Dorico 4.0.20 update brings fixes and improvements; iPad version also updated


Steinberg has released Dorico 4.0.20, the second revision to Dorico 4 since its release in January 2022 and the 4.0.10 update in February.

A few very helpful new features have snuck in under the guise of “improvements” — among them, additional commands and fuzzy matching for the jump bar, and a quick tool selector for the Key Editor, which will be familiar to users of DAWs like Cubase and Logic.

For Library Manager power users, you’ll be glad to know that it is now possible to synchronize all options and all library collections using new buttons in line with the corresponding category headers, making that task a lot easier.

On Mac, Quick Look and full Spotlight support is added in Dorico 4.0.20.

The version history documentation for this release thoroughly documents the improvements as well as approximately 90 bug fixes (some of which are also more in the realm of “improvements”).

Separately, but related, Dorico for iPad has been updated (version 2.1 if you’re keeping track), and it benefits from most of the improvements found in the desktop version.

The quick tool selector in Dorico 4.0.20


Here’s what’s new in Dorico 4.0.20, as provided by Steinberg (images from Scoring Notes):


Cautionary accidentals in the Modernist scheme. A new option Notes at the same octave within the same bar for cautionary accidentals has been added to the Modernist Options section of the Accidentals page of Notation Options.


Barline joins on vocal staves. A new Barlines between vocal staves at the ends of systems option has been added to the Barlines page of Engraving Options, making it possible to join a group of vocal staves with a single barline at the end of the system while maintaining breaks between staves at other barlines to accommodate lyrics. This convention is used by some European publishers.


A new option Flat beams with inner note closer to the beam than outer notes has been added to the disclosable Advanced Options section of the Slants section of the Beams page of Engraving Options.

This option allows you to disable stem shortening for flat beams where the inner note is closer than the outer notes, which can produce a more consistent beam placement in passages of repeated, alternating notes or chords.

Chord diagrams

Fingerings in chord used in flow. A new Show fingerings in chord diagrams at start of flow option has been added to the Chord Diagrams section of the Chord Symbols and Diagrams page of Layout Options.

Holds and pauses

Single-stroke caesura. A new single-stroke caesura has been added. It can be created using the Holds and Pauses panel in Write mode, or by typing //single into the Shift+H popover.

The single stroke caesura (not to be confused with a tick barline)

Jump bar

Additional commands. The jump bar now lists a wider range of commands: in general, any command that appears in the Key Commands page of Preferences and can have a shortcut assigned should now appear in the jump bar.

Fuzzy matching. The algorithm used to match your input to commands in the jump bar has been adjusted, so that it is no longer necessary to type a precise substring corresponding to the command’s name: you can alternatively type initials or snippets of the command name, and Dorico will perform a fuzzy match to try to return more useful results.

Prone to typos? The jump bar’s got yor bak.

Key Editor

Quick tool selector. Right-clicking in the editor opens a quick tool selector (similar to the tool buttons palette in Cubase) that allows you to change the current tool very rapidly: hold the right mouse button to show the quick tool selector, move the pointer over the tool you want to use, then release the right mouse button. You can return to the select tool by simply right-clicking, as the selector will open at the mouse pointer’s current position, automatically choosing the select tool.

Selection behavior. The multi-select tool has been removed from Dorico for macOS and Windows (though it is still present in Dorico for iPad), and its functionality has been combined with the existing select tool. With the single tool:

  • Clicking a note, velocity bar or automation point will set the selection to the clicked object
  • Clicking an empty space will clear the selection
  • Marquee selections can be made by dragging from an empty space, without the need to use a keyboard modifier
  • Ctrl+click (Windows) or Command-click (macOS) will add or remove a note, velocity bar or automation point from the selection
  • Holding Ctrl (Windows) or Command (macOS) while clicking and dragging a marquee will add to the current selection
  • Shift+click will add a range to the selection. This either adds all objects before the start of the range, after the end or in the middle.

