Steinberg2 – Dorico Elements 3 – User Manual

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Operation ManualThe Steinberg Documentation Team: Cristina Bachmann, Heiko Bischoff, Lillie Harris, Christina Kaboth, Insa
Mingers, Matthias Obrecht, Sabine Pfeifer, Benjamin Schütte, Marita Sladek
Translation: Ability InterBusiness Solutions (AIBS), Moon Chen, Jérémie Dal Santo, Rosa Freitag, Josep Llodra
Grimalt, Vadim Kupriianov, Filippo Manfredi, Roland Münchow, Boris Rogowski, Sergey Tamarovsky
This document provides improved access for people who are blind or have low vision. Please note that due to the
complexity and number of images in this document, it is not possible to include text descriptions of images.
The information in this document is subject to change without notice and does not represent a commitment on
the part of Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH. The software described by this document is subject to a License
Agreement and may not be copied to other media except as specifically allowed in the License Agreement. No
part of this publication may be copied, reproduced, or otherwise transmitted or recorded, for any purpose,
without prior written permission by Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH. Registered licensees of the product
described herein may print one copy of this document for their personal use.
All product and company names are ™ or ® trademarks of their respective owners. For more information, please
© Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH, 2021.
All rights reserved.
Dorico Elements_3.1.10_en-US_2020-11-11Table of Contents
8 New features
12 Introduction
12 Platform-independent documentation
12 Usage of musical terms
13 Conventions
15 How you can reach us
16 First steps
16 Getting around
24 Starting a new project
26 Writing music
31 Dorico concepts
31 Design philosophy and higher-level concepts
38 User interface
38 Windows
51 Workspace setup
58 Preferences dialog
59 Key Commands page in the Preferences dialog
65 Project and file handling
65 Hub
69 Projects from different versions of Dorico
69 Missing Fonts dialog
71 File import and export
87 Auto-save
88 Project backups
90 Setup mode
90 Project window in Setup mode
98 Project Info dialog
100 Layout Options dialog
102 Players, layouts, and flo ws
103 Players
107 Ensembles
108 Instruments
125 Player groups
128 Flows
130 Layouts
135 Player, layout, and instrument names
140 Flow names and flo w titles
141 Videos
148 Write mode
148 Project window in Write mode
156 Inputting vs. editing
158 Rhythmic grid
159 Note input
195 MIDI recording
201 Notations input
301 Editing and selecting
311 Navigation
314 Signposts
316 Arranging tools
320 Splitting flo ws
328 Layout and formatting
328 Engrave mode
328 Frames
329 Master pages
329 Flow headings
330 Page formatting
353 Music Fonts dialog
354 Text objects vs. text in text frames
361 Note spacing
363 Staff spacing
366 Play mode
366 Project window in Play mode
372 Event display
380 Tracks
410 Playhead
412 Playing back music
417 Swing playback
421 Mixer
423 Transport window
425 Playback templates
433 Endpoints
439 Expression maps
449 Percussion maps
456 Played vs. notated note durations
458 Print mode
458 Project window in Print mode
462 Printing layouts
465 Exporting layouts as graphics files
470 Printers
470 Page arrangements for printing/exporting
472 Duplex printing
473 Page sizes and paper sizes
475 Graphics file formats
476 Annotations
477 Notation reference
478 Introduction
479 Accidentals
479 Deleting accidentals
480 Hiding/Showing or parenthesizing accidentals
481 Stacking of accidentals
482 Altered unisons
483 Microtonal accidentals
483 Accidental duration rules
485 Articulations
485 Copying articulations
486 Changing articulations
486 Deleting articulations
486 Positions of articulations
489 Articulations in playback
490 Bars
490 Deleting bars/beats
492 Changes to the length of bars
492 Splits in bars
493 Combining bars
Dorico Elements 3.1.10495 Barlines
496 Deleting barlines
497 Barlines across staff groups
499 Bar numbers
499 Hiding/Showing bar numbers
500 Hiding/Showing bar number enclosures
501 Hiding/Showing bar number ranges on multi-
bar rests
501 Hiding/Showing guide bar numbers
502 Changing the bar number paragraph style
used in layouts
502 Positions of bar numbers
506 Bar number changes
507 Subordinate bar numbers
508 Bar numbers and repeats
510 Beaming
510 Beam groups
512 Beaming notes together manually
513 Changing the direction of partial beams
513 Beam placement relative to the staff
514 Beam slants
515 Centered beams
517 Creating cross-staff beams
520 Beam corners
520 Secondary beams
521 Tuplets within beams
522 Stemlets
522 Fanned beams
524 Note and rest grouping
524 Creating custom beat groupings for meters
526 Brackets and braces
527 Changing bracket grouping according to
ensemble type
529 Secondary brackets
530 Sub-sub-brackets
532 Chord symbols
532 Chord components
533 Transposing chord symbols
534 Hiding/Showing chord symbols
535 Hiding/Showing the root and quality of chord
535 Chord symbol regions
537 Positions of chord symbols
538 Respelling chord symbols
540 Chord symbols imported from MusicXML
541 Chord diagrams
541 Chord diagram components
542 Hiding/Showing chord diagrams
543 Changing the chord diagram shape
544 Creating new chord diagram shapes
547 Clefs
547 General placement conventions for clefs
548 Moving clefs rhythmically
548 Deleting clefs
549 Showing clefs after grace notes
550 Setting different clefs for concert/transposed
550 Hiding/Showing clefs according to layout
551 Transposing clefs
552 Octave lines
553 Lengthening/Shortening octave lines
554 Positions of octave lines
555 Deleting octave lines
557 Cues
558 Dynamics
558 Types of dynamics
559 Positions of dynamics
562 Showing dynamics in parentheses
563 Copying dynamics
563 Deleting dynamics
564 V oice-specific dynamics
564 Niente hairpins
565 Dynamic modifiers
567 Gradual dynamics
573 Groups of dynamics
574 Linked dynamics
576 VST Expression Maps for volume types
577 Fingering
577 General placement conventions for fingering
578 Changing fingerings to substitution fingerings
579 Changing existing fingerings
579 Changing the staff-relative placement of
581 Hiding/Showing fingering
581 Deleting fingerings
581 Cautionary fingerings
582 Fingerings for fretted instruments
585 Fingering slides
587 Fingerings for valved brass instruments
