How to Work with Text Styles in Dorico | Engrave mode

🎬  This article is a transcription of one of the excellent tutorial videos posted to the official Dorico YouTube channel.

Presented here in written form with the kind permission of its creator, Anthony Hughes, this tutorial is titled “How to Work with Text Styles in Dorico”…


Hi, I’m Anthony Hughes, and in this video I will be showing you how to control and modify text styles here in Steinberg’s new music notation software, Dorico.

As you enter music into Dorico, you will notice that many of the musical objects you create contain text elements, such as in this tempo object,

or in this rehearsal mark,

or this glissando line.

Dorico gives you complete control over the font styles used in each of these items in: Engrave mode, via the Font Styles dialog found in the Engrave menu.

Opening this popup menu at the top of the dialog shows you the list of font styles that you can modify.

Bar Number Font, Chord Symbols Altered Bass Separator Font, Chord Symbols Font, Chord Symbols Text Font, Chorus Lyrics Font, Chorus Lyrics Translation Font, Default Music Font, Default Music Text Font, Default Text Font, Default Music Text Font, Dynamic Music Text Font, Dynamic Text Font, Fingering Font, Fingering Horn Branch Accidental Font, Fingering Horn Branch Alto Text Font, Fingering Horn Branch Text Font, Fingering Text Font, Glissando Line Text Font, Gradual Tempo Text Font, Immediate Tempo Text Font, Lyrics Font, Lyrics Translation Font, Metronome Music Text Font, Metronome Text Font, Multirest Tacet Font, Notehead, Page Number Font, Pedal Line Font, Playing Technique Font, Print Metadata Font, Print Watermark Font, Rehearsal Mark Font, Repeat Endings Font, Time Signature Font, Tuplet Font

All the text-based styles inherit properties from the Default Text Font, so let’s select that to see what’s available.

By default, the font-family is set to Academico, a font designed specifically for Dorico by Daniel Spreadbury. To illustrate what happens when you change the font for this Default Text style, let set this to Arial and press OK.

All of these items that inherit from the Default Text Font Style are now drawing using Arial.

It’s easy to override the font-family for specific styles. If I open the Font Styles dialog again and choose the Chorus Lyrics Font, you can see how the style is inheriting almost everything from the Default Text Font, it’s just also setting the italic property. I can toggle this switch to overwrite the font-family and choose everybody’s favorite font.

Let’s open the Font Style dialog one more time and this time choose the Rehearsal Mark Font. See how this style is inheriting the font-family Arial, but all other properties are being overwritten. How about I increase the font size even more? You can see how this is updated immediately in the music.

When I enter text directly into the music in Write mode using Text Input, for which I can use the key command Shift+X, this Text Formatting Popover appears, allowing me to style the text on an individual basis. The same is true for text entered into Text Frames.

You may also have noticed this control at the top of the popover that allows you to format your text using a Paragraph Style. Again these inherit from a Default Text paragraph style and I can modify them from the Paragraph Styles dialog in the Engrave menu.

Here, there are multiple typographical properties that can be set. Let’s select the Title paragraph style. I’ll toggle the switch to override the font that’s being used. Increase the font-size some more, and perhaps add a little letter spacing.

When I press OK it’s updated in the score, wherever I use the Title paragraph style.

This popup control allows me to set the Character Style, and Dorico ships with a character style called Music Text, which allows you to input any character from Bravura, Dorico’s default music font, again designed by Daniel Spreadbury.

You can find a comprehensive reference of every glyph included in Bravura on the internet, by visiting Google and searching for “SMuFL Gitbook Index” and choosing this “Introduction to the Standard Music Font Layout”. You can find the direct url in the description of this video, found below.

Scroll down to section 4 and select a category. Then, in the table, highlight the glyph you want to use, and copy it. Then switch back to Dorico and paste it into the text editor.

Bravura Persian accidentals (U+E460–U+E46F)

If this video has been helpful to you please consider liking it by clicking on the thumbs up button, and you can subscribe to our Dorico channel to see many more videos like this one. I’m Anthony Hughes, thanks for watching.


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I very much hope you’ve found this video transcription to be helpful. If you have, please subscribe to OF NOTE and follow me on for ongoing music notation news and info. And don’t forget to subscribe to the Dorico YouTube channel to see many more videos like this one. ~robert puff

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