Craig, would you consider posting PDFs of a score and a part page and show us 
what Dorico produces without having tweaked much?
Personally I’m more interested to see an orchestra piece.

Thomas Schaller

> On Jan 27, 2019, at 8:08 PM, Craig Parmerlee <> wrote:
> 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:
>> Craig,
>> 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 . . .
>> Thanks,
>> David
>> 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
>>>> versa.
>>>> 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
>>>> powerful.)
>>>> 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
>>>> higher).
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