588 Hiding/Showing string fingering shift
589 Fingerings imported from MusicXML files
590 String indicators
591 Lengthening/Shortening string indicators
592 Deleting string indicators
593 Positions of string indicators
595 Front matter
595 Project information used in default master
596 Grace notes
597 General placement conventions for grace
598 Grace note size
598 Grace note slashes
599 Grace note stems
599 Grace note beams
601 Holds and pauses
601 Types of holds and pauses
603 Positions of holds and pauses
607 Key signatures
607 Key signature arrangements
608 Types of key signatures
609 Deleting key signatures
610 Multiple simultaneous key signatures
610 Positions of key signatures
611 Transposing key signatures alongside
612 Enharmonic equivalent key signatures
613 Cautionary key signatures
Table of Contents

Dorico Elements 3.1.10613 Tonality systems
615 Lyrics
615 General placement conventions for lyrics
616 Filters for lyrics
617 Types of lyrics
618 Types of syllables in lyrics
619 Deleting lyric lines
620 Copying/Pasting lyrics
621 Lyric text editing
624 Showing lyrics in italics
624 Positions of lyrics
626 Lyric hyphens and lyric extender lines
626 Lyric line numbers
629 Verse numbers
630 East Asian elision slurs
631 Notes
631 Notehead sets
637 Changing the size of notes
637 Moving notes rhythmically
638 Specifying the string for individual notes
639 Hiding/Showing colors for notes out range
640 Bracketed noteheads
645 Harmonics
646 Turning notes into harmonics
647 Changing the harmonic partial
648 Hiding/Showing or parenthesizing harmonic
648 Appearances/Styles of harmonics
653 Ornaments
653 Changing ornament intervals
654 Positions of ornaments
656 Trills
659 Trill intervals
664 Trills in playback
666 Arpeggio signs
666 Types of arpeggio signs
668 Length of arpeggio signs
669 General placement conventions for arpeggio
670 Changing arpeggio playback relative to the
670 Changing the playback duration of arpeggios
672 Glissando lines
672 General placement conventions for glissando
673 Glissando lines across empty bars
673 Changing the style of glissando lines
674 Changing glissando line text
675 Glissando lines in playback
676 Guitar bends
678 Hiding/Showing guitar bend hold lines
679 Changing the direction of guitar pre-bends
680 Showing guitar bends as a dive and return
680 Hiding/Showing accidentals on guitar pre-
682 Jazz articulations
683 Jazz ornaments
684 Positions of jazz articulations
684 Changing the type/length of existing jazz
684 Changing the line style of smooth jazz
685 Deleting jazz articulations
687 Page numbers
687 Changing the page number numeral style
688 Hiding/Showing page numbers
690 Harp pedaling
691 Changing the appearance of harp pedal
692 Hiding/Showing harp pedaling in layouts
693 Hiding/Showing borders on harp pedal
694 Positions of harp pedal diagrams
694 Partial harp pedaling
697 Pedal lines
698 Sustain pedal retakes and pedal level changes
699 Positions of pedal lines
701 Lengthening/Shortening pedal lines
703 Pedal line start signs, hooks, and continuation
705 Text pedal line signs
707 Pedal lines in playback
708 Pedal lines imported from MusicXML files
709 Playing techniques
710 Positions of playing techniques
711 Adding text to playing techniques
712 Hiding/Showing playing techniques
712 Lengthening/Shortening playing techniques
713 Playing technique continuation lines
716 Groups of playing techniques
717 Playback playing techniques
719 Lines
721 Line components
722 Positions of lines
726 Length of lines
729 Changing the body style of lines
729 Changing the caps of lines
730 Changing the direction of lines
730 Adding text to lines
733 Rehearsal marks
733 General placement conventions for rehearsal
734 Positions of rehearsal marks
735 Deleting rehearsal marks
735 Changing the order of rehearsal marks
736 Changing the rehearsal mark sequence type
736 Adding pr efix es/suffix es to rehearsal marks
738 Markers
738 Hiding/Showing markers
739 Changing the vertical position of markers
740 Editing marker text
740 Changing the timecodes of markers
741 Moving markers rhythmically
741 Defining markers as important
743 Timecodes
744 Changing the initial timecode value
744 Changing the vertical position of timecodes
745 Changing the timecode frequency
Table of Contents

Dorico Elements 3.1.10747 Repeat endings
747 Changing the total number of playthroughs in
repeat endings
748 Lengthening/Shortening segments in repeat
748 Positions of repeat endings
749 Changing the appearance of individual final
repeat ending segments
750 Repeat endings in MusicXML files
751 Repeat markers
752 Changing the index for repeat markers
752 Editing repeat marker text
753 Positions of repeat markers
754 Including/Excluding repeats in playback after
repeat jumps
754 Changing the number of playthroughs at
repeat barlines
756 Bar repeats
757 Changing the length of the repeated phrase in
bar repeat regions
757 Moving bar repeat regions
758 Lengthening/Shortening bar repeat regions
759 Hiding/Showing bar repeat region highlights
759 Bar repeat counts
761 Bar repeat grouping
763 Rhythm slashes
763 Slash regions
765 Slashes in multiple-voice contexts
767 Splitting slash regions
768 Moving slash regions
768 Lengthening/Shortening slash regions
769 Hiding/Showing stems in slash regions
769 Slash region counts
772 Rests
772 General placement conventions for rests
773 Implicit vs. explicit rests
775 Hiding/Showing rest colors
775 Deleting rests
776 Hiding/Showing bar rests in empty bars
777 Multi-bar rests
778 Moving rests vertically
780 Slurs
780 General placement conventions for slurs
783 Cross-staff and cross-voice slurs
784 Nested slurs
786 Moving slurs rhythmically
786 Lengthening/Shortening slurs
787 Linked slurs
788 Slur curvature direction
789 Slur styles
791 Slur collision avoidance
791 Slurs over system and frame breaks
791 Slurs in playback
793 Staff labels
794 Instrument names in staff labels
795 Hiding/Showing staff labels
796 Instrument transpositions in staff labels
798 Hiding/Showing instrument change labels at
the start of flo ws
798 Staff labels for percussion kits
800 Staff labels on condensed staves
801 Staves
801 Per-layout options for staves
802 Extra staves
803 Ossia staves
803 System dividers
805 System objects
806 System indents
808 Divisi
809 Tablature
810 Rhythms on tablature
810 Hiding/Showing notation staves and tablature
811 Changing the allocated string for notes on
