Would Love a "Look at me: I am the captain now" button

Hello all! This is my first real post in this forum! I downloaded the trial a couple of years ago and really really liked some of the features. It just wasn’t comprehensive enough (yet) to justify my official conversion.

Here I am, two years later and very impressed and excited with all of the work the development team has made! It’s an incredibly smart program, with loads of super convenient implementations and really clever design. Congratulations to all involved!

There’s one thing that would seal the deal for me in terms of making the definite leap from Finale. I would LOVE a button that made it possible to override the great automatic settings Dorico has to offer. I completely understand that there’s a compromise to be made: to have a program so structurally and semantically smart as Dorico, you have to let go of a bit of flexibility, and you’ll work hard to input stuff the “Dorico” way. No arguments there. I’m reading the whole manual, all good!

Having said that, it would be great to have the option of making it as dumb as the competition just for a second… At least in engrave mode. In the same way that a few phones offer a “developer mode”, I would love an option (that wasn’t checked by default) that unlocked the ability to f$%# up my score, graphically-wise, if I so please. To say “listen, I know you know whats best, but please let me do this dumb thing?” The option to sign a waiver and disobey the well-meaning doctor. The Dorictor, if you will.

If that option was checked, an extra property would appear in the contextual menus called “I Want to Break Free”, “You sure? Okay…” or something of the sort, and when activated you could drag the object anywhere without a fear in the world. Objects assigned to beats would still retain their original position stored a click away, it just wouldn’t prevent you from sending that tuplet number to the moon if you so desired. The option to double-click ANY text and replace it (be it instrument labels, performance notes), without erasing the original contents. Or to “delete” (hide) and resize any element. Basically, carte-blanche to do what you please with your score, graphically, without screwing up the structural integrity that is vital to the software.

I love that Dorico is as smart as it is. I love that, for most jobs, it’s way faster and convenient than the competitors. But, for larger more niche and edge-case contemporary works, there are still stuff that I have to use one of the Others for. It’s such an infuriating and dumb software, with so many plugins and workarounds but there isn’t much I’m not capable of doing with it. Which makes me sad, because I really want to change to Dorico for good. But that teensy bit of lack of flexibility still doesn’t allow it.

Be dumb sometimes Dorico! Or at least let me be stupid.

Thank you, and congratulations again for the brilliant piece of software. Have a nice day!


Dear Piero (I assume that’s your first name)–

I love your sense of humor and the basic idea of the thing you’re asking for. I don’t necessarily agree with everything you’ve said, but I love the way you said it!


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Hi Piero, great to see you here. There are quite a few things you can easily achieve as you describe, though you may be aware of them already:

You can set all text popover items to turn off collision avoidance. You can turn off “make space for lyrics,” allowing them to collide. You can turn off collision avoidance between staves. And of course in Engrave mode, you can move most elements anywhere on (or off) the score.

I know exactly what you’re asking for, and from what I know about the philosophy of the Dorico developers, I think it’s unlikely there would be a “universal override” option added. But I do see Dorico continually adding options that give the user the ability for more manual control.

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The universal override option is called “affinity publisher” or “indesign”.


I’m well aware of it and I use InDesign, Illustrator and the rest of the adobe suite for more headache-inducing notation. One can dream to have it all in one file though! To have it easier to go back and change things without hassle. One day…

I agree. My comment was as much a joke as reality.


Nice seeing you as well! And yes, the documentation is very well written and actually quite enjoyable to read if you’re a nerd (which I guess we all are). About the philosophy of Dorico, I figured as much! And, as I’ve written, this philosophy led to great things as we can all see. Oh well! Illustrator and InDesign, as @Romanos401 mentioned, will be our friends (guess we can’t evade subscription services one way or another). Thanks!

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As most things are!

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10 for content and 10 for style


You can over-ride almost all of Dorico’s preferred behaviours on an individual level. But of course you get the most out of Dorico when you tell it (in the Options) what you want, and then make as few over-rides as necessary.

I know that! I’m only saying that after bumping into stuff I’m pretty there are no in-software solutions. Such as dragging the tuplet number horizontally independently from the bracket and grouping Violino I and II together so there’s only one label between staffs and two roman numerals as instrument labels (as per the house style of a few publications, similar to what dorico does for solo players). Obviously some contemporary stuff as well, which are not widespread enough to actually implement them in the program, but the lack of flexibility makes any workaround a bit cumbersome.

As I said in the post, I really appreciate Dorico. I think it’s a remarkable piece of coding and software and they all did a TREMENDOUS job, and I intend to use it for the bulk of the work I do, especially for commercial and straightforward music.

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I’ve got that mode on my computer! It’s called “Adobe Illustrator”. Thanks for programming such a great mode Adobe!

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So do I! Saves lives.

Actually, it’s called Finale. There you can muck up your score to your hearts content, and it’s only an XML away. :smiling_imp:

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Why drag the tuplet number (off the page?) when you can turn it off?

There’s no doubt a few other engraving tid bits need to be opened up to us, or at least more options provided (never thought I’d say that about Dorico!). I’m sure we will see many of these options in due course. We’ve already had a hint at D4, although I suspect it will be much more than we’ve seen in the ipad version. Daniel did mention there are some other headline features that they are planning, which is exciting.

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@Derrek Never said anything about dragging it off the page. But when there’s loads of nested tuplets, some across barlines, it would be nice to have the ability to drag it sideways without affecting the brackets (and not just toggle between visual and rhythmic placing)

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And I do! It’s my current go-to to muck things about

@Romanos401 I’m very excited about it! I’ll be the first in line. And that’s what I mean, we can’t possibly expect them to cover every single base of notation there is, and for some gnarly stuff I’ll still have to use finale or illustrator. What they have done is awesome in and of itself already! Excited to see what comes next.

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me too. If you’re first, I’m second. lol

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