Newbie Note Entry

Apologies; couldn’t immediately find a thread which I know MUST exist, but as a brand-new user I’m trying not to tear my teeth out in frustration.

I’m a professional composer of 30 years; I know how to notate. I just want to be able to explicitly enter notes or rests at whatever values I wish, as I have with Finale and Sibelius as I have since 1988. To start a bar with a rest, I want to enter a rest and move on. I do not understand how to enable this functionality/workflow. I do not want to have Dorico notate for me; I want it to input the music they way I want it notated. What am I missing?

Thanks much.

Rests are implicit. To “enter” a quarter rest, press 6 and spacebar to advance the caret. Then enter a note. The rest will appear!

You can enter rests explicitly, using Rest Mode (press comma). But that’s not the best method.

There are myriad advantages to this method. My number one piece of advice: trust the software and give it a shot using the Dorico way! You’ll come to appreciate it in no time!!

Welcome to the forum. Force Duration is the tool you’re probably looking for. Far be it from me to tell you what to do, but typically you can get pretty good results without it, by adjusting the defaults in Notation Options > Beam Grouping and Notation Options > Note Grouping. It’s a slight change of mindset if you’re used to working with notation software that needs to be told exactly how to notate rhythms, of course.

Welcome to the forum, mverta. I know you will be resistant to hearing this, but we’ve designed Dorico to help you notate your music more quickly and easily than in other programs, and in particular one of the key changes compared to other programs is that you don’t need to input rests: simply move the caret to the position where you want the note to appear, and enter the note. Dorico will fill in the rests for you.

However, I understand that you want to do all the work yourself, and you can. Switch on Force Duration so that Dorico will notate what you type in literally. To input rests, type , (comma) to activate rest input, then you can play any note on your MIDI keyboard or press Y (the key for a “default” note pitch, useful also for inputting on percussion instruments) to input a rest. Type , again to toggle back to inputting notes.

I really would, as gently as I can, encourage you to try and work with Dorico’s note input methods rather than against it.

As a composer of significantly less years, I also can encourage you to try the Dorico way.
With the proper options set up mentioned before in this thread, just go for it.
I always go over at the end and change some rests to my personal preference with force duration.
But that is maybe 5 cases in a piece instead of 80 which I would’ve done in other software.

I adore the fact that I don’t have to keep track of rests. I’m a note person through and through!

Hitting space for rests is the best!