812 Showing notes as dead notes
814 Stems
814 Stem direction
818 Stem length
819 Tempo marks
820 Types of tempo marks
820 Positions of tempo marks
822 Changing tempo text
823 Hiding/Showing tempo marks
823 Deleting tempo marks
823 Tempo mark components
825 Metronome marks
828 Gradual tempo changes
830 Tempo equations
831 Ties
832 General placement conventions for ties
833 Ties vs. slurs
834 Non-standard ties
837 Deleting ties
837 Splitting tie chains
838 Tie styles
839 Tie curvature direction
841 Time signatures
842 General conventions for time signatures
843 Types of time signatures
845 Pick-up bars
846 Large time signatures
848 Time signature styles
851 Positions of time signatures
852 Hiding/Showing time signatures
852 Deleting time signatures
853 Changing the design of time signatures
854 Tremolos
855 Tremolos in tie chains
855 General placement conventions for tremolos
855 Changing the speed of tremolos
856 Deleting tremolos
857 Rhythmic positions of notes with tremolos
858 Tuplets
858 General placement conventions for tuplets
859 Nested tuplets
860 Turning existing notes into tuplets
860 Turning tuplets into normal notes
861 Allowing/Disallowing tuplets to span barlines
862 Moving tuplets rhythmically
863 Deleting tuplets
863 Tuplet beams
Table of Contents

Dorico Elements 3.1.10864 Tuplet brackets
866 Tuplet numbers/ratios
868 Unpitched percussion
868 Percussion kits vs. individual percussion
869 Percussion kits and drum sets
870 Changing the playing techniques of notes on
percussion kit staves
871 Moving notes to different instruments in
percussion kits
872 Notations on notes in percussion kits
873 Percussion kit presentation types
875 Playing techniques for unpitched percussion
879 Percussion legends
882 Voices in percussion kits
883 Unpitched percussion in Play mode
885 Universal Indian Drum Notation
886 Voices
886 Note positions in multiple-voice contexts
887 Hiding/Showing voice colors
888 Unused voices
888 Swapping the order of voices
889 Notes crossed to staves with existing notes in
other voices
890 Slash voices
893 Glossary
905 Index
Table of Contents

Dorico Elements 3.1.10New features
New Features in Version 3.1.0
Dynamics lane
● Each instrument track in Play mode now also has a dynamics lane, which presents the
pr ofiles of dynamics over time in a graphical way and allows you to view and edit them. See
Dynamics lanes.
Bracketed noteheads
● You can now show brackets around any notehead, where before this was limited to
unpitched percussion instruments. Both round and square brackets are available. See
Bracketed noteheads.
● Dorico Elements now supports vertical, horizontal, and angled lines between notes, with
different styles and appearances available. They offer many notational possibilities, as lines
can convey a variety of meanings, but do not affect playback. See Lines.
More New Features
Voice indication in the status bar
● The voice of a single selected note is now displayed in the status bar, making it easier to
keep track of voices. See Status bar.
XML export
● Dorico Elements‘s MusicXML export has been improved. Accidentals, articulations, chord
symbols, instrument transpositions, jazz articulations and rehearsal marks are all now
included when exporting projects to MusicXML. See Exporting MusicXML files .
Local chord symbols
● You can now input chord symbols that only apply to a single instrument, allowing you to
show different chord symbols for different players at the same rhythmic positions. See
Inputting chord symbols.
Bracket grouping settings for different layouts
● The existing ensemble types for bracket grouping have been moved from Engraving
Options to Layout Options, allowing you to change the bracket grouping approach in
each layout independently. See Changing bracket grouping according to ensemble type.
Harmonics playback
● Both natural and artificial harmonics now play back at the appropriate pitch. If your
playback device includes dedicated sounds for harmonics, these are now also used
automatically. See Harmonics.
Guitar bend runs
● Sequences of consecutive guitar bends are now notated as bend runs on tablature. See
Guitar bends.
Dorico Elements 3.1.10Timecode position options
● You can now show the timecode at the start of each system without showing a separate
timecode staff. The timecode can appear above or below the staff. See Changing the
vertical position of timecodes.
Last but Not Least
Auto-save file names
● Dorico Elements now automatically adds “[AutoSave]” to the end of auto-save project file
names so that you can identify them, for example, if you need to recover a project from the
bin on your computer. See Auto-save.
Avoid double/triple accidentals when transposing
● You can now avoid double and triple accidentals when transposing selections in tonality
systems that are compatible with 12-EDO. See Transpose dialog.
Copying automation
● You can now copy automation points, including copying them to other automation lanes.
See Copying and pasting automation points.
Instrument names in the Endpoint Setup dialog
● The Assigned Instruments column in the Endpoint Setup dialog now displays the
instrument name set for each instrument in the Edit Instrument Names dialog. See
Endpoint Setup dialog.
Square brackets for accidentals
● You can now show square brackets on individual accidentals, in addition to the existing
support for round parentheses. See Hiding/Showing or parenthesizing accidentals.
● This is also available for harmonic accidentals. See Hiding/Showing or parenthesizing
harmonic accidentals.
Short (top) barline
● Dorico Elements now includes a short (top) barline that is similar to the existing short
barline but spans the top two spaces in a five-line staff. See Barlines.
New Features in Version 3.0.10
Tablature input
● You can now use a numeric keypad to input the fret numbers of notes on tablature. See
Inputting notes on tablature.
Harp pedaling filter
● There is now a filter that you can use to select or deselect harp pedal diagrams within a
larger selection. See Filters.
New Features in Version 3.0.0
Inputting onto multiple staves
● You can now extend the caret to multiple staves and input notes and notations onto all of
them at once, including dynamics and playing techniques. When using a MIDI keyboard,
this also allows you to explode chords across those staves as you input them. See Inputting
notes and notations onto multiple staves.
