Microsoft surface with pencil.

Any update for Microsoft surface with pencil?

It hasn’t been mentioned in the Version History. Dorico 2.2.10 is the last update to version 2.The next (paid) version is expected at some time this year.
However, extrapolating from comments made by the team, I think it’s unlikely that a separate set of user interface functions for a small segment of the userbase would be introduced while more general notation features remain incomplete.


To my knowledge, however, there is nothing “stopping” you from using a pen-equipped tablet; there are options in settings to load the cursor for instance. The difference is that handwriting will likely not be added for a while as there are specialist apps already dedicated to that way of working.

There’s the well-known Sibelius burn video by a prominent YouTuber and he quipped, “great, it supports pen now so it can make me mad while I use a pen” or something to that effect. That comment stuck out to me at the time I watched it as a solemn warning to get the basics right or don’t bother. I have a feeling such features will be back-burner issues for a while.

Part of the problem (IMHO) is that Dorico has been fundamentally conceived to leverage a computer keyboard and heavily relies on shortcuts (popovers) as we all know. Taking time to implement a pen properly would take significant effort and would directly fly in the face of the current conception for the workflow. I’m not saying users wouldn’t benefit or that it would be bad for them to develop this further, I’m just stating that the current m.o. is heavily skewed in the other direction.

In case Dorico had to adopt handwriting, I would hope that the handwriting recognition technique would be licensed from Kawai. The shorthand used in Touch Notation is very fast, intuitive and precise. No need to fill a circle, when you can drag a short diagonal segment.

Different from traditional notation? When we had neumatic notation, that was a note!

That little app is more sophisticate than its apparent simplicity can let one believe. It would be great to have it in Dorico.


Have you checked out StaffPad? Sounds similar to what you describe.

I know very well of StaffPad, whose releases I’ve been following since the first one. I also know about Notion for iPad, that I use from time to time, more to see how I can deal with it than for actual work.

Kawai’s Touch Notation is very different, in that it doesn’t try to recognize natural music calligraphy. A bit like the old Palm Graffiti for cursive writing, it uses a shorthand notation to make music entry recognition easier.

As of today, natural writing recognition is still an ideal, more than a reality. Graffiti has allowed many to use their palm devices with efficiency. It seems to me that Kawai’s system can do the same, if not confined into a side project with only marginal development.

Contrary to Graffiti, one hasn’t to relearn how to write. Only a few symbols are really different from traditional notation, and are always very simple symbols.