Trying to paste bars in the middle of a score - they get pushed to the end

Periodically, trying to do what I think ought to be simple with a notation program ends up being massively frustrating. In this latest instance, I have various versions of a solo piano score as it has evolved. I want to copy a number of bars from an old version into the same place in the current version of the score; i.e. I want to make the copied bars replace the existing bars in the current version.

Can’t seem to get this done - the bars I’m trying to paste into the proper region end up getting pasted in at the end of the score, with lots of blank bars being added before that. I’ve looked at the documentation, I’ve watched a video, I’ve tried going through old forum posts, and don’t find anything that addresses my seemingly simple need.

Can someone please steer me to the right procedure? I’m running Dorico Elements 5.1.20 on Mac if that matters.

I hope this should be easy if you engage Insert mode, and set the Insert mode scope to “global”. When you then paste, Dorico will make room for the pasted material at that point, pushing all the rest of the music along.

Here’s some more information on Insert scopes:

I can try that. I’ve used Insert mode in the past when editing & messing around with replacing a very small amount of music. I see what I want to do now as a different situation in that I am attempting to replace a specified range of music; very little ‘editing’ involved other than the paste-over .

With your suggestion, it seems I will have to turn on Insert mode; insert the bars I am copying from the older version of the score; and then delete the same number of old bars that have been pushed forward by the insert. If this is the only way to go, okay. It just surprises me that there is no way to literally do a paste-over.

And this problem I describe happens whether or not the bars I am attempting to paste into are empty or filled with the older music. It just seems weird and does not match up in my head with anything described in the documentation, whether the YouTube video or the manual.

To make clear what I mean: If I’m in a program like Microsoft Word, and I select-copy a block of text, then select-paste into a different block of text, the copied block completely replaces the block it is being pasted into. That is what I mean by a paste-over. And the Dorico documentation - I think it’s the YouTube video, I forget - makes a point of saying that copy-paste in Dorico is similar to copy-paste in other sorts of applications. It doesn’t seem that way at the moment.

Hmm, I see. If you want to overwrite the music that’s already there, then you should absolutely be able to do this without using Insert mode. Sorry for misunderstanding what you are trying to do.

Before you paste, make sure you have selected an item at the position where you want the pasted material to begin, in the top staff (the “top left corner” of the destination, if you will). Then when you choose Edit > Paste the music should be pasted there, overwriting everything in its path.

Do make sure too that the Insert mode icon is not lit up in the toolbox on the left-hand side, and that the Chord Input icon is likewise not lit up. (If Chord Input is enabled, the material you paste will be merged with what’s already there instead of overwriting it.)

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Still the same problem. I hope I did it correctly: I selected a single note in the treble clef in the first bar of the range to paste into (thus the “top left corner of the destination”); I made sure Insert and Chord Input were both off. But the same result.

I have attached a screenshot of what the result looks like. If you click (and optionally click once more), the screenshot will be big enough to show what I am attempting to paste over: the bottom three systems on the first page shown, starting at bar 49. But the whole chunk (including a tied note going into the bar that follows the three systems) ends up at the end of the score; and for some reason, four blank bars are inserted ahead of the pasted chunk, after the actual ending of the score.

It looks as if Dorico thinks the pasted material starts with a 4/4 time signature, and then 48 empty bars for some reason. Are you accidentally including the initial time signature in the selection you’re copying to the clipboard?

Could you attach the project(s) here, and provide the steps you’re taking to select and copy the material to the clipboard?

I don’t know how I could copy the time signature if we’re talking about the one that starts off the score at bar 1.

I will attach the two projects and then either do a short screen video of what I’m doing, or else describe the steps.
Daylight - solo piano - v05 - 1st violin moved down 1 octave.dorico (1.9 MB)
v06 to copy from.dorico (1.8 MB)

Thanks for attaching the files. I just tried to copy and paste a passage from the “to copy from” file into bar 49 of the other project, and everything was fine. I think a video showing the steps you’re following could be constructive. I’m sorry that something so apparently simple is causing such problems – hopefully we will soon have a solution.

Okay, I’ll do a video.

Below is a written description, but I agree a video will be more clear. Might not get to to it right away but we’ll see. I do appreciate you taking the time to look into this.

Steps I took:

  1. Working in project “v06 to copy from”, I use shift-mouse to select bars 49 through 60 (the bottom three lines of page 3). This also selects a pedal line that extends into bar 61, as well as the second note in a tie that ends at the beginning of bar 61.

  2. I do Edit > Copy via the menu (or I do it with Command-C).

  3. Now I go into project “Daylight - solo piano - v05 - 1st violin moved down 1 octave” - note there is no 1st violin in this score, that’s just me preserving a concept from the original string quintet score!

  4. I make sure I am in Write mode. I am not in Note Input mode. I make sure the Insert and Chord Input icons are both OFF (not lit up) in the left hand panel.

  5. In measure 49 of the target score, I select a note at the very start of that measure - specifically the Bb in the treble clef. I don’t select anything else.