New features

Dorico Elements 3.1.10Comments
● This version introduces the ability to add comments as annotations as a way of adding
notes or instructions without affecting the music. See Comments.
Playback templates
● It is now possible to create custom playback templates and edit existing ones. You can
include factory default playback templates and endpoint configur ations and list them in
your order of preference in a single custom playback template. See Edit Playback Template
Chord diagrams
● You can now show chord diagrams alongside chord symbols in Dorico Elements. You can
show the suitable chord diagrams for guitars with a variety of tunings and any other fretted
instrument in the library and create your own chord diagram shapes. See Chord diagrams.
Fingerings for guitars and fretted instruments
● Dorico Elements now offers comprehensive support for the complex fingerings required
for music for guitars and fretted instruments, including automatically positioning right-
hand and left-hand fingerings correctly. See Fingerings for fretted instruments.
String indicators
● Dorico Elements now supports string indicators both inside and outside the staff. When
inside the staff, they automatically erase their backgrounds. They also automatically
accommodate left-hand fingerings for the same notes. See String indicators.
● Dorico Elements now supports various conventions for the notation of harmonics on
stringed and fretted instruments, including both natural and artificial harmonics. Dorico
Elements can also calculate the correct pitch to be notated for the second through sixth
partials. See Harmonics.
Guitar bends
● Dorico Elements now supports the notation of guitar bends, including guitar pre-bends,
holds, and releases. These techniques can be shown on both notation staves and tablature.
See Guitar bends.
Harp pedaling
● Dorico Elements now offers features designed to help write idiomatically for the harp,
including harp pedal diagrams that you can show as a diagram or using note names, a tool
to calculate the pedal positions required to play a passage of music, and highlights for
notes that are unplayable with the current pedal positions. See Harp pedaling.
Playing technique continuation lines
● You can now show continuation lines for playing techniques and differentiate between lines
that show simply their duration and lines that indicate a gradual transition between playing
techniques. See Playing technique continuation lines.
● Dorico Elements now provides tablature for guitar and other fretted instruments, including
supporting a number of specific idiomatic notations for guitar, custom string tunings,
different conventions for representing rhythms on tablature, and so on. Music can be
shown on a regular notation staff and on tablature at the same time or separately, and they
are linked, meaning edits to one staff automatically affect the other. See Tablature.
More New Features
Project Info dialog
● This new version updates the Project Info dialog significantly . It can now stay open whilst
you work, has a list of flo ws so you can select and change information for multiple flo ws at
once, and also allows you to add and delete flo ws from within the dialog in addition to
New features

Dorico Elements 3.1.10using the Flows panel in Setup mode. It also has a new default key command for quicker
access. See Project Info dialog.
Custom endpoint configur ations
● Related to custom playback templates, you can now save any overrides you have made to
endpoint configur ations, such as changing the expression maps or instruments assigned to
particular endpoints, as custom endpoint configur ations. You can then reuse these in other
projects and include them in custom playback templates. See Custom endpoint
configur ations .
Bar numbers at multiple positions
● You can now show bar numbers at multiple vertical positions in the same system. This is
often used in large orchestral scores so that conductors never have to look too far to see
the bar number. See Showing bar numbers above specific staves.
Chord symbol regions
● It is now possible to show chord symbols only alongside slash regions or in new chord
symbol regions. This makes it easier to specify specific sections where it is helpful or
necessary to show chord symbols for players who do not need them elsewhere. See Chord
symbol regions.
Clefs according to layout transposition
● You can now choose to show individual clefs only in either transposed or concert pitch
layouts. This is useful when, for example, some instruments require clef changes in the
score but not in their part. Clefs hidden in this way do not affect note spacing. See Hiding/
Showing clefs according to layout transpositions.
Curved arpeggio signs
● Dorico Elements now offers a curved arpeggio sign, which some composers use to indicate
gentle or partial arpeggiation. See Types of arpeggio signs.
Glissando playback
● Glissando lines now affect playback. For harps, the pitches included in glissando lines
automatically change according to the current harp pedaling setting. See Glissando lines in
Last but Not Least
MIDI activity indicator
● Dorico Elements now displays a green light briefly in the status bar when it is receiving
MIDI input from a connected device. See Status bar.
Missing Fonts dialog
● This new dialog informs you if a project you are opening contains a font you do not have
installed on your computer and allows you to select replacement fonts. See Missing Fonts
Swing playback for 16th notes
● Dorico Elements now allows you to use 16th notes as the unit for swing playback. See
Swing playback.
New features

Dorico Elements 3.1.10Introduction
Thank you very much for purchasing Dorico Elements.
We are delighted that you have chosen Steinberg`s scoring application and hope that you will
enjoy using it for years to come.
Dorico is a next-generation application for producing beautiful sheet music, whether you are a
composer, arranger, music engraver, publisher, instrumentalist, teacher, or student. Whether
you want to print your music or share it in a digital format, Dorico is the most sophisticated
program available.
Like all of Steinberg`s products, Dorico has been designed from the ground up by a team of
musicians who understand your needs and who are dedicated to producing a tool that is both
easy to learn and use, but also capable of results of the highest quality. Dorico also integrates
with your existing workflo w and can import and export files in a variety of formats.
Dorico thinks about music the same way a human musician does and has a deeper
understanding of the elements of music and musical performance than other scoring
applications. Its unique design allows an unprecedented degree of fle xibility , in music input and
editing, in score layout, in rhythmic freedom, and many other areas besides.
Most sincerely yours,
Your Steinberg Dorico Team
Platform-independent documentation
This documentation applies to the operating systems Windows and macOS.
Features and settings that are specific to one of these platforms are clearly indicated. In all other
cases, the descriptions and procedures in the documentation are valid for Windows and macOS.
Some points to consider:
● The screenshots are taken from macOS and use the dark theme in Dorico Elements.
● Some functions that are available on the File menu on Windows can be found in the
program name menu on macOS.
Usage of musical terms
This documentation uses American terminology for musical items.
The following table lists all the notes and notations that have different names in American and
British English:
American Name British Name
Double whole note Breve
Whole note Semibreve
Half note Minim
Dorico Elements 3.1.10American Name British Name
Quarter note Crotchet
Eighth note Quaver
Sixteenth note Semiquaver
Thirty-second note Demisemiquaver
Sixty-fourth note Hemidemisemiquaver
Hundred twenty-eighth note Semihemidemisemiquaver
Two hundred fifty-sixth note Demisemihemidemisemiquaver
Staff Stave
This documentation only uses “bar”.
