inconsistent navigation w.r.t. notes and rests

Dear vanmeule,
I am quite surprised you still want the reqts to behave “first class citizen” while it’s been described otherwise (except for explicit rests).
When I navigate through a voice, I certainly would not want the program to change the voice I am navigating into simply because I come across a rest.
Neither would I try to change the voice I am navigating into when a rest is selected because I’ve learned my lesson and rests are “nothing” in terms of produced sound. I have the feeling you absolutely want the software to behave as you would want it. Well, I suppose everybody would want that. But sometimes it’s worth to check whether a little change in the workflow could optimize your results (without having to change your workflow or the software completely). I suggest you do not try to navigate through the rests. Get used to it and your life will be simpler!

I think Dorico’s behaviour is perfectly rational (but that’s hardly surprising). When you navigate left and right you want Dorico to stay in the same voice and not be hopping back and forth between different voices. It is important to select rests in a voice when moving left and right because otherwise whole rhythmic positions, potentially even huge swathes of rhythmic positions, would simply be skipped over and not selected at all. You may need to show the caret at any position in order to input something, so it’s important that you can show the caret there. However, when moving up and down there’s no need to select implicit rests in other voices: you can still show the caret at that position because you’re already at the right position, so to start note input in any voice at any position it’s as simple as showing the caret and typing V to switch to the voice you want to input in.

Moving between staves is different, because in that case again you want to try to select a nearby, or ideally the same, rhythmic position on the staff above or below, and that may necessitate selecting a rest.

At the risk of being presumptuous, have you considered turning on Voice Colors, from View > Note and Rest Colors?

In that case, what is that paragraph about? How and why are you looking at a bunch of black colored notes?

You can include voice colours when exporting to PDF and other graphics - activate “View options” in the Annotations section of the Print Options panel (on the right). This also includes other things shown at the time of export, including signposts.

vanmeule, I confess I find some of this a little prolix.

That said, I do want to know about the problems you are experiencing with Dorico hanging and crashing. So please do Help > Create Diagnostic Report and upload the zip file created on your desktop so I can get a look at the crash dumps and other diagnostic information.

Thanks, please do provide the diagnostics and I’ll be happy to take a look and see what’s going on.

vanmeule, you can see implicit rests. I think you’ve got a bit confused, I’m afraid, which is understandable since you could definitely hear the term “implicit” and jump to the conclusion that it’s invisible. An implicit rest is a rest that Dorico creates to fill in a gap between notes, i.e. a rest that Dorico creates but which you have no control over its duration or vertical position. A rest becomes explicit when you force its duration or its vertical position. But both implicit and explicit rests are visible, and navigable. They are on an equal footing in that regard.

It is possible to remove rests, but what is really going on there is that you are stopping the voice, which means that no further rests are notated. Those rests aren’t implicit: they are simply not there, because that voice is no longer notated.

Hi vanmeule,

To begin with i would suggest you to go to Notations options/Rests and select the “Show every rest in each voice” option, so you can see all implicit rests.

In the step 3 of your example you are assuming that the note in the “down stem voice 1” is selected, but actually the number in the tablature is selected, if you then press the up arrow the note in the staff will be selected (do not forget that the orange color shows the selection, in your step 3 the note in the staff change to another color -not orange- since is associated with the actual selection, i guess).


Opening your file in 3.5, I have no problem making the circle you describe in 1-9. 7 and 8 works as expected here. Other than that, I believe there’s two important things that might seem inconsistent, though they are certainly not.

  1. You cannot navigate between a note in one voice and an implicit rest in another voice. Neither way. In your step 3, it looks like you can, but you’re actually moving the selection to the staff below. Notice how the note is blue and the tab number is orange. This might feel a bit restrictive, but I don’t think it has any real downsides - just invoke the caret, and you’re good to go.

  2. Dorico has a mechanism to consolidate rests of the same duration in different voices. This is an incredible useful feature, and I believe it is in one of the important factors that makes the default output of Dorico so much better than that of competing software. This is well explained in the manual, and you can easily disable the behavior in Notation options > Rests. When you navigate ‘through’ the rest hidden by this rule, it is actually selected, but the selection won’t show (I believe this is due to the fact that ‘hidden’ items aren’t drawn at all, unlike Sibelius where hidden items are drawn opaque, which makes them affect spacing. This is also a very good thing). You’ve already noticed how you can navigate through hidden rests (and it actually gives a readout in the status bar), and you can still change its properties in the bottom panel. This way, you can override the consolidation rule on an individual basis by using the ‘Rest pos.’ property. This is all very useful behavior - powerful, customizable and perfectly consistent.

vanmeule, would you please do Help > Create Diagnostic Report as previously requested so that I can get a look at your crash logs?

