Is "Undo" sometimes a little too specific?

Seems like I have often to press CtrlZ a great many times to, well, undo anything significant. Looks like each and every step of navigation and selection is its own undo step. One note is not so bad, but going backwards for two say…

… press once to undo note (pitch)
… press once to undo duration
… press once to undo note input
…press once to undo select 2nd note
… press once to undo second note’s pitch …
… press once to undo second note’s duration

That might not be the exact steps, but that’s the general gist of it. What seems to me is that for each material change to the score that you want to undo, there are several key presses. What I’m wanting is to undo a material score change. Walking through each step sometimes feels like working with a kid who is being deliberately dense and obstructionist whom you told to take out the trash. :slight_smile:

I missing something? Other people feel differently?

I recall this came up before on the forum. Yes, Undo is quite comprehensive. I’m used to it.

I value the specificity. Sometimes what I want to undo is indeed something as fine-grained as choice of duration. And while it’s always possible to press control-Z more times if one wants to go further back, it’s not possible to press it half a time if it were programmed the other way. So I hope for this to stay the same; it matches the way I think about my choices.

Maybe there could be two types of undo. One would be any change to the score. The other would be any human input to the program (I.e. what it does now).

As you will - I guess I am used to it until I want make a slight change to the last note of a phrase on 32 staves, and then decide I didn’t like the result.

At that point, to take rubberfingers’ suggestion, and if the current undo is indeed valued, maybe a view into the undo stack would be useful to choose a point in time to go back to… I could use a backup file or save it off to another flow, but I feel like my example is:

  1. Too short to be time effective to use a backup or copy (takes a while)
  2. Too labor intensive to do the current way (takes a while)
  3. Common-ish

BTW @rubberfingers - I’d nominate you for best screen name 2020.

I’d love an option to have undo work on material changes only. Even better to have both that and the existing behaviour both available as shortcuts.
I reverse with undo in other apps a lot without looking, but it’s rarely useful (to me…) in Dorico because I have to watch like a hawk while I’m pressing it 8 times to get back to where I was.

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Wouldn’t the addition of an “Undo History” option (such as some software has) to the present functionality satisfy both points of view?

Actually i borrowed the idea from my hiking and cycling user name, rubberlegs. That’s what happens after too many miles.

I totally agree with Steve Parker. I’ve been using Dorico for a few months now and I still can’t get used to the fact that undo works differently than in most software.
I think undo should restore an edit, not a selection.
Basic key combinations like ctrl/cmd-s, ctrl/cmd-c, ctrl/cmd-z etc. should work the same as in other software.

It’s so useful when you Cmd/Ctrl-click a bunch of stuff in order to e.g. set the same property for them all at once, and mis-click. I’m not disagreeing with the feature request but I wouldn’t want to lose the existing functionality.


I like the fine-grained undo function. In Dorico, it doesn’t apply to actual changes, but to steps in your workflow. Yes, sometimes that implies having to step back a few more steps, but I got used to that quite fast.


I wouldn’t know. I don’t make mistakes. image

I cast my vote to NOT to change the current behaviour. I beg the team not to do it. An idea for an improvement would be to have an Undo list for when there are a lot of changes to undo.


Photoshop has a History pane which records each move, and you can revert to any particular state. It’s a lifesaver, because it is easy to get in a mess with such a powerful program. Having said that, I don’t see that it would be appropriate for Dorico as the fundamental architecture is different in concept. PS also has undo. I only mention it by way of comparison.

If we are canvassing user opinion, I think the current undo function is just fine, and would not like to see any change in that function.

ps: reading the thread more carefully I see @Rinaldo has alos mentioned this point already.

From my experience with Sibelius (since 2001) and Dorico, I am certain this will never change.

I love the existing undo functionality. I use it all the time while selecting notes etc. I do agree that there should be a way to undo actual edits to the score faster.

I am very curious why it might be useful to undo a selection. With shift or ctrl/cmd you can easily adjust a selection, so why would you want to go back in the selection?
Maybe there’s a nifty method I’m not familiar with.

It is too easy to click in the wrong spot and accidentally deselect everything you’ve just carefully assembled. Undo saves the moment.


And this is specially pertinent to Dorico because it’s very common to make very specific selections of sparse items that cannot be selected otherwise. Undoing also permits to apply different operations to the same material in order to choose the best options (transpositions, for instance).

it would be enormously useful to have an History list if it could be populated with things which are actually meaningful. This would be the best solution but I can imagine it would be far from trivial to implement. Failing that, an option to either include or exclude select actions from an undo list has already been floated and I believe is under consideration. The system as it is works but drives me crazy.