Zoom. It is now possible to change the horizontal zoom level of the Key Editor when the mouse pointer is over any part of the main piano roll, velocity and continuous controller editors by holding Ctrl (Windows) or Command (macOS) and using the mouse wheel.

Velocity editor. When modifying the velocities of multiple selected notes in the velocity editor, edits are applied as deltas on the current values, rather than first snapping the values of all selected notes to a single value.

Library Manager

Synchronizing options and collections. It is now possible to synchronize all options and all library collections using the new buttons in line with the corresponding category headers in the left-hand list in the Library Manager.


Navigation in Engrave mode. Navigating between lyrics has been improved: in Engrave mode, using ↑/↓ to move between lines of lyrics is more reliable, and in both Write and Engrave modes, using ←/→ to move between adjacent lyrics in the same line is likewise now more reliable.

Playback templates

NotePerformer. When applying the NotePerformer playback template, Dorico now automatically sets Playback approach for trills to Generated only on the Trills page of Playback Options.

This is especially useful if you are running Dorico Elements or Dorico SE, which do not provide direct access to editing Playback Options.


Trill extension lines. A new option End position for trill extension line has been added to the Ornaments page of Engraving Options, allowing you to specify that the trill extension line should end immediately after the last notehead in a tie chain (as recommended by Ted Ross), or should extend to just before the following note (as recommended by Elaine Gould).

Gould on the left; Ross on the right

(Scoring Notes commentary: The Ted Ross option is also the one recommended by Schirmer and some other house style guides, as below.)

From the G. Schirmer/AMP Manual of Style and Usage

Spotlight and Quick Look (macOS only)

Dorico now supports Spotlight system-wide search and Quick Look file preview on macOS.

The fields in Project Info in Dorico projects, such as title, composer, lyricist and so on, can be indexed by Spotlight.

Dorico projects last saved in Dorico 4 or Dorico for iPad include a PDF preview of the last active layout, and this is what will be shown when activating Quick Look in the Finder (by default, this is bound to the keyboard shortcut Space), and such projects will also show a thumbnail in the Finder instead of the standard Dorico project icon. Projects that have not yet been saved from Dorico 4 or Dorico for iPad do not include suitable graphic previews, and so will not display a thumbnail in the Finder or show a preview via Quick Look.

What’s next

In his blog post today announcing the update, Steinberg product marketing manager Daniel Spreadbury said, “Now that the selection, editing and zoom behaviors in the existing piano roll, velocity and continuous controller editors are feeling good, our focus is on reimplementing the missing editors that we know Dorico users are waiting for. Editors for tempo, dynamics, pitch bend and a specialization of the piano roll editor for percussion kits are our top priority, and we expect these to be included in the next update.”

Further plans include integrating the transform tool, such as making it available in the continuous controller editor; and make it possible to stack multiple editors for the same track, so you can see and edit data for multiple continuous controllers, or velocity and a continuous controller, at the same time.

Further, he said, improvements to file management in Dorico for iPad was under active development — presumably like supporting opening files directly in Dorico so files don’t need to be copied into the Dorico app container and then shared back out again — and that he hoped that those improvements “will be ready soon”.


Dorico 4.0.20 for Windows and Mac desktop is a free update for current registered users of Dorico Pro 4, Dorico Elements 4 and Dorico SE 4 users, and is available now via the Steinberg Download Assistant.

If you are currently running Dorico Pro 3.5 or Dorico Elements 3.5 or earlier, you can buy an update to Dorico Pro 4 or Dorico Elements 4 from the Steinberg online shop.

Dorico 2.1 for iPad will be updated automatically if you have automatic updates enabled; if not, you can update the app manually through the App Store.

For full coverage of Dorico 4, please read our comprehensive review, and for the latest information about compatibility for Finale, Sibelius, Dorico, and MuseScore, as well as links to the latest news and reviews about product releases, please see the Scoring Notes Product Guide.


  1. Peter

    It’s great to see that the Dorico team is continuing their efforts of making the software better and better.

    I hope that one of the next big topics is the chord symbol department – there are many things to improve and even more bugs to eliminate.

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