Inputting chords

You can input chords during step input when both note input and Chords are activated. You can input notes with a computer keyboard, with the mouse, or by playing notes with a MIDI keyboard.


You cannot input chords in Insert mode.


  1. Select the staff where you want to input chords and press Shift-N or Return to start note input.
  2. Press the number on your computer keyboard that corresponds to the note value you want to input.

    For example, press 5 for eighth notes (quavers), 6 for quarter notes (crotchets), 7 for half notes (minims), and so on.

  3. Press Q to start chord input.

    In chord input, a + sign appears at the top of the caret. This allows you to input multiple notes at the caret position.

  4. Input the pitches you want in any of the following ways:
    • Press the corresponding letters on your keyboard.


      Dorico Pro automatically inputs notes above the highest note at the caret position when Chords is activated.

      You can input notes below the lowest note at the caret position instead by pressing Ctrl (macOS) or Ctrl-Alt (Windows) as well as the letter for the note name.

    • Click the staff at the rhythmic positions where you want to input notes.

      A shadow notehead appears when inputting with the mouse to indicate where the note will be input.

    • Play the notes on a MIDI keyboard.

  5. Optional: Advance the caret to input chords at other rhythmic positions.

    During chord input, notes are input at the same rhythmic position and above the previous note until you advance the caret manually.

  6. Press Q again to stop chord input.


Multiple notes are input at the caret position.

If entering pitches by clicking with the mouse, you can put the same pitch into the chord twice by clicking again on the same line.

If entering pitches with the keyboard, repeated notes are automatically input an octave above. You can change the register of notes by forcing the register selection during note input, or by transposing them after they have been input.

  • You can stop chord input and immediately continue inputting notes as before, with a single note at each rhythmic position and the caret advancing automatically to the next rhythmic position.

  • When chords contain two pitches in the same register but with different accidentals, that is known as an altered unison. Altered unisons are shown with either single stems or with split stems, depending on your settings on the Accidentals page in Write > Notation Options.