Yes, it is a big learning curve.  I never really learned Sibelius, and I haven't learned MuseScore, so I can't really compare the size of the learning curve.  My guess is the Dorico learning curve is more difficult for advanced Finale users of long standing:

1) Because Dorico is considerably more sophisticated than either Sibelius or MuseScore. 2) Because Dorico uses a fundamentally different architecture (notes are abstracted away from the music "canvas" and many operations are driven by a very large set of rules. 3) Because of Dorico's rapid development, the documentation simply has not kept pace.

I have found it necessary to compile my own personal user guide so that I can quickly find my way back to the pertinent options, settings and procedures I rely on.  I do this for most software products just to help me learn them.  But in the case of Dorico, I still find myself referring to this document every single session, and I usually add something to the document every day I use the program.  It is now 30 pages long, and that is mostly my own shorthand.  My table of contents has about 50 topics.

My point is that this really is a major learning commitment, and many Finale users will find they are happier staying with what they know and what is working for them.   Nothing at all wrong with that.

On 1/26/2019 6:56 PM, David H. Bailey wrote:

Thank you for sharing these thoughts.  You have made much more progress with Dorico than I have made, so I didn't feel qualified to respond. But I'm glad you were able to make the comparisons.

I know that becoming better acquainted with Dorico is in my imminent future, but most of the projects I've been working on lately have had short timetables so learning a new software hasn't been possible.

soon . . .


On 1/26/2019 5:01 PM, Craig Parmerlee wrote:
Here are some observations about each of the plug-in examples.  Let me stipulate that the Finale plug-ins might provide some unusual visual results that aren't directly matched by Dorico, so I am not claiming equivalence on any of these.

1. Copy arbitrary material regardless of barlines, etc.  This is inherent in Dorico, and I think you would find this far more productive in Dorico.  Dorico does not provide any drag-and-drop, but the cut and paste model is extremely powerful.  It even allows 1-to-many pasting, and pasting to discontinuous staffs and so on.  Also there is a very powerful capability where you can select any material, press "R" and it automatically duplicates the material placing it immediately to the right of the selection, which still expressing everything correctly with no touch-up required.

2. Mass relink.  This is inherent in Dorico.  Moreover, Dorico seems to make better assumptions about when to automatically reflect score changes in parts and vice versa.

3. Autocreate MM rests.  This is always automatic.  You never "create" any MM rests.  It is inherent. There are some options for visual appearance.

4. Multiple sets of not spacings.  I am not aware of anything line this in Dorico.  Of course you can edit the parts directly to apply any spacing you need.

5. Designate certain text as titles. There is only "text" and "system text" in Dorico.  There is no hierarchy of text objects, such as an outline mode in a word processor.  However, you have a great deal of control over the formatting of any text object and you can freely copy and reuse any of your text items.  So if you have a text object formatted as a "title", you can copy that anywhere else you need a similar title to appear.  Moreover, Dorico has a higher level of abstraction for these situations. Your file can consist of multiple "flows", which are like movements. And each flow can have a title, with options how and when to display those titles.

6. Mass align hairpins.  There is no mass alignment, but if you have a 4-bar passage, you can enter the dynamic as "Fp<mp>ppp" and Dorico will enter that dynamic as a group that is all aligned.  And if you copy that group to other staves, they will be aligned (taking in to account the collisions).  So if you enter it properly, you never need to go back and fix it.  Dorico moves the groups around (maintaining the alignment) as needed even if the music changes to create a new collision.

7. Various fixes.  Most of these situations just don't happen in Dorico.  And you have complete control over the rhythmic position and length of every object, so anything like this is very easy to fix.

8. Movements.  See 5 above.  it is far more elegant than in Finale.  And flows have other uses.  I often keep extra flows in my score as scratchpads or two different versions of a harmonization until I am sure I have it right.  I just did a big band chart that has a 16-bar a cappella fugue in 4 voices.  That was very tedious as I am not a fugue person, so I created a separate flow just for those 16 bars.  That 16-bar flow was reduced to only 4 players plus a chord playback staff so I could get all the counterpoint working.  Once that was right, I coped those 16 bars to the main flow and expanded the voices to let that section build over the 16 bars.  This is all very straightforward under Dorico.  You can certainly do something like that with Finale programming a view, but I'd probably put the scratchpad in a completely separate MUSX file.  Either way works, but it is much faster in Dorico because all of the above is just a few mouse clicks in setup mode.