Thanks for the diagnostics. As you rightly point out, there are no crash logs in there. You need to enable a registry setting to make Windows create mini-dump files when an application crashes; please follow the procedure under “Dorico is crashing. What do I do?” in the sticky FAQ thread, and then next time Dorico crashes you should find a dump file is created and will be included in the diagnostics file if you regenerate it.

Thanks for the heads-up about the missing help redirect; we’ll take care of that as soon as we can.

Dorico SE does indeed not have Notation Options; it only has Layout Options.

When I played with Vanmeule’s example file I wasn’t terribly impressed by the alleged inconsistencies, they don’t bother me.
But I did find a real quirk: select the first note in the top voice and press arrow-left repeatedly. The selection will go back and forth between the first note and the rest after it. Then try with the first note in the lower voice selected. Pressing arrow-left will select the rest on beat 2 in the top voice (and after that the first situation will repeat). Not serious, just weird.

I wouldn’t call the original piano version of Pavane pour une infante défunte “really convoluted” at all. It’s just typical piano music with two voices (up and down stems) on each staff.

The only thing that might trip you up is that except for the first and last groups, the “grace notes” are not actually grace notes, but just part of the normal rhythm written in small notes.

Since both voices on each staff are in use almost all the time, there will be hardly any rests to worry about in any case.

There is nothing “inconsistent” going on here. You are ignoring the fact that down-arrow is moving the selection from the top staff (notation) to the bottom staff (tab). The orange symbol is what is selected. The blue symbol is something linked automatically to the orange.

You can’t “move right to the rest” on the tab staff, because there isn’t a rest to move to. That’s all there is to “explain” about what is going on!

vanmeule, I ask you to please consider toning down your responses. There’s no need to call out other posters as:

…either ill informed, or not being scientifically honest.

It’s evident that you don’t like this behaviour, but don’t you think you’re being just as guilty of iconoclasm as you are criticising others who don’t agree with you? Nobody in this thread is talking about “Kool Aid” or is telling you that anything you’re saying is incorrect, or calling or implying that you are “just plain stupid” or anything of the sort. They’re simply pointing out that the behaviours you find problematic don’t trouble them.

I agree it would be nice if you could navigate up or down from an implicit rest to a note in another voice. I will take a look at that in due course.

In the meantime, if using Dorico is giving you this much anguish, perhaps it’s not the software for you? If, on the other hand, you think that Dorico is actually pretty good, in spite of the problems it has for your way of thinking and working, then I would encourage you to moderate your tone a bit, as you’ll probably find a little less push back from other members of the community. I think there’s a general desire for consensus and for coming together in this community, and you could play your part in that. Thanks for your consideration.

I must confess, Vanmeule, that I was teasing you a little… Obviously, it’s dangerous to try and convey mild irony in a forum post, and I apologise for not having made that clear enough. I absolutely didn’t mean to imply you’re wrong altogether. But still, I think you’re overreacting a bit, about a fairly minor issue IMO. To be (scientifically) honest, I really don’t care that much about this little bug.

There are definitely some inconsistencies in the behaviour of the arrow keys, and the dev team will look into them. You found a reproducible case, which might help Daniel and his team to fix it. That’s a good thing, so thank you — unironically. Yet, I can work around this one easily. There’s no data loss, ugly typesetting or other serious problem involved. I can live with it.

IIRC, making rests ‘second-class citizens’ was one of the brilliant ideas of the developers from the very start, long before Dorico 1 was released. Just let Dorico literally fill the gaps on its own, which it does almost flawlessly. That basic principle saves us all a tremendous amount of time, and it’s not going to change anytime soon (i.e. ever). It’s no use fighting it.

I’m sure you looked inside the Windows Registry key provided before you added it to your Registry, in which case you will have seen that the configuration change necessary is not for Dorico, but for Windows itself. I don’t know why Microsoft do not provide any user interface for changing this setting, but it’s Microsoft you need to talk to about that, not us.