Music notebook with Dorico 5 Elements


I’m transitioning from MuseScore to Dorico 5 Elements and am looking to create a structured notebook organized by topics, such as major chord voicings, examples of jazz progressions, short musical ideas from various composers, etc etc, all with text and explanations. I’ve seen a few similar threads, but none specifically address how to approach this with Dorico version 5.

Could you please suggest a straightforward and practical setup for this? Additionally, would upgrading to the Pro version be advantageous for achieving this goal?

Thank you!

Most definitely yes, if not crucial.
There are no page templates in Elements, as well as very little Engraving/Notation Options. I think, though I am not sure, that graphic slices are also a Pro feature only.

All in all, you have to consider carefully, if you want to do this project in Word or a DTP Program such as Affinity Publisher, or all within Dorico. For the first, the Graphic Slices are a crucial feature. The latter, you need Page Templates.
All in all, Dorico’s functionalities with text are somewhat limited, so without knowing too much about your project, probably going for the solution with graphic slices and another program for the layout is the way I would recommend you.


Thank you for your response.

I plan to use this notebook as a combination of text and playable sheet music within Dorico. I intend to use Dorico exclusively for this purpose. I’ve heard that using ‘flows’ might be effective, with the idea of dedicating a separate flow to each musical idea or section of the notebook. I’m not entirely sure if this approach makes sense, or if it’s the best setup. Could anyone provide guidance on this? Thank you!

If you have not yet started with Dorico you can download the trial. The trial allows you to check the capabilities of both Elements and Pro to see if they will meet your requirements.

It’s probably best if you experiment. If you hit brick walls, the forum is here to help!

Yes, flows are one part of the solution, another could be the creative use of Codas. It’s not easy to give general directions, as every project has unique requirements that pivot towards certain tools.
If you want to do it in Dorico, I think the Pro version is crucial.

just be aware, there can’t be text only flows…

This should be dealable with master page changes.

I agree with the Dorico Pro version being crucial - my reasoning is that I can’t see Dorico replacing something like OneNote as my primary means of keeping notes.

For me the need to organize and re-organize is as important as taking notes in the first place. I’ve got some pretty long text notes, and related subjects that I want to keep together with music from Dorico.

So … using Graphics Slices from Dorico and putting them into OneNote (with links to the Dorico Score) lets you use each tool for what its best at IMO. As slices, you don’t necessarily have to mess with codas or anything special - just grab what you want.

And the benefit of using multiple flows is that you then have the ability to export and link/embed the audio from each idea or example separately. For me there is a real advantage to not have to open a project (in any tool) and wait for all the instruments and such to load.

It’s all available on my phone if I want; listen on the plane, take more notes…

Thank you all for your valuable responses.

After careful consideration, I decided to purchase Dorico 5 Pro. I’ve discovered that the most suitable approach for my needs is to utilize one flow per topic, akin to organizing chapters in a book. This allows me to configure the formatting at a granular level for both master pages and individual layouts.

I believe there’s a considerable interest among users in creating comprehensive worksheets using Dorico. While there are a few basic tutorials available, I’ve noticed a lack of in-depth material with practical examples. I’m eager to learn from someone who can share their experiences with relevant examples.


My suggestion is to email John Barron requesting that he consider doing a Discover Dorico session focused on worksheet creation at:

thank you, I just wrote John Barron.

In the meantime if someone can share examples on how you deal with Worksheets that would be awesome.

Plug “worksheet” into the search field at the top of the page and you will find a whole list of threads dealing with this.

Honestly, often users who want to do worksheets have very particular problems, which are tackled best individually. No two worksheets are the same. So I would also encourage you to consult this forum for any specifics before you get frustrated about any obstacles.