Cumulative Filtering Scripts created with Lua using Dorico’s Macro Recording feature

Dorico uses the Lua programming language for its Scripts feature. You will be hearing more about Lua as it relates to music notation programs on this blog in the coming months.

Dorico’s Edit filters are a great way to illustrate how Lua scripting can make your life in Dorico even more efficient.

Dorico’s ability to filter for specific types of objects is extensive.  These are available when in Write Mode by choosing Edit > Filter >. (A subset of filtering operations is also available when in Engrave Mode).

But why should I need to run a script just to make filter selections? Finale and Sibelius both have the ability to filter for a variety of different objects for copy and paste, or for deletion operations. So?

What is different about Dorico is its ability to perform its Edit filter operations cumulatively, rather than each successive filter operation replacing the last. A Macro script can perform these cumulative filtering choices very fast, as well as allowing for very detailed filtering operations.

Of course, you could resort to using a third party macro program like AutoHotKey on Windows or Keyboard Maestro on Mac, but Dorico’s Scripts feature, though still in a nascent state as of v2.2, can provide just what we need for creating more esoteric edit filter selections which are not already a preset.

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Moonlighting with Lua – the powerful tool for music notation you never hear of.

I suppose a good place to start is with the question “What exactly is Lua?”

Lua is a lightweight computer programming language (the complete Lua distribution could fit on a floppy disk) designed primarily for use within other applications (think plugins) to increase functionality and productivity of the host software program.

Video games are a good example. In recent years, Lua has risen to become a lingua franca for scripting in video games as diverse as World of Warcraft and Angry Birds. For programmers with an interest in this area, this means that your Lua programming skills are transferable from company to company.

Lua’s construct of simple, flexible meta-features can be extended as needed, rather than supplying a feature-set specific to one software program. This makes Lua an ideal and powerful tool for music notation software.

History & Trivia: Lua was created in 1993 by members of the Computer Graphics Technology Group (Tecgraf) at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), in Brazil. In 2011, Lua was honored with Game Developer Magazine’s Front Line Award in the programming tool category.

‘Lua’ is the Portuguese word for ‘moon’. In Roman mythology, ‘Lua’ was the Goddess to whom soldiers sacrificed captured weapons. 

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