Why doesn't tab to switch elements work sometimes?

I’m trying to understand the logic here. If I add a key signature, and then press tab, it won’t get out of selecting the key signature. If I add a final bar using the shift+b popover, tab doesn’t get me out of the bar selected.

I also find this can sometimes happen when I add a dynamic or other elements. Those I haven’t been able to consistently reproduce, but those other two I have.

It’s pretty annoying to have to put my hand back on the mouse just to select where I already am, and then keep going with keyboard shortcuts. One workaround for me in this context is just clicking shift+n to go straight to note input, but I still feel like this tab function should be working more consistently.

The manual is pretty clear on this:

Key signatures are system objects. Barlines are system objects. If you happen to have inputted local key signatures or local time signatures, Tab will work to cycle from the local signature to whatever else is on that staff at that rhythmic location.

i was just able to replicate another one:

just added a con sord to a trombone by using the shift+p pop up, and after pressing enter i wasn’t able to tab back to the note i was on. why does this happen?

It worked for me, both with con sord. and with other playing techniques entered either with the playing techniques popover or by using the side panel. If I pressed tab again a few times, it toggled between selecting the playing technique and selecting the note.

yeah idk why it doesn’t work for me. and it seems random. so i think it’s a bug. I:

select a note
press shift+p
type “con sord”
press enter twice
con sord is inputted
press tab

and nothing happens. but if i click the note with my mouse, then press tab, i can select the playing technique.

The keyboard focus should be automatically transferred back to the score. If you encounter this again, rather than clicking with your mouse, try typing Alt+8, which should set the focus back to the main music area, and then see if Tab or the arrow keys work at that point.

I still don’t understand what’s going on. If I click a hairpin, it will oftentimes not switch to the note it’s tied to when I press tab. Alt+8 does nothing for me.

Also, another workflow annoyance which might warrant its own topic. If I duplicate a hairpin dynamic, and then try to increase it using shift+alt and the arrow keys, nothing happens. But if I deselect it and just select one of the two linked hairpins, then shift+alt works. It’s really annoying. I’m encountering lots of little things like this that slow me down.

and let me add that i can consistently replicate this. if i select a single note on trumpet, bring up shift+p and then con sord, and add it, i can never tab back to the note i was on. or just tab back in general. or do anything. I have to reach for the mouse to go flying back around my score.

I find that I can tab around items at the same rhythmic position successfully, even after inputting a PT, except for hairpins. They don’t seem to respond to the tab or the left or right arrow keys. I did find this thread: Tab doesn't switch between item types so I guess it’s still on the backlog, but it would be useful if they could be selected without using the mouse.

I needed to check to remind myself, so I apologise for the bum steer in my previous reply. You can’t tab to and from gradual dynamics in Write mode at the moment, for boring technical reasons.

However, I can’t reproduce the problem you describe with moving between the note and a playing technique at the same position; this works reliably for me.

Daniel, I’m on a Mac and am able to tab from a note to its attached dynamic without problem, in Write Mode. I can then use the left and right arrow keys to move between the dynamics. The only thing I can’t select without the mouse is a hairpin.
If however the dynamics are grouped, I can still tab to them, but moving left or right stops after one move and then hitting tab seems to take me back to the very first note on that stave. Is that what you find?

1 Like

I think Daniel meant to say “to and from gradual dynamics”. Of course it does work with immediate dynamics. And yes, when you have an (immediate) dynamic in a group selected, Tab moves to the note at the beginning of that group.

Indeed, I apologise for my imprecision. It is indeed that you cannot tab to gradual dynamics. I forget exactly why that is, it’s a while since I worked on the Write mode navigation stuff. It’s something I would like to return to – there are a handful of issues that we should address in that area.

this is a pretty big issue.

i also don’t understand why if I simply copy and paste a gradual dynamic say from flute 1 to flute 2, and now those dynamics are linked and selected (which is fine), I can’t then immediately use shift+alt+arrow keys to make that dynamic bigger or smaller. I have to reach for the mouse, select just one of those two linked dynamics, and then shift+alt+arrow keys works and it affects both of them. very strange behavior. this sort of stuff is consistently stopping me dead in my tracks with my workflow. it may seem small, but i’m often confused just by what is/isn’t allowed in this whole “use keyboard only to improve workflow” and i keep finding myself coming up against situations like this that don’t make any sense, trying to do something that should be possible.

i really don’t know what to say. is it some setting i accidentally unchecked? i just opened a blank jazz big band template and did exactly what I said above, I still can’t tab away from con sord and back to the note it’s attached to. i’m on the latest version of dorico, but this has been an issue for a while. i’m using noteperformer if that makes a difference.

I don’t think there’s any way the playback template you are using could possibly make a difference. It’s worth saying, by the way, because it might be helpful for your own mental model of how things work in Dorico, that a playing technique that is at the same position as a note is not actually attached to the note: if you move the note, the playing technique will stay put; if you delete the note, the playing technique will not be deleted, and so on.

However, that aside, it should be possible to select Tab to cycle from a note to a playing technique at the same rhythmic position and back again. Can you create your empty jazz template project, add a note, add a playing technique, and then upload it here, just so I can see exactly what you’re working with?

i don’t know what good that will do. if i add a playing technique, and then click the note, then i can tab back and forth. but the first time i add a playing technique and click tab, it doesn’t do anything.

so only thing i can do is give you the same default jazz quartet template that dorico uses which seems pointless. again, is there some global setting i could have clicked somewhere?

When you say you are adding a PT for the first time, do you start to type the name and then arrow down to the suggestions that pop up and then hit return once? If so, try hitting return two more times and then see if TAB works. I am finding that if I type the PT myself and don’t use the suggestion pop up, I hit return twice and I can tab…If I use the suggestion pop up and select the PT from the list then I need to hit return three times, after which tab will work. There are no global settings for this.

this fixed it, thanks. honestly, this seems like a little bug. idk why clicking down with the arrows vs pressing enter after typing in more material would make a difference.