Just getting started and lost already

Actually I did not have a time signature, I was copying an old piece of mine, and had not entered the time signature yet. I also forgot the leading quarter rest. That’s my next quandary…to figure out how to insert the rest at the beginning of the piece.

Yes Rob, overwriting was exactly what was happening. I didn’t understand the little tick marks above the staff, or what value they indicated, and I had no idea of how to create space for the next note…(it was the spacebar trick I hadn’t discovered!)

Thanks everyone for the help! Now, how do I go back to the beginning of this score and add a rest preceding the first note?

Press I (the letter, not number one) to get into insert mode, or click the cursor icon above the “padlock” on the left hand side.

Then select the note duration and the “rest” icon, and click where you want to insert something.

Press I again to get out of insert mode.

I think to add a rest at the beginning of the file, in addition to choosing the Insert and Lock icons and note duration and clicking at the insert point one has to enter a note pitch (any pitch letter will do, since the program will insert a rest).

Thanks Derrek. But I don’t understand:
How do I choose the Insert and Lock icons? (What are they and where are they?)

I can’t find any way to click before the first note. I can click on it, but then whatever duration I select is taken away from the existing notes. It seems like the easiest thing to do is start a new score, put in the needed rest, then copy the rest of the music over from the first score. I wouldn’t bother with this, but when I am working on a new composition it isn’t unusual for me to decide I want to add something before all the rest of the music.

I thought Dorico was going to be easier to learn than this…I’ll get it eventually, but it’s very frustrating, every little step is like pulling teeth! I seem to be able to find things, but can’t figure out how to get them into the score! For example; I tried entering a meter into this score, then wanted to add a bar line. I hit Shift + B, and get the little dialog box above the staff…now what? I found the list of bar lines along the right side of the screen, but again…how to get them into the score? clicking doesn’t work. But this is a premature question. I’ll go dig around in the help files to see if I can find an answer…It just shouldn’t be this hard!!!

To put the Caret (music cursor) before a note in Write Mode, double click where you want it to appear.
To find out what a tool does, hover your mouse over it.

Adding something before music already written is what insert is for, but realize that insert only moves the notes in the individual part. This is not like Finale’s “Insert Measure Stack” that move all measures i the system out of the way. That is still to be implemented (and is on the roadmap).

Dorico has a myriad of tokens, shortcuts, and codes for the popovers. Here are a couple of cheat sheets in spreadsheet form so you can resort them for your convenience.
doricoKeyCommands161225.zip (13.4 KB)
The truth is that unless you read the manuals and follow the YouTube videos and keep up with the postings on this forum, Dorico can be quite confusing. Eventually you begin to absorb Dorico’s logic: I’m finally getting the hang of whether a setting is likely to be in Notation Options, Layout Options, Preferences, or Properties–or available through a right-click on something. As much roll-over help and automation as designers have built into Dorico, it is still both very sophisticated and a work-in-progress. That is why I am using Dorico now: to learn how it works so I will be able to master it when it matures. For production work, I still use another notation program–and that one took a long time to master as well (if one can ever claim to master all aspects of a notation program).

One more thing. To enter a meter into the score, you type SHIFT-M (for meter); then “4/4” gives you four-quarter time, and “4/4,1” gives you 4/4 with a one-quarter pickup measure. You should not have to add barlines manually after that.

And yes, you are right. Learning this is hard. As Dorico develops and people start to see how it is organized and developers get more user feedback, it will probably get easier. But honestly, even after years of development, are Finale or Sibelius (for example) easy to use for a full-scale project if one is new to the program?

Wowee! That’s a nifty trick for a pickup measure! Thanks, that will help a lot.

I am doing the same thing, still working in Sibelius for on-going projects. I didn’t expect to learn Dorico overnight, but the difficulty has surprised me. I find the YouTube videos not much help, as they seem to demonstrate what can be done, not so much as how to do it. Also, the documentation leaves much to be desired. I am reading through, looking for answers, but it’s slow going. I wish they had created some tutorials. Maybe that will come along.

Thank you for your help! You have solved one more step for me.

And this could be helpful too (coming up on Jan 26th 2017)

Thanks Derrek for the Keyboard Commands…going to print it off now. I agree with what you said about learning Dorico now as I do think it will mature into the best package. After a couple of weeks with it now, I’m already doing stuff in layout that I struggled with in Sibelius and that was after years of knowing the program.

Brilliant! Now I have two ways to solve this problem: add a pickup bar or use insert. Thanks, Rob. I really appreciate the step-by-step instruction!