22 in ’22 in 22’

Scoring Notes
Scoring Notes
22 in ’22 in 22’

We wrap up 2021 with some new year’s resolutions in the form of tips and recommendations. We’re calling it 22 in ’22 in 22’: That’s 22 tips, for 2022, delivered to you in 22 minutes.

Philip Rothman and David MacDonald spend a minute on each item, from our favorite apps, web sites, plug-ins, and techniques that we hope help with a “new you in ‘22” — at least when it comes to our favorite topic of music notation software and related tech. The clock’s already ticking, so let’s get the festivities started.

David’s items:

  1. Scanner Pro from Readdle
  2. Use metadata in projects (Backstage area/File tab in Sibelius, Project Info in Dorico) with wildcards, tokens, inserts
  3. Change universal settings first (e.g. vertical spacing)
  4. Text Styles
  5. Use the “real” characters for sharps and flats (Dorico tokens, just copy/paste in other apps)
  6. Special Unicode characters
  7. Butterick’s Practical Typography
  8. Better Touch Tool “Key Sequences” and trackpad gestures to avoid conflicts. (h/t Shortcut Detective from Irradiated software)
  9. Sibelius Plugin: Delete Empty Text Strings
  10. Filters
  11. Organize files consistently (including file tags)

Philip’s items:

  1. iPhone/iPad apps in general (Sibelius and Dorico)
  2. Tokens for exploiting PDFs in score order (in Sibelius and Dorico)
  3. Finale: Document > Page Format (Score… Parts…). Set this and then Redefine Pages in Page Layout tool. You may think that using the Page Size, System Size, and Edit Page Margins options in the Page Layout Tool is the right way… but no… Also, don’t “Scale System” or “Scale Page” to anything other than 100% in Page Format.
  4. When to use “Absolute” or “fixed” size for anything page-related (titles, page numbers, headers)
  5. Use the “real” dynamics (stylized bold italic mp, etc., not just regular expression text)
  6. Make sure you use them correctly! Più mosso.
  7. Schirmer Pronouncing Pocket Manual Of Musical Terms (Theodore Baker, ed. Nicolas Slonimsky, Laura Kuhn 5th ed 1995) $8 Kindle, paperback used
  8. Keyboard Maestro for Mac; Similar  but not the same on Windows: AutoHotKey
  9. I have to choose just one plug-in? Run them all with Run Plugins by Name
  10. Plugins part 2: Filter Other in Sibelius filters key signature changes, hidden objects, quartertones, and a lot more
  11. Please always use running headers (title, page number, part name) on all parts


  1. Engela Fullard

    This was a fabulous podcast, a real Xmas treat, thank you, Philip and David. One needs to be reminded of certain things from time to time, and then there is always lots to learn.

    I have just bought Matthew Butterick’s book, it is fantastic. I was very happy to find the double low-9 quotation mark on the Copy Character website, which is used in Afrikaans. (I am involved with a project of publishing piano music of South African composers, and sometimes that particular quote is required. Now I can stop avoiding it.

    Love your sense of humor! Happy Xmas!

    1. Philip Rothman

      Thanks, Engela! Always nice to hear from you and I’m so glad you enjoyed the podcast and got some real value out of it in the form of the Butterick typography info and products.

      Much more valuable than our humor, which is of dubious value … :-)

  2. Stephen Taylor

    Thanks for a year of wonderful podcasts – I have learned a ton! One quick question on Keyboard Maestro (which I don’t have) and Better Touch Tool (which I do have) – do you know if Automator can do most of these same things? I have a Stream Deck with Notation Express (which is terrific), but some of the more elaborate Dorico shortcuts (e.g. Decrease Dynamic Intensity) don’t work, probably because I had a bunch of existing shortcuts already. So I’m wondering if I can use Automator (or Better Touch Tool) to re-create some of these multi-step shortcuts, and make some new ones of my own.

    And David, great tip about the three-finger double-tap for comments!

    1. David MacDonald

      Hey Steve! Thanks for listening!
      Depending on what you want to do, there are a few options.

      1. In BetterTouchTool, you can assign more than one action for a given trigger, so if you want to send several keyboard shortcuts in a sequence, you can do that right there in BTT without bouncing out to anything else.
      2. BTT can actually launch an Automator workflow as one of its actions.
      3. Automator is really powerful, but I’m not sure how much longer it will be supported. If you’re on macOS 12 Monterey, the Shortcuts app is newly available, and BTT can also run any of your Shortcuts as well.

      Regarding Notation Express, yes, if you’ve customized any keyboard shortcuts, you will almost certainly run into issues there. The current version of NE relies on emulating keyboard input. If you’ve customized those shortcuts, you can always change the keys that Stream Deck sends by selecting that key and clicking in the “Hotkey” field of the key properties.

      1. Stephen Taylor

        Thanks, this is really helpful! I had forgotten about the new Shortcuts, I will try that out. It would be great to toggle properties on and off in the bottom panel, I will muck around with it – excellent way to procrastinate!

  3. Peter McAleer

    We *do* care about your lovely wardrobe – it’s the only thing missing form these broadcasts.

    1. Philip Rothman

      Ha ha. Noted, Peter, for next time! But be careful what you wish for.

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