Dorico 5.1.10 update is available

News

Steinberg has released Dorico 5.1.10, a minor update to Dorico 5, and the first of 2024. For a minor update, Dorico 5.1.10 has some notable improvements, such as a new harp pedals editor, a page size editor, view options for accidentals, and better MusicXML support. In addition, more than 50 bugs have been fixed since the 5.1 release last month.

The version history documentation for this release thoroughly documents the improvements as well as the bug fixes.

Improvements

Here’s what’s new in Dorico 5.1.10.

Harp pedals editor

Harp pedaling has historically been a tricky item to apply in notation software. In addition to understanding the schematics and how they translate into the positions of the pedals, the user must also know how to actually draw the diagram, typically through custom fonts (Finale) or via the use of special plug-ins (Sibelius).

Dorico had previously implemented a system by which diagrams could be inputted via the popover, where ^ represents a pedal in the flat position, a pedal in the natural position, and v in the sharp position. MuseScore 4.1 was the first major notation software to produce a real-time dialog to control harp notation, and now in Dorico 5.1.10, something very similar is possible, via the new Harp Pedals section in the Playing Techniques panel in Write mode.

It is self-explanatory to use and achieves satisfying results. It’s also helpful to see “out-of-range” notes change in real-time as you manipulate the controls.

Keep in mind that harp pedals will only show on a harp part, and you will need to make sure that Show harp pedaling is selected in Layout Options > Players > Harp Pedaling, and that Diagram is selected there by default, or in the Properties area.

Page size editor

While it’s always been possible in Dorico to create a custom page size on a per-document basis, Dorico only provided a limited set of default options from which to choose. Now, in Dorico 5.1.10 it’s now possible to save a custom page size for use in future documents.

If you’re setting up a page size in a unit of measurement not currently the default, unless you want to do a lot of unnecessary math, you will pleased to know that the spin boxes into which you type measurements are clever enough to automatically convert between the different types it understands. So, if you’re currently set to show millimeters but want to set up a page size in inches, you can simply type (say) 9" into the spin box, and it will then convert that into the equivalent value when you tab away. Or, you can first head to Preferences > General and change your Preferred unit of measurement (i.e., to Inches instead of Millimeters).

Then, in Library > Page Sizes… click the plus (+) icon in the lower left of the screen, set up your part, and click the star (★) icon to Save as Default.

From now on, you’ll see this custom size appear both in the list of page sizes in the Create New page of the Hub, and also in the list of page sizes shown in the Page Setup page of Layout Options.

Should you change your mind later, you can always go back to Library > Page Sizes… and click the trash can to delete your custom size (the hardcoded Dorico defaults cannot be deleted).

View options for accidentals

There are two new options in the View > Note and Rest Colors submenu. Cautionary Accidentals highlights cautionary accidentals in bright pink, while Forced Accidentals highlights accidentals that are visible because the Accidental property is set in a blue-green. (These colors can be modified in Preferences > Colors.)

Being able to visually distinguish among these accidentals during the proof reading process, which all end up looking the same in printed music, is a huge gift to editors and music preparers that wish to be more intentional about how and why an extra accidental is applied in the score, and make adjustments accordingly. Enticingly, in Daniel Spreadbury’s post announcing the Dorico 5.1.10 update, he says that “We have many ideas for other helpful features to help you efficiently check your music before you give it to your musicians to play, so watch this space for more along these lines in future versions.”

MusicXML

Dorico users that rely on MusicXML to exchange information in Dorico scores with other software will appreciate the following improvements in Dorico 5.1.10:

  • Pick-up bars. Pick-up bars are now exported correctly, with the appropriate prefix for their bar number.
  • Bar rests. Bar rests are now more correctly encoded when exporting MusicXML. System-attached items. System-attached items, for example tempos, now correctly use the system attribute to differentiate them from staff-attached items.
  • Slurs and ties. Style information for slurs and ties, in particular whether they are solid or dashed, is now exported to MusicXML.
  • Notes. Stem information for notes is now exported more reliably, both for whole notes (breves) and longer that naturally show no stem, and for notes that normally show a stem but whose stems have been hidden. In addition, Dorico now exports notes whose size has been changed using the Scale or Custom scale properties as cue- sized, grace note-sized, or cue grace note-sized.
  • Lyric elisions. Lyrics with elisions are now exported correctly to MusicXML.
  • Custom paragraph styles. A new Import font style information option has been added to the Other Notations section of the MusicXML Import page of Preferences, allowing you to specify whether Dorico should create new paragraph styles for text items it imports, to retain the specified font family, size, and formatting in the MusicXML file.

Other improvements and bug fixes

There are even more improvements along with more than 50 bug fixes listed in the Dorico 5.1.10 update, which are listed in great detail in the Dorico 5.1.10 Version History PDF.

Availability

Dorico 5.1.10 for Windows and Mac desktop is a free update for current registered users of Dorico Pro 5, Dorico Elements 5 and Dorico SE 5 users, and is available now via the Steinberg Download Assistant.

For full coverage of Dorico 5, please read our comprehensive reviews of Dorico 5.0 and Dorico 5.1.

Dorico 5.1.10 for iPad is available in the App Store. If your device hasn’t already automatically downloaded and installed the update, you can find it in the Updates section of the App Store app on your iPad.


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.

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