. If you click on one you get a pop up advert to upgrade to Pro. Forum reqests tend to be more specific.

Largely in agreement with @Estigy here.

When I read about this is in the Release Notes yesterday, I literally shuddered with a sense of dread. Complete throwback to those bad ol’ days (CorelDraw and PaintShop, even of Microsoft etc) trying similar ‘upselling’ techniques… all were swiftly dealt a high amount of scorn and dislike from users as I recall. It was soon reversed.

I get it though; you’re keen to let folk know of ‘what they could’ve won’ so to speak. But to go one further and directly take someone out of the moment with a purchase option, is kind of brutal in my view. Yes, it is user choice to actually click on one of those locked menu items. But still…

A hover-over tooltip with brief info about the item coupled with a weblink, should the user wish to go off to explore more, might be a reasonable alternative.

Or, you could have the menu items there by all means, but are simply locked and greyed out… less ‘intrusive’ visually and one would soon learn their intended message and purpose.

Anyway, just giving some feedback - glad to read you are all thinking further on this internally.

Well - the ‘complaint’ being made here is that the purpose and function of these is to literally do more than that. Either of my suggestions above, would provide exactly what you say without the baggage…

It’s curious to see how a genuine proposal to upgrade “if you want” is met with so much resentment, while much more subtle adverts that we are bombarded with every day get close to no reaction, just silent surrendering (and that’s exactly what those ads are designed for).
I believe the lesser evil solution would be to have the popup show maximum once per session, with the locked buttons simply doing nothing afterwards. Additionally, a “do not show this again” checkbox could be added to the popup window.
No reminder is needed about Dorico asking (not withdrawing automatically!) for upgrade money once every 18 months on average, and with a gazillions new features, fixes & improvements given away just for free.


Let’s pin this message somewhere the next time someone asks for differences between versions.

You call it resentment - its my opinion. If I had a pop up every session - forget it - I would use something else. Anyway Ive said my views and Daniel has sent an installer for the last version so thats great.

I can understand both sides. I changed my virus scanner a year ago and since then I have been regularly reminded that there is also a version with additional features. This message pops up at regular intervals and I can’t turn it off. It would now be time to renew the normal subscription, but I will return to my old virus scanner for this reason alone. In this respect, I would like to see the solution proposed by @bill0287, where the notifications about the additional features of the Dorico Pro version can be switched off.

I like the idea of being able to switch off the extra, locked options; but that wouldn’t annoy me nearly as much as the practice some software manufacturers (like Final Draft) have of sending me emails to upgrade to a version of their product I already have. I wonder what the point of registering the software is if they cannot limit promos to those who do not already own the software.

this seems to me to be the best option. I do understand those who feel we are moving in a marketing direction – obviously all software vendors want to sell you their product (and of course as a Pro user, I was myself sold long ago) but the current approach will likely alienate as many users as it encourages.

I’m with you there. Even the red badge in the Hub is another distraction to deal with. I’ve only ever used Pro, so I hadn’t actually seen the effect. In my comment (#6) I was going by my experience with BBEdit (plain text editor for Mac).

BBEdit lets you use all its pro features for 30 days, and thereafter reverts to Free Mode, in which those commands show a :star: next to them. When you choose one you get a low-key dialog explaining the situation. I find I don’t need those functions enough to purchase a Pro license. But I can check them out again every time there is a free update. In the title bar of every window there is a little “Free Mode” button which pops up the dialog for purchase options. It’s all easy enough to ignore.

I, too, strenuously avoid anything resembling advertising while running software. It’s about all I can do to ignore the tiny ad banner at the bottom of my phone screen on the main menu of my favorite Sudoku game.