Idiosyncratic Keyboard shortcuts

Looking to confirm I’m not mad:
While literally 100% of programs I know care about “key strokes” when triggering keyboard shortcuts, Dorico cares about… um… characters?

For instance, in my multi-language keyboard on every program Ctrl+A selects all. Duh. But here’s the nuance, It’s not really Ctrl+A. It’s the Ctrl key, plus the A key, which means it works even when I set the language on the keyboard to… say… Hebrew. (See attached image).

So on my keyboard: When in English mode, Ctrl+A is select all, and when in Hebrew mode, Ctrl + ש is select all, which is no surprising, because it’s THE SAME KEYS (see image again).

This is not the case in Dorico, and Dorico seems to be the ONLY program I know that behaves this way. If I switch my keyboard from English to Hebrew, all of the keyboard shortcuts stop working, because Dorico ignores the actual key stroke combination, and in actuality only recognizes triggered characters.

This is causing a lot of “WTF” moments in my workflow when all of a sudden all of my keyboard shortcuts stop working and it takes me a second to realize “oh, I need to switch back to English”, because I set my shortcuts on the English mode".

Any thoughts why this idiosyncratic behavior (that like I said seems to only exist in Dorico) was selected?

This is a design decision that was made by the developers of Qt, the application framework on which Dorico is built. It translates keypresses into higher-level events that comprise the key that was pressed plus its modifiers, and it (usefully) does this in a way that is aware of the current keyboard language.

I think your best option is probably to spend a few minutes going through the Key Commands page of Preferences adding some additional shortcuts to the things you use most commonly with your keyboard language set to Hebrew, so that both the English and Hebrew shortcuts are present. Please let me know if that doesn’t work for some reason.

This also happens in alternative English keyboard layouts. I use Dvorak-QWERTY, which allows for regular typing in Dvorak but flips to QWERTY when the command key is pressed, allowing for keyboard shortcuts to stay mapped to QWERTY. But thanks to Qt, Dorico doesn’t recognize this flip (there is a very old thread somewhere on the forum that indicates that Dorico and Dvorak-QWERTY work perfectly together; this is actually not the case). For what it’s worth, Microsoft applications also fail to recognize it, but only intermittently—sometimes it does actually work in i.e. Word or Excel.

I have managed over the years with Dorico to just get used to it. Primarily I’m using QWERTY in Dorico anyway for note input. For lyrics I tend to prefer Dvorak, but then the keyboard shortcuts go awry, so I switch back. And sometimes I just go with the wonky keyboard shortcuts; I’ve kind of intuited it all out that way, so at times my brain becomes a huge mess :stuck_out_tongue: but I make it work.

1 Like

Hahaha, Glad to know I’m not crazy! That’s a good start.

Part of the issue for me is that sometimes my keyboard switches language layouts “on it’s own” because Alt+Shift changes layouts on my machine, and some of the keyboard shortcuts on Dorico include this Alt+Shift combination. So I find myself flipping away of my QWERTY layout unknowingly, and then can’t figure out why none of my shortcuts work anymore…

I don’t regularly run Windows here, but when I did I made a point of switching off the Alt-Shift combination for swapping keyboard language, as explained here.

1 Like

This is what I ended up doing. But changing my 20 years habit of how I switch languages to work around Dorico’s idiosyncratic behavior is a little much… but Dorico wins :slight_smile:

I suppose it’s possible that the developers could write a routine that works around Qt’s system of translating keypresses (Daniel has said before something to the effect that all things are possible given enough time and resources), but I presume it’s not worth the development effort for the number of users who operate in multiple keyboard layouts, particularly given the ability to set one’s own keyboard shortcuts.

Yeah, I understand the cause for this now, so it does seem unlikely to change.

actually I like it, bc as I understand it, the ability to combine key commands (in my case cmd-shift-F for all filters and then D for dynamics, N for notes etc.) only works with Dorico actually knowing which key is pressed.

I don’t see how that has to do with it. Can you explain?

I don’t know if it has anything to do with it, but I assume (from my limited technological knowledge) that it COULD.

If you define “Filter selection for Notes” as a sequence of “cmd-shift-F” and then “N”, I don’t see how this could be achieved easily with anything else than actually knowing the typed in characters - but I could very well be wrong.

It’s cool, but I think it’s separate. It’s a question of whether the program listens for key strokes or for characters. But you can use both to achieve what you’re describing.