Forcing the duration of notes/rests

Dorico automatically notates and beams notes/rests appropriately, according to the current time signature and their position in the bar. If you want to specify how the durations of notes/rests are notated, you can force their duration.

For example, if you input a half note at the start of a 6/8 bar, it is notated as a dotted quarter note (crotchet) tied to an eighth note (quaver). This is because, according to convention, 6/8 bars are subdivided into two groups of three eighth notes. To reflect this for a half note (four eighth notes), Dorico automatically divides the note to show the correct grouping.


  1. In Write mode, start note input.
  2. Optional: If you want to force the duration of rests, select Rests in any of the following ways:
    • Press , (comma).

    • Click Rests in the Notes toolbox.

  3. Activate Force Duration in any of the following ways:
    • Press O.

    • Click Force Duration in the Notes toolbox.

  4. Select the duration you want.
  5. Input the notes or rests you want.
  6. Optional: Deactivate Force Duration.


Any notes you input are notated with their whole rhythmic value, whatever their position in the bar. If you move them later, they keep the same notation. Rests are input as explicit rests.


Notes that cross barlines are notated as tied notes.

You can change how notes are grouped in different contexts project-wide on the Note Grouping page in Write > Notation Options.


Force position and duration in the Notes and Rests group of the Properties panel is activated automatically for rests input with forced durations.

You can also use this property to force the duration and positions of rests.


Figure: Default notation of notes in 6/8

Figure: Notes in the down-stem voice input with forced durations