It is very difficult to compare Dorico with the other products because Dorico operates on a different plane.  Whether that different plane is good for a person might depend  on many factors.  I am not here to claim it is better for everybody, but I definitely am far more productive with Dorico than I have been with any other notation product.  I don't do anything very exotic in my scores.  I mainly write jazz band arrangements, straightforward full-orchestra pieces, lead sheets and similar things.  I don't do any "experimental music" that might call for daring, unconventional or very complex notation. So I cannot comment on how well Dorico does with those things.

There is one major architectural piece that makes a big difference.  Beyond that, my productivity comes from a minute saved here and there.  It all adds up.  The big architectural piece is that you don't actually enter notes in the traditional sense.  You give Dorico pitches that have a starting place and a length.  They don't even have to be within measures that have a distinct time signature.  Dorico uses its own rules (that are highly customize-able) to express that information as notes.  So it seems like directly entering notes, just like any other program.  All programs let you easily change pitches.  But the big difference is that Dorico makes it very easy to change the starting point and duration of any item.  And here's the big thing: it is IMPOSSIBLE for the updated information to be notated badly because Dorico is in charge of expressing the notes, separate from the internal storage of the music.  With Finale, when you drag and drop a passage, if it ends up in a different rhythmic place, you may have to spend several minutes cleaning up the notes to make them show correctly.  You never do that with Dorico.  Similarly, things like cautionary accidentals are applied automatically in real time.  It is impossible to miss a cautionary accidental or do it wrong.  There are more cases like this.  This really makes a big difference and obviates the need for most of the situations for which people have relied on plug-ins in Finale.

Similarly, chords have an internal and external representation.  There is only one internal representation for Maj7 for example.  However, you can select rules that govern how you want the chords displayed (e.g. Cmaj7, CM7, Ctriangle7, etc). It is impossible for the symbols to be displayed incorrectly, and you can change your rules at any time without ever having to change your score.  It instantly re-draws according to the rules.  And chord entry is far more forgiving in Dorico.  You can type in chord spellings using any of the typical conventions and Dorico will handle it.  It is as easy to enter chords into Dorico as into Band-in-a-box, if you are familiar with that.  Huge time savings for me on that item alone.

Lots of little things.  You can copy any text element and place the copy anywhere you need it; and this is rich text that has lats of formatting control.

The big time savings come from the final parts layout.  I literally spend 5-10 minutes per 2-page part in Finale editing the layout.  You do very little of this in Dorico.  Most automatic decisions are pretty good and you can quickly tweak the things you don't like.  On a big band chart with 17 parts, I will easily save an hour in final editing, usually more than that.

I know you are deeply invested in plug-ins.  I'd bet half of the current Finale plug-ins would not be needed at all in Dorico, but some of the others might be badly missed.  So it becomes a question of whether the necessary changes in workflow would give you a faster, higher-quality end product. I cannot answer that.  I know the trade-off is heavily in Dorico's favor for the things I do, but it might not be so clear cut for others.

On 1/25/2019 11:03 AM, Robert Patterson wrote:
I would be very interested to know more specifics about the things that are
"well beyond Fin/Sib". Graphically, I know about flexible slurs, and I
would be curious to know if lines (like 8va) also have multiple inflection

Beyond that, I would be curious to know what makes Dorico so much more
superior for part layout.

Do you use any 3rd party plugins with Finale? In my experience, working
without key 3rd party plugins in Finale is the slag mines. But I've
developed a workflow using several key plugins that is very fast for many
of the things you mentioned. In fact, it is difficult to imagine them being
much faster.


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