Searchable document of all menus and options

I started this and would appreciate opinions about whether it’s worthwhile.

I like the idea of all the options in one document, searchable by keyword. Google is pretty good, but it doesn’t quickly return everything. Sometimes I have a difficult time remembering where to find a particular setting. So I started a Google Sheet with every menu, sub-menu, and setting. I finished Engraving Options through Beams.

If people think this is a worthwhile endeavor, I’ll keep going on it. It’s helpful to me, but if I’m the only one who finds it helpful, I may not have the steam to get all the way through it. Maybe others could chip in too. I’d certainly be interested to know if there’s a better way - maybe with accordion-style menus that could be collapsed.

I suspect most of us would find this very helpful. I would, for sure.

I believe a comprehensive searchable index of Dorico’s features would be of great help to many users.

As the users of this forum state every day, Dorico offers a stunning set of innovative features.
Yet, when it comes to finding particular feature/option, in many cases it’s not intuitively clear.
There is a term in application design field - ‘discoverability’.
With all great features, Dorico has to offer, discoverability - in my opinion - is not the strongest facet of Dorico.

Certainly, those who use the application on a daily basis, have no problem remembering how to access various features.
But for those, who use the app not every day, finding or recalling particular feature/option often turns to be a challenge (and not a creative challenge, but rather frustrating one).
Just look at how frequently users of this forum post questions, the answer to which should be easy to find either in the manual or just by the common sense of professional musician.

Thankfully, this forum offers exceptional support: development team members, as well as expert users, are willing to help out 24/7.
Thank you, Daniel, thank you, Leo, and others.
But for many common routine questions, it’s not the way it should be; at least in my opinion.
When I need to find a solution for a particular task, I look at the manual and unless I’m trying something that the app is not designed to do, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to find the answer.

Speaking of manual, the huge (and indeed quite challenging) work of creating a manual is somewhat impaired by insufficient indexing. A number of times I stumbled upon dreadful “No matches were found” when the search term is pretty common and almost certainly is explained somewhere.
Here’s a recent example: I couldn’t recall how to scale down a selection of notes; I remembered that it’s simple, but couldn’t recall where/how. So, I opened the manual and entered ‘noteheads scaling’, ‘notes scaling’, and a few other variants - all returning “No matches were found”.

In summary, in my opinion, Dan’s initiative is truly valuable (and admirable, giving the amount of time it will take to accomplish that task), and I express my enthusiastic support for it.

Igor Borodin

I find Google searches work way better than searching this forum (top of page), or Dorico’s help. Google’s Al Gore Rhythms know about synonyms and mispelinggs and most useful links.

As others have suggested, sometimes using a dedicated search engine like Google will turn up more relevant results, but I would also recommend going to the PDF version of the manual and searching the index there. It’s currently 58 pages long, and already contains entries for “notes>scale size”, “scale size>notes”, and “size>noteheads/notes”. I’ve very much attempted to give every topic at least 2-3 (and way more if relevant) possible ways to be reached via the index, which should help you find what you need.

Just a bump to ask for help, if anyone’s interested in chipping in. PM me and I’ll share the Google sheet with you. Thanks!

I’m not sure where you got with this Dan, but sticking with the issue…

One of the windows that works exceptionally well IMHO is the Key Commands menu. The search function takes away a huge amount of guesswork and saves a lot of time.

It would be very helpful if the same approach could be taken to the Options menus - a facility to search for something and have a list of results returned - ideally across all options menus because quite often what you want isn’t where you think it is.

I remember there was talk about having some kind of “Alfred” or spotlight search within the app to allow easy typing of keywords to get results. That would be so good.

This is often the case with many Mac apps. It seems almost standard nowadays, even when their scale don’t seem to justify it. But I have no idea about the details of its actual implementation, so I’m not making any judgment, just noting that it would be good to have at some point in the future.

On the Mac, at least, any menu item can be searched for, and selecting the result will reveal the menu. But obviously this only applies to menu items, and not settings or Properties panel controls.

However, once you’ve got in your head the division between Layout, Notation and Engraving Options, then I think most things are easily discoverable.

I think IgorBorodin said it very well, back in March. I’m one of those who does not typically use Dorico every day, so often, trying to remember where certain things are can be frustrating. Having said that, I’ve now read Lillie’s response, and I shall download the PDF manual and try using that, rather than go straight on-line, i think.
Thanks, Lillie!

Here’s the update for Dorico Pro 3

Wait — what?

It isn’t for me. Is this a native feature of OS X? Why is it arbitrarily turned off for certain applications? Or why would the OS X version have any interaction with such a feature?

Yes, native feature for quite a few years. Most apps should have it if they use standard MacOS menus. I don’t think it can be turned off. Which apps don’t have it for you?

Dorico! Since day one! That’s what I meant in my first post!

It’s a system feature, and it works in most apps, but not in all. It seems like an Opt-out feature, because I remember when it was introduced (I think it was Leopard) many apps that didn’t have it suddenly were searchable in the help menu. However, that’s not the case for me in Dorico. Which OS version are you using, @benwiggy?

Well, this is interesting! The search field didn’t appear because I have my computer language set as Portuguese. As soon as I choose English as the main option in the system preferences, the search field appears. Seems like, since the default name for the “help” menu in Portuguese is “Ajuda”, the OS doesn’t recognise the menu item “Help” as the default one if it’s not the system language, but it does if it is. Conversely, if I set Dorico and the system language to Portuguese, it also works.

Ha! This is weird. Thanks for looking into this, Lucas.

I have no searchable help menu when I set the language to English. If I choose German, which is my system language it appears.
Is there any way to make it work in English? Working with Dorico in English makes it much easier dealing with tutorial videos and this forum, which is why I did chose in English.

Dear gratowski,
Thanks for your last post. I’ve always been running Dorico in English (for the very good reasons that you’ve detailed) and I did not know that, in French, the search was there !