Inputting text items

You can input text at specific rhythmic positions in the score using text items. You can input staff-attached text for single staves or input system-attached text that applies to all staves and appears in all applicable layouts.


  1. In Write mode, do one of the following:
    • Start note input.

    • Select an item on the staff and at the rhythmic position where you want to input text.

  2. Open the text editor in any of the following ways:
    • To input staff-attached text, press Shift-X or click Popovers , then Text in the Notations toolbox.

    • To input staff-attached text with a specific paragraph style, choose Write > Create Text > [Paragraph style].

    • To input system-attached text, press Shift-Alt/Opt-X.

    • To input system-attached text with a specific paragraph style, choose Write > Create System Text > [Paragraph style].

  3. Enter the text you want.
    • To insert a line break, press Return.

    • To insert a music symbol, right-click in the text item and choose Insert Music Text from the context menu to open the Insert Music Text dialog. Select the music symbol you want to insert, then click OK.

    • To insert a Unicode character, enter its four-character hexadecimal code, then press Alt/Opt-X.

  4. Optional: Format the text using the text editor options.
  5. Press Esc or Ctrl/Cmd-Return to close the text editor.


During note input, the text you entered into the text editor is input at the caret position. When adding text to existing music, it is input at the position of the earliest selected item.

If you did not change or specify the paragraph style, the text item uses the Default Text paragraph style.

Text items are automatically placed above the staves to which they apply and follow the default settings for the vertical position of text.

  • In Dorico Elements, system-attached text is categorized as a system object. Therefore, system-attached text follows your per-layout settings for the visibility and positioning of system objects.

  • If you override the paragraph style of text in an individual text item or text frame, such as by making text bold, any changes you later make to corresponding parameters of the paragraph style are not applied to the overridden text. However, font size overrides are combined with the font size in the paragraph style.

  • You can assign key commands for inputting text with specific paragraph styles, for both Create Text and Create System Text, on the Key Commands page in Preferences.