"Track Changes" feature for Editorial Process

As my publishing activities increase and I am now frequently exchanging multiple rounds of edits with other composers, it has occurred to me that some editorial feature similar to MSWord’s “track changes” would be exceptionally helpful.

This could be as simple as simply showing all new changes in the document in a specific color, or by adding a “suggested change” feature that would behave more like cues or ossia and would allow other users reviewing the file to accept the change to adopt it permanently.

The comments feature (along with manually changing note colors if desired) works for basic editorial functionality between multiple parties, but a editor-specific feature would be exceptionally helpful.

I realize this would not be used by most users, but as Dorico captures a greater and greater share of the publisher market, this would be an absolute game-changer for them.

Also, consider how it could be used in composition and general music teaching. Teachers could suggest changes that students could easily see at a glance.

Many thanks!



This is of course a fine idea, but it’s much, much harder to implement for music notation than it is for text. Many years ago now we implemented the Versions feature in Sibelius (version 5, if I remember correctly, what feels like a lifetime ago in 2006–2007), and that feature works by saving entire copies of the Sibelius score, rather than any kind of delta that records what has been changed, by whom, or when. The display of differences was then performed by way of a clever approach to hashing the contents of a bar, so we could work out quickly whether a given bar had changed, and then try to determine whether material had been edited, added, or removed.

This was a serious undertaking and took a long time to put together, and it only addressed some aspects of the use cases that would ideally be handled by such a feature. It would be a significantly greater effort to implement for Dorico. We certainly don’t rule it out, but it’s by no means a trivial thing to work on, and it’s not something I expect us to be working on in the short term.


Yes! I absolutely understand the degree of difficulty in implementing this. I mention it only as a wish-list for a perfect future.

It is, perhaps, an indication of how VERY mature and featureful the current version of Dorico is that I’m even musing about such things. Put it on the list right after your team has solved world hunger and cold fusion.


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