Some things that prevent me from using Dorico professionally

I tried to reproduce a page that was done in Finale with Dorico. I wanted to know if Dorico can already be used for professional work. I encountered these things, that prevent me from using Dorico in professional work.

  1. The Violin staff can only be zoomed to 60 % oder 75 %. If the publisher wants it to be 80 % I cannot do that.

  2. Prefixes and suffixes to dynamics always appear in italics. I cannot make them bold or alter its size.

  3. If a system begins with a tie (measure no. 7), the first note should be moved to the right and the tie should be extended. I cannot find an option to do this.

  4. The size of tempo markings cannot be set individually for different staves.

  5. Articulations cannot be attached to the last note of a ligature (tied notes). In measure no. 7 the c in the left hand staff should get a tenuto.

  6. My publisher wants fixed values for the vertical spaces between the 3 staves of the organ. I can’t see an easy way to set these spaces for the gap between right hand / left hand and left hand / pedal individually but globally for the whole flow.

  7. The automatic vertical spacing often does a good job. But in some cases I do not want Dorico to make any changes to my vertical spacing anymore. There should be an option to disable the automatic spacing.

  8. Overlapping frames cannot be moved or handled. I always get the wrong frame. Why I need overlapping frames? The frame for the title should cover the whole page width for the title text to be centered correctly. The „Don’t copy“- graphic must overlap the title frame.

  9. In text frames there should be an option for text wrapping and for the alignment within the frame.
    In my example the composer’s name and her date of birth must be centered one under the other but together they must be aligned to the right border of the frame.

  10. Sometimes the publisher wants a single measure to be wider or narrower than Dorico has made it. There should be an option to move barlines to the right or left.

  11. I cannot name the right and left hand staves with “Manual” and the pedal staff with “Pedal”.

Maybe in some of these cases I’m missing something. Maybe there are workarounds for some issues.

My conclusion: I love using Dorico for my educational work (which is of course “professional”) but I must wait for the next at least 3 or 4 updates before I can use it for publishing work.

Thomas (87.5 KB) (125 KB)

Yes, this is also very important for me!

I would say that issue is of some importance, but I would find it rather more useful if we could select whether a certain object will influence vertical spacing or not — kinda like turning Magnetic Layout off.

This is addressed in the forthcoming update, in which you can set a player’s staves to any arbitrary percentage of the default staff size, or specify a rastral size to use.

For the time being you will have to use a separate Shift+X text item to achieve this.

This is not yet implemented automatically (though we plan to), but it will be possible to do this manually in the forthcoming update using the new controls for adjusting note spacing.

That’s not quite true: the tempo font styles can be set to be a particular size relative to the staff size, so if you then have a smaller staff size, tempo marks will be shown at the correct size relative to that staff size.

See the ‘Ties’ section of the Articulations page of Engraving Options for global control over this for each type of articulation, and you can also override an individual case using the Properties panel.

You should be able to do this by setting the ‘Braced staff to braced staff gap’ and ‘Staff group to staff’ gaps on the Vertical Spacing page of Layout Options, though this will only give precisely the right results in a layout that includes only the 3-staff organ instrument.

There will be an option in the ‘Minimum Gaps’ section of the Vertical Spacing page of Layout Options to disable automatic staff spacing adjustments in the forthcoming update.

This will be much improved in the forthcoming update because you will be able to use the keyboard to navigate between frames. Use the arrow keys to navigate to different frames on the page (when a frame is selected like this you can move it with Alt+arrows, with Ctrl for larger steps), then hit Tab to navigate to one of the handles of the currently-selected frame: use the arrow keys to move between those handles, and hit Tab again to go back to selecting the body of the frame rather than only one handle. When you have a handle selected, Alt+arrows (again, with Ctrl for larger steps) allows you to resize the frame in that dimension.

For now you will have to do this by centre-aligning the text in the frame and then resizing the frame from the left-hand side such that the frame is the same width as the widest line of your text object, and is abutting the right-hand page margin.

You will have complete control over staff spacing in the forthcoming update (far more detailed control, in fact, than is possible in practically any other scoring program – I suspect that only SCORE and LilyPond, with their parametric approach, are comparable, but neither of them provide a good way to make precise and predictable edits graphically).

For this, either use two players, one with a 2-staff organ instrument and the other with any suitable bass clef 1-staff instrument (e.g. cello), or use a single player holding two instruments (i.e. a 2-staff organ and a 1-staff bass clef instrument) and switch off ‘Allow instrument changes’ on the Players page of Layout Options. Edit the names of the instruments by expanding the player cards in the Players panel in Setup mode so that you can see the instrument names there. Hover over the instrument label and a chevron > will appear. Now click to open the context menu, choose Edit Names, and change the name for the 2-staff instrument to ‘Manual’ and the 1-staff instrument to ‘Pedal’.


thank you very much for your detailed reply. I’m glad to hear, that some things will be implemented in the next update of Dorico.

Maybe I won’t have to wait for the next 3 to 4 updates before using Dorico in professional work. :wink:



You should be able to do this by setting the ‘Braced staff to braced staff gap’ and ‘Staff group to staff’ gaps on the Vertical Spacing page of Layout Options, though this will only give precisely the right results in a layout that includes only the 3-staff organ instrument.

I would prefer if the vertical spacing could be set for each instrument/staff individually in Setup Mode.