Notes toolbox

The tools in the Notes toolbox allow you to modify notes and change the type of notes you input. The Notes toolbox is located on the left of the window in Write mode.


Activates/Deactivates mouse input. When mouse input is deactivated, you cannot input notes by clicking on the staff.


You can assign a key command for Disable Mouse Input on the Key Commands page in Preferences.

Pitch Before Duration

When this option is activated, you can select the pitch before specifying the duration and inputting the note. This allows you to experiment with pitches without having to stop note input because you only input the note when you specify the duration.

You can also activate/deactivate Pitch Before Duration by pressing K.


When this option is activated, you add multiple notes at the same rhythmic position in order to build a chord. This function prevents the caret from advancing automatically after inputting a note. It also allows you to copy notes and items without overwriting any existing notes or items.

You can also start/stop chord input by pressing Q.


When this option is activated, the notes you input are inserted before existing music in the current voice ahead of the caret instead of overwriting it. Insert mode also affects edits you make outside of note input, such as deleting notes or changing their duration. For example, reducing the duration of notes with Insert mode activated pulls them closer together without leaving rests between the notes. This applies to the selected voice only.

When inputting or changing time signatures, Insert mode instructs Dorico Pro to add any extra beats required to fill bars.

You can also activate/deactivate Insert mode by pressing I.

Lock to Duration

When this option is activated, the durations of existing notes are used as you input notes. This allows you to maintain the duration of notes while you change their pitches.

You can also activate/deactivate Lock to Duration by pressing L.

Force Duration

When this option is activated, Dorico Pro always inputs notes/rests with the explicit duration you have selected. For example, you can activate Force Duration to force the input of a dotted quarter note on the second quarter beat of 4/4, where Dorico Pro splits the note with a tie by default.


You can get unexpected results if you force the duration of notes and later change the time signature or move barlines, for example.

If you activated Force Duration during input, you can remove the restrictions on how Dorico Pro notates the music by selecting the affected passage of music and selecting Edit > Reset Appearance.

You can also activate/deactivate Force Duration by pressing O.

Dotted Notes

During note input, this inputs dotted notes, rests, or chords based on the currently selected duration. When editing existing notes, you can use this tool to add/remove rhythm dots from existing notes, rests, and chords.

You can also activate/deactivate Dotted Notes by pressing .. You can increase the number of dots on notes by pressing Alt/Opt-..


When this option is activated, you input rests of the currently selected duration instead of notes.

You can also start/stop rest input by pressing ,.


Clicking this option inputs a triplet bracket and the respective number of rests at the specified rhythmic position. If the notes are beamed, no brackets are used.

You can input other types of tuplet, such as quintuplets, by using the tuplets popover.

Grace Notes

When this option is activated, you input grace notes at the current rhythmic position instead of normal notes.

You can also start/stop grace note input by pressing /.


During note input, this ties the note to be input to the previous note of the same pitch. When editing existing notes, you can use this tool to tie together notes of the same pitch in different voices or to tie grace notes to rhythmic notes.

You can also activate Tie by pressing T.


You cannot deactivate Tie. If you want to delete ties, you must use Scissors.


During note input, this splits notes, chords, and explicit rests in two at the caret position. When editing existing notes, it deletes all ties in tie chains.

You can also activate Scissors by pressing U.