PTs and PbTs : Easy Way To Restore Lists Of Both To Default "Factory" Lists?

Is there an easy way to restore the lists of Playing Techniques and Playback Techniques to their original “factory” contents only?

In order to rebuild my approach I’d like to make sure (1) all factory items are still on the lists and (2) no custom items appear on them.

When I started monkeying with custom user techniques I didn’t approach things as systematically as I now wish I had done. I’d like to start over from scratch.

I would think the best thing is to uninstall Dorico and then reinstall a ‘clean’ brand new copy. I know when I was experimenting with note-length conditions and a few other things, I installed Dorico on an external hard drive (which had a clean OS install and thus I was able to boot up from it) and messed with that version. You can save your key command file, expression maps and other important files first, but to get rid of all custom PT’s etc, I think this is the best way.

User additions are stored in the user settings’ folders, so reinstalling won’t necessarily fix anything.

Just remove (or rename) the user settings folder before restarting Dorico. Then you’ll be back to day 1.

On Mac, it’s /Library/Application Support/Steinberg/Dorico 3.5
On Windows, I think it’s AppData … something similar. (sorry.)

Thanks for the solutions. That gives me options.

Now that I’ve had a chance to review the options presented, they are very much appreciated and they might be the only solutions, but they both have one major drawback, that they reset not only PT’s and PbT’s but also all user settings.

I was hoping for a restoration that included only those things I wanted to target. If anyone knows of something more targeted, please chime in. If not I’ll have to weigh which is more important to me, a clean PT slate or retaining the rest of my user settings.

If I were to reset all my user settings, Is there an XML file that contains the PT’s that I can use to take a snapshot of what constitutes default so I can use that if ever needed in the future?

All the settings files are human-readable XML or JSON, so you should be able to narrow down which files contain exactly what.

Thanks for the lead, benwiggy.


I am finally revisiting the problem in this topic with intent to take action based on your suggestions above. Before I do I want to be sure that whatever action I take is as narrowly targeted as possible so that I don’t needlessly lose all user items like Playback Templates, etc.

Do I understand correctly that if I can locate the file which contains playing techniques that I can change the name of only that file and restart Dorico I should retain all the rest of my user files and Dorico should “rebuild” a pristine version of that file?

Yes, if the file is absent, Dorico creates a new one. The userlibrary.xml file doesn’t just contain playing techniques, of course.

First thing: take a backup of the user data directory before you change anything

  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Steinberg/Dorico 3.5
  • Win: %APPDATA%\Steinberg\Dorico 3.5

The file you want is userlibrary.xml. If you edit this, then I’d highly recommend using a decent text editor such as VS Code (or another that has a good XML editing mode). The node playingTechniques contains the playback techniques, and the playingTechniqueAppearanceCollectionDefinition node contains the playing techniques. You can set these back to the factory set by just replacing with this:

<entities array="true" /> 

If you make a mess of things, then deleting the userlibrary.xml file will cause Dorico to start a new one next time.

Thanks benwiggy.

Thanks, Paul.

Do you think perhaps for someone unversed in editing text code it might be best just to change the filename of userlibrary.xml? Or is there an advantage to using the text editor? Appreciate your feedback.


If you change the name of the file then that has the same effect as deleting it: you’ll lose all your overrides from the factory defaults. I assumed from your original question that you wanted to keep your own overrides, aside from playing/playback techniques?

If you attach the file here then I’m sure that I or someone else will be able to make this edit for you.

Okay, I understand now. I’ll just dive in and make the edit. Thanks for offering to do it for me.