In our documentation, we use typographical and markup elements to structure information.
Typographical elements
The following typographical elements mark the following purposes.
Requires you to complete an action or to fulfill a condition before starting a procedure.
Lists the steps that you must take to achieve a specific result.
Informs you about issues that might affect the system, the connected hardware, or
that might bring a risk of data loss.
Informs you about issues that you should consider.
Adds further information or useful suggestions.
Provides you with an example.
Shows the result of the procedure.
Dorico Elements 3.1.10After Completing This Task
Informs you about actions or tasks that you can perform after completing the
Related Links
Lists related topics that you can find in this documentation.
Elements of the user interface are highlighted throughout the documentation.
Names of menus, options, functions, dialogs, windows, and so on, are highlighted in bold.
To open the Project Info dialog, choose File > Project Info.
If bold text is separated by a greater-than symbol, this indicates a sequence of different menus
to open.
Choose Setup > Layout Options.
File names and folder paths are shown in a different font.
Key commands
Key commands are sets of keys that perform defined tasks when pressed together. They are also
known as “keyboard shortcuts”. Many of the default key commands use modifier keys, some of
which are different depending on the operating system.
When key commands with modifier keys are described in this manual, they are indicated with the
Windows modifier key first, followed by the macOS modifier key and the key.
Ctrl/Cmd-Z means: press Ctrl on Windows or Cmd on macOS, then press Z .
Key commands in Dorico Elements
The default key commands in Dorico Elements depend on your keyboard layout.
If you move the mouse over a tool or a function, the information in brackets shows the key
command that is used to activate or deactivate a tool or a function.
You can also do one of the following:
● Choose Help > Key Commands to open the Dorico Key Commands window, which provides
an overview of all available key commands.
● Search for key commands of specific functions or menu items in the Preferences dialog. In
this dialog, you can also assign new key commands or change default key commands.
Interactive Dorico Elements key commands map on page 61
Searching for the key commands of functions on page 62
Dorico Elements 3.1.10Preferences dialog on page 58
Key Commands page in the Preferences dialog on page 59
Assigning key commands on page 62
How you can reach us
On the Help menu you find items linking to additional information.
The menu contains links to various Steinberg web pages. Selecting one of these menu items
automatically launches your web browser and opens the page. On these pages, you can find
support and compatibility information, answers to frequently asked questions, information
about updates and other Steinberg products, and so on.
This requires that you have a web browser installed on your computer and a working Internet
How you can reach us
Dorico Elements 3.1.10First steps
This chapter helps you to get started with Dorico Elements.
When you start Dorico Elements for the first time, we recommend that you open one of the
templates first to have a look at the user interface and the functions that Dorico Elements
provides before you start your own projects. You are welcome to skip this part and explore the
program for yourself.
The following sections inform you about the following topics:
● Overview of the most important workspaces
● Setting up a new project
● Writing your music and adding notation items to your score
● Laying out and formatting pages
● Playing back what you created
● Printing and exporting
Getting around
The following sections give you an overview of the user interface and introduce you to how
Dorico Elements is structured.
Opening a template
Before you start your own project, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the user
interface of Dorico Elements. To prepare for this, open one of the templates that are provided
with the program.
You have started Dorico Elements. The Hub is open.
1. In the Hub, select one of the listed template groups. For example, select the Choral and
Vocal templates.
2. Select one of the listed templates.
3. Click New from Template.
Dorico Elements 3.1.10RESULT
The template opens. The players in the template are added to the project and their staves appear
in the music area.
Hub on page 65
Quick tour of the user interface
The user interface of Dorico Elements consists of different modes that represent different phases
in the workflo w of preparing a score.
The user interface has a structure that is the same in each of the application’s modes. There is
always a large area for editing your music in the center of the project window. In every mode,
there are collapsible panels on the left, right, and bottom of the project window, depending on
which mode you are using. The contents of these panels change according to the selected mode.
When you open the template, the first view shows the project window in Write mode:
The project window when you open a template
The project window contains the following areas:
The toolbar is located at the top of the project window.
On the left side of the toolbar, the modes are displayed. By changing the mode, you change the
workspace and the available panels. The current mode is highlighted in a different color. In the
middle of the toolbar, layout options allow you to switch between the different layouts in your
project and to show/hide panels and tabs.
First steps
Getting around
Dorico Elements 3.1.10On the right side of the toolbar, you can open a Mixer and use basic transport controls that,
among other functions, allow you to play back and record your music.
Show Mixer button
Music area
The music area is the main part of the project window in Setup mode and Write mode where you
set up, input, edit and format your music. In Play mode, this area is called event display, in which
every note is displayed as an event. In Print mode, this area is called print preview area, which
shows a preview of what is going to be printed or exported as a graphic.
The music area in Write mode after starting a new project from a choral template
The music area displays the scores or the instrumental parts that you create. Above the music
area you can activate several layouts in tabs and switch between them. Layouts in Dorico
Elements allow you to show different presentations of your music. If you have a full score with
different instrumental parts, such as a violin part and a bassoon part, you can switch between
that full score layout and the layouts of each part. To save space on the screen or to focus on a
specific layout, you can hide the tabs.
Toolboxes are the columns on the left and right edges of the project window. They contain
different tools and options according to the current mode, but in general they allow you to input
and modify notes and notation items. The Notations toolbox also determines which options are
shown in the Notations panel.
First steps
Getting around
Dorico Elements 3.1.10Notes toolbox in Write mode
Notations toolbox in Write mode
Dorico Elements provides panels with various functions in all modes. When you open the
template, there is a panel on the left of the music area. This is the Notes panel in Write mode. It
contains all the durations, accidentals, slurs, and articulations that are most commonly used
when inputting notes.
First steps
Getting around
Dorico Elements 3.1.10Notes panel in Write mode
Status Bar
At the bottom of the project window, a status bar allows you to select different views and page
arrangements for the music area. It contains different options in different modes.
