I'm out

Does anyone have any idea of the percentage of Dorico users who just give up on it in frustration and try something else? I am interested.

No Idea about that. What I do know: I decided to use Dorico after a lot of frustration with Sibelius and Notion and I never looked back. Dorico is a superior product and has a great team of developers and a great forum to get help when needed. So if you need help just come to the forum and get it.


This isn’t much of a constructive criticism, specially considering that you joined the forum just to say this, instead of engaging with constructive discussion, which is the general tone of this forum.
If you have specific feedback to share, I’m sure the dev team is glad to hear. If you have problems with the software, us the users like to help.
Answering your question: I don’t have specific statistics, but I’d bet good money that, if there were, the percentage of users giving up in frustration from the competition to Dorico would be greater than the other way around by an order of magnitude.


Yeah…hard disagree. There was a learning curve for sure, but once I embraced Dorico’s workflow, I dropped Finale like a bad habit.


Hello @Skipoffwork – a sincere and good-wish-infused welcome to the forum, even if you perhaps don’t intend to stick around for long.

I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had frustrations in your use of Dorico so far. Would you like to say a bit more about what specifically were the issues you had, in case it’s possible for us to round off those corners and help you understand the hows and whys of those areas in Dorico?


Thank you - if it’s a criticism - and it wasn’t worded as such - I’m sorry people feel wounded. But I’m still curious -have the developers of Dorico ever attempted to compare the number of people who have downloaded the programme with those who have stuck with it and are using it say, 6 months later? I believe the figure could give them pause for thought. Dorico certainly needs commitment as it is (a) very complex and (b) Unusable without study - there is very little intuitive or user-friendly about it for the novice - it would need a complete redesign.
Having said that, I am actually still using it when I have to, but not because I enjoy it!

We don’t have super-detailed statistics about who is using Dorico after a particular period of time. (We could collect such data, but we don’t.) The data that we do have suggests a reasonably high “stickiness” for those people who buy it, and a pretty high conversion rate for people who download the trial and choose to buy the software later on.

However, despite not collecting aggregated data from every Dorico user, we do talk to individual users in lots of different ways, both here on the forum, on social media, at real-life events, in schools, and so on.

We do our best to provide a lot of help for people who are occasional or beginner users, including (but not limited to) guided tutorial projects to help you get started (accessed via the Learn page in the Hub), a detailed First Steps guide to walk you through a couple of simple projects, dozens of YouTube tutorials (both short-form, focused ones, and longer, more discursive live-streams), an Operation Manual that is designed to be “Google-able” (i.e. type “how do I X in Dorico” into Google, and hopefully the relevant page from the manual will be the first returned result).

However, it’s true that a lot of Dorico’s workflows work best when you have internalised them and you have got them under your fingers. I’m not sure I would consider it a fault, as such, but we have certainly tried to make the software get out of your way as much as possible so that it is fast and efficient to use when you have got it under your fingers. The downside of this approach is that we know it can feel a bit daunting when you don’t yet have it internalised.

What we hear anecdotally from many users is that there comes a point where Dorico clicks for them, and it starts to get easier after that. For people who have got lots of experience of using other similar packages in the past, that point can take a bit longer to arrive, because although Dorico is very logically organised and we try to use a small number of conventions and idioms, consistently applied throughout the application (e.g. in the way shortcuts or organised), if you’ve got a strong mental model for another application in your head, it can be hard to see the logic in Dorico’s organisation when those two things are in conflict.

I’d be very happy to chat to you directly, one-on-one, to hear from you about your experiences with using the software. Let me know if you have time for a phone call or Zoom session, if you have any interest.


The crazy thing about this is that I don’t know of another notation program that has more resources available to learn from. The YouTube Chanel is extensive and friendly, the user manual, while a bit clunky, has lots of good stuff in it, the beginner tutorial guide was a godsend starting out, and this forum has been incredibly generous with advice.

I really don’t have much I could suggest to improve on. The online manual feels a little unintuitive to me (the opening pages of each subject aren’t always super clear and when you’re looking for something specific can be a little opaque), and I’d make the beginner tutorial guide really easy to find for a new user. Otherwise, I think they’re doing it really well.

Onboarding Finale and Sibelius users is way harder to me with the resources available. And try getting Avid to respond to a support question.

Obviously your mileage varies though…


I’ve become so comfortabke with Dorico now, that Ive almost forgotten how to use Finale- a program I used for decades. Dorico is worth the effort, and as others here have said, you won’t find more resources and people willing to help you than this forum and the Dorico team. I’ve never seen such amazing support from any other developer’s products I’ve ever used.


The very idea that you should be able to use a complex piece of software like Dorico ‘without study’ is, in my opinion, flawed. Staring at the screen and absorbing every conceivable workflow from visual cues just isn’t going to happen.

Once you’ve learnt a few basics, Dorico is remarkably consistent, and you can apply what you’ve learnt to other aspects of the app.