9 Transfer page payout.  There is no template capability in Dorico, which is a bit of a weakness. However, if you have a score set up the way you like it, you can easily copy that and use that as the basis for your new project. And you can do that after the fact by exporting your flow(s) from one score and importing the flow(s) into the score that has the layout your want.  And as far as parts go, Dorico has a "master page" structure where you can develop a master page that can be used by any number of parts.  This area of Dorico is rather complicated, but looks very powerful.  I haven't used it much.

10.  TG Tools.  No questions on this one.

11. Proportionately scale staffs.  I don't know about this. There are lots of options in Dorico for this kind of thing, but I don't know that any of them do what you want here.

12. Modeless plug-in problem.  I don't know about that.  There aren't any plugins in Dorico.  You can, however, do hot key assignments for any of hundreds of commands. And there are folks who are using the "Stream Deck" keypad to really boost their productivity.  I haven't done that yet.  That's not a direct replacement for plug-ins, but enables a different kind of workflow that may enable even greater productivity than you get from plug-ins.

I'm not trying to sell anybody on Dorico.  I am only trying to explain how it differs from the architecture of the older programs.  It really is a different experience.  You would develop a different workflow, and anybody deeply invested in the plug-in style of operation may find that difficult to change. To me, it boils down to the apparent fact that Finale is not going to be improved very much from this point.   If Finale is doing what one needs, then stick with it. Dorico is radical in some respects.  It isn't for everybody.

On 1/26/2019 10:04 AM, Robert Patterson wrote:
Besides the Patterson Beams, TGTools, and JW plugins included in Finale, I
use 3rd party plugins to

1. Copy arbitrary combinations and patterns of expressions, dynamics,
articulations, and other elements in a repeated fashion, independent of
barlines, both vertically and horizontally.

2. Mass Relink, which can relink the score to the part's settings or vice

3. Autocreate multimeasure rests with many more options than Finale has,
including the ability to add extra space for clef changes or force the
creation of multimeasure rests in places where Finale won't create them.

4. Maintain multiple sets of note spacing settings per measure region and per part. Then a single invocation of the plugin spaces the music according to those settings, taking into account the current part. Even better, by means of a nifty trick that someone suggested on this list. the plugins can
get tighter spacing with ledger lines than Finale does.

5. Designate certain text expressions as titles (i.e., for movement titles) or footnotes or headnotes. Then invoke a plugin than finds them in every
part and correctly positions them. This is *way* better workaround than
Finale's Page Titles for this kind of thing.

6. Mass align and move dynamics and hairpins. (TGTools Align/Move is
included in Finale but the version in the full TGTools is much more

7. Quickly repair common screwups in Finale, such as restoring lost note
spacing from a saved copy or moving expressions and endpoints that have
lost their notes due to Speedy edits.

8. With one simple menu click, start a new movement. That is, show full
names, indent the first system, restart the measure numbers from 1, twiddle the measure bits in the current and preceding measure as needed. With one
menu click that has no dialog box.

9. Transfer page layout from one document to another and/or one part to
another and/or within a single document or part. Including (optionally)
system baselines for expressions and lyrics.

10. I recently discovered the JW Change plugin that can do so much that I
have only begun to digest all the ways in which I might use it.

11. TGTools has an option to proportionally expand or contract the staves
in a system. This saves me hours, especially on large multistaff scores
like orchestra scores. Then once you have that system perfectly fitted to
your margins, you can copy the staff layout to page after page and make
only minor tweaks thereafter.

12. Fix the focus problem with modeless plugin windows on Mac (Fin25.4 and

This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.

Finale mailing list

To unsubscribe from finale send a message to:

Finale mailing list

To unsubscribe from finale send a message to:

Reply via email to