Status bar
User interface on page 38
Mixer on page 421
Transport window on page 423
Functions of the modes
Each mode represents a different phase in the workflo w of preparing scores and parts, so
contain different toolboxes, panels, and functionality from each other.
Setup mode
In Setup mode, you can set up the fundamental elements of the project: instruments and the
players that hold them, flo ws, layouts, and videos. You can also determine how they interact with
each other, for example, by changing the players assigned to layouts.
You can view music in the music area and switch between viewing other tabs and layouts, but
you cannot select or interact with anything in the music area in Setup mode.
You can switch to Setup mode in any of the following ways:
● Press Ctrl/Cmd-1 .
● Click Setup in the toolbar.
● Choose Window > Setup.
First steps
Getting around
Dorico Elements 3.1.10Write mode
In Write mode, you can input and edit your music, including changing the rhythmic positions of
items, changing the pitch of notes, and deleting notes and items. The available toolboxes and
panels allow you to input all the notes and notation items that are most commonly used.
By design, you cannot move notes and items graphically in Write mode. Graphical adjustments
are only possible in Engrave mode in Dorico Pro.
You can switch to Write mode in any of the following ways:
● Press Ctrl/Cmd-2 .
● Click Write in the toolbar.
● Choose Window > Write.
Play mode
In Play mode, you can change how your music sounds in playback, including by changing the
playback template and assigning VST instruments, inputting automation, adjusting the mix, and
changing the sounding duration of notes in playback without affecting their notated duration.
You can switch to Play mode in any of the following ways:
● Press Ctrl/Cmd-4 .
● Click Play in the toolbar.
● Choose Window > Play.
Print mode
In Print mode, you can print your layouts or export them as graphics files. When printing layouts,
you can specify the paper size and other options, such as duplex or booklet printing. When
exporting layouts, you can specify different graphics file types, such as PDF or PNG, and the
information you want to include in their exported file names.
You can switch to Print mode in any of the following ways:
● Press Ctrl/Cmd-5 .
● Click Print in the toolbar.
● Choose Window > Print.
Setup mode on page 90
Write mode on page 148
Engrave mode on page 328
Print mode on page 458
Play mode on page 366
Hiding/Showing panels
You can hide/show individual or multiple panels. This is useful if you want to see more of the
music area, for example.
● Hide individual panels or all panels in the following ways:
● To hide/show the left panel:
Press Ctrl/Cmd-7 .
Click the disclosure arrow on the left edge of the main window.
First steps
Getting around
Dorico Elements 3.1.10Choose Window > Show Left Panel.
● To hide/show the right panel:
Press Ctrl/Cmd-9 .
Click the disclosure arrow on the right edge of the main window.
Choose Window > Show Right Panel.
● To hide/show the bottom panel:
Press Ctrl/Cmd-8 .
Click the disclosure arrow at the bottom of the main window.
Choose Window > Show Bottom Panel.
● To hide/show all panels:
Press Ctrl/Cmd-0 .
Click Hide/Restore Panels.
Choose Window > Hide/Restore Panels.
The corresponding panels are hidden/shown. Panels are hidden when no tick is shown beside
the corresponding panel in the menu, and shown when a tick is shown in the menu.
If you hide all active panels, the Hide/Restore Panels button in the toolbar changes its look and
indicates which panels were active but are now hidden.
Appearance when panels are shown Appearance when all panels were previously shown
but are now all hidden
Working with tabs and windows
Dorico Elements enables you to set up your workspace according to your working style.
Dorico Elements allows you to open multiple tabs to display multiple layouts in the same project
within the same window. You can also open the same project in several windows.
Workspace setup on page 51
Opening a new tab
You can open a new tab to display a different view or layout within the same project window.
Each tab can contain a separate layout or a different view of a layout already open in another tab
or window. Whenever you open a new tab, you are prompted to select a layout that you want to
display in the tab.
You can find tabs in the tab bar, located at the top of the music area, below the toolbar. If you do
not see any tabs, click Show Tabs in the toolbar.
First steps
Getting around
Dorico Elements 3.1.10PROCEDURE
● To open a new tab, do one of the following:
● Press Ctrl/Cmd-T .
● At the right end of the tab bar, click New Tab.
● Choose Window > New Tab.
A new tab opens that shows several icons at the top and a list of layouts at the bottom.
Options available in the music area when you open a new tab
You can click one of the icons or select a layout from the list at the bottom. Alternatively, you can
select a layout from the layout selector in the toolbar. The layout that you choose opens in the
active tab.
Tab bar on page 42
Toolbar on page 39
Opening a new window
You can open another window for the same project, for example, if you want to work on multiple
layouts at the same time. You can also show a different mode of the same project in each
window, such as having one window show Write mode and another show Play mode.
● Open a new project window in any of the following ways:
First steps
Getting around
Dorico Elements 3.1.10● Press Ctrl/Cmd-Shift-T .
● Choose Window > New Window.
A duplicate of the window opens. It contains the same tabs and the same view options as the
original window.
Opening multiple project windows on page 55
Starting a new project
After getting a first impression of the Dorico Elements user interface, you can get started with
inputting your own music. In this section, you learn how to set up a new project.
All inputs that are made and the images that are used to accompany the steps in this chapter are
intended merely to be helpful examples. Therefore, there is no need to make the same entries in
order to get the depicted results.
Close the template without saving to reopen the Hub.
● Start a new project in any of the following ways:
● Press Ctrl/Cmd-N .
● Click New Empty Project.
A new project window opens.
By default, new projects start in Setup mode. This allows you to specify players and assign
instruments straight away. The area in the middle, known as the project start area, allows you to
start your project with different types of players. Once you have added at least one player, this
area becomes the music area.
On the right, the Layouts panel shows a Full score layout card. This layout is automatically
created in every new project.
At the bottom of the window is the Flows panel, where you can specify separate spans of music
for your project.
First steps
Starting a new project
Start your project by adding a player and assigning an instrument to them. You are free to assign
any kind of instrument. The following examples use a single piano player.
Windows on page 38
Adding a solo player
In this section, you learn how to add a player and assign an instrument.
You have started a new project. You are in Setup mode.
1. Click Add Solo Player to open the instrument picker.
2. Enter piano into the instrument picker search box.
3. Click Add.
You have added your first player. In the music area, the required piano staves including their
respective clefs are displayed.
