Notation Express for Dorico 5 released


Over at NYC Music Services and Notation Central, we’re very happy to announce the immediate release of Notation Express and Notation Express XL for Dorico 5. These are the custom-designed profiles for the Stream Deck consoleStream Deck XL console, and the Stream Deck Mobile Pro app for iPad that make powerful Dorico Pro features easy and fun to use.

Notation Express XL for Dorico 5

If you thought it had been a little while since you’ve seen an update to Notation Express for Dorico, you’re right. The last major update was in early 2022; that update was an engineering feat as we completely re-wrote everything to take advantage of Dorico 4’s ability to receive commands directly from Stream Deck, instead of relying upon a custom key command profile as the intermediary.

With that heavy lift out of the way, and some time to let Dorico 4 and 5 settle in — and full support for the XL profile on iPad, let’s not forget! — it’s better late than never: the 32-key Notation Express XL for Dorico 5 profile sports more than 50 new buttons; the 15-key Notation Express for Dorico 5 has 40 new buttons.

More buttons, more features, more fresh

In both profiles, there is a new folder dedicated to voices, both profiles see additional buttons in most areas, and the XL profile gains support for Insert scopes, Play mode tracks, and layout enhancements, among other improvements.

Many icons have also been refreshed, and the profiles have been subtly re-organized in certain areas.

As you can see above, the main screen folders now have red borders (previously, only subfolders had red borders).

The popover icons have been refreshed:

Many other icons have been refreshed, and command names updated, especially in the Formatting folder; the XL profile also gains new buttons like Insert Music, Text, and Graphic Frames; Lock/Unlock Layout; and Move to Previous/Next System:

The Formatting folder in Notation Express XL for Dorico 5

Give voice to voices

Voices in Dorico are powerful, and the possibilities seemingly unlimited. To help manage some of the most common situations, Notation Express and Notation Express XL for Dorico 5 bring added support for voices.

Notation Express XL has a whole new Voices and Insert folder. Buttons for Starts Voice, Ends Voice Immediately, and Ends Voice After Barline were high on the lists of user requests. There are also eight new buttons corresponding to Change to Upstem Voices 1-4 and Change Downstem Voices 1-4; complementing these are the addition of the Delete Upstem Voice 1 and 2 and Delete Downstem Voice 1 and 2 to this new folder.

There are also new buttons for Add Slashed Voice, Change to Previous/Next Voice; Default Stems Up/Down… and all of the Insert mode scopes!

The Voices and Insert folder in Notation Express XL for Dorico 5

The 15-key setup doesn’t quite have all of these new buttons, but there are the most common ones in the Voices folder:

The Voices folder in Notation Express for Dorico 5

Articulating the need for more

One long wished-for improvement, which finally appeared in Dorico 4, was the ability to Copy and Paste Articulations. Previously, the eight articulations in the Note Entry panel (Accent, Staccato, Marcato, etc.) could not be copied and pasted separately from their notes.

The new versions of Notation Express and Notation Express XL support this feature, along with buttons for stressed and unstressed articulations. Notation Express should always unstress (de-stress?) the act of using notation software…

“More”over, the 15-key profile gains a subfolder — More Articulations — to accommodate these features, along with jazz articulations, which previously were only available on the XL profile.

The More Articulations subfolder in Notation Express for Dorico 5

Play along with us

Unique to Notation Express XL are new buttons in the Playback and Navigation folder, to support some of the newer Dorico features. Buttons for Tempo, Marker, and Chords track; Decrease/Increase Key Editor Grid Resolution; Fixed/Follow Tempo; and Scrub Playback all debut here. (Suppress and Unsupress playback appear here as well; they’re still in the Noteheads folder too, known there by their colloquial names as Mute and Unmute, respectively.)

The Playback & Navigation folder in Notation Express XL for Dorico

Textual interpretation

In order to make room for the Voices folder in the 15-key profile, the Tempo and System Text and Staff Text folders were consolidated into one Text folder, and some text features previously only available on XL round out this newly minted folder.

Even more to XLerate your workflow

Hiding in plain sight in Notation Express XL for Dorico 5 are even more new goodies:

  • Clefs
    • Percussion 2 (rectangular)
    • After Grace Notes
    • Reset Clef Position
    • Hide
  • Bars, Barlines, Brackets, Repeats
    • Create Numbered Bar Region
  • Beaming and Tremolos
    • Z on Stem (Buzz)
    • Tremolo with Attack
    • Tremolo with Release
  • Filters
    • Repeat Endings
  • Notes > More Notes
    • Input pitch: Sounding/Written
  • Modify and Arrange
    • Split Flow
    • Trim Flow

Percussion 2, Z on Stem, and Filter Repeat Endings also appear in the new 15-key Notation Express profile.

Update path

Notation Express / Notation Express XL for Dorico 5 is a paid update for existing users of Notation Express / Notation Express XL for Dorico 4, as follows:

If you purchased the NE/NEXL bundle for Dorico 4, you are eligible for the same update pricing as above; there is no further discount, but you are not obligated to purchase both updated products (you may update separately if you like).

Anyone who purchased Notation Express or Notation Express XL for Dorico 4 on or after August 1, 2023 will receive a free update to the product that they purchased.

If you have Notation Express or Notation Express XL for Dorico 3.5 or earlier, but not the version for Dorico 4, there is no discount available for Notation Express / Notation Express XL for Dorico 5; regular pricing applies, which is:

Get the update

  1. Simply go to the Notation Express for Dorico or Notation Express XL for Dorico product page, and add the product to your cart.
  2. If you previously bought the NE/NEXL bundle for Dorico 4, you will need to purchase each update separately to receive the discount (i.e., do not purchase the bundle for Dorico 5).
  3. Ensure that you are logged into your Notation Central account, so that the correct discounted pricing is applied. (Please be aware that when you add the product to your cart, the discount will not be immediately reflected, but will appear once you begin the checkout process.)
  4. Purchase Notation Express, read the documentation or watch the installation video for the quick and easy setup instructions.
  5. Enjoy Notation Express!

Please consult the documentation carefully for installation instructions, or watch this video.

If you are upgrading from Notation Express / Notation Express XL for Dorico 4, you do not need to uninstall and reinstall the Notation Express plugin.

You should, however, remove the profile for Notation Express for Dorico 4, Notation Express for Dorico 3.5, and any other versions of the Notation Express profile that you may have, although if you have made any customizations to it, you may wish to make note of your customizations for reference before you remove it.

More information can be found on this page at Notation Central.

What’s next

We have some more plans in store for Notation Express, especially for the profile that started it all: Notation Express for Sibelius, and Notation Express XL for Sibelius, so stay tuned down the road.

For now, though, I’d say we’ve got our hands full:

Enjoy these updates!


  1. Jeff

    Hey guys, great to see this update for Dorico and the upcoming update for Sibelius. Will you be revisiting your MuseScore profile sometime in the future as well?


    1. Philip Rothman

      Thanks, Jeff. At the moment for developing Notation Express we’re focused on Dorico and Sibelius, but I still have the MuseScore update in the back of my mind. Nothing imminent, however.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *