How to Work with Tokens 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 Tokens in Dorico”…

Hi, I’m Anthony Hughes and in this video I’ll be showing you how to easily add all of your project information to text frames across multiple layouts using tokens here in Dorico, the new music notation software from Steinberg.

When you start a new project in Dorico, you will probably have noticed that the title of each flow is automatically displayed at the top of the page.

If I change the name of this flow to “First song”, then that is immediately updated in the music.

If I add another flow, the same thing happens. It’s called Flow 2 by default,

but if I rename this “Second Song” then again that’s what’s displayed in the music.

So, what’s happening here to make this text appear in the layout? Well, to show I’m going to switch to Engrave mode [CMND-3 or CNTRL-3] and you can see that the flow title is being drawn within this top green text frame.

And if I double-click anywhere in the frame it allows me to edit the text, but you’ll notice that it’s now showing this slightly strange looking series of characters with the words ‘flow title’ in the middle.


This is a Dorico text token and you can recognise tokens by the curly brackets at each end { } , then these ‘at’ symbols within them @ @, and in the middle here there’s this identifier text with no spaces between the words.

Dorico is looking out for this format in all text frames across all of your layouts and if it has information it can substitute in for a token, it will do that automatically.

If that information has not been added to the project, then Dorico leaves it blank rather than drawing the raw token text. And you can see that, by double-clicking in these next text frames. Here we see the token for flow lyricist and here’s one for flow composer, but as that information hasn’t been added yet, there’s nothing to draw here.

So where is the information kept that will be substituted in for these tokens? Well, if you open the File menu, and you can do that from anywhere in the program, and open Project Info,

then this dialog appears and at the top there’s a dropdown that lets you choose between editing project-wide or flow-specific information.

And then you simply fill in what details you have and want to be available for use in your layouts.

So, for the songbook I’m starting to compile here, I have different information for each song, so I’ll start by renaming this first flow “Song From the Old Days” and the composer is, well let’s say traditional, and the lyricist is anonymous.

Then let’s switch to the second song and this is going to be called “The Next No. 1 Hit!” and I’m going to be the composer, and my wife is kindly going to write the lyrics for me.

So if we click OK, then we can see that the titles have been updated and now the text I’ve added is being substituted in for the lyricist and composer tokens in the flows they relate to.

Now at the moment, flow specific tokens look at the first music frame on the page in order to determine which flow to use, so bear that in mind if you have multiple music frames on the same page, or indeed no music frames.

We will be extending this current functionality in future updates to Dorico with ways to target individual flows in tokens.

Tokens work alongside other text in the frame, so I can type more into the frame

and the token will still be recognized.

Let’s have a look at another example. I have an orchestral project here which is in three movements and I’ve named the flows how I would like to see them in the Flows panel, although in the music I really want to see the title of the whole work on the first page and then just numerals at the top of each movement.

So I’ll open the Project Info dialog from the File menu and this time I’ll set the dropdown to show me information for the whole project. And I’m going to set the project title to SYMPHONIC DANCES, and I’ll also fill in dedication, composer and some other info.

Then I’ll just set the title of each flow to the numerals I wanted to see, because by doing it here, I won’t affect those names I’ve already set in the Flows panel. And then I’ll click OK.

And the only changes we see immediately are the flow title, because of course we haven’t set up any project specific tokens yet.

If you remember I set the project composer, because in this project the composer is the same in each flow. In order to show the project composer rather than the flow composer I need to change it in the master page. So we switch to Engrave mode

and then doubleclick on this First master page to edit it.

You’ll notice that the tokens show in their raw state when viewing master pages so that you can see what’s in use on the page. Let’s edit this flow composer token to use project composer, and close the master page editor.

The project composer is now displayed as we wanted.

Now in order to show the project title as well, I am going to need to make some more space at the top of the very first page. In order to make edits to the frames themselves, I need to switch on Frame editing.

Now I can pull down the top of the music frame to reduce its height; Ctrl+click (that’s Cmd+click on Mac) these three text frames and drag them down back closer to the music frame.

And then I’m going to create a new text frame at the very top of the page here.

I’ll double-click my new text frame and use the editor to align the text in the centre, then set the style to italic and enter my token by typing: open curly bracket, at symbol, project Dedication, another @ symbol and close curly bracket.

Then I’ll press enter or return and on the new line set the style back to Regular, but this time I’m going to bump the font size right up to 30pt and type: open curly bracket, at symbol, project Title, the second @ symbol and finally close curly bracket.

I can confirm my changes by pressing Ctrl+Enter, that’s Cmd+Enter on Mac.

This is looking pretty good now, I’ll just show you one more trick, by adding a new blank page and creating a text frame on it. Then I’m going to add some text with tokens for “player list” and the “project other info” that you may remember me adding to the Project Info dialog.



And in a matter of seconds I have created this complete list of instrumentation for the piece I am working on.

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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