Manual vs automatic ties?

I want to create a pair of tied notes that will be notated as a dotted minim (half-note) tied to a minim, across a barline in 3/4 time. That is, a note that is five beats long.

In Sibelius, I’d create this by inputting the dotted minim, then adding a tie, then inputting the minim. Fine.

In Dorico, I can do this too, also fine, by manually adding a tie between the two notes. No problem.

But then I read the help page (, which says:

In general, Dorico creates ties automatically where needed. In some cases, you must add the ties manually:

The notes are not rhythmically adjacent, for example, if a rest separates the notes.

The notes are separated by intervening notes of a different pitch.

This makes me think that adding a tie manually is meant to be the exception to the rule. I can certainly see the logic of this and how it fits with Dorico’s philosophy. But since my use case is neither of the two exceptional cases mentioned in the help file, this makes me wonder if I’m overlooking the “proper” way to create the notation I want. Am I?

I think there are two issues here:

  1. If you want a dotted minim tied to a crotchet across the bar line (i.e. 4 beats), you can enter a semibreve and Dorico will split it up for you. But music notation doesn’t have a symbol for “a single note 5 beats long”, so you have to enter it as two notes tied together.

  2. You can enter ties as you go along in note input mode (e.g. press something like 7 . C T 6 C for a dotted minim tied to a quarter) and that seems to be exactly equivalent to just pressing 8 C. But you can also enter ties later, between notes that are not adjacent, or notes in different voices. Select both notes and then press T. If the second note actually is adjacent to the first, you don’t need to select it.

Another way to make a note that’s five quarter beats long without inputting a tie would be to input a whole note, then set the grid to quarter note resolution, and with the whole note selected, type Shift+Alt+right arrow, which will lengthen the selected note by the amount specified in the grid.

THAT’s what I was after. Thanks Daniel.

Dorico should really ship with an interactive tutorial the way most modern games do. There are so many tips and shortcuts I have no idea how I’d ever encounter otherwise!

This Shift+alt+right (or left) arrow is such a powerful trick ! I was wondering how Daniel created so easily dotted eights and sixteenths only from eights in one of the video tutorials, this trick is soooooo useful !