Suggestion: paste as "alias"

Hello community!
I have a new suggestion for next release! :smiley:

it would be very useful for me to have the possibility to copy a part of the score and have the “paste as alias” option, so that changing the copied music part is also changed the pasted one.

it would also be fantastic to be able to subsequently “freeze” the pasted part, thus making it independent of the modifications to the copied part.

Thank you vert much!
I am looking forward to the new version which I believe will be fabulous!

This is an interesting idea. Since cues already allow copying material that consequently updates if you change the source, I imagine this would work in other contexts too. One problem to solve is what happens if you lengthen or shorten the original material? Some limits would need to be imposed. Nevertheless I like the idea.

Until this is implemented exactly as you outlined, couldn’t you in the meantime just make a second identical (or nearly identical) flow in the same project? That would indeed automatically update as you have requested. On the other hand, you couldn’t Freeze it, I don’t think. But I might be wrong.


I really don’t think that the duplication of the flow serves this.

Can be selected the proprieties of Copy/paste in Alias it would be beautiful.
for my needs it would be enough if the pasted material perfectly followed the modifications of the copied one

We have certainly thought about this kind of feature in the past, but it’s not something you are likely to see in the near future.

Thank you Daniel!

The more I think about the possibilities with this, the more I really like this idea. This would be neat to apply to lyrics and text items as well. It’s not infrequent that I copy lyrics between parts (homophonic choruses for instance) and I alt+click the lyrics to the other parts. Sometimes I find mistakes later on (or would like to tweak a few words for other reasons) and it sure would be awesome if there was a shift+alt+click or something similar that would allow those lyrics to be aliases as well.


Just make it less inscrutable than the “mirror” options in Finale.

(IIRC Finale deleted some of this “functionality” after version 2014, because the UI was so weird they couldn’t find anybody who was actually using it for anything)

I have to say, if I accidentally pasted something as an alias, and then changes were happening to it without my realizing it, that could be a recipe for disaster without an exceedingly clear UI. (I still get messed up occasionally by aliases in the Apple finder, and I’ve used these machines for decades.) If anyone can do it right I’m sure the Dorico team can, but to me it seems fraught with peril.

it would be enough to make the alias easily recognizable.
a solution could be the semitransparent visualization.

How do you know where you copied it from?

What is supposed to happen if you delete the bars you copied it from completely from the flow, rather than just editing or deleting the music?

When Dorico gets to implement playback of the first /second time for repeats, what happens if you alias something from the middle of a “play first time only” passage into the middle of a “second time only” passage?

There are a lot more issues here than just “making it easily recognizable”…

your comments are really important.
I believe however that for certain operations the possibility of having aliases would be very convenient for me.

probably my scores are not as complex as yours.

One more thought on this - I like to collect my compositions into books ( i.e. all vocal music, or all guitar music) for publishing as well as have them free-standing. It would be great to have changes to the free-standing version automatically propagate to the book version

You should be able to do that by making the pieces separate flows in one Dorico project file, and creating layouts for the complete book and the individual pieces.

That doesn’t handle the case of including a piece in more than one book, but you can import flows from one Dorico project to another.

That is what I do now. The problems come with page numbering where the book has continuous pages and free-standing pieces have front matter that I don’t include in the books. Then there is the very slow response time when working with 40 flows and 200 pages. It’s all doable but having an alias version would simplify it.

I don’t understand why the continuous page numbers and different front matter are a problem. Explore the attached demo project…

Working with lots of flows and layouts, the response can be slow if your changes affect many layouts which are all “active”. The work round is to make sure just one layout is open (close all other tabs and windows if you are using them), save and close the project, reopen it, and then make the changes. Then, Dorico won’t waste time updating lots of “invisible” layouts for every single edit you make, but will only reformat a layout when you open it again to view it.

You can also export and import flows from a project to work on them individually, which also fixes the speed problem.
Book and separate pieces (404 KB)