Some thoughts on minor interface difficulties


Maybe I am too stupid or the dumbest user possible in order to get into the concept of text and paragraph styles in Dorico, but sometimes I struggle when it comes to change or add some text/paragraph elements.

FIRST: changing the size of tempo marks means to change 4 different sorts of text styles. These text styles are scattered in the pop up list (red arrows):

Ok, all is listed in alphabetical order, which is some easy way to create some kind of structure, but I think that alphabetical structure is not a big help in this case.

(Paranthese 1: 5 styles are labeled as »Text whatever«. You know: everything in this list is a text :wink: So, IMHO the label »text« is an obstacle, not a help.)

Look here: »Allmähliche Tempowechsel TEXT« and »TEXT Metronomangabe« – for me, thats a lack of stringency which increases difficulties in finding sorts of text.

SECOND: you have to know by heart the name of these 4 text styles, cause in the main window of Dorico the text styles are named differently than in this list (maybe thats caused by the german translation). I have talked about this in an older post as well.

THIRD: look at »Text-/Musikschrift für Dynamik« and »Textschrift für Dynamik« There are two different sorts of textstyles but both labeled as »text style for dynamic«.
Sorry, but this is the opposite of intuitive. You have no other chance than to try out what happens when you change something. And you have to remember …

(Paranthese 2: Back to the screenshot text list: I don’t know any Althorn (Triplehorn). Whats that? Because: in the line below the label »Bb-/F-Horn (Double Horn)« makes sense.

FOURTH: I am not sure, if the name »paragraph« was a good choice. AFAIK paragraph texts are used with shift-(alt-)-x, text styles with all other popovers. IMHO »paragraphs« are something different. It took me a while to overwrite the Adobe concept in my brain and catch the logic behind this concept.

(Paranthese 3: I would like to have some paragraph options when it comes to »real« paragraphs like in a foreword: hyphenation options for example … meanwhile I have to do a workaround with InDesign or Illustrator)

FIFTH: I know, smufl, but why its not possible to write pp, ff, sfz, … in other fonts? I can write cresc. in every font I like, but not p. These are just letters … It would be nice to use, let say, Gotham or Bembo or whatever for every text.

Thanks for your feedback here. Some of these issues are perhaps due to the choices of our German translator, but they all of course have root in how we have named things in English. It’s true that there are a number of font styles related to tempo, for example, and to dynamics, and this is necessary in order to provide the required flexibility. However, in normal use you need only change the ‘Default text font’ font style and ‘Default text’ paragraph style to update all of the other styles, since most of the time you would normally use a single text font family for all of these different kinds of texts. Obviously if you need to adjust the sizes of many styles, then you have no choice but to visit more of them.

If you want to use your own symbols for dynamics, you can edit them in Engrave > Music Symbols.

Tempo is particularly confusing in English too. If a new user is looking to modify Tempo text, it’s natural to scroll down the list to T looking for Tempo, which of course doesn’t exist. It’s not really intuitive to know you need to look for “Immediate” or “Gradual.” Changing to something like “Tempo Text - Immediate” and “Tempo Text - Gradual” would then have them appear where users will naturally look, and having them appear next to each other will make it clear there are two different settings, which is not obvious to a new user in the current configuration.

Thank you, Daniel, for you answer!
Thanks FredGUnn, too!

@Daniel: Please don’t get me wrong. I know: if it comes to freedom of choice, it comes to complexity.
I just wanted to talk about my opinion, that there is a room for improvement in terms of usabilty when it comes to text in Dorico. And ironically it has to do with text itself. New users just have the possibility to try out and learn by heart.

One example: (from the point of view of a new user)
clicking on e.g. »q=60« Dorico shows »Tempo, sofortig« (tempo, immediate) below the properties panel
Now it would be intuitive to look for »Tempo, sofortig« in the list of text styles. But as FredGUnn showed above, there is no Tempo whatever.
After a while you find »Sofortige Tempowechsel Text«, which is the same, but written the other way round. Ok. Changing this has no effect on q=60, because it regulates terms like Allegro and Adagio. What you need (we all know) are two different text styles, which both are not labeled in the field below properties panel.

So I have three wishes/proposals:

  1. stringent labeling of text and paragraph styles – names shouldn’t change from one window to another.
  2. »Apply« button for the text style window.
  3. the possibility to type in the name of a font instead of scrolling down the whole font list every time you change a font. Additional »last used fonts« in the upper area of the fonts list.