Save your project. You can do this at any time.
Optionally, you can now edit the project title or add more players.
The following sections help you to create flo ws and layouts. If you want to start composing, you
can skip those sections.
Writing music on page 26
Creating a flo w
Flows are separate spans of music within your project, for example, movements or songs. In this
section, you learn how to create a flo w .
You have added at least one player. You are in Setup mode.
● In Setup mode, click Add Flow in the Flows panel at the bottom of the window.
First steps
Starting a new project
Dorico Elements 3.1.10RESULT
A new flo w is added to your project each time you click Add Flow. All existing players are
assigned to new flo ws, and new flo ws are automatically assigned to all existing full score and
part layouts.
You can double-click the flo w card to rename the flo w .
You can also remove players from the flo w by deactivating their checkboxes in the Players panel,
and remove the flo w from layouts by deactivating their checkboxes in the Layouts panel.
Flows on page 128
Renaming flo ws on page 140
Creating a layout
Layouts define how music for one or more players in one or more flo ws is presented, including
page size, margins, staff size, and so on. In this section, you learn how to create a new layout.
You have added at least one player and one flo w . You are in Setup mode.
Several layouts are often used in ensembles with multiple players, where each player may
require a layout of the individual instrumental part. Dorico Elements automatically creates a full
score layout that contains all players and all flo ws as well as individual part layouts that each
contain one player and all flo ws. If you require a different combination of players and flo ws, for
example, a part containing the music for two players, you can create your own layouts, as
● In the Layouts panel, click Add Instrumental Part Layout.
An empty part is created on the Layouts panel.
You can double-click the empty part card to rename it.
You can also assign flo ws to the layout by activating their checkboxes in the Flows panel, and
assign players to the layout by activating their checkboxes in the Players panel.
Writing music
Once you have set up your project, you can start writing music.
In Write mode, you can input notes and insert other notations into your score.
Throughout Dorico Elements, most tasks can be accomplished using only your computer`s
keyboard. You do not need to use the mouse or touchpad. Learning key commands allows you to
use Dorico Elements most efficiently . The fastest way to input music is using a MIDI keyboard. If
you do not have a MIDI keyboard, you can use your computer`s keyboard. Of course, you can still
use the mouse or touchpad if you want.
First steps
Writing music
Dorico Elements 3.1.10In the following sections, you learn how to input notes and notation items.
Inputting your first notes
In this section, you learn how to input notes. You can start inputting notes without having to first
add a time signature or key signature.
● You have set up your MIDI keyboard.
If you have not set up a MIDI keyboard yet, you can start inputting notes with the computer
● You have added a piano player in Setup mode.
● You are in Write mode.
1. Select the rest that was automatically inserted next to the clef when you added a solo player.
2. Start note input in any of the following ways:
● Press Shift-N or Return .
● Double-click the rest.
The caret is activated and appears on the staff.
3. In the Notes panel, click a duration.
By default, Dorico Elements selects a quarter note (crotchet) for you.
4. Start playing notes on the MIDI keyboard, or press A , B , C , D , E , F , G on the computer
keyboard to input the corresponding pitches.
If you want higher or lower pitch for the note that Dorico Elements inputs for you, you can
force a different register.
● To input a note above the previously input note, press Shift-Alt/Opt as well as the letter
for the note, for example, Shift-Alt/Opt-A .
First steps
Writing music
Dorico Elements 3.1.10● To input a note below the previously input note, press Ctrl-Alt (Windows) or
Ctrl (macOS) as well as the letter for the note, for example, Ctrl-Alt-A (Windows) or
Ctrl-A (macOS) .
You must press Ctrl on Mac, not Cmd .
The pitches you enter or play in are input as notes.
Input notes with the caret still active after the final note
Write mode on page 148
Register selection during note input on page 166
Adding a time signature
In this section, you learn how to add a time signature at the beginning of the staff. You can add a
time signature before or after inputting a melody.
Press Esc to deactivate the caret.
1. Select the first note on the staff.
2. Press Shift-M .
The time signatures popover opens above the staff.
3. Enter a typical time signature into the popover, such as 3/4.
4. Press Return to close the popover.
First steps
Writing music
Dorico Elements 3.1.10RESULT
The time signature is automatically input to the left of the note, and the required bar lines are
automatically inserted at the correct positions. If you want to insert a key signature, proceed to
the next section.
Adding a key signature
In this section, you learn how to add a key signature. You can add a key signature at any
rhythmic position on the staff.
When you start a new project from scratch, by default, there is no key signature shown.
Depending on the kind of music you are writing, the key signature might be taken to mean C
major or an open key with no specific tonal center.
You can change the key anywhere on the staff. To add a different key signature at the beginning
of the staff, for example, D major, proceed as follows:
1. Select the first note on the staff.
2. Press Shift-K .
This opens the key signatures popover on top of the staff.
3. Enter a key signature into the popover. If you want to enter D major, enter an uppercase D.
For D minor, enter a lowercase d.
4. Press Return .
The key signature is inserted between the clef and the time signature. Dorico Elements
automatically adds accidentals where necessary.
First steps
Writing music
Dorico Elements 3.1.10Inputting your first chord
In this section, you learn how to input a chord with the computer keyboard, using chord mode. If
you want to use a MIDI keyboard instead, you can input the chord with your keyboard, and you
do not need to use chord mode. Dorico Elements automatically inputs the correct notes.
Select the last note or rest on the staff, and press Return . This shows the caret.
1. Start chord input in any of the following ways:
● Press Q .
● In the Notes toolbox, click Chords.
The caret shows a plus sign at the top.
2. Optional: In the Notes panel, select a duration.
3. Input the notes that you want in your chord by pressing keys from A to G , one after the
other. For example, for a C major chord, press C , E , and G .
By default, Dorico Elements adds each new note above the previous note. You can select the
register of notes manually.
The example shows a possible result.
4. Press Space to advance the caret to the next note position and continue with the next
Dorico Elements expects further chord input until you deactivate it.
5. Optional: To stop chord input, press Q or click Chords again in the Notes toolbox.
Register selection during note input on page 166
First steps
Writing music
Dorico Elements 3.1.10Dorico concepts
Dorico is based on a number of key concepts that come from its design philosophy.
