Lock force duration on

Is there any way to lock on the Force Duration setting? For my work I basically need it on more or less permanently, and it’s a bit annoying that it turns off all the time. Understandable design,. but it would be great to have such an option - if it does not exist already.


No, there’s no such option at present.

In practice it’s not an issue because I just make an Autohotkey macro that starts note input and turns on force duration at the same time. I was only reminded of this point as I have moved my workflow to a snazzy fast notebook and had forgotten to setup my AHK files.

1 Like

Is the option planned?

Dan wouldn’t know, John. But no, the option is not currently planned.

It might be useful to describe exactly how/where “non-Forced Duration” fails you, as it may be possible/easier/more likely for additional Note Grouping rules to be included, which would fix the problem without Force Duration.

1 Like

Here are two examples I encounter often. Dorico groups the notes differently depending on if they are followed by a rest or not. This doesn’t make a difference to me and I’d rather have these grouped the same way. Perhaps there are settings I could change, but I don’t think I’ve found any that don’t have negative affects with other rhythms.

BTW, Reset to Factory results in this which is unnecessarily fussy:

1 Like

With regard to the longer rhythm, whenever this pops up on the MET group, the consensus seems to be moving towards this:

I personally don’t care for this, and would rather see beat 3 if only two notes are used, but if there are going to be options here, I’m sure someone will want a way to do this by default too.


Another case that I encounter frequently is two dotted quarter notes in 3/4; by default the first note is a dotted quarter, the second is an 8th tied to a quarter. That might be correct technically (to differentiate 3/4 from 6/8), but I find myself continually resorting to Force Duration to change the second note to a dotted quarter note. It just doesn’t look right.

And if you want to make these two notes into a tremolo, it is impossible without Force Duration.

[edit - this has already been discussed in other threads - Tremolo on dotted note - #3 by MarcLarcher]


Actually, two dotted quarter notes in 3/4 is only acceptable if there is another voice displayed in that measure that defines the three beats, as occurs in a lot of piano music, or if the measure is actually to be played in 6/8. Perhaps those are the cases that you are dealing with.

More generally, the issue posed in the OP could be solved by allowing users to specify preferences regarding the notation of specific rhythms. Or more simply, an option to keep Force Durations on all the time for those who need that.

An option for keeping forced durations would be very useful in some circumstances. This is one of very few things about Dorico that I find problematic in my work. I often transcribe music and it is best if things are notated exactly as I enter them even if they are not “correct”. This makes spotting transcription errors while proofreading much easier and more reliable. I would very much like to have Forced Duration not turn itself off as an option. It’s too easy to forget.

1 Like

I likewise wouldn’t mind a “sticky Force Duration” function, for similar sorts of transcription work.

1 Like

Force duration is sticky! Invoke caret, press o and all future notes will be forced, until you leave note entry mode…

1 Like

Oops, I should have gone on—I know it sticks until I leave note entry mode. But when I double-click elsewhere to place the caret somewhere else to enter more notes, it switches off.

My usual workflow: enter upstem voice 1 for a while (like maybe 20 or 30 bars), hit Command-G, Return to quickly go back to measure 1, and then double-click there and hit Shift-V to start up downstem voice 1. But the double-click switches off Force Duration, so I have to remember to re-invoke it.

So, it would be helpful for me if Force Duration were to stay on until I turned it off myself.


To be honest I’ve never understood why Force Duration isn’t sticky, but Insert mode, which has the potential to catastrophically destroy your project, is. I’d love to see Force Duration be sticky and have the option to remove that functionality from Insert.

(Yes, I know Insert is much improved in D4, but it’s still dangerous, especially if accidentally invoked and the stop hasn’t been set.)


I also have problems when inputting baroque rhythms, which are often notated differently than Dorico wants them to be, though perfectly clearly understood by the sightreader. Consequently, I spend a lot of time forcing them back to what the composer used and what I want. Admitedly, i can copy the first example when it repeats; but it would be nice to have a switch that forces Dorico to do what I tell it, even if I am deemed to be wrong, that will stay in that position!

It’s a bit like Safari on the iPad, which tries to forbid me to visit perfectly safe websites because “it has been determined that this site may be unsafe”. I am allowed to proceed, but only after I jump over the hurdles that Apple puts in my way…



These kinds of stories are interesting, but actual examples would be much more useful. Now I’m very curious to know what rhythms require forcing duration, and whether there are any combinations of settings that would handle them.

Sure, try to do this without Force Duration:

Two simple rhythms that come up all the time in jazz that are not possible without Force Duration.

The second one’s definitely possible without Force Duration. The first one, yes, I agree with you.

1 Like

Did you try it? That’s what I have selected. Also this setting above that:

Dorico isn’t honoring either of those. Perhaps I have something else conflicting that takes precedence but neither of those are being followed here.