Overall critic on Dorico v3.5

Hey, I am a composer of contemporary music and work in this branches since 2008. I was also former Sibelius User until 2014, in this year I began to write my music in Illustrator. However now I have to work very fast on the notation layout, so I’d to switch back to a notation software. I brought Dorico in 1.0 Version but resell it after 2 Months. Now is my second time to work with Dorico 3.5. It gets overall better than Sibelius. In December 2020, I did a middle project with the newest version, so I would like to give some feedback.

  1. I don’t really understand the layout, left and right panel is very huge, maybe made for people with bad eyesights. I really recommend to make the layout like Illustrator. that you can work with smaller screen.
  2. I find the 4 Modus (set, write, engrave, playback. actually a hidden one is print tab) is ok, but this modis just cause twice too much clicks, my arm and hand hurt already after 2 days working with dorico. Especially I don’t like the write and engrave are totally separated. Maybe there‘s a solution that we can adjusting object by pressing shift in write mode, it do spare circumstance on work flow!
  3. The Layout is now very powerful, but i do lost some layouts in my last work. It‘s terrible! because I have to adjust them again. Perhaps there should be a function to „lock“ given layouts, in oder they will not disappeared.
  4. Ossia Stave could set to any number of lines. so we can put more additional play technical changes. especially we could work on the label of lines, so we can customize stave lines more than given types.
  5. We really need a separate library of symbols. Now we can use more lines, but the symbols library?
  6. the better comment tool. I really want to write some notes and thoughts on the score only for myself, but now the the contents of comment can’t be seen. Just because if I write them with shift+x they will change the layout of score.
  7. better support of midi-keyboard shortcuts. I set a lot of midi-keyboard short cut, but I can’t see them i a separate window or list, and I also can’t delete them at once.

SO hopefully my critic could give the programming team some suggestion for upcoming versions.

best wishes and thank you very much!


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Hi Oliver, thanks for sharing your experiences using Dorico!

Here are some tips in relation to your points that, just in case you weren’t already aware of them, might help you right now:

  1. You can hide all 3 panels (left, bottom, and right) individually or all together whenever you like. There are buttons in the toolbar, or you can use key commands: Ctrl/Cmd-7 for the left panel, Ctrl/Cmd-8 for the bottom panel, and Ctrl/Cmd-9 for the right panel.
  2. Similarly, you can switch between modes using key commands rather than clicking the buttons in the top-left of the window. That’s Ctrl/Cmd plus the numbers 1-5 for the 5 modes (e.g. Ctrl/Cmd-2 for Write mode, Ctrl/Cmd-3 for Engrave mode).
  3. It sounds like you accidentally deleted layouts in Setup mode? Or do you mean you moved staves up and down using the Staff Spacing tool but those offsets got removed when you for example added a page at the start of the layout? Unfortunately in the latter case that happens when the page number of the staff spacing offsets gets changed. Wherever possible, try to leave those sorts of adjustments towards the end of the process. (Edit: you can also check your project back-up settings, so in future if you realise something has changed that you don’t like, you might be able to go back and find a previous version.)
  4. For symbols that you want to show in the music, you can use custom playing techniques.
  5. If you want to use text to leave notes for yourself in the music without affecting spacing, you can disable collision avoidance for those text objects (they’ll often then overlap the staves, but you can move them graphically in Engrave mode).
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hey, Lillie,

thank you very much for your replay.
1-2, yes I do know this 2 possibilities, but it’s still need that switch, which I don’t like it. I won’t leave so many things on desktop when I write score with my hands or people don’t eat thing by separate the opening month and crewing in 2 different steps. I mean by programming it was a great way to make mode clearly. But I think for editor ist a good work flow. Maybe not for every composer.
3. I don’t know why they are disappeared at all, it was definitely more than one layout was disappeared. I was not accidentally delete them I was pretty sure. Therefore I think a function to lock the layout from the setting mode would be very useful! That’s the thing really spare time! (Not the automatic arrangement according to given accords.)

thank you very much!