Is it safe to open 3.5 scores in Dorico 4?

When opening a score in Dorico 4 that was created in version 3.5 a window indicates that the project is automatically updated to the current version. What has to be considered here? Are there new default settings in D4 that might alter the D3.5 layout, which may also include customized items, such as slurs or fingerings? Is it better to keep the versions apart?

Yup, perfectly fine, open it up and it’ll internally convert. AFAIK the layout should be the same (I’m nearly certain this is the case, it would be an issue if wasn’t!), this probably just adds new data fields for settings such as the new Intrument Filters you may set up.

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In theory, yes, all fine. But to be honest and fair, you might run into a bug that we identified. Already 2 users sent us project files that crash the audio engine after the conversion. We are on the case and it should be not so difficult to fix, but still it is an annoyance for the users.
So I’d say for the moment, if possible, make backup copies of your 3.5 projects.

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My slurs look better, apart from that no complaints :wink:

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Update on this: So it turns out that not D4 corrupts the data, but they are already corrupted from much earlier, ancient versions of Dorico. The thing is, those corrupted data just got somehow ignored by all Dorico versions < 4.0 but in 4.0 we changed something, so that it now chokes over those data.
That will make the fix even easier, because we don’t need to track down what could have caused the data corruption, but we just have to detect it and gracefully handle it (basically just like before).
So in that sense it is safe then to load old projects. If there is an issue, it will crash immediately. If not, fine, just continue working with it.


I am impressed that v. 3.5 will actually open scores saved in v. 4.0 with a warning about what happens if they are then saved in v. 3.5. This is pretty unique in modern software, and very helpful!


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I’ve opened 3.5 files in 4, and 4 files in 3.5 already without issue (although I did have one of the cases that caused instant crashes).

So there are no bad compromises here: the old project will either crash or is fine. Thanks for the update!

Yes, that summarizes it very well.

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Another pleasant discovery regarding compatibility is, that the user library (combination of the factory settings and the user changes saved as defaults) established in version 3.5 is still available in version 4. It felt good to see the self-created playing techniques again in the familiar place :blush:

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By the way, we have already a fix for the crash during loading of old projects. So with the first D4 update it will be no issue any more.