Stupid Problem - Notation Options

Hi all,

So I just recently received Dorico as a birthday present. I started it up and began fiddling around. I noticed that the program was grouping all my quarter notes in a measure together. For my purposes, I want to be able to group them differently (in pairs) and I gathered online that I could do this in “Notation Options”. I cannot, for the life of me, find the “Notation Options” dialogue box. According to the online documentation you can pull it up under Write > Notation Options, Setup > Notation Options, or Using the hotkeys (ctrl+shift+N). I simply cannot find “Notation Options” in any of the drop down menus and using the hotkeys does absolutely nothing. Could it be the version? I received Dorico Elements 3.5, are notation options only available in the the “pro” package (God, I hope not)? Or am I just missing something ridiculously obvious (pretty likely). Can someone maybe post a screenshot of where this dialogue box is hidden?

My apologies for the silly question. Other stuff seems pretty intuitive, I just can’t figure this one thing out :frowning:


Notation Options is only available in Pro. You’ll need to use Force Duration on a case by case basis.

Thanks for the quick response! That’s really disappointing though. I guess I’ll be pursuing a refund.

I am confused the original post.

Are you trying to group quarters notes in measures of 2? Because quarter notes (crotchets) cannot beam together.


Maybe he means beaming of eighth notes? (Four beamed together vs groups of two). We need more information to help.

You may be able to beam them differently by the way that the specify the time signature. What are you after, exactly?

I see it now in here, “Custom note and rest groupings”. Fair enough.

I did mean 8th notes (or 16th, 32nd, etc.), sorry about that.

With a bit more exploring, I found that I can manually unbeam groups of 8th notes. That’ll work for my purposes, it’ll just be tedious to do it in every single measure. I’m intending to use this primarily for folk/old time string music. For an instrument like Banjo, for example, especially in clawhammer and tenor banjo, you use lots of paired 8th notes. It’s just harder to read when they’re all beamed together. I’m also seeing now that there’s no notation for hammer-on and pulloffs either, I’m assuming I can work around that with slurs and inserting text…

Thanks all.

You should find notations for hammer-on and pull-off in the Guitar section of the Ornaments panel in Write mode.

Great, thanks!

In the time signature popover, using the square brackets [ and ] you can write [1+1+1+1]/4, and Dorico will be display 4/4 and beam to each quarter note.

Give that a try. I haven’t ever used Elements, but I believe the time signature popover is identical.


Robby, I do not think it does that in 4/4, unless there is a layout setting that would allow it.

Certainly, that works. The 8ths will beam in pairs. That’s the intention of the bracket format, which allows the user to specify beam groupings.

If the OP wants the 8ths individually beamed, they would need to do the first measure manually, then in the second measure enter [1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1]/8, and hide the time signature.

You may be able to show me how, but when I type [1+1+1+1]/4, the eighths beam in fours, something I think is particular to 4/4.

… unless you set Notation Options to beam them in twos.


Can you give me a screen shot of the appropriate option(s) when you have time? I did check Notation Options, but did not see that option (or combination) to produce that, and I did try a few I thought would work. In the meanwhile I’ll take a second look to bring myself up to speed.

EDIT: Never mind: I found the option. Thanks for referring me back to it.

Of course Notation Options are not available in Elements, which is what the OP is using.

Ah yes, I forgot that. Thanks for referring me back to the limitations of Elements. :wink:
I especially liked the OP’s opting for a refund for something he/she received as a birthday present!

Perhaps the OP has never heard of re-gifting–to an enemy if not to a friend. :laughing:

I’m surprised [1+1+1+1]/4 doesn’t work. It works for 5/4.

Certain Notation Options that apply to time signatures with a half-bar still apply to 4/4, even if it was input explicitly with 4 separate beat groups.