Notation Express XL Stream Deck Profile for Dorico 4 vs previous versions

Hi all,
So there is a new update for Notation Express XL Stream Deck Profile for Dorico 4.
They claim they Completely rebuilt it for Dorico 4 because it uses the direct connection to Dorico making Notation Express significantly more responsive.
Did anyone update and if yes how much faster are we talking about?..

The reason I ask this question is I actually created my own custom Stream deck profile using their profile and If I update I have to redo the whole thing from scratch…but if it is much faster I can sit down for a few hours and recreate my Stream Deck Profile from scratch…

If anyone updated and can let me how much faster it is, I would appreciate it.
Thank you

Well, I can tell it’s faster. As in “more responsive”. It still waits for you to press the buttons though :sweat_smile:
I cannot tell you whether it’s really worth the hassle. But I for one am very happy to have so many keyboard shortcuts available now, as the new version uses the new API and not keyboard shortcuts anymore.

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Especially the previously more complex multi-step operations are considerably faster now. With the old version I sometimes ran in the trouble that when you trigger a button on Streamdeck and forget to “wait” for it to complete you might run into unexpected behavior. And as @MarcLarcher said, it is really great to free up that many keyboard shortcuts again for other use.

I ordered my Streamdeck XL today, as it was fairly deeply discounted… :wink: Can’t wait!
Any hints and tips, anything I can prepare before it arrives?


I was gifted a Streamdeck XL for Christmas this year (it arrives tomorrow).

I’ve never used a device of this type before. So a question first:

I have to buy the profile for Dorico 4?
This is installed on… my computer? inside some sort of program that itself runs the Streamdeck?

I’m really looking forward to using this.

You don’t have to buy the Notation Express XL in order to use the Streamdeck with Dorico. As a start with your Streamdeck you can simply copy/paste keycommands from Dorico into the Streamdeck interface and add some text or a little icon, e.g. “System track” for hiding/showing the system track with the Dorico key command. In the Streamdeck interface you’ll go to “System” and select “Hotkey” to set a hotkey/key command. Here is a nice video (skip to minute 4): Elgato Stream Deck - Complete Beginner's Guide (2021 Edition) - YouTube

I’m presuming the Notation Express profile has the advantage of already containing pretty much all of Dorico’s functions as well as a whole set of pre-made icons for the buttons.

I’m neither patient, nor particularly adept, at creating this for myself from scratch - other than actual music.

Even aside from the advantages of the remote control interface versus key commands, I would never have taken full advantage of Streamdeck without buying the profile. Mine would have ended up half empty in comparison, and I would have said “I don’t need that” to Streamdeck buttons that I’ve come to love. For me the profile is the difference between indispensable and meh.


The moral of the story is: just buy the profile. It is coded more efficiently, is very well fleshed out, and it has icons for all the functions too. Having to create your own icons, or just using simple text labels is much less efficient. Seeing the icons can really speed things up.

And don’t forget, too, that you are not stuck to the default profile layout. You can drag icons around or copy them to new pages, so you can create a custom page with all the things you use the most, to really leverage the SDXL.


Technically, the best reason for using the profile is its use of Dorico’s automation API instead of simulating keystrokes. This makes it both much faster and safer (keystrokes may be misinterpreted in different contexts), and it works regardless of any key command localization/customization. And as a normal user, you can’t easily access the API.

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I’m totally in sync with Pietzcker here (and IIRC, he made the previous german version of Notation Express while I made the French one); the API route is much much better (faster, reliable) and frees all keyboard shortcuts for your own needs (I still use my keyboard primarily).

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Well, I installed the app, and the Dorico profile… and it’s FREAKIN’ GENIUS!!!

oh my god this is going to change how I work in Dorico so much!

The thing now will be to learn where things are in the folders and sub-folders.

(like I can’t find how to turn on/off the system track… I thought it was available, but I can’t see it. I must be going blind)


With respect to the Dorico profile, the genius in question is @pianoleo .


well, kudos to whoever designed it.
and the little machine is brilliant, too.

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I’d say system track is alt-t, no need for the Streamdeck… :sweat_smile:


The way I use it, is to identify the absolutely most used actions that have convoluted shortcuts (like e.g. lengthen by grid), and make one new page with all those commands on there.
That way, you’re not wasting time hunting in submenus for the right button to press, which kinda defeats the purpose of the unit… :wink:
The Stream Deck will (in the latest update!) start Dorico with your custom page, so you’re ready to go.
Two commands I use all the time are “create slash voice” and “endstart repeat” for those I had to make my own icons, I attach them here for your convenience…
Of course you still have to make a multi-action, using Dorico’s key commands, for those to do anything… :+1:

Add Slash Voice

They have different dimensions, but will work fine.

Have fun,

Is there a way of having the StreamDeck start Dorico from scratch? (ie: Dorico not open, just on the basic Windows 10 desktop)?

That, I presume becomes a Windows function rather than a Dorico function?

One thing I think is too bad is that Notation Express has very few videos on using the Stream Deck that last more than 45 seconds.

One of the reason it’s taken me a while to get one (other than the cost) is that I wasn’t sure it was really worth it.

The videos I’ve seen on what you can do with it simply fly by WAY too fast. They don’t give the neophyte viewer any chance to see what exactly the Stream Deck with Dorico profile can do.

A nice 20-minute video of how to use it efficiently would be the best thing they could do.

Yes, the SD has some system functions, like starting a program, built in.

In my earlier post I outlined how I use it, by limiting the SD to ONE custom page with the most used (or hardest to remember key commands) functions on there. Just right click, then copy/paste functions from the Dorico SD profile menus to your custom page, which you should also add under the Dorico profile.
This way you end up with two pages in the Dorico profile, one factory with all the sub-menus, and one that you just made with (in my case) only one level and 31 commands at your fingertips!


Does anyone know where I would find the Dorico4 icon to associate with my StreamDeck start up button?

I’m relatively new to Windows 10 and I remember easily finding icons back when under older versions of Windows, but now things are… more complicated.

IMO, the best way to use the NE profiles for Stream Deck is to customize your own stream deck profile.

The Notation Express stream deck profiles contain many commands which I have memorized and which are better executed directly from the keyboard. Some, however, are difficult to remember or rarely used. I’ve copied these to a custom profile and added some additional ones of my own.

The stream deck setup is also not permanent. In my experience, it is always faster to execute memorized commands from the main keyboard — if I can remember the commands! Stream Deck can be helpful in such memorizing. Once I have an important command under my belt, it will be removed from the SD and archived (in case I forget it).

Another use for SD is for temporary commands . For example, I have a piece where I’m using a lot of sustained notes that last 15 quarter notes. This can be automated either with a script inside Dorico or via Keyboard Maestro (on a Mac). It makes sense to make this function (set duration to 15 qns) a button on the SD home screen. But once the piece is finished, it can be removed and archived.

My only regret re: Stream Deck is that I didn’t buy one the moment they came out. A very, very useful device for extensive programs like Dorico, DAWs, video editing, etc.