  6. I do either Edit > Paste via the menu or else Command-V.

Which leads to the train wreck.

I’ve put up a 90 second video in YouTube showing my copy-paste - it’s not private but is unlisted, so anyone who wants can view with the link:

This does look odd!
What happens, if you delete 12 bars of your file first (you should have 12 empty bars then)?
After this do the copy and paste… before you paste though, select both systems at the point you want to insert.

Another possibility: make the voice colours visible, there might be a discrepancy between the two projects.

Pasting into empty bars doesn’t help - same issue.

As for note colors, I haven’t looked at that, but surely it shouldn’t matter with a paste replace?

Dorico does not behave like MS Word!

The safest way to do this sort of wholesale copy/paste is to use the System Bar (toggle Alt/Opt-t and it will appear/disappear). Click the start of your selection in the system bar. Shift-click the last bar. Finally click the round box in that last bar (this makes the selection and everything turns orange). Now do your ctrl-c/ctrl-v.

Also, you might find it easier to work in Galley View, rather than Page view.

Why does your method fail? I’d guess it might have something to do with the plethora of voice changes and cross-staff notes, combined with the hidden rests (which don’t get selected by your copy method). Though I don’t understand why your paste would end up at the end!

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The problem is in your initial selection method, which you describe as “Shift-mouse”, by which you mean a marquee selection. If you click on the top stave of bar 49 and shift-click the bottom stave of bar 60, then copy, you’ll get results closer to what you’re expecting.

I’m not sure why Dorico’s doing what it’s doing with a marquee selection, but marquee selecting is what’s causing the problem.

edit: specifically it seems to be selecting bar numbers, which of course a marquee selection will, that causes the issue.

I mis-wrote in saying it was “Shift-mouse” - it was just mouse-dragging to capture a selection.

Regardless, if the problem is marquee selection snagging bar numbers . . . see my reply further down to Richard Laynyon: The copy/paste topics in the help need to be much clearer on how to select. This is the selection step in the parent topic “Copying and pasting notes/items”:

“In Write mode, select the notes/items you want to copy.”

Which it now seems is not adequate. Similarly the topic “Selecting multiple items using marquee selections” does not warn against using this when doing copy/paste.

Where did you guys learn about the problem with accidentally copying bar lines? From somewhere in the documentation, or from experience, or from some other source?

Spot on as usual.
(bar numbers ore not selected using the system bar selection)

Not to nit-pick, but take a listen to the start of Anthony Hughes’s instructional video on YouTube titled “Copying Music to Speed Up Note Input”. He puts it this way: “At the rudimentary end of the scale, Dorico supports the cut, copy, and paste commands that you’re familiar with from other software.”

What he is saying is that conceptually, yes, cut/copy/paste in Dorico is the same as cut/copy/paste in MS Word and many other applications. The details of what information is being manipulated & what the restrictions are may vary; but the fundamental operations are the same when we think about them from a high level.

That aside, your method of using the System Track worked for me first go, so thanks for that. (It actually is “System Track” - searching for “System Bar” in the doco only gets hits for “systemic bar” which seems to be something else.)

Of more importance is that “System Track” as a term does not get mentioned in any of the online help topic for Elements 5 to do with copy/paste, including the parent topic titled " Copying and pasting notes/items".

The topic for “System Track” does include a link at bottom to “Copying and pasting notes/items” . . . but the topic does not itself mention copying or pasting. This being the case, maybe it would be good if a mention of System Track for selecting could be added to the various help topics for copy/paste? Although I’m curious as to what method Daniel used for his successful copy, and whether he used or didn’t use System Track.

I’m also a bit curious as to why my selection method failed . . . but if using Selection Track avoids failure, then for now that’s good enough for me.

The problem is that your marquee selection ends up including some bar numbers, and bar numbers (like barlines) are actually generated by the prevailing time signature. This means that the time signature becomes part of what gets copied, so the contents of the clipboard actually start a lot earlier than you are expecting - there’s a big gap between the first thing in the clipboard (the time signature) and the first note.

This makes sense.

I think the documentation needs to warn users about this sort of thing in the copy/paste topics. This is one of the difficulties in writing documentation for complex software: There are always going to be multiple points of entries to the documentation as well as multiple learning paths for users. Documentation needs a huge amount of redundancy because of the lack of a single linear path for either topic display or learning histories. I say this having been a technical writer in a former life.

Which leaves me curious. Where did you guys learn about the problem with accidentally copying bar numbers? Somewhere in the documentation, or experience, or some other source? A Google search I did just now for "Dorcio ‘selecting bar numbers’ got exactly one hit (images aside). A search for "Dorico ‘select bar numbers’ got a few hits, but only one hit that was relevant: Bar numbering question

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Richard is a Tester on the development team.
I figured out your selection method by watching your video and observing that the bar numbers were selected, which meant you must’ve used a marquee selection (or used another selection method and then laboriously Cmd/Ctrl-clicked the bar numbers individually).