Adjusting the shapes of slurs (Dorico Pro only)

A number of slurs follow their default curvature direction and shape according to the voices they were added to, whereas in the original edition they cover whole phrases, including starting from rests. Because slurs can’t start or end on rests in Dorico, you must adjust their shapes manually to achieve this effect.


Although you can change the curvature direction of slurs in all product versions, any further adjustments are only possible in Dorico Pro. Therefore we do not recommend these steps for Dorico Elements or Dorico SE users.


  1. In bars 9-12, Ctrl/Cmd-click the slurs on the top staff.
    Slurs selected
  2. Press F to change their curvature direction so they curve upwards.
    Slurs flipped
  3. If you are not already in Engrave mode, press Ctrl/Cmd-3 to switch to Engrave mode.
  4. Select the start handle of the flipped slurs.

    Slur start handles selected

    • You can show handles on all items, not just selected items, by choosing Engrave > Show Handles > Always. This can make it easier to select individual handles on multiple items.

  5. Press Ctrl/Cmd-Alt/Opt-Up Arrow until the endpoints are positioned above the quarter note (crotchet) rest.
    • We recommend pressing Ctrl/Cmd-Alt/Opt-Up Arrow four times.

    Slur start handles moved upwards

  6. Select the control points one at a time and move them until the slurs curve around the beam.
    • The control points are the inner pair, that is, the second and fourth handles.

    Slur control points moved

    • The poco rit. does not automatically move out of the way of the slur as this is arguably a creative choice of slur placement. You can select the poco rit. and A tempo markings and press Ctrl/Cmd-Alt/Opt-Up Arrow to move them graphically upwards.


You have changed the curvature direction and shape of the slurs, and optionally moved the tempo marks in bars 11-12 out of the way of the slur’s new position.

After Completing This Task

Repeat these steps for other similar slurs in bars 13-14 and 51-56.