I hear you, though.
I had problems in the beginning (Dorico 1), mostly because of 3 things:

  1. Trying to use Dorico like my previous notation software
  2. Dorico being extremely (laptop) keyboard-centric in the beginning
  3. The initial discrepancy between the functional state of the app and the accompanying advertisement from the marketing department…

I fixed 1. by actually going with the flow (sic!) and adjusting to Dorico’s fairly rigid workflow “suggestions”. You may or may not like being forced to work a certain way, but this part of the UX is so very well thought out, that I eventually succumbed.
I got around 2. by buying a Stream Deck and a MIDI (piano) keyboard, which removes many, many complex key commands and frees up several simple letters as usable key commands I can actually remember…:wink:
I’m also using Dorico on dual monitors, which eliminates mode switching.
I struggled hardest with 3. Initially, Dorico couldn’t really do anything particularly useful for me, plus there were ridiculous performance issues that had me scratching my head in disbelief and wondering where in all heavens the (I paraphrase…) “Best notation software ever” was hiding. True, the things Dorico could do at the time, were sublimely realized, there weren’t just many that were of much use to me, personally.
But it led to some kind of “uncanny valley” effect, where I really wanted to use Dorico as the promised full-blown notation package, but got stopped cold at every turn, because the functionality just wasn’t there.
Being disappointed, I actually put the app aside for the better part of a year, to let it mature at it’s own pace.

That has all changed, as I outlined above.

There’s still some niggles, where I feel that the app isn’t as smart as it could be, but I can write anything I need with it, and the output looks great!

Maybe these thoughts help you get to grip with it, I don’t know, but you can always rely on the help of this forum and the dev team!
And you should seriously contemplate taking Daniel up on his generous offer! :relaxed:

Sincerely, Benji


Hmmm. Yes, thank you, this is a friendly space, and I appreciate the offers of help, but I got 50 “likes” for my initial post, which makes me think that I am not alone in perceiving that there is a problem. I am used to using complex software all day, I was writing code in basic before most of you were born, and I sure know how to find my “How?” answer with a decent help manual… But Dorico has frustrated me.

The stats you can see below your post are a summary of the entire thread: the tally of 50 likes at the moment is the total sum of likes given to all posts in the thread, which seem all to be coming from replies, rather than your initial post.


Uhmmm… 50 likes have been given within this thread, with the plurality going to Daniel’s post, on account of it being a prime example of the support you can expect here.


Exactly. Not that anyone really cares about likes, but the original post still has 0 likes as of now.


I suspect there’s a difference between a super user friendly application, and an efficient application when you need to get a lot of work done. There’s room for both, of course.


Hi @Skipoffwork,
In comparison with the other direct competitors like Finale and Sibelius, Dorico is far more intuitive and better organized in terms of workflow. Yes, it has a learning curve, but after that you could achieve amazing results very fast and easily.
There is no perfect notation app, or DAW. The first time I tested Dorico was in it’s 2nd generation, then I become a user a month before the release of version 3.1.
I can say that the workflow was vastly improved in many areas. The guys are working on it with every release, but it takes time.
Keep in mind that I am probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest, Dorico workflow critiques on this forum… and I’m still a Dorico user and member of the community. Daniel, can prove these words of mine. :wink:

don’t take it personally, or offensive, but I doubt that someone here cares when you started codding on basic. It is good that you are having such experience. But makes you more responsible about the topics you are posting here, as well.
So, would be nice if you make your comments more sensible and tell all of us what you are trying to achieve and how do you expect it to be done. :slight_smile: But be constructive in your posts, please!

Best wishes,
Thurisaz :slight_smile:


I do not know of any software company that can or does track when people stop using their software. It’s meaningless anyway. What if somebody pauses for a year and comes back? Besides, usage monitoring like this most people would consider intrusive to their privacy.

You won’t find a more helpful forum than this., with many experienced users willing to give their time and considerable effort making examples and so on for free to others who may be perplexed or struggling. Instead of just making a post saying you are frustrated, if you have not abandoned Dorico, just ask here politely with specific issues and you are certain to get extensive help and guidance.

Not only that, several Steinberg staff members are on this forum, monitor it daily, and give excellent and sometimes long responses, and help with issues from licensing to explicating or updating the manual. You’ll go a long way before you find this with almost any other software.

Dorico is hard because it is a power tool for a large number of sophisticated musical use cases, from film scoring to symphonic works, from string quartets to songs. It’s a type of category error to think it is going to be simple to learn, or ‘intuitive’ (how I dislike that idea that seems to be in every new user’s head [see my posts on this topic elsewhere here.] I’m reluctant to say that is a professional tool and consequently necessarily complex, but it is called Dorico Pro after all.

So, if you want to try to continue, tell us what is ailing you using the program? Others have also displayed their willingness to help you in this thread.


@Skipoffwork Funny that you should choose such a username when you are about to be out the door, which is what your post title seems to mean. :frowning:


for a few days when I was first looking at Dorico, I did find it frustrating – the way it worked wasn’t what I’d expected or was used to from other software. Something told me it was worth persisting though and now I wouldn’t dream of using anything else. As several have said, it’s professional software which requires a bit of effort at the beginning. But the developers and users on this forum are exceptionally helpful in assisting folk get to grips with things and sorting out problems and that in itself would be a reason to choose Dorico, even if it wasn’t simply the best notation software on the market when one adds all the features together.