Key command rationale

This might be covered somewhere else… but I could not find it.

I feel I have gotten very good with Dorico. For the most part because I watched the MOLA video from May 2016 about a thousand times. Daniel was very explicit as to why things were the way they were. Which in turn, helped me to understand how to do something in Dorico, and why.

One thing I have never truly grasped is the use of the ALT key by itself, or the use of SHIFT + ALT, etc. Can someone explain the rationale used as to why at times I use ALT, and then why at other times I use SHIFT + ALT? For instance, is SHIFT + ALT used to lengthen items, versus just ALT used to move items. To me, I fumble around at times with just pressing ALT, when I need to press SHIFT + ALT, or some other combination. And I don’t know if it is just me, but sometimes I feel the use of SHIFT + ALT isn’t consistent in application. But I feel that this is just me not understanding what the rationale is behind when to use ALT versus SHIFT + ALT.

I hope this makes sense.


For instance, is SHIFT + ALT used to lengthen items, versus just ALT used to move items.

That’s exactly the way it is.
No matter if you have a note selected, or a crescendo, or a trill, or a slur… you move it with and lengthen it with +.

And shift (alone) with arrow keys is used to make a selection.

If one thinks that SHIFT “augments” a letter form lower case to upper case and “augments” a selection from beginning to endpoint, one might think that SHIFT+Alt “augments” the length of a note whereas ALT alone does not.

(Yeah, and I get caught by it too sometimes.)

Thanks guys! I appreciate the input. I’ll try to keep this in mind for the future.


Robby, re-reading your post and thinking more about it… My perspective is this: given that Dorico wants to protect users from accidentally moving things, they decided to make us use ALT in addition to an arrow key in order to do so. Because ALT is already “taken” (and MOVES things), SHIFT-ALT is a logical choice of doing a different kind of edit (i.e. to lengthen or shorten things - or moving things in time). I believe software implementation of keystrokes are most likely to take place over time and with a hierarchical approach.

Robby, you and I seem to share a genuine curiosity of the “whys” and Dorico is a fascinating realm in this regard.

All good points here from everyone, but as Estigy points out, (paraphrasing), “it is what it is”.