Tips/tricks/workarounds (add your own too!)

First, I’d like to voice my thanks and admiration for Dorico and what has been accomplished so far. Everyone has their own feelings but I would like to see less negativity in this forum. Considering how upfront the team has been about what exactly would and would NOT be included, I see no reason to be upset at the current state of the software - I’m just glad that I was able to get started with it sooner rather than later!

I’m a Finale user and a tinkerer by inclination, so while I LOVE how much work Dorico has already done for me, my immediate goals have always been to get it to do exactly what I want, whether that’s because of current omissions or design decisions. Here’s some things which I have found invaluable already:

  1. While in edit mode (caret visible), shift-V allows you to switch voices. Keep pressing it to cycle through, each voice “number” has an up-stem and down-stem option, so there’s really no limit to the options. Be careful though - you cannot currently slur between notes that are part of separate voices (at least I can’t). Also, you may end up with unwanted whole rest measures that you cannot remove (I’m assuming this is just buggy behavior).

  2. On a Mac, go to the ‘View’ menu and under ‘Note Colors’ select ‘Voice Colors’. As far as I know this is the only way to tell which voice every note belongs to right now.

  3. Every object has a ‘Color’ property in the ‘Common’ pane. This might seem useless… except that you can set opacity to 0% for any object. This means that you can effectively hide anything that you can’t otherwise get rid of. I used this for a pesky rest that wouldn’t go away (see #2).

  4. Also under ‘Common’ properties is the ‘Offset’ property. It looks like it’s not currently wired up to do anything for notes but it at least allowed me to adjust the position of some 2nd voice rests that were further away from the staff than I wanted.

  5. There is currently no pedal marking for the piano, but you can easily create your own. While selecting a note (such as the first one in the piece), press shift-X to enter your own text. If you have a font you can use then you can just create your own pedal marking that’s close enough for now (italicized, of course). But if you have the ‘Opus Text’ font (which might be from Finale), shift-P will create a dedicated Ped. marking with a fancy script font. Once you’ve created it, select it and under properties you can set it to appear below the staff rather than above (the default). Obviously this won’t affect playback right now.

  6. If you’d like to work with a larger paper size, I thought this was a little un-obvious but it must be determined in the ‘Setup’ tab. Go to ‘Setup’, and then to ‘Layout Options’ (located in the ‘Setup’ drop-down menu on a Mac). From there you can choose a paper size, and even enter a custom numerical height. If you go to the ‘Print’ tab to determine the paper size, it appears that it just visually re-scales the music as-is to fit the new paper, rather than re-doing the layout to take advantage of the extra space.

  7. Even though it has been fairly stable for me, Dorico has crashed once so far and others have had worse luck. There is no auto-save feature yet that I can see, so just as a good-practice thing I would recommend saving regularly (command-S on a Mac).

  8. Command + option(alt) + up/down will adjust notes by an octave rather than a step.

  9. ‘Voice Column Index’ (under properties) is used for places where two notes are trying to occupy the same general space and the program has to decide which one to draw more to the left and more to the right. Lower numbers will be further to the left.

  10. If you’re using the ‘Transport Bar’, pressing the second play button (with the little note beside it) will play from the current selection. As far as I know this is the only way to choose where to begin playback right now.

I think that’s all I have right now, I hope it helps people out in this interim time though! And once again, my sincere thanks to the Dorico team for the work you’ve done so far, and the careful thought and planning you’re putting into it. I look forward to the future of Dorico!

Cheers,
Nate

Thanks for the tip about creating a pedal marking. As another user coming from Finale your workaround works for me as well. My first experiments with Dorico have been in pulling over a via MusicXML a piece that I had laid out previously in Finale to see how Dorico would lay it out. Because of that I’ve been trying to understand how something as essential as a pedal marking could not be included in the initial set of playing techniques for keyboard.

Hello all,
thank you WTFruit,
we will wait the pedal marking who affect playback.

jp

Its part of a plot by the international piano teachers union to get kids to stop trying to cover up wrong notes by sitting on the pedal. Nothing else has ever worked.

It is possible to start playback at the current selection by pressing P. This is the same shortcut that Sibelius uses.

F2 opens the transport panel, from there you can move the big green playback position line to wherever and start playback there.

Thanks Nate! I was looking for a way to do that for a couple of hours now. :smiley: A little outline would be great though, as you can not see the color field anymore if it’s opacity is 0.
Bildschirmfoto 2016-10-21 um 21.00.05.png

Someday I’ll buy a home organ and force my students to learn on THAT before trying a piano!

Here’s a workaround/hack if you’re working with chant and want to do away with stems. It’s far from ideal, and hopefully we’ll get a more efficient solution soon, but it works.

