Unasked for flipping of notes

An odd thing –
Here I have highlighted a passage to be pasted into another part:

But once it is pasted, it flips a group of notes five bars earlier and adds whole rests as well.

Turn on voice colors. You have multiple voices going on there.

But what good does that do me?

I see red notes, green notes, light blue notes, dark blue notes, but I have no idea what this means.

“Voice colors” are cited in the Index of the Dorico on pp. 373, 704, and 1522, but on none of those pages is there any explanation as to the utility of this tool nor how to work within it.

This is one of my principal frustrations with Dorico – they tell us what things are, most of the time, but not precisely how to deal with them, and hardly ever with specific examples.

Probably there is a video for this, but I don’t like to learn from videos. I need a text to read with screen shots. Videos go by so quickly and trying to scroll through them to relocate the detail I need is a pain, whereas texts are easy to scan.

I assume your tubas are always (or usually) a single voice. Select those downstem notes (the entire measure, or group of measures), right click, Voices, and set to Upstem Voice 1.

In your note entry process, you inadvertently created lots of extra voices, represented by all the different colors.

Here’s a text version: How to Work with Voices in Dorico | Write mode – OF NOTE

This page about showing voice colors gives an example for why you might want to show them: to identify which notes are in different voices. It additionally includes reference at the end to being able to change the voice of notes if showing voice colors indicates that some notes are in a different voice than you’d want them to be.

With proper workflow you can mostly avoid this BUT this is something I routinely have to proofread for in Dorico. There have definitely been times when a client has asked for a change and I didn’t realize it would effect music on a different page until proofing.

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We also need to point out the fact that you pasted from alto to bass clef, so the stems are following proper engraving rules (although this will be overridden when pasted into a measure with multiple voices).

Pro tip: set key commands for “Change notes to Upstem Voice 1” and “Downstem Voice 1.” I use Alt-1 and Alt-2. Makes it fast.

I’m sorry but my experience in copying from one staff of one clef to another of a different clef has not resulted in this sort of unwanted flipping prior to this.

Can we just acknowledge from time to time that Dorico is not perfect?

Look, I started over 35 years ago with Finale 1.0 and then gave it up and went back to hand-copying. Then I spent over 25 years working with Score, which is a far superior program to Dorico graphically, but a bear when it comes to part extraction. That’s why I’m giving Dorico a go, and with a huge project.

But. honestly, trying to work my way through the Dorico PDF manual is like reading a Scientology tract – all jargon and no concrete examples of how to proceed. Sorry to be harsh about this, but I am getting really frustrated with how unforgiving the program is.

Case in point:
dankreider’s most recent response to my query:
“Pro tip: set key commands for “Change notes to Upstem Voice 1” and “Downstem Voice 1.” I use Alt-1 and Alt-2. Makes it fast.”

This suggestion is completely useless because he does not explain step-by-step how I can do what he says, nor does he explain why I might want to do this.

Yes, Dorico is a wonderfully powerful program, but it is also an maddeningly obtuse one is many areas (e.g. the editing and placement of instrument labels). It would be nice of you guys would acknowledge that.

I understand your frustration. I just finished a huge project and had several workarounds that were frustrating… including instrument labels, if you must know. But every user who responds here isn’t obligated to give a step-by-step. Google “Dorico key commands.” I’m not sure how it’s “completely useless” to suggest something without providing a thorough tutorial.

But here’s how you do it. Edit–Preferences, Key Commands. Search for “up stem.” Click in the key command box and press the key combination you want. Then “Set” and close.

Of course Dorico isn’t perfect, I don’t think anyone here would say that. But if you learn it, it’ll pay you back in spades.

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Okay, Lillie, but what if I don’t want this at all? How do I turn it off? I have gone through the manual and see nothing that tells me anything about this. (And that’s saying a lot about the failings of a manual that is 1600 pages long.)

Turn off “View Voice Colors”? That’s in the View menu.

Here was the first result of a Google search for “Dorico voice colors.”

You’re not following me.

Yes, I understand that I can turn off the colors. But, if this layering process is affecting my input in a way that I don’t want – which is where this thread began – then how do I turn off this layering in the first place?

And, by the way, dankreider, none of us has any way of knowing who is responding on this Forum. Is “pianoleo” a member of the Dorico team? I think so, because some of his messages have been sent to me as an email, which means that he has access to my personal info, just as Lillie does and Daniel. (I’m not sure how I feel about that, by the way.)

And if you have work-arounds for Instrument Labels that you would be willing to share – let’s talk about it.

No, Leo is just a fellow power-user. He messaged you through the forum, most likely. Fellow users can’t access personal info of others.

Steinberg employees have a little red icon at the bottom right of their profile picture.

What specifically are you needing to do with instrument changes?

Regarding voices: you can’t “turn off” the ability to display multiple voices. The solution is to learn how to properly manage your voices. You almost certainly created more voices than you needed by accident as you were inputting notes. When I turn on voice colors, the vast majority of my score is light blue.

Okay. So how is it that I “created more voices than” I “needed by accident”?

That’s what I need to know, no thanks to the 1600 page Dorico manual.

And I am not concerned with instrument changes but rather with the ability to edit and, most importantly, relocate “instrument labels” where I want them.

Look, I’m coming from a program – Score4 – where I had control over everything graphically but had to deal with a miserable part-extraction tool, so I am frustrated when Dorico is suddenly making all my decisions for me on issues that ought to be easy. Cases in point: why can’t I decide that I want all my instrument labels flush left? Why can’t I move the instrument labels this way or that in Engrave mode?

I’m sorry, but I could go on and on with the failings of Dorico when it comes to user-friendliness.

I assume you are asking how to not have any additional edits/entries to a voice affect previous entries/voices. You can’t. This is most definitely not intuitive, and not how SCORE works. For example, this gets me in trouble when I use slash voices all the time. With practice you can anticipate how voices work and know when you are going to do something that will get you in trouble, but no, there is no way to turn this off. Every program has program specific things you will need to proofread for, and this is just something I have to proof for in Dorico when I’m using multiple voices on a staff.

Here’s a gif of an example. I assume this type of situation is what you are trying to avoid. As soon as I make an entry in my Up-stem Voice 1 in bar 16, Dorico will add rests in bar 3 and move the slashes in that bar, as the Up-stem voice 1 is now continued.


It is very much not intuitive that making an edit to bar 16 will also make an edit to bar 3. If there is a lot of distance between the entries Dorico might be making an edit on another page completely out of view! The only consolation I can offer is that with practice you will learn to anticipate this and go back and either Remove Rests or End Voice as necessary. You will always have to have this potential issue in the back of your mind while proofreading if you’ve used multiple voices.

This is actually a really good write-up (Thx Dan!), and exactly what the OP asked for. SPH, please also note the crucial difference between “V” and “Shift-V”, this has apparently tripped up a bunch of users over time…


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Because you somehow managed to press “Shift-V” one (or many…) times too many. From what I see of your music, you wouldn’t need multiple voices at all, really… They should be all nice and blue, just like Dan indicated.

Keep at it, I had multiple frustrations at first (and still have, depending on what I try to do…), and yes, Dorico tends to nudge users into a certain, orderly workflow, but it will all come together.


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Dorico is for a multitude of users, and while you (with your mainly engraving experience, as I assume from your posts) might not appreciate the way Dorico handles voices, for me as a composer, it is very intuitive and helpful.
Mind me talking about the compositional stage here, where I can start and end as many voices at any point I want, because composers sometimes need to think in voices.

So I am not saying you are wrong, but that there’s more to Dorico than your use case might require.

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