Moving work in progress to Dorico or not

Happy new year from Gothenburg, Sweden!

I am in the process of finishing a project with 15-20 18th century trio sonatas. The scores need a bit of revising but are practically finished. The parts remain.
It is all done in Finale, and I can live with making the revisioning work there, but I am really dreading doing all the parts in Finale.

Should I put the extra time into exporting into Dorico? My gut feeling says yes, but I would be happy to hear your thoughts on this. Pros and cons.

I have tried XML importing one of the sonatas, and it seems that all goes well, except for fermatas (they disappear) and figured bass entered with the chord tool in Finale (turns into gibberish).

Two related questions. Could it be an option to have the scores done in Finale, and just use Dorico for creating the parts? Obviously this would mean different fonts, as the Finale score is done with Maestro (unless I change the Finale scores to Bravura…).

Figured bass in the Finale document is prepared with a text font (Garamond) with slashes and ±signs in various combinations. In Dorico, this would have to be redone (should I choose to do the scores in Dorico as well) and I would have to use only sharps instead of slashes and ±signs. The editions will be classified as scholarly: would you say it is OK to simplify/streamline the figuring from the original use of slashes, plusses and sharps into using only sharps?

Hi there

I would never switch software mid-project.

If I had to, I would think of it as starting again, with all the note entry already done.

You would need to have everything proofread again from the original source to be sure that nothing else went astray. Ideally this is done by another person.

Regarding splitting parts from the score: see above. But also: maintaining two files for each piece is more cumbersome in the event of future corrections and amendments.

If your edition is scholarly, then any editorial changes need to be shown and explained. I would certainly keep the original figured bass notation, as there’s no good scholarly reason to change it, but would expect that some way of doing it in Dorico exists.

That’s my reaction . Hope it’s useful.



I would suggest doing one Sonata, score and parts, and then deciding whether you think it’s worth it.
I’ve imported loads of music from Finale to Dorico – even stuff that was entirely completed.

One of the great features of Dorico is Flows, and creating Flow headings in parts for Sonata movements is just effortless.

Yes, you’ll need to re-enter the figured bass, but Dorico’s FB tool is so fast, you can type this very quickly. If you still want to use Garamond, then yes, you won’t have slashed figures: but I’d recommend changing to the Bravura figures or Figurato font instead. (In which case, you would have to do all the Sonatas in Dorico!) There are Engraving Options to use text fonts, and not to use slash figures.

Check your XML import settings: I’d recommend preserving Note Values and Text, but that’s it. Set Beaming rules in Dorico’s Options. If you’ve used a separate time sig for display in Finale (e.g. Cut C for 4/2) then you’ll get time sig signposts on every bar. Just delete the first one, and they all disappear. Then add the correct sig.

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Yes, certainly useful, thank you!

The trial import did not introduce any such errors, but of course one never knows… However, there will be an external proofreader in the end.

Sad to say, but that’s not possible to avoid in Finale. The requirements (font sizes etc.) from the publisher makes it necessary keep separate documents.

Hm, yes, I will have to think about this and discuss it again. The publisher prefers Garamond. Personally I do not mind changing the original notation as it does not change the meaning, but opinions may vary. Having said that, I must admit that I would prefer using the slashes and plusses with Garamond but that seems to be completely impossible.

Thank you, good suggestion. I will probably also do the same from the Finale horizon to compare. After all, I use to be fast and fluent in Finale.

That is indeed one of the blessings of the program.

I am still struggling a bit with this; I read your tutorial and would like to keep the engraving options in charge, but probably I will go for the literal input option after all. On Finale, I had developed a quite fast method with meta tools + mouse (less flexible, certainly, but fast) so I find it a bit cumbersome with all the typing/correcting business. Hope I’ll get used to it.

I’ve done loads of major system change outs in different contexts. Such as, switching game engines in a big software project, from Unity to Unreal, which is probably the most drastic (it was a genius move on my part). I can’t think of a time it wasn’t worth it to greater or lesser degree. Just the words “I’m dreading doing the parts in Finale” says how you feel about it, that’s pretty powerful.

Yeah it’ll be a lot of work and some hair pulling but compared to some of the things I’ve done, going from (speaking allegorically here) one word processor to another? Big deal.

Just IMHO - don’t blame me if you regret the decision :grin:


I move everything I can over to Dorico from Finale. Have a lot of work that has to begin in Finale due to collaboration. No major hassle. Going the other direction is less nice.

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My extremely biased opinion, after 20 miserable years in Finale, is to move it over. Obviously Finale is fine and great, and lots of better musicians than me use it with good results. But I hate the workflow, especially the preparation of the layouts and finish work.

If you were at the end, in sight of the finish line, of course you shouldn’t move at the 11th hour. And I can’t know all the other details involved regarding exact deadlines and such.

But I have never regretted moving a project over. Even the month-long process of transferring 600 projects from Finale to Dorico a year or so ago was time totally well-spent.


For me, due dates would be the only reason not to switch. But if you have the time to “prepare the parts in Finale”, that should be enough time to switch, proofread, and have still time to spare for a cup of tea marveling at what a great decision the move was.


If you’re happy with using the Engraving Options to set Fig Bass rules, then go ahead: I was merely suggested the Literal input to get stuff on the page quickly without having to learn too much: but if you’re already at that stage, go for it!
Dorico’s FB input is so much faster than any of the various methods in Finale I’ve used: Chord Symbols, Lyrics, etc.

I am experimenting with that, but I am running into some difficulties – it seems that I sometimes have to do overrides which will decide what type of alteration to use (see my other thread on just that).

Another thing that I never really thought of is how much that is actually left out in the sources. We always understand from context that certain intervals are altered to fit with the harmonies, but not often indicated in the figuring. We just play right anyway. So I also have to do many overrides of that kind to make the figuring “incomplete” as in the source… Leaning more and more to useing Literal input… But then I have to decide on what style I want!

I sympathize with your dread of doing parts in Finale. I think even if you run into a few glitches, doing the parts in Dorico will be much faster and much more enjoyable.

And there’s the difference right there: I used the words parts and enjoyable in the same sentence!


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