Stem direction and selecting notes from chords

I can select the notes I want to select when dragging the mouse pointer after clicking the outside where notehead placed.
However, the whole notes of chords are selected when dragging the mouse pointer after clicking the outside where stems (regardless if they are beamed or not) placed, even if I selected note partially.
Is it intended behaviour?

I can’t quite follow what you’re saying, but if you’re asking whether it’s intentional that clicking on a stem select all the notes in the chord, then the answer is, of course, yes.

Thanks to your answer, I learned how to select notes.

I questioned this because of the following example:
Screenshot 2019-02-22 07.50.17.png
In the example above, I can select the following note(s) by clicking-dragging-releasing mouse:

  • D
  • D, F
  • D, F, A
    However, I could not find the way to selecting the following note(s):
  • C
  • C, A
  • C, A, F

yes, it seems you cannot collect in the direction of the beam, only in the opposite direction.
however, you can do ctrl-click on each note to collect them. (and even other notes not in the chord).

some additional techniques are here.

I think marquee selection works from bottom to top. I don’t know why. But got used to it :sweat_smile:

Hi. I think the online manual is outdated. It says you go to Edit > Stem > Force Stem Up (Down), but I can’t see this option on the Edit menu.

Basically I want to change the direction of the 4 bottom notes of the chord on the first staff, but not of the top 3. How do I do that? I can change the voice, but then I have to deal with hiding rests.

That’s how you do it. Best to learn to deal with it.


You can certainly use F (flip) to flip a whole bunch of notes that belong to the same voice. If there are different directions of stems at the same rhythmic place, those group of notes belong to different voices. And @Derrek is right!

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F works well if you want all the notes of that voice, but it doesn’t change the direction of just some of the notes.
Regarding hiding note rests, please read what I wrote here and below:

I think you might be looking at the help for Dorico v1.

that’s the one it first shows up when I type it onto Google. I also tried to write Dorico 4 but it brings me to the same manual. Maybe someone can remove this one from the internet and put the new one?

It’s simplest to go to the help from within Dorico (F1) and search there.

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That is indeed a fairly old manual! The latest version is here. For Dorico 4, a lot of menu items were re-ordered, so there’s an added “Notations” inbetween “Edit” and “Stem” now. You can also just select notes and press F.

To show a chord (multiple notes on top of each other) with some notes stem-up and some stem-down, you’ll need to put the corresponding notes in different voices.

Google will not always (indeed, arguably will infrequently) bring up the latest version of the manual in search results. This is because the latest manual hasn’t been around as long as older manuals.

We cannot remove older manuals because there are still users out there who use older versions, who need to access the manual that corresponds to their version.

You could try bookmarking the latest manual and searching it directly. In-house search results are really quite good these days.

Thank you. For future versions of Dorico, though, it would be useful that the F could change the stem direction of just some notes of a chord within the same voice. Changing voices sometimes creates rests, and as discussed in the the “Hiding rests and hiding res-dots” topic, removing rests is not always a solution, especially when you have graphic notation (hiding rests would be better).

Notes in the same voice cannot have separate stems. That’s the primary use of separate voices.


But this is common in harp notation.

Well, don’t confuse musical voices with Dorico “voices”. Obviously e.g. an inner voice of a keyboard fugue often moves between staves and can even cross other voices, and thus require changing stem direction, which is done by changing voices in Dorico. It doesn’t matter musically (unless you’re trying to route individual lines to different playback endpoints, in which case you should write on separate staves).

Finale calls them “layers” – btw, that feature was added later to the original voice feature which offers only one additional voice (per layer). If you’re trying to show hand-division on one staff for keyboard or harp, you use two voices for separate stems. (And don’t bother for harp, as the player will determine how to divide the hands.)

You will do yourself and all of us a favor if you stop expecting Dorico to work like Finale. Removing rests in Dorico is a shortcut for ending and restarting a voice, which is the logical way of organizing additional stem directions. I made myself a keyboard shortcut for Remove Rests in the first week, and I use it every session.


For the removing rest issue, please check this to see that removing rests is not a good solution for all cases: Hiding rests and hiding rest-dots - #12 by Coe

Regarding Finale or Sibelius, one shoud remember that Dorico is a quite new notation software that is in the market with those 2. Therefore, “ignoring” the needs of Finale and Sibelius users wouldn’t be positive marketing decision by Steinberg. Of course, this doesn’t mean we should expect Dorico to work as Finale or Sibelius (and indeed we appreciate much of the stuff Dorico does much better than those 2) but Dorico’s management should have these needs in mind. Otherwise, it would be like the company didn’t want Finale or Sibelius users to migrate to Dorico.

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