On the Engraving Options menus, it would be great if we could see in real-time how the changes to numeric values affect the music (before hitting apply). You could have a sample box that modifies as you make the changes, so you know exactly what you’re getting once you hit apply.
A good example can be the Bar Number menu. It’s all numeric value inputs with no visual feedback until you hit apply. Same goes for the Bar Number menus in Setup Mode.
I’m sure this would take some time to code, but it would make the Engraving Options much more intuitive and visual.
We’re very probably not going to do this. You have the Apply button in these dialogs precisely so that you can see the effect of changing the options without closing the dialog, and if you don’t like the changes, you can already do Ctrl+Z to undo them before you close the dialog.
We have of course considered this, but the complexity of writing dedicated previews for dozens, if not hundreds, of the options in the options dialogs that the program already has means that we would be spending a huge proportion of our time just working on previews for options rather than on improving the program. We have already made these dialogs as visual as possible by thinking carefully about each option and coming up with an example that will show you the effect of that option (there are already more than 1000 images altogether spread across the options dialogs, which themselves represent weeks of work to create). This way, you don’t have to find or concoct a special situation in your score just to see what the effect of the option will be.
I’m wondering if it would be possible, as specifically pertains to the text styles menu (as well as the other menus in engrave mode), if we could hit apply without the dialogue closing. That way if we don’t like the result, we could just change the value and hit apply again, without having to reopen the dialogue. I ran into a bit of an issue when I was trying to minutely tweak text on a page (sometimes changing the lyric size by .3 or .5 values to maximize readability but keep a flow on a single page) but every time I hit apply I had to reopen the dialogue. If it stayed open until dismissed, at least you could see the applied result, assess, and then close if you’re finished or keep tweaking until you’re content.
jmatos, if you move the dialogue off to the side (assuming you have the screen real estate) you can hit apply and then see the changes in your score without the menu closing.
Another option to get immediate feedback might be to do what e.g. Photoshop does with filters. Instead of “Apply” and “Close” buttons you have “Ok” and “Cancel” buttons and a “Preview” checkbox. Preview is on by default, so whenever you change some parameter, you immediately see the effect on the image. “Ok” is more or less equivalent to “Apply and Close”, and “Cancel” is more or less equivalent to “Undo and Close”.
I don’t think this would work. The only way for Dorico to “preview” would be to “render” which is what you’d get by hitting apply. If every little button click would cause the score to re-render, it would be very processor intensive.
If all the dialogues are equalized to allow you to apply without closing the dialogue window it will essentially be the same effect, just a slightly different way of interacting with the dialogue.
The other thing worth noting is that most of Dorico’s adjustable settings apply all over the score. A small preview box wouldn’t be well-suited to such settings as they might affect one little corner of the score one way and somewhere else totally differently (think, changing a spacing setting that has its “ideal” value that you’ve just set that then gets stretched elsewhere in the score due to the way the layout trickles down and you end up with a certain number of measures on one line and a different number elsewhere.)