Mimicking Hal Leonard's RealBook (6th Edition) Chord Symbols Appearance

Mimicking Hal Leonard RealBook (6th edition) chords appearance in Dorico NorChanges, a regular plain text font that does the trick!

—Coming soon—

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Nice font - pickup bar looks a little strange

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Oooopps… pick-up bar position is being corrected, thanks.

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I’ve tried to fine tune my NorChanges font for use in Dorico, but still have troubles to align the suffixes…

The chords in blue were entered using the Text tool shift+X with the appearance I’d like to have while the chords underneath are entered using Shift+Q.

It’s too bad that Dorico won’t keep or remember the last change one made to a chord symbol in Engrave mode, let’s say you mov the chord suffix (b9) of C7(b9) a bit above, when you type the same chord again it will require the same previous edit. I’m not sure if this only happens to me or is it a common way how Dorico handles chord symbols. I think when we edit a chord symbol in Engrave mode, the changes must be remembered by Dorico for further use.

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If you want the changes to be remembered for future use, use the Library > Chord Symbols dialog to promote individual overrides you’ve made into project-wide defaults.


Thanks Daniel! Can I then export my changes as a .lib through Export Library and load my changes back?

Will I have to make 12 chord symbols for each chord quality???

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I actually make 21, each “white key” root, plus a sharp and a flat root. Yes, this is a colossal PITA and I’ve spent hours and hours on my main default file. If I ever need double sharp or double flat roots, I just deal with them as they come up.

One of my top wishes for D5 would be to have a global suffix editor, that will make a change for all instances of that suffix regardless of root. It then could be overridden with the current root-specific edits if needed, but the current system of suffix editing is horribly inefficient.

(Also, in case you didn’t know, if you have a manual override, the parenthesis function no longer works either.)


Daniel, promoting individual overrides is great !


Can you imagine that I have about 70 chord quality only used over C root, should we have to redo the same promotion for the remaining 11 chromatic roots? It’d be just so EASY if Dorico promote ONLY the chord qualities not with their roots. Otherwise, you should consider this seriously in coming updates or major upgrade to D5, because it’s useless and time consuming to promote 12 roots with about 70 chord qualities, about 840 overrides to do manually??? Im sorry to say that I’m getting mad, and please don’t misunderstand me, I’m just very tired doing this all the night, 10 hours for nothing. :disappointed_relieved:


Obviously this is a huge +1 from me. Finale’s Chord Suffix Editor is not well designed and hasn’t been updated since the 1990s, but you can at least create any suffix you want with it and position all elements however you wish. You only have to do it once, and then it automatically applies to all roots. It pains me do defend that horribly designed bit of code, but at least it works reliably.

Also, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you likely can’t actually edit 70 chord qualities. There is a bad bug where all changes you’ve manually made to a single alteration like #5 get wiped out as soon as you try to make a change to a double-stacked alteration that uses that alteration. If I make 21 modifications to all my 7(#5) chords, as soon as I modify one 7(#9#5) chord, then all 21 of my 7(#5) overrides are reset to default. I’m not really sure what we as users can do about this until this bug is fixed.

There are other aspects of the editor design that make suffix editing more painful than it should be too.:

  1. It would be great if there was an easier way to access the modification glyphs. The # that Dorico uses for a 7(#5) chord is the composite comp.csymAccidentalSharp (or comp.csymAccidentalSharpSmall for settings under 76%), but this is buried in the Composite tab and not easily accessible so editing time takes even longer than necessary if this were readily available. Most users are going to have no idea that’s even there.

  2. Any text you want to add defaults to “Bar Repeat Count” instead of “Chord Symbols Font” which is what the user is going to want so that’s a few more wasted seconds and clicks per edit.

  3. All suffix characters added individually default to sharing a physical baseline with one another. As I don’t want a sharp and a number sharing a physical baseline, but rather an optical one, this is more editing. Personally, I don’t think a 7(#5) chord looks positioned correctly using any font other than Academico. Try it with Times, Minion, Arial, whatever and you’ll see what I mean, so this is more unnecessary editing that could be resolved with a Suffix Accidental Baseline Offset setting.

  4. Attachment points default to Bottom rather than Baseline. The editor is not completely WYSIWYG which obviously is a problem, but positioning is much more reliable using Baseline instead of Bottom attachment points. If the WYSIWYG issues aren’t going to be completely resolved, defaulting to Baseline will help with this.

  1. Any chords that aren’t easily selected using Engraving Options force the user to take a chord not being used in the project, repurpose it, and edit it to the desired appearance. As it’s impossible for Dorico to anticipate all styles of nomenclature from all composers, there needs to be a way to add custom symbols as overrides that don’t rely on Engraving Options. Something similar to adding a Playing Technique where the user can specify the popover text would be great.

Chord symbol editing as currently implemented is a massively time consuming, buggy, and a painful experience for the user. It would be great to see this overhauled in D5!

  • 1 here too!

Months ago I suggested a more better way (easy way) of customisation of chord symbols and received no reply (or perceived a willing to this issue be considered). I was disappointed (because I thought this things would be resolved in version 4).

This is a very important area for me (I have to make a lot of sheet music every week) - and is why I had to go back to Finale. I really want to use Dorico more but the way that chord symbols are
implemented now in the program is not good for my use (unfortunately because I think it is really close to be great once these kind of customisations be more easy resolved).


I had actually held off making a comprehensive set of edited chords until D4 came out, hoping for changes too. Once D4 came out and these options weren’t available, I figured D5 was probably at least 18 months away so I killed a few afternoons making a fairly comprehensive set of single alterations. As mentioned above, I do 21 different roots (usually I’ll want Bbm7(b5), but in the key of B I might want A#m7(b5), etc) so I now have hundreds of chord overrides in my default file. The double-stacked alteration bug is a problem though, so as a result I prioritized the positioning of single alteration chords and for my double (or triple) stacked chords I just live with my default settings, or edit on a case by case basis.


Hello i can not find this font and i realy want it.
Were can i find it ?

Welcome to the forum @cleobuleperrot !
That’s my own personal font I developed last year, it’s not for free nor for sale. You can find more fonts here.

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I must admit your comment caught me off-guard. You are probably the most active developer of music fonts for sale and to me, at least, hearing you tell somebody interested in one of your fonts that it is reserved for your personal use tends to discourage interest in those other fonts you are willing to part with.

What’s wrong @Mike_999 with my reply? How would you reformulate my reply in my place?

I perceive you as probably the world’s foremost developer of new music fonts for those using notation software. As such, I have difficulty with the proposition that you keep your best work for personal use only. That is not to say your other fonts are unattractive but telling others they can’t purchase a font you are proud to show off strikes me as somewhat odd.

There are lots of things (foreign films for one) that one cannot rent and cannot purchase, as much as I would like to see them. One of the basic rights of Intellectual Property is that the owner does not have to sell or release it.

If only that concept could be applied to change the “compulsory license” in the U.S.


Nordine IS the “foremost” developer of music fonts, and his hard work work has benefited many of us. I have always found this forum to be a safe place for exchanging ideas and learning how to creatively troubleshoot. Nordine is a kind and gentle soul, and I appreciate his contribution to our collection of tools and resources. Is this an appropriate forum to scold him for not selling his intellectual property simply because he does sell others? Nordine, keep up the good work!


My initial response was honestly felt but undoubtedly too strong. I acknowledge the basic premises of Intellectual Property law and Nordine’s significant contributions to our community and apologize for any offense caused.