Dorico PDF reference manual now available


If you’ve been looking to catch up of reading material over the holiday season, no doubt you’ve thumbed through our recent 2016 year-in-review, and perhaps perused several of the books on our holiday shopping guide.

But if notation software reference manuals are your thing, here’s a present you’ll enjoy: the first version of the Dorico guide is now available to download as a PDF from Steinberg’s help site.

An excerpt from the new Dorico reference manual

If you are a fan of the whimsy and occasionally irreverent style of the Sibelius Reference, the Dorico guide will strike you as dull by comparison. Don’t misunderstand — it is easy to follow and logically structured, following strict conventions that align with the references for Steinberg’s other products. Many topics clearly label a prerequisite, procedure, and result to get you easily on your way to sorting out a problem or learning about a feature. But apart from a discussion on Dorico’s conceptual design or a brief etymological digression about the meaning of the word “caret” (p. 83), if amusement is what you’re looking for, you’ll have to search for it elsewhere.

The manual is far from exhaustive in its present state — for example, Play mode is completely ignored — and at 161 pages it’s lightweight, compared to the 855-page Sibelius Reference or the 1,344-page Cubase tome. Still, the Dorico guide is a comprehensive, well-organized resource that, when read together with viewing the recent tutorial videos that are making their way online, will leave you in a strong position to make the most of the new software. Surely in time it will be updated, and hopefully expanded, to reflect changes in the software.

The material in the PDF appears to duplicate the information found via the online help guide, which is where you’ll be taken if you access Help > Dorico Help or press F1 from within Dorico.

I’ve written here how the Sibelius Reference is an important resource, and that reading a manual on a tablet is a fine way to have such useful information at your fingertips. The Dorico manual follows in that tradition; its bookmarks, index and internal links make it easy to navigate. I’m glad that Steinberg is supporting the concept of an offline manual for Dorico.


  1. David Rieuwerts

    Is the free trial of Dorico still available and if so is the offer only open for a limited time?


    1. Philip Rothman

      Yes, the free trial is still available. I’m not aware of plans to make it unavailable.

      1. David Rieuwerts

        Thanks Philip.

  2. Bob

    I miss Daniel’s “whimsy” and commentary, but like you said, the info is there, and it’s nice to finally have PDF manual. Thanks for the heads-up, Philip!

  3. Robert Puff

    Thank you for this timely post, Philip.

    I agree that the availability of the Dorico manual offline is a plus for end users – I appreciate Steinberg’s policy of providing downloadable reference guides for their products, which means I won’t have to be working within Dorico to access reference information.

    Being able to look specifics up on my tablet when away from the computer will be great.

    Thank you again.

    1. Philip Rothman

      Thanks, Robert!

  4. John

    The Dorico manual was always available offline.

    If you are not online when you use the Help > Dorico Help (F1) it will open an offline version of the same documentation using a local web server installation on your computer. Apart from the address bar you might not even notice the difference – unless there has been an update to the online version and it is more up to date.

    1. Philip Rothman

      John, thanks for this additional info! That’s good to know. It’s the PDF book format which is especially appreciated, as well.

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