Adding some Dorico tricks (popover)

• Jan 13, 2022 - 21:18

After watching Tantacrul's video on Dorico, I've been playing around with the program to figure out what the deal is. Overall I would agree with Martin's opinion about Dorico. It does seem to suffer a bit from people overthinking things and sticking a bit too much to their basic concepts. It seems to me that Musescore's basic system of note entry simply is more flexible and easier to use in general.

However the one trick in Dorico I would love to see implemented is their popover feature, which makes it possible to add key/time/bars/barline changes with keyboard shortcuts rather than having to use a mouse or touchpad. Popover keybindings exist for key signatures (Shift+K), Time signatures (Shift+M) (especially handy for custom time signatures), dynamics (Shift+D), bars/barlines (Shift+B), Playing techniques (Shift+P), Holds and Pauses (Shift+H), Cues (Shift+U) etc.

All these different key-bindings actually seems a bit unnessecarily complex to me. But I think what could work is to have a universal popover (say Shift-T for terminal, or Shift-P for popover) in Musescore which would give you a universal popover where you could type short bits of code (like 4/4 for 4/4 key signature, or F for F major key, || for double barline, etc. etc. etc.). It would be a bit of a poweruser feature but it would give the user the possibility to do more with Musescore without actually having to use a mouse to drag and drop elements from a panel, therefore enabling higher speeds in entering music.


In reply to by bobjp

Well, not just me but everybody has to use the mouse in order to add stuff like time signatures or key signatures, dynamics etc. etc.etc from the panels. Right now as far as I know there's only a GUI way of entering those. On Dorico they found a alternative way to do the same with just using the keyboard using what they call a "popover". If you have to drag and drop (or click) a lot of times using the mouse it not only is slower but can cause RSI.

They way they implemented this in Dorico is less than efficient, because in order to call up a popover for te signatures you have to press shift+m and then type in the code for the time signature you want, and for dynamics shift+d and the code for the dynamic. This is unnecessarily complex because you have to remember all different key bindings and code to have to use this. However what you could do is think of one key binding to call up the "one popover to rule and bind them all".

It would be something similar to the terminal in Linux systems or the system prompt in Windows systems. In Linux you can call up the terminal by pressing Cntr-Alt-T (in Ubuntu) where you can do all kinds of stuff.

I just think having the possibility to add stuff using the keyboard would be a handy option for power users, next to the GUI options which are perfectly fine for new users. And to me the popover idea being used in Dorico is actually pretty smart.

In reply to by marckaptijn1

I think this'll improve a slight bit by the improved palette keyboard navigation.

For the 4/4 time signature for example I can currently (Windows10/3.6.2) press F9, which opens palettes in the filter search field and type in 4/4, then press the down arrow twice to select it in the filtered palette view and press enter to add it to the score.

In reply to by jeetee

Sure that works. And that's great, however I still think it would be a good idea to have something like a terminal/prompt/popover for not just time signatures but just about everything. F.i. with the search function in the palettes you'd still have to press quite a few buttons in order to find something like dynamic f. It also involves no matter how you look at it a lot of searching. In Dorico you press "shift+d" "f" "enter", just a lot quicker which adds up if you have to do this numerous times. The F9 way is probably not faster than just dragging and dropping, a proper popover would probably be faster however. It's also would be flexible and powerful, provided you know how to work with it. For instance right now it's pretty cumbersome to add custom time signatures in Musescore. Say a 5/16 time, in Musescore to achieve this means first to create one in the custom time signature section, adding it to the palette before being able to use it. In Dorico it's "shift+m" "5/16" "enter" and you're done.

I think their popover system could be streamlined even more by just having one general one where you can add all kinds of elements from time and key signatures to articulation, dynamics barlines etc.etc.etc. all from the tip of your fingers. It really would be a lot faster than even the F9 method you mentioned.

In reply to by marckaptijn1

Indeed, there's room for improvement here. But just to be clear: the recommended way to use the palette currently does use the mouse, but not drag and drop. Instead of drag & drop, simply click the desired palette icon to apply it to whatever is selected in the score. Much quicker, more accurate, and less wrist-intensive.

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