Request for "smart" accidental overrides, plus two tangents

I love the options in the bottom panel when a note is selected to set a custom override for that note’s display of accidental. Hide, Show, Round, and Square brackets are all great options. My request is regarding the default value of that dropdown.

If I turn “Accidental” on in the properties panel, one would assume I desire to change the default behavior. So, I wonder if it would be possible to NOT have “hide” be the default if the note’s accidental is already hidden. It’s already hidden, so obviously I don’t want to hide it, right?

Maybe since there are 3 different options for showing the accidental, this isn’t very helpful, but in conjunction with the preference setting for cautionary accidentals, the program could at least default to that preference for parentheses or not when the on/off switch for “Accidental” is turned on?

Speaking of parentheses, in the Notation Options, they are referred to as “parentheses”, but in the properties panel, they are referred to as “round brackets”. Shouldn’t that be consistent terminology to avoid confusion? (My understanding is that British English uses “round” and “square” brackets, but American English uses “parentheses” and “brackets” for round and square respectively.)

Furthermore, this gets me wondering, why isn’t “square brackets” an option in the Notations settings for displaying cautionary accidentals? Are round exclusively used for cautionaries, and square for editorial or other purposes?

I’m just glad it works (and that having hide in the list avoids folks claiming that restriking the accidental key to get rid of an accidental once they change their mind is “unintuitive”).

If you assign a key shortcut to “Toggle Accidental Status”, then pressing your key on a note without an accidental shows it; and pressing it on a note with an accidental hides it. Further presses run through the options.

As for the general point, this goes to the nature of property defaults and overrides. The switch turns on an override from the default property. The default property is determined by (in this case) the Notation Options rules on Accidental validity. You might change the Notation Options, but your override (which might be Hide or Show) still holds regardless.

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How did I miss this?! :slight_smile: I did not know this. I will definitely be looking into adding this to my Streamdeck! Thank you.

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Or, as it turns out, my Streamdeck profile for Dorico already had this option in the second folder of Notes commands! :slight_smile:

Just to give a different perspective, I write scores for amateur vocal and piano students, and to be kind, I include a lot of cautionary accidentals, but always in parentheses.
My engraving options for cautionaries have most of them enabled (in parentheses).

I find it much easier to delete the ones I don’t want, so finding “Hidden” at the top of the dropdown in Properties is perfect for me.

In my way of thinking, that would still be the selected option for you, because the accidental would be there. So it would still default to “hidden” when you turn that option on. That’s why I was suggesting it be made “smart” - context-aware, so to speak.

Yes, I see your point.
I think the options are listed alphabetically right now (as in your list in the OP) which happens to work well for me almost every time.
No doubt there are many dropdowns which in the future could benefit from the extra intelligence that you suggest.

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Yep, no need to change the order of the items in the dropdown. Just pre-select the appropriate one. That is what I would do as a programmer (and I am one).

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I realize that turning the switch on overrides. That’s the basic point I was acknowledging. But “best practices” in user design suggests that fewer clicks is better. If the accidental is hidden by default, and you turn the switch on to override the default, chances are very close to 100% that you do not want “hidden” as the value. So to turn it on and then make the user click 2 more times (once to reveal the dropdown, a 2nd time to select the option they want) is not great user design.

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The option is harmless, and one can question whether spending the programming time required to change it is worthwhile until more pressing programming challenges have been met.

I made a request, not a demand. I’m not complaining at all here. Just throwing a request out there and leaving it up to them to figure out if it’s something they want to change, can change, etc.

This, in general, is something I’ve been asking for since the dorico 1 days. Not for this case specfically, but that in cases where it’s a simple binary toggle, that toggles the property should automatically flip it to whatever the non-default state is. Like you said, odds are 1000:1 if I’m activating it I don’t want what it’s already doing, and having to change it back in the 1 case is far less aggregate work than dealing with the other 999.


I made peace with this fairly early on, once I understood that Toggle Accidental Visibility and Hide Accidental are different commands and can be assigned separate shortcuts. So now I use “Hide” to hide, and “Toggle” (once) to force-show an accidental. And since the latter is not actually a toggle but a cycle, I can hit it multiple times to get brackets.

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