Pitch before duration - pitch using the arrows on the laptop keyboard

Good morning. When entering “Pitch before duration” notes, is it possible to change the pitch using the arrows on the laptop keyboard?

Unfortunately, only together with the Alt key. I wish it was possible to move the gray note indicating the pitch by just pressing the arrow keys similar to Finale.

Exactly. I have also been working at Finale for 10 years. It would make it much easier if there was an exchange that the arrows change the pitch of the sound and the alt+arrows move between the voices…

Dorico is remarkably consistent in its use of modifier keys. After a short time you will find them so natural…

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Or get a Stream Deck. A small one would suffice for just replacing the arrow keys.
I use 3 columns, chromatic, diatonic and octaves, next to each other. Works super.


If you have got a numpad on your laptop keyboard, you can set keyboard shortcuts “Lower pitch by step” and “Raise pitch by step” to the + and - keys on the numpad, it made me much faster with pitch before duration

That’s true but in this case it slows down note entry because you can’t easily keep the fingers above the number and arrow keys. Also, I think there is a difference between changing the pitch of already entered notes and moving a note cursor up or down to select the pitch of notes to be entered. The latter is part of the note entry process and the need to hold down Alt makes it more difficult – especially on a laptop without separate numeric keypad.

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Well, by all means feel free to change your key commands. I just think your brain bandwidth will be less challenged if you trust the well-thought assignments that the Dorico developers created.

But that’s the problem here. You can’t change the key command only for moving the gray note shown in Pitch Before Duration mode because it’s linked to the function that changes the pitch of already entered notes. Of course, I don’t want to change the latter. It would just be useful to have separate key commands for selecting the pitch when using Pitch Before Duration.


That is actually making a lot of sense!

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OK. I’m confused… so you still want to use Alt-up to pitch change an existing note, but just not a pitch-before-duration note?

(You might find duration before pitch simpler?)

I want to keep the key commands for altering existing notes and like to see separate ones to vertically move the input cursor (the gray note) in pitch before duration mode. That’s all. Once the notes are entered regardless the input method, using the Alt key to change them is fine.

No, I don’t. :slight_smile: I really tried but can’t get my head around this input method. Probably because of using Finale for more than 20 years.


I see a logic here: Alt-arrows are for editing notes; with pitch before duration it is a note you haven’t even entered yet. I don’t use this mode myself, but I support the OP’s request.

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I used to use this method with Finale when I was on a laptop and didn’t have access to a MIDI keyboard. It’s very fast as you don’t have to move one hand off of the arrow keys. I’d love to see this as an option in Dorico too.


i use “Touch Portal”. Install it on your PC and on your tablet or phone. Then configure it to your needs. It’s less expensive than a steam deck and you’rae free in configuration.
I use it for Dorico, Excel, Word, affinity aso.