Part one of me suggesting things that would improve Dorico (IMO) Let me know what u think

Hi there,
I recently joined Dorico’s Facebook group and I was told it was more likely the DEV team would see this here than in the forums.
Below is the post, modified to include just the suggestions that (in my opinion) would greatly improve Dorico. I can post more as I (re)learn Dorico:

I’ve reinstalled Dorico today after a year of just using Musescore (I guess it’s expected that I would go back and forth between the two, since I’ve used Musescore since 2013) and I feel like I’m back at square one in terms of knowing the shortcuts, how to use the software, etc.
Since I’m practically a newcomer again, there are a few things I noticed that could be improved…

*Searching keybinds in the options menu only shows them exactly as they are called. This search function could be smarter. For example, show related keybinds, or be able to reverse-search keybinds. Having a search function that only shows items exactly as they are called is detrimental to those who are new and don’t know what things are called yet.

*Being able to manipulate ties better (I’ve seen this one a lot, people want to select a note that is in the middle of a tie and can’t, for example)

*Being able to write what you want in rehearsal marks. It’s a little thing that bothered me when I was learning Dorico last year that would make a huge difference.

*Please, PLEASE add a keyboard and fretboard view. This helps so much when composing for a large ensemble, as you are able to visualise exactly what everybody is playing.

*Being able to save, export and import settings.

*I was very happy to see that Dorico has a scripting fuction (I believe they work similarly to plugins in other notation software?). There should be a repository or some website to easily access all scripts made for Dorico in the future as the feature develops.

*Switching from Concert Pitch Score to Transposed Score doesn’t change clefs.

*Something also related to Dorico but not on the program itself: Some of the help articles aren’t actually completely helpful. This needs to change ASAP. For example, look up Dorico’s “Instrument Changes” article. It tells you what an instrument change is, but not how to do it, which is what the majority of people looking these things up want to know. I know what an instrument change is! Just tell me how to do them. Please.

This ties in to the last thing I wanted to see in Dorico that would be helpful for the whole userbase:

*A search function, in the workspaces themselves. This is something straight out of Musescore that I thought would be great in Dorico. Instead of wasting time looking where something is (which is miles better than Sibelius but still sometimes not clear. For example, why are the tremolos inside the “repeat structures” tab?) you could actually just type what you want in the search function.

And I think that’s all I could remember, from the time I was learning Dorico, but never posted about for some reason. There may be more things I come up with as I re-learn Dorico… If so, can I just post them here? (considering a dev might or might not see it)

Thanks guys,


This one comes a lot… You can select a note within a tie chain in Engrave mode, because Engrave mode is about the graphic representation of the music. In write mode, you can’t, because it’s only one note, one sonic object, and Dorico really treats it like it. This is why you can nudge it, lengthen or shorten it in write mode, change the musical value of it (length, placement and pitch). The notes you see are a representation of that one note.
What you can do is place the caret wherever you need and press U to cut the note where you need (divide it in two notes).
I would not expect this to change because it would suppose abandoning fundamental concepts that are the roots of this program, but… I’m a simple user, so who knows!


Welcome to the forum, and thanks for taking the time to share your feedback.

I’d be interested to know whether you find there are things you still want to do with tied notes once you’ve got the habit of showing the caret at the position you want to create or change something under your fingers.

The way Dorico handles tied notes is different than other music composition applications, but not for arbitrary reasons: the fact that tied notes are treated as a single unit confers many benefits in terms of making the music easier to renotate when it changes, and it also makes it much harder to introduce mistakes with articulations, accidentals, etc.

Could you say a bit more about what you would like to write in rehearsal marks that goes beyond the default capabilities provided by the software already? My guess would be that you’re actually thinking about something other than a rehearsal mark, e.g. some kind of section marker (like “Bridge” or “Chorus” or similar), in which case I think you will find it more helpful to use system-attached text. You can easily define a boxed paragraph style that will stand out, and provided you save it as a default (click the star button in the action bar in the Paragraph Styles dialog) you can define a default keyboard shortcut for it, too.

This depends on the specific instruments you’re using. For all of the instruments that conventionally use different clefs in concert and transposed pitch, we’ve (hopefully!) got variants pre-defined that you can choose from the instrument picker. If you’re habitually e.g. bringing music in from MuseScore via MusicXML than it may be that Dorico isn’t using the variant with the clefs you would prefer to see by default. You can use the Change Instrument menu item in the instrument context menu in the Players panel in Setup mode to choose a different one.

If you find that Dorico doesn’t have the specific convention you’re looking for, you can use the Clef and Transposition Override feature to achieve anything you might want to see.

I assume you’re talking about this page? The way our documentation is structured is that when you arrive at a page that explains a particular concept, like this one, you will find the tasks required to enact that concept under the Related links heading at the bottom of the page. Again, once you’re used to how the information is presented – which we try to make as consistent as possible – hopefully that will make it easier for you to find the information you’re looking for.


Actually, Daniel, in this case, the info is right in the article itself. I didn’t understand the instructions at first, so for dummies like me it should’ve stated:

  1. Switch to galley Mode
  2. Input Music into various instruments
  3. Switch to page mode and admire the result!

:+1: :sunglasses:
Sincerely, Benji

As Daniel has already said, the Steinberg manuals are deliberately split up according to the purpose/content of the page. We recently added a new introductory page about this to help share this philosophy with users – it’s currently only included in the iPad manual, but will also be in all future Dorico manuals.

One difficulty for instrument changes in particular is that in Dorico, they’re not something you actively need to “do” at all. The introductory page serves to explain the circumstances in which Dorico automatically handles them, but I freely admit that the older version of this page (as in the 3.5 manual) does so in not-so-helpful paragraph form; as of the iPad manual it’s now in clearer, bullet-point form. There’s also the relevant video tutorial to demonstrate it at the bottom of that page, now, should you prefer a visual representation.

One important thing I’ve learned from my years writing Dorico’s manual and the time I’ve invested reading & responding to forum/online posts from real users is that one can never assume what others do and don’t know. Some time ago, someone pointed out the term “system” wasn’t defined, despite being a crucial concept and the distinction between staves vs systems can be important, such as in vertical justification. Suffice to say, it is now.

So if the documentation clarifies something you already know, please don’t feel patronised by it – it’s there because it’s important to confirm what we mean by the terms we use, to include any synonyms that others may know things by instead, and to point towards all the myriad things Dorico lets you do with that thing. You’ll find relevant links at the bottom of pages, again as Daniel said.

One other thing I’d say is always check the top-left of webhelp pages you land on from online searches – it should say the version number (it’s also included in the URL). The latest version is, unless you are using an older version of the app itself, always the best manual to use – in addition to being more complete, I am always adding stuff, whether that’s keywords in the metadata to improve searches, more links between topics, or tips/warnings that seem useful based on real situations users have shared with us.

Outlined here :slight_smile:

Based on your Facebook post, this was prompted by wanting to change the key command to start note input? In addition to Shift-N, you can also press Return (although make sure just a note or rest is selected; Return will open the corresponding popover for a selected notation).

You may already be beyond this now, but we released a First Steps guide for new users earlier this year that walks you through inputting and formatting a short piano piece. There might be some useful tips and pointers in there for you.


Hi guys, thank you for the replies!! Especially Daniel and Lillie.

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