Support for non-English and RTL languages in Dorico


I’m using Dorico with a Hebrew/English keyboard setup and am experiencing two issues:

  1. keyboard shortcuts won’t work when the keyboard is set to a non-English character set (in other applications keyboard shortcuts always function)
  2. Hebrew in text elements won’t print properly (the characters come out fine but in the wrong order - probably because this is a right-to-left character set)



Uri, sorry not to have come back to you sooner. I’m afraid at the moment targeting RTL languages is outside of the scope of what we can officially support for Dorico. Hopefully in the future we will be able to dedicate some time to this issue, but it’s not something we can prioritise at the moment.

Hi Uri,

  1. Dorico has a lot of shift-letter shortcuts. On a Hebrew keyboard, those will be mapped to Hebrew-specific stuff (e.g. final letters), but not Latin letters. You may need to create a lot of custom key shortcuts. (shift-מ for meter? I don’t know)

  2. FWIW: I have had no problem inserting RTL Hebrew text in a Dorico textbox. I’m on Mac, using Unicode-compliant fonts. Some of them pretty standard (like Arial Hebrew, not fancy, but functional), but also a few fonts I made together with a friend of mine, who uses them in music for his synagogue choir. All these fonts behave fairly well in Dorico, even when adding Hebrew vowel marks. We were surprised the text handling of Dorico seems to be quite Unicode-savvy. Quick check: yes, Arabic works also, using a default system font on the Mac.
    My friend typeset (in Dorico) a choral piece with even the lyrics in Hebrew script. The music itself is standard left-to-right, but each separate syllable is displayed right-to-left. This seems to be a quite common practice in Israeli sheet music.


Thanks Daniel and Peter!

I expected that handling this would be given low priority considering other things on the agenda.

I will definitely try mapping custom keyboard shortcuts, at least for the commonly used actions!

Peter, the problem I was experiencing had more to do with how Dorico printed Hebrew text items (e.g. Despite being displayed correctly, a flow title would be printed with the character order reversed). This is possibly a Windows - only issue. A possible workaround for this would be to create the text in an image editor and paste it to the score as an image.

Thanks again.

Uri, does it make a difference if you export as PDF? If the PDF is OK, I guess it will print fine.

To be honest, for one Hebrew title we had to fake it with an image too, because we relied upon default positioning of nikudot for a few ‘normal width’ letters in our homemade font, but that turns out to be unreliable. The font must explicitly handle all combinations. But that’s not a musical topic anymore.

I wish we could input text in XeLaTeX natively in Dorico: all languages would be so nicely typeset, without having to tweak anything… but I know this is not a reasonable request :wink:

I found the solution in another forum. You only have to EXPORT GRAPHICS to pdf instead of printing (even to pdf).
Thanks to Dan Kreider who found it.
How to export graphics to pdf: written or video tutorial