We recommend familiarizing yourself with these concepts, as this will greatly enhance your
ability to work efficiently with Dorico and to navigate more easily through this documentation.
Design philosophy and higher-level concepts
Deep design considerations are required to create a notation software like Dorico, which might
be of particular interest to users familiar with scoring applications. Dorico has a forward-thinking
design that is led by musical concepts rather than computational convenience, and this provides
many benefits.
In most other graphically-orientated scoring applications, the highest-level concept is the staff or
the instrument definition that creates a staff or staves. When setting up your full score in such
programs, you start by adding the correct number of staves, and you are immediately forced into
making decisions about the layout. This means that you must know in advance whether two
flutes share a staff or have their own individual staves, or whether there should be two trumpets
or three. Many of these decisions have significant effects throughout the process of inputting,
editing, and producing individual instrumental parts.
Typically, every system of a score must contain the same number of staves, even if some are
hidden on particular systems. This requires the user to manage common conventions for
themselves, such as multiple players of the same instrument sharing staves. This can be time-
consuming and is naturally error-prone.
By contrast, Dorico is designed to conform more closely to how music is performed in the real
world and to make the score a fle xible expression of the practical choices that go into a musical
performance, rather than to make the musical performance subservient to the way the score was
initially prepared.
To that end, the highest-level concept of Dorico is the group of human musicians that performs a
score. A score can be written for one or more groups, for example, a double choir or an orchestra
plus off-stage chamber ensemble, and so on. Each group includes one or more players which
correspond to the humans who play one or more instruments. Players may either be individuals
who play more than one instrument, such as an oboist doubling cor anglais, or groups in which
everyone plays only one instrument, such as eight desks of violinists.
One crucial difference between Dorico and other scoring applications is that the musical content
exists independently of the score layout in which it is viewed.
The actual music played by the group in your score belongs to one or more flo ws. A flo w is any
span of music that stands alone, for example, a whole song, a movement of a sonata or
symphony, a number in a musical show, or even a short scale or exercise. Players might or might
not have any music to play in a given flo w . For example, all the brass players might be omitted
from the slow movement of a classical symphony, or certain players might have nothing to play
in some cues in a movie score. This is no problem as you can combine players in flo ws in any
Dorico‘s design philosophy provides several benefits. Chief among them is its ability to produce
different score layouts that share the same musical content. For example, in the same project
you can create a conductor`s score with as many instruments as possible condensed onto a
smaller number of staves, a full score with each player`s music on separate staves, a custom
score layout containing just the piano and vocal staves for choral rehearsals, and an instrumental
part for each player that only contains the music belonging to them.
Dorico Elements 3.1.10Projects in Dorico
A project is an individual file that you create within Dorico Elements. It can contain multiple
separate pieces of music of any duration, written for any combination of instruments, and use as
many layouts as required.
For example, you can create a single project that contains all the preludes and fugues in Bach’s
“The Well-Tempered Clavier” as separate flo ws. You could then have one layout that contains only
the flo ws for Book 1 and another layout that contains the flo ws for Book 2.
In addition to the notated music, projects save other relevant information, such as the playback
template applied.
Dorico projects are saved as .dorico files.
Flows in Dorico on page 33
Layouts in Dorico on page 36
Modes in Dorico
Modes in Dorico Elements represent a logical sequence of the workflo w phases of preparing
music, but you can switch between them at any time as required for your own workflo w .
Dorico Elements contains the following modes:
In Setup mode, you can set up the fundamental elements of the project: instruments
and the players that hold them, flo ws, layouts, and videos. You can also determine how
they interact with each other, for example, by changing the players assigned to
You can view music in the music area and switch between viewing other tabs and
layouts, but you cannot select or interact with anything in the music area in Setup
In Write mode, you can input and edit your music, including changing the rhythmic
positions of items, changing the pitch of notes, and deleting notes and items. The
available toolboxes and panels allow you to input all the notes and notation items that
are most commonly used.
By design, you cannot move notes and items graphically on the page in Write mode.
Graphical adjustments are only possible in Engrave mode in Dorico Pro.
In Play mode, you can change how your music sounds in playback. You can do this by
changing the playback template and assigning VST instruments, inputting automation,
adjusting the mix, and changing the sounding duration of notes in playback without
affecting their notated duration.
In Print mode, you can print your layouts or export them as graphics files. When
printing layouts, you can specify the paper size and other options, such as duplex or
booklet printing. When exporting layouts, you can specify different graphics file types,
such as PDF or PNG, and the information you want to include in their exported file
Functions of the modes on page 20
Dorico concepts
Design philosophy and higher-level concepts
Dorico Elements 3.1.10Flows in Dorico
Flows are separate spans of music that are completely independent in musical content, for
example, a single song in an album, a movement in a sonata or symphony, a number in a stage
musical, or a short scale or sight-reading exercise of only a few bars in length. A single project
can contain any number of flo ws.
Each flo w can contain music for any combination of players, independently of other flo ws. For
example, brass players are often tacet in the second movements of Classical-period symphonies,
so you can remove brass players from the flo w for the second movement but leave them in the
flo ws for other movements. In a set of cues for a movie, for example, specific players might not
be required in some cues, so the corresponding flo ws can contain only those players who have
anything to play.
The correct assignment of players to flo ws allows Dorico Elements, for example, to generate
tacet sheets automatically for individual instrumental parts.
Flows on page 128
Tacets on page 347
Players in Dorico
In Dorico Elements, a player can represent an individual musician or multiple musicians in the
same section. Players hold instruments, so you must add at least one player to your project
before you can add instruments.
● A solo player represents a single person who can play one or more instruments. For
example, a clarinettist who doubles on alto saxophone or a percussionist who plays bass
drum, clash cymbals, and triangle.
● A section player represents multiple people who all play the same instrument. For example,
a violin section player might represent all eight desks of the Violin I section in an orchestra,
or a soprano section player might represent the whole soprano section in a mixed voice
Section players cannot double instruments, but they can play divisi. This means that they can
be divided into smaller units, which is commonly required for strings.
By using the concept of players, Dorico Elements makes it much easier to handle, for example,
instrument changes, divisi, and condensing musi

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