  1. First of all, make sure you’re using only quarter notes for your black notes. No eighths or sixteenths or anything with beams.
  2. While in Engrave mode, from the menubar, select Engrave > Show Handles > Always.
  3. Adjust the handle of each stem (yes, it’s tedious) until it’s invisible.

This is a great trick! Just be sure when you export a PDF using this opacity trick, you export a color PDF or the objects will magically reappear.

I never would have caught that - thanks!

Thanks for the tip about jumping an octave. I have been searching for this in whatever documentation I can find without success. Although I am a windows (and Sibelius) user I am searching for a comprehesive list of keyboard shortcuts to have beside me on an IPad while I struggle to get to grips with Dorico keyboard input.

Well, the number next to the caret will tell you the voice number, but they keep adding up, as the colours show — unless I’m doing something wrong. Can anyone clear up what would be the best way to handle voices?

  1. Every object has a ‘Color’ property in the ‘Common’ pane. This might seem useless… except that you can set opacity to 0% for any object. This means that you can effectively hide anything that you can’t otherwise get rid of. I used this for a pesky rest that wouldn’t go away (see #2).

Brilliant!

  1. There is currently no pedal marking for the piano, but you can easily create your own. While selecting a note (such as the first one in the piece), press shift-X to enter your own text. If you have a font you can use then you can just create your own pedal marking that’s close enough for now (italicized, of course). But if you have the ‘Opus Text’ font (which might be from Finale), shift-P will create a dedicated Ped. marking with a fancy script font. Once you’ve created it, select it and under properties you can set it to appear below the staff rather than above (the default). Obviously this won’t affect playback right now.

Yeah, there’s a lot we can fake with the proper fonts — just like what one did in the old days with InDesign or something.

  1. If you’d like to work with a larger paper size, I thought this was a little un-obvious but it must be determined in the ‘Setup’ tab. Go to ‘Setup’, and then to ‘Layout Options’ (located in the ‘Setup’ drop-down menu on a Mac). From there you can choose a paper size, and even enter a custom numerical height. If you go to the ‘Print’ tab to determine the paper size, it appears that it just visually re-scales the music as-is to fit the new paper, rather than re-doing the layout to take advantage of the extra space.

I find this very handy, personally.

  1. Command + option(alt) + up/down will adjust notes by an octave rather than a step.

Thank you, I was just looking for this!

This is for editing, not inputting. So you can spot potential issues caused by voice choices, choose the correct voice to edit, etc. By the way, if you see the color but aren’t sure what voice it’s associated with, double-click on it and you’ll switch to input mode, in that voice. As for the voice numbers, as far as I’ve seen they don’t increment forever by default, after like 4 it should go back to the first voice I think.

In note input, Shift+V will keep adding voices (once you enter a note), pretty much indefinitely. Once you have created that voice, you can enter more notes into that voice by toggling throught those with just V (no shift key).

If anyone else is searching for fast and accurate control over start and end positions of cresc/dim. hairpins, especially when wanting to start (or end) in the middle of a group of tied notes:


In write mode:
Select the tied notes (or any note
Hit Enter (Hello caret)
Arrow key to desired start position
Hit ‘<’
spacebar until desired end point!



And, if wanting to specify mp < f:
In write mode:
Select the tied notes
Hit Enter
Arrow key to desired start position
‘shift’+‘d’, type for example ‘mp<’
Hit enter
spacebar until desired end point!
‘shift’+‘d’, type end dynamic, example ‘ff’

Shift-D “?” will end a hairpin, if you don’t want to specify a final dynamic.

Seems as if any keystroke other than the spacebar ends the hairpin, kind of interrupts it I guess?
Also, they´re moveable and resizeable with combinations of shift, alt and arrow keys, much like the note durations/placements are! Good times!

Ceemonkey is a close friend, and this conversation has developed on Facebook. Here’s a less laborious workaround:
In Engrave mode, select the notes in question, and open the Properties panel. Switch on Notes and Rests/Stem Length Adjustment, and set the value to a suitable negative, e.g. -3.5 for a 4.0-space score. :bulb:

May I propose a solution which uses the Bravura font directly?

for reference and easy copying go to:
http://www.smufl.org/version/latest/

There you find all glyphs of Bravura sorted by type. Find and open link “Keyboard techniques (U+E650 ‒ U+E67F)”. You get a list of glyphs. Just copy the Ped. marking you see (the glyph itself not the description of course).

select note
Shift-X
choose font Bravura
paste the symbol

In the properties panel optionally adjust position, for example: Position “below”

Of course this should work for every glyph. If you don’t see the Bravura font in your font list, you can install it from here:
http://www.smufl.org/fonts/