Inputting figured bass

You can input figured bass using the figured bass popover, both for all instruments or only for individual instruments. You can also open the figured bass popover during note input; however, inputting a figure stops note input.


  1. In Write mode, select an item on the staff and at the rhythmic position where you want to start inputting figured bass.
  2. Open the figured bass popover in any of the following ways:
    • Press Shift-G.

    • In the Notations toolbox, click Popovers Popovers button, then Figured Bass Figured Bass button.


    If you selected an item on a staff that has local figures at earlier rhythmic positions, the figured bass popover is automatically set to input local figures when it opens.

  3. Enter the figure you want into the figured bass popover.

    For example, enter 4->3d=4r=2 for a 4-3 suspension that lasts a whole note, with the resolution to the third after a half note. If you want Dorico for iPad to follow your entry exactly, include O, o, or ! at the start of your entry. For example, to force Dorico for iPad to show 5,3 figures.

  4. Optional: Press Space to advance the popover to the next beat according to the current time signature.

    You can also navigate the popover forwards and backwards by different amounts.

  5. Press Return to close the popover.


The figured bass specified is input. If you selected an item belonging to an instrument that was not already set to show figured bass in the current layout, its player is automatically updated to show them. If Dorico for iPad cannot identify the bass note at the position of a figure, such as if you input a figure on a rest, it appears as a signpost.

Dorico for iPad calculates and saves the pitches implied by the figures you enter in relation to the lowest note at that rhythmic position. This semantic understanding of the harmony implied by figures allows Dorico for iPad to update the displayed figures on different staves and if you transpose or change the pitch of notes.

Global figures apply to all instruments in the project and appear on all staves whose players are set to show figured bass. Local figures only apply to the selected instrument, and by default refer to its lowest staff. Local figures always appear, even if global figures exist at the same rhythmic positions.

  • Unless you included an entry for Follow input literally at the start of your popover entry, the appearance of the resulting figure is determined by the default settings in Dorico for iPad

  • In addition to lengthening/shortening figures after they have been input, you can use the Duration property in the Figured Bass group of the Properties panel to change the duration of figured bass figures in quarter notes. The left value field allows you to change the duration, and the right value field allows you to specify that the hold line ends at the position of a grace note.

    For suspensions, you can use the Resolution pos. property to change the position of the resolution figure relative to the suspension figure.

After Completing This Task

  • You can hide/show figured bass above specific players in each layout independently.

  • You can simplify compound figures, that is, figures 9 and above.

  • You can show figures on individual rests.