Key commands in Dorico

Dorico’s key commands have been designed to be logical, consistent, and accessible using a standard computer keyboard, without needing a number pad.


  • The arrow keys on their own navigate the selection around the music area.

  • Alt/Opt modifies selected items.

    For example, in Write mode, adding Alt/Opt to the up/down arrow keys transposes notes by staff position; adding Alt/Opt to the right/left arrow keys moves notes/items rhythmically. In Engrave mode, adding Alt/Opt to any arrow key moves items a small amount graphically.

  • Shift-Alt/Opt changes the duration of notes/items in Write mode.

    For example, Shift-Alt/Opt-Right Arrow lengthens notes/items by the current rhythmic grid resolution.

  • Ctrl/Cmd increases the amount by which selected items are modified.

    For example, in Write mode, adding Ctrl/Cmd-Alt/Opt to the up/down arrow keys transposes notes by an octave; Ctrl/Cmd-Shift-Alt/Opt-Right Arrow doubles the duration of notes. In Engrave mode, adding Ctrl/Cmd-Alt/Opt to any arrow key moves items a large amount graphically.

  • Shift plus letter keys opens popovers in Write mode.

    For example, Shift-D opens the dynamics popover; Shift-O opens the ornaments popover.

  • Ctrl/Cmd-Shift plus specific letter keys opens options dialogs.

    For example, Ctrl/Cmd-Shift-L opens Layout Options; Ctrl/Cmd-Shift-N opens Notation Options.

The default key commands in Dorico depend on your keyboard language setting, which follows your application language setting by default.

You can view available key commands in the following ways:

  • Choose Help > Key Commands to open the Dorico Key Commands window, which provides an overview of all available key commands.

  • Search for key commands of specific functions or menu items in Preferences > Key Commands. In this dialog, you can also assign new key commands or change default key commands.

  • When you move the mouse over a tool or a function that has a key command, a tooltip with the corresponding key command in brackets is shown.