Movable text?

Pardon me for asking what might sound like a dumb question because I am just learning Dorico, but I am having trouble placing text where I want it. I am using default text (want to put just a word describing the way a note is to be performed right below a bass note, but it keeps going on top of the staff above the tenor note). I know you can move things right and left with Alt and arrows, and you can move the baseline, but adjusting baseline is not working. Is there some kind of just random text (WITHOUT ATTACHING TO ANYTHING that would prevent moving it where I want it) that you can just move around with the mouse just exactly where you want it? I have looked in the manual but can’t find anything. THANKS MUCH! LCR

I think the best solution in your case would be to use Shift-X, as you’re doing. Then with the text item selected and turned orange, press F to move it below the staff.

Shift-X text goes above the staff by default. Once you’ve placed it up above the staff, with it still selected, type F to flip it below the staff.

Was fixing my answer and got ninja’d by the ubiquitous Leo… :sunglasses:

Thanks, guys - much appreciated! Am I correct in thinking that in Dorico there is no way to move “plain text” with the mouse anywhere you want it like you can in Sibelius?

In Sibelius, when you drag text around with the mouse the attachment point can behave unpredictably: you can end up with a situation where a piece of text is attached to one instrument but is physically closer to the stave of another instrument.
This means that text (and dynamics) can end up looking fine in the score, but actually appear in the wrong people’s parts! To be fair to Sibelius, there’s a modifier key that you can hold to prevent Sibelius from changing the attachment point, but many users don’t seem to be aware of it.

Dorico avoids this problem by keeping attachment points and visual position separate, and handling them in separate modes. The attachment point is the rhythmic position on a specific stave, and the visual position (or offset) is a pair of offsets (X and Y) relative to the default rhythmic position.

In Write mode, if you drag text (or dynamics, or tempi etc.) around, you are changing the attachment point. Get your item lined up to the correct note/beat/rest in Write mode. If Dorico’s default positioning of the item isn’t quite to your liking, (assuming you have Dorico Pro) you can switch to Engrave mode and drag the item wherever you like. Again, the dragging you do in Engrave mode only affects the visual position, not the attachment point.

Assuming you have Dorico Pro still, there are some options in Engrave>Engraving Options>Text that determine the default positions of text items - including their distance from the staff/other objects and whether they automatically avoid collisions (and therefore contribute to vertical spacing calculations) or not. For moving individual items on their own, the relevant page in the manual is here.

Thanks pianoleo! I have worked in Sibelius for many years (but now am transitioning to Dorico Pro) and never knew about the modifier key! I am fully aware of the freedom to move text, but as you said, it comes with a price when you make parts!! Could you kindly share what that modifier key is? THANK YOU! Lillie, I tried the “moving text objects graphically” and it worked! This is awesome! Thank you both for your help.

It’s Option on Mac (so presumably Alt on Windows).

Thanks much!

Hi there -

The tips in this thread are useful, but not working for me. Following the instructions from link in @Lillie_Harris post -
When using Opt+arrow, text will move to right, but not to left past the attachment point… I’m unable to click and drag.

For context, I’m trying to hide and replace a standard time signature by with mensural ones by hiding the standard signature and using Bravura text font - moving the Bravura character to left then down.

Also the label for the hidden time signature seems to get in the way of selecting the text.

This must be user error or omission of some sort - any ideas?
Thanks in advance.

I’m not seeing the uploaded screenshots - hopefully they’ll appear after submitting.

Screen Shot 2021-09-13 at 2.08.22 PM|551x500

Hi @trevort - welcome to the forum!

Dorico’s modes provide a philosophical divide between moving where things happen in time (rhythmic position) and where they appear on the page (graphical position). You can move items rhythmically in Write mode, and graphically in Engrave mode.

If you want to drag these glyphs around graphically but have them attached to the start of the bar, you need to switch to Engrave mode to move them. I’d recommend disabling collision avoidance for them first, so Dorico doesn’t continue to allocate space for where they “should be” later, e.g. if you add a playing technique at the start of the bar too.

An alternative method could be to go to Engrave > Music Symbols and edit the appearance of the glyphs used in the time signatures you’re using - although that could end up complicated in other ways.

To select items behind signposts, Shift-Alt/Opt-click them - that will cycle through overlapping items each time you Shift-Alt/Opt-click. You can also hide signposts whilst doing these sorts of operations.

Lillie -

Thanks for quick response! With your help, I’ve been able to cycle through the signposts - nice. And I can select and drag the time signature character… but still not able to move it to the left of the System Break signpost. (In the screenshot, you can see I nudged the notes to the right to make space for the character, so the system break is not in default position.)

I tried to disable collision avoidance, thinking that might be the issue, but got stuck again, trying to find the Text Group, as per your link:
" 1. In the Properties panel, activate Avoid collisions in the Text group.
2. Activate/Deactivate the corresponding checkbox."

I don’t see Text group or check boxes in the Properties Panel - any idea what I’m missing?

You’ve got a bunch of stuff selected there - you need to select just the time signature character, then drag that.

Hi @pianoleo -
I’ve got the dragging to work now … almost, thanks to note from @Lillie_Harris .
But still not able to drag to the left of the SYSTEM BREAK signpost, while only the one item (time signature character) is selected.

I thought perhaps it was the need to disable collision avoidance that is preventing drag to the left. Trying to follow the instructions @Lillie_Harris posted “…select the text objects…” I tried to disable with multiple (as well as single) objects selected, but don’t see the expected items in the Properties panel.

Can you confirm that when you’re dragging it to the left, beyond its default position, you’re in Engrave mode? If so, please post the project so someone can take a look.

Your screenshot suggests you have filters set at the top of the property panel, so that only local properties that are currently set are shown. Try turning off those filters (set them both to All)

This won’t affect your ability to drag items in Engrave mode, but should enable you to see the properties to which Lillie was referring.

You guys are amazing!

Problem solved.

@Lillie_Harris - Yes, was in engrave mode. Issue was that Avoid Collisions needed to be set as you first suggested
@pianoleo - You were right, setting the filters to All allowed the text options to show… but only when selecting just the text time signature character, which is why I missed it when trying myself. Learning moment - Avoid Collisions is for text, so perhaps one should select just text items when controlling collisions.

Both: I was hesitant to ask for help, but you guys were so quick and helpful, it will be easier to do so next time I’m stuck. Thanks so much!

Glad it’s solved. The collision avoidance property shouldn’t really affect whether or not you can move items around graphically, it’s just a good idea to consider it when moving text objects far from their default position because it will improve your results generally.

It’s possible that previously you also had e.g. the bar rest selected but even then for me I’m able to drag the text around. If this happens again, please do share the project file itself here on the forum in case something specific in it is causing an issue.

The Properties panel is dynamic in that only properties that can be set on the current selection appear - so if you select text and a rest, only properties you could set simultaneously for both are shown, so you won’t see text-specific properties. This applies to everything you can select in the music.