Invisible Elements

It is possible to pressing any command-key to do invisible any element: rests, notes, dynamics…? Other apps have this function and it’s more easier…Thanks!

Why do you want to hide them? What are you trying to achieve?

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: For meany reasons (tempos for example). So, this option it’s in element’s preferences, but I think it would be a good option to create the same command key that allows you to do that in all the elements with this function.

If you want a tempo that takes effect in playback but does not appear in the music in Write mode, create it in the Time track in Play mode, which is created for this express purpose.

Also, it’s true…

Actually, I have been wondering this from the very start… I think I pre-purchased before the initial roll-out… Would it be possible to have a universal toggle/checkbox to make invisible any of the notational elements (stems, beams, rests, noteheads, barlines, accidentals etc.). I find the Properties dialog sort of fussy with mixed results. For example, I removed stems from a short excerpt but was left with the beams and no way to get rid of them - plus, I couldn’t return the stems to try to rid myself of the beams except possibly on a one by one basis. Not very practical.
Changing the colour of rests to make them go away while leaving the space they once occupied with their ghost on the stave is real “duct-tape” business…

I do not see what the resistance is to making this (simple?) feature possible.

And for the benwiggy’s of the board: there are some very interesting books about modern notational practices that cover in a systematic way all of the instances where you might want to remove an element entirely or alter it.



Hi Sherlock.
Hiding stuff is a recurrent topic in the forum. No, there’s no universal command for it.
When you change the color of rests, you might want to try to alter the opacity (or alpha channel on PC) rather than color them white.
Hope it helps!

Bonjour Marc et merci,

I discovered the opacity shortly after I posted and that certainly works for rests and is reasonably facile.

As far as you know, is there any plan to address the unmet need in future updates?
I know they got to the figured bass and probably need to expand the Gregorian chant neumes but…

The program is intricate and -mostly- elegant and exceeds the alternatives in so many ways… except this one. I can’t imagine that it is a programing function more daunting than the ones they have already vanquished.

Thanks again and here is hoping for this functionality in Dorico 4 (3.7 would be better!),


It’s not about it being daunting to program. It’s about it being at odds with Dorico’s design ethos: Dorico handles pretty much everything semantically.

What’s the point in a tempo mark if the player can’t see it? What’s the value in hidden rests that mean that a bar doesn’t add up (and bear in mind that with the exclusion of percussion kits, rests can be removed using Edit > Remove Rests)? What’s the value in hidden dynamics if the player can’t see them?

There’s already a solution for rests, which is to end the voice and restart it later (which is what Edit > Remove Rests does).
There’s already a solution for dynamics, though if you want a dynamic purely for playback purposes you’d generally be better served if you drew it in in Play mode.
There’s already a solution for tempo markings, and again you’re better served in Play mode if you want them purely for playback purposes.
There’s already a solution for playing techniques, which can be hidden locally or globally.
There’s already a solution for stems (which, certainly every time I’ve used it, has also hidden the beams. It’s also not terribly difficult to select a passage of noteheads and then untick their “Hide Stems” property, as long as you know that this property lives in Engrave mode.)
There’s already a solution for text, which can be hidden locally or globally.

If you want other board users to read them, please post some links.

Hi Leo,

Design ethos? Spare me.
I’m into the functionality and time-saving ethos…

Yes, it removes rests and the space (ie. time) that they once occupied. Proportional notation… it’s been around for a while.
Saying that “a bar doesn’t add up”: doesn’t matter when there is no bar, does it?

Sorry, but when one drags and selects a passage and catches one wrong thing, the Properties window fails to even show the Hide Stems toggle. Not useful. All of these above solutions have:

Too many steps.
Too many buried menus.
Too much fussy fussing around selecting one passage/then deselecting unwanted elements that frustrated the appropriate menu appearing.
Too much individual note head clicking.

If you like spending all day clicking note heads while holding Cmd, knock yourself out. I don’t.

Also, for instance: Why in Notation options: Barline: Default barline type is there simply not “No Barline” . There is “No barline at the end of Flow” but not “No barline”.

It is clearly not a programming problem.

Presumptuousness about what other people need/or not and zealotry aren’t helpful but I appreciate your list of what is possible to make disappear all of with which I was already familiar.

I have been using notation programs since 1988 (Finale when it first came out on a Macintosh Plus) so I’ve done my fair share of clicking selecting and dragging, thanks,


Select one notehead then type the shortcut for Select More. You’ll see the correct properties every time.

Hi Rob,

Was more of a rhetorical device.

Why would I post links about a subject in which the board user clearly has no interest?

Here are a couple:


Sherlock, I’m intrigued by your comment about not wanting barlines at all - is this so that you could have time signatures with barlines (even if invisible) to control note grouping? Because (although I’m sure you’re already aware of this) you don’t have to have any time signature in Dorico, you can have none or an “open” one which never shows barlines until/unless you explicitly input one or input a new time signature at some point.

As to “why is there no ‘no barline’ option for a default barline”, again, it comes down to Dorico handling things semantically.

I can only speculate that the Dorico answer to this will eventually be a fully-fledged approach to unmetered and aleatoric music, not to provide easy means with which to hide a barline.

Hi Lillie,

Thanks for your response and yes I was very happily aware of/using that feature of Dorico but as you posited, in this case, was maintaining note groupings from an imported midi file. I think in the end I’ll go with the barline between the staves option which will do just fine.

As I said before, the program is far more robust that any other…
I’m not really very particular about notation generally, actually.
Just trying to bring the performers to a different place, aesthetically.

That can threaten some people. I’m used to it!

Thanks for your attention regarding this,


If you want an easy way of hiding barlines, using dashed barlines then globally setting the dash length to 0 is quick. It’s something I’ve needed in educational examples (‘draw in the barlines’ type exercises).

Yes, thanks, I was already using the select more command.

Select some note
Select more notes
Open Properties
Toggle stems

Or what about this:

Click Edit
Go to Stem menu
Click (Hypothetical) No Stems

Anyway, thanks Leo, for your kind attention to this obviously tiresome matter, and my deviant ethos!


Well, I already have both of those. And I was hoping “modern notational practices” meant something a bit more modern than “written 30 years ago…” (i.e. Gardner Read).

Still, if you aren’t taking this thread very seriously, I’m happy to do the same.

PS Just for curiosity, I searched the e-book version of Gould for the word “hidden”. It occurs precisely once, in a sentence that reads “this information should not be hidden”.

And there are no occurrences at all of the words “hide” or “hiding” in Gould.

Hey Rob,

I just thought, given the attitude of the poster, that the Gardiner book (the other is newer, no?) might be a place to start.
Really, I only posted them because you were asking.

I don’t need or use those books, frankly.
I’m sure you’re resourceful enough to make up your own scoring conventions, too.

But you just go and have a lovely day now, won’t you?

I’m sure you will,