Most important feature requests for Dorico 4

Well, that commitment was made after 3.5 was released, and 4.0 hasn’t been released yet, so one cannot claim he hasn’t kept his end of the bargain.

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I’m not knocking the Team. Just inferring that this sort of change must be really difficult to implement, given the original design philosophy of Dorico.

In fact these ideas about being able to optionally affect different scopes (voice, instrument, bar, whole arrangement) were part of the original conception of Insert mode, but we’ve simply not been able to prioritise work in this area until recently. I think you will find that it feels natural and useful when you get to use it, as if it should always have been that way (because it should always have been that way).


You taunt us with your breadcrumbs!!!


I am glad to see that is still a work in progress. (Actually everything at some level can probably be considered a work in progress.) Insert mode seems like such a powerful capability, but I get a deep sense of anxiety every time I click the insert button because 3/4 of the time, I do a lot more damage than good. I’m sure that a person who uses the feature daily is able to make it work to their advantage, but I am really fearful of using it. I mean, I always save my document before doing anything in Insert mode.
If there are ways to make its effects more predictable and intuitive for the new or occasional user, that would be good for everybody.

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Yes, please. I’m sure it would stop me having to look at the documentation half the time I’m wanting to change the number of beats in a bar. I know how it’s supposed to work but for some reason still have problems actually remembering it……

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I realize that the foundation of Dorico is “barless”, i.e. a stream of notes that are not inherently attached to any measures. But this business of changing meters mid-stream, adding or removing beats from a measure, is a very common requirement. It would be wonderful to have some “macro-level” capabilities that would take care of all the tedium that results from the simple notion of adding an eighth note to a 3/4, giving us one bar of 7/8 – without disturbing anything else in the score.
It seems to me that more and more in modern composition, decisions to adjust bar lengths can happen later and later in the compositional process. Conceptually, adding beats is simple enough. The measure can simply be padded with rests. But removing beats is less obvious. I’d be very pleased if the system were smart enough to figure out that a 7/8 could be reduced to 5/8 cleanly because every player had rests at the end of that bar. And if that was not the case, it would be OK with me if the system created an extra 5/8 bar as a place to dump the excess notes. I think that would be very easy to deal with.

If you type shiftB you can add any number of beats you desire to a given measure: ie, “shiftB +1q” will lengthen the bar by one quarter note.

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But it is simple.

Select the barline at the end of the 7/8 bar and enter a shift-m 7/8. Select the start barline and enter your shift-m 5/8. You will end up with your new 5/8 bar and a ‘runt’ bar of rests, which can be removed with shift-b -1. Job done.

It is worth experimenting with a string of simple notes and changing time signatures with, and without, ‘insert mode’. The general rule being “anything downstream that you want preserve, protect it with a time signature”

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This doesn’t work for me. All it does is insert a rest and shift all the notes (across all parts).

I don’t end up with a “runt bar of rests” I end up with a truncated bar that doesn’t match the time signature, which is pure evil IMHO. I would easily overlook the missing beats. I find this all very confusing. Notice I ended up with two things called measure 1. What ???
I think I did that by entering notes before I entered a time signature. Ignoring the first 4 beats, everything was set to 9/8. I then changed measure 2 to 5/8. That indeed created two bars labeled 5/8, but measure 3 is lacking an eighth rest. Surely measures should be padded with rests as necessary rather than leaving illegal measures, no?

It seems peculiar (illogical) for that function to be part of the barline tool, as it has absolutely nothing to do with barlines. That command can be used anywhere, not just at barlines. But it does have the undesirable result of adding truncated/illegal measures at the end of the shifting process that are very easy to overlook.

Shift-B is the Bars and Barlines popover. This absolutely does have something to do with Bars.

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I thought that was what you wanted: to add time anywhere.

It’s the bars popover since that’s the one that deals with time and number of bars.

Perhaps I’ve never been stung by this before because I mostly use it when editing chant and thus I’m in open meter. In that context, adding a quarter here or there (or taking one away) is a godsend.

Would you agree that if the user has entered a meter, all the measures appearing after that meter mark (until the next one) should be COMPLETE measures, correct with that time signature?

You asked for the situation where your 7/8 bar had two rests at the end and you wanted to convert it to into a 5/8 bar! Here your 9/8 bar has correctly split into a 5/8 bar and a runt 4/8.

What are you trying to achieve here?

There is no possible consistent behaviour that makes sense in all cases. If Dorico automatically inserted rests, people would complain that they hadn’t asked for rests. If Dorico shifted all the music, people would complain that they hadn’t asked for their music to shift.

The behaviour is absolutely consistent. One just needs to learn how it works.

Dorico only automatically rebars as far as the next explicit time signature. If you turn on Insert mode before adding a time signature, it will pad the final bar before the next explicit time signature so that it’s the full length, adding rests as necessary. If you don’t turn on Insert mode you can still pad the short bar manually using Shift-B whatever Enter.


No it isn’t. it is two 5/8 bars, the second of which is illegal.