Insert mode in open time with arbitrary barlines

I recently completed a transcription project for a friend involving setting the text of a prayer to pitches and loosely notated rhythms.

I must say that Dorico has done a fantastic job handling issues that I wouldn’t even know how to start with in Finale/Sibelius. I didn’t really encounter any problems in the course of the project–I just wanted to offer a couple observations and suggestions to sharpen the workflow even further.

1.) Stemless note heads: Changing stem length to zero in Engraving Options worked very well for the most part. I’m not sure if I missed a parameter, but there were still some occasional “stemlets” visible after this adjustment. A quick clean up in engrave mode was way easier than adjusting each stem individually would have been. After hitting ‘apply’ in engraving options, should I have also removed overrides or something like that? I wonder if adjusting a few stems individually to begin with may have effected the implementation of the engraving rule.

2.) Insert mode in open time: I started by notating pitch content with stemless quarter notes in open time. Then, I added barlines and phrase marking individually (each bar is a different length). Perhaps I should have waited to insert barlines until after I had already changed some quarter notes to half notes in insert mode, but when I added these larger rhythmic values, everything was shifted except the barlines. In general, I think this is a good behavior to have, but it would be cool to have some kind of “local insert” mode (alt+insert maybe?) that increases the size of the current measure and shifts all elements outside of that bar accordingly.

Thanks again for all your great work on this project!

We do need proper stemless notes, and these are on the list to be added in future. You’re not missing anything in the current set of tools available to make this work any less painfully for the moment, I’m afraid.

I also agree on your second point, and in future we will add different scopes for insert mode, so that you can choose whether to insert global time, time for all voices on the current staff, or just for the current voice (as now), and whether or not to grow the current bar. What you can do in the meantime as a kind of ersatz means of growing the bar temporarily is to engage insert mode and then insert a suitable time signature that shunts the next barline on by the right amount, then hide it using the Properties panel.