Sync Dorico customizations via Dropbox?

The attached screen grab shows folders which sync Sibelius customizations between my desktop and laptop:

Chord Symbols
House Styles
Keyboard Shortcuts
Manuscript Paper
Timeline Option Presets
Word Menus

Their default location in macOS is [User home] > Library > Application Support > Avid > Sibelius 7.5

I moved them to a folder in Dropbox and put symbolic links in the default location.

(I don’t recall where I first learned this - the Sibelius forum? Scoring Notes blog? - but thanks to whomever posted the tutorial!)

Can something similar be done with Dorico, and if so, how?

The first things I’d like to sync are custom chord symbols and music symbols.



Yes, I think in theory this should be OK. If you make a symbolic link to a folder called ‘Dorico 2’ located in your Dropbox in /Users/your-username/Library/Application Support/Steinberg it should work. However, this isn’t officially supported so please be careful.

I hate to teach my grandmother how to suck eggs, but this will also synchronise the Document Window Positions (which may be different if you have different sized screens); Recent File list in the Hub; and the application log (needed for diagnosing problems).The Application Preferences file also contains the selected MIDI input and audio output device, which again may be different on two separate machines.

One other possibility, if you’re feeling adventurous, it’s to use git and sync them via a github repository. It’s not as automatic as the Dropbox option, but would mean that you can have some files which are machine-specific (which you don’t commit to the repository).

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Thanks, Paul, but I’m not that adenturous. I don’t really know anything about github, though I’ve certainly heard of it. :slight_smile:

Might it work if I just synced certain files instead of the whole folder?

Off the top of my head, these seem like the relevant ones:



Yes, that’s one way of doing it, though you’d need to softlink the individual files to the ones in the Dropbox folder rather than softlinking the whole folder.

The git route isn’t actually as complex as it sounds. I’ll describe here for the benefit of anyone who’s tempted to try it out. It’s something like this:

  1. Set up an account on (very similar to github, but allows you have to private repositories for free. Github has free accounts, but you can’t make things private)
  2. Download a git client such as SourceTree
  3. In SourceTree, connect it to your bitbucket account
  4. In SourceTree create a new repository with File / New /Create and in the Destination Path enter the path to the Dorico application support folder and set the name to ‘dorico_config’. Ensure Create Repository On Account is checked and then hit Create. This will then create a new empty repo for all your dorico configurations
  5. This will now open a tab showing everything in the Dorico application data directory. Select the XML files you mentioned above and Add them then Commit.
  6. You can now ‘Push’ which will sync the files back to the server

Now on another machine:

  1. Install SourceTree and connect to your bitbucket account
  2. Do File / New / Clone and it should show you the dorico_config repo on bitbucket. Clone this into the Dorico application support folder. This will copy everything from the server

That’s the basic gist of it

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You can also create symlinks for specific files only (not the complete folder). I have it set up only for keycommands_en.json using (on Windows)

mklink "C:\Users\MyUserName\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Dorico 2\keycommands_en.json" C:\Users\MyUserName\PathToDropboxOrGDrive\Settings\Dorico2\keycommands_en.json

Got it.

Just to double-check: are the files in my list correct? Anything extraneous there? For example, I don’t know what “user library” does - it just sounds like something I’d want to sync.

I did a quick test using Dropbox, and my custom chord symbol and edited 8vb line, created in Dorico on my desktop Mac, appeared on my laptop. Cool!

Thanks for explaining the git option. Much appreciated.

Yes, I think that list is fine. The user library contains all the things that aren’t options when you press ‘Save as Default’, eg custom playing techniques, expression maps and more.

Has anything changed in Dorico Pro 3 that would require changes to the above procedure for syncing via Dropbox?

Yesterday, Dorico 3 gave this error on my desktop computer:

“No such file or directory Error creating zip file: /Users/bobk/Library/Application Support/Steinberg/Dorico 3/AutoSave/[file_name].dorico”

There is no such user on that computer, but there is on my laptop. I’m wondering if that has something to do with the preferences.xml file…


The AutoSave folder is now located inside the Dorico 3 folder in your user-level application data folder, as described in the Dorico 3 Version History PDF on page 51.

There has to be some small amount of writable memory on the USB elicenser, right? Or is it just read-only and then syncs? I hate the dang thing, but if we are stuck using it to move between computers, is there any possibility of having certain settings sync with it? If there’s any way certain settings could be stored, either physically on it, or synced with a Steinberg user account when plugged in, that would be a pretty cool feature! Not sure if that’s even a remote possibility, but it would be very useful if at all possible.

No, the USB-eLicenser is not a memory stick. It’s a little processor that performs certain calculations on demand that the host application wants to know the answer to. And fortunately in the medium-term the USB-eLicenser will be going away anyway.


Yes, I saw that. The problem is that there’s no user “bobk” on the computer where Dorico 3 was giving that error.

Does this new AutoSave folder location have any effect on the syncing of these files (originally listed in my post of January 2)?


Yes, it does affect that, because the auto-save path is found in preferences.xml, and you’ll need the path to be something that is common to both of the computers you’re trying to sync settings on. You can still set the auto-save path in preferences.xml if you edit it carefully in a text editor.

I changed the user account name on the MacBook Pro (following Apple’s instructions) to match the one on the desktop machine.

Maybe I didn’t wait long enough, but Dorico 3 still looked for the old laptop user name.

However, editing the preferences.xml file was easy, and that seems to have resolved the issue.

[Warning to anyone else who might do this: Dropbox does not like changes to user account names, and their support pages are awful. On launch, Dropbox looked for the old user name, and said it was probably due to permissions issues. I ran their recommended fixes, including Terminal commands, to no avail. Deleting and re-installing didn’t work until I deleted the settings files - which Dropbox said was optional. See the bottom of this page:]

Reviving this thread for Dorico 4. Has anything changed that might affect whether this works?

@dspreadbury - is it possible this would work if I synced via iCloud Drive or a Synology NAS?

@PaulWalmsley - I tried bitbucket and SourceTree. Sourctree has changed in the interim, so the steps were different; I think I proceeded correctly, but I couldn’t get it to work: SourceTree kept giving errors when I tried to create the remote repository. I got different errors at different times. I’ve never worked with git software, so I was just guessing. I searched for solutions without success.

It’s still not something that we recommend or specifically support, but there’s been no significant change to how Dorico manages user-level application data that would render any of the earlier advice in this thread moot.

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Git is somewhat of a learning curve if you have never used any source control system before, but if you’re willing to invest the time in learning it, then it will generally pay off many times over in the long run.