Query about two aspects of Dorico notation behaviour


I’m still fairly early into Dorico, my first evening using it tonight. There’s two things I wanted to ask about:

  1. I notice that it’s doing a lot of retranscribing of rhythms, for example rewriting double-dotted notes as tied notes. Is there or will there be a way to override this?

  2. I notice when I select a duration and want to enter a rest, it seems that the rest doesn’t actually appear until I put the next note in, and I find that a bit disconcerting. Is that intentional? It seems odd, since I then end up wondering if I did actually put it in.



  1. Check out the Notation Options dialog for all of the options that control Dorico’s automatic behaviour in this regard. You can override it by using the Force Durations button in the toolbox (shortcut O, icon like a G-clamp) but I recommend you instead focus on changing the options to suit your needs, rather than forcing Dorico’s hand by always working with the clamp on.

  2. Normally you don’t need to use rest input at all. I would recommend you simply hit Space to advance the caret and leave a gap, and when you input the next note, Dorico will fill in the gap with the appropriate rest(s) according to the meter, and again according to the options for rest grouping in Notation Options. Only in very rare circumstances do you ever need to input rests.

Ah, right. I discovered the Force Duration option a moment ago, and that was to be my second question (would you expect the normal user behaviour to be leaving this on, which is obviously no).

I had looked in the notation options earlier, but somehow completely missed the fact that it scrolled down to reveal way more options. I thought there was only about three!

Regarding the second point, sorry I was a bit unclear. I have been using the space bar to advance the caret and enter rests, but I don’t see rests actually appear in the score until I enter a note again, and it’s this I found a bit disconcerting.

Thanks, look forward to looking into this a lot more.


Once you get used to simply moving the caret on and letting Dorico fill in the rests for you, I don’t think you’ll find it disconcerting for long – you’ll instead resent all the hours you’ve spent typing in rests when your software could have been doing it for you instead…

As you press the spacebar the rests update with the last selected rhythmical value. If your last note was an 8th, pressing space once will give you an eight rest, hitting space again will (typically) update this to a quarter rest as you go… etc.etc… If this is not happening you have a problem somewhere… :slight_smile:

Is that happening for you? When I press space all that happens is the caret moves forward, nothing else. Is that not meant to happen?

Indeed, I just tried it again this morning before I posted! Maybe we are on to a bug here. I’m on W7, which platform/OS are you using?

Yeah, this was my point. I hit space, and the caret advances, but no rest appears until I enter an actual note.

So Daniel, to take the example you gave, If my last note was an 8th, pressing space advances the caret the value of an 8th but doesn’t actually display an 8th rest until I enter an actual note. Even if I enter another rest, or two more rests, no rests display until another note is entered. And it gets sort of confusing if you have a number of rests in succession, e.g. half, quarter and dotted 8th rests, followed by a 16th note at the very end of the bar, I don’t see the rests appear till I enter the last note.

I’m on Windows 10.

hmm… not near dorico atm, so just guessing… could lock durations be on…?

Same result with Force Durations on or off.

Well, the rests don’t appear because there already are rests up to the end of the flow! Dorico ensures the rests durations always change automatically according to its notation rules. Enter the music first, adapt the notation rules to your liking, once all that’s done you could re-enter rests with force duration if you really aren’t happy with what Dorico did.

So does that mean fratveno is the one with the bug?

Hitting space will move the caret by the duration selected in the Note Input panel. It will only change existing rests if that move also extends the duration of the flow (and might then renotate any rests at the end).

Okay, I think I see what you’re saying. Because the bar essentially starts with a whole rest, then there are already rests? Is that what you mean?

My point is, if I say, select a half note then hit space to advance the caret, then I’ve made a decision about a rest that I want to see in the score. Given that I’ve already made that decision, and that Dorico implicitly understands that decision, hence has moced the caret, it seems odd not to see a direct confirmation of that action by a rest appearing at that point (the way we have with a note). Even if the rest was then updated according to subsequent actions, surely it makes sense for it to appear?


If the rest appeared at that point, the notation in the bar would be incorrect. I believe the principle Dorico follows is that what appears on-screen is always correctly notated.

fwiw, when I tested it this morning, I was entering music on an unmetered staff…maybe that matters… will explore more later

The point is that you know what you are going to do next, but Dorico doesn’t know until you actually do it.

For example in 6/8 time, if you are entering some 8th notes, a dotted quarter rest, and some more 8ths, you might just hit space three times, because that’s quicker than changing the note duration to a dotted quarter, hitting space once, and changing duration back to an 8th.

Dorico doesn’t create an 8th rest, then change it to a quarter rest, then add a dot to it - it just waits till you enter another note and then figures out what rest(s) are needed to fill the gap between the notes.

It “matters” in the sense that in the current version, you can’t tell the current version of Dorico much about how you want to beam notes and combine rests in unmetered music. It already knows the “rules” for standard time signatures, and you can tell that you want time signatures like “14/8 beamed as 5+2+3+4/8” (but if there is ever a Classical Indian Music version of Dorico, it ought to recognize that as a standard time signature! :wink: )

Well, well, well, I agree with the OP. When entering music in metered sections the (accumulating) rest doesn’t update until a note is entered. I don’t like that either, I hope they will change it to the same behaviour that occurs in unmetered sections, where the rest updates for every spacebar hit. We just need to see the correct rest value at all times, even if the Dorico logic will renotate everything once the bar is complete.

It only updates like that if you are adding music to the end of a flow, probably because it’s not very clear what a whole-bar rest means in unmetered music unless the rhythm is defined on another stave in the score.

If you input music onto another stave, rests input will work the same way metered and unmetered.