Changing stem directions

In order to help clarify which notes are played by the right and left hands, the stems of some notes point in a different direction to the default according to their pitch. To match this, you can change the stem direction of individual notes.


  1. In bars 30, 31, 72, and 73, Ctrl/Cmd-click the Cs.

    Quarter note Cs selected in bars 30-31

    • You can zoom in to make notes appear larger by, for example, pressing Ctrl/Cmd-= or Z or using the zoom options Zoom options in the status bar in the status bar at the bottom of the project window.

  2. Press F to flip the stem direction of the selected notes.
    • Because the stems of notes on the middle staff line can point upwards or downwards depending on the surrounding context, Dorico also flips the stem of the Bs in bars 30 and 72 now the Cs in those bars have up stems. However, the Bs should have down stems to differentiate between the hands.

  3. Select the Bs in bars 30 and 72 and press F.


The stems of the selected notes are flipped: the Cs now point upwards and the Bs downwards.

Notes with flipped stem directions


We don’t recommend flipping the direction of stems when instead you should change notes to an up-stem or down-stem voice. Where rests aren’t shown, Dorico automatically changes the stem direction of notes according to their pitch regardless of their voice.