The Notehead Set Editor in Dorico Pro

🎬  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 use the Notehead Set Editor in Dorico Pro”…


Hello, I’m Anthony Hughes and in this video I’ll be showing you how to use the new Notehead Set Editor in Dorico Pro, the advanced music notation software from Steinberg. [This feature was first introduced in Dorico Pro 2.]

Notehead Set Editor

Dorico has a comprehensive array of noteheads that you can easily use in your projects.

Dorico Notehead Sets

On the Note pages of Engraving Options, you can set the default notehead design to one of many different options,

and the same is true for rhythm slashes.

Even with these options set, you can still select notes, right-click and choose one of the numerous notehead sets available.

[Since Dorico 2], you can customize your noteheads even further using the new Notehead Set Editor.

In Engrave mode, open the Engrave menu and choose Notehead Sets…

Here, you can use the sidebar to navigate through all of the available sets and examine all of the noteheads on offer.

Dorico ships with a vast number of noteheads, and then assigns them to one or more notehead sets, which is how you see them grouped here.

Dorico Edit Notehead Sets Dialog

As a result, editing a notehead here in the dialog will affect every instance of it in whichever sets the notehead belongs.

Create a new set (01:22)

Let’s have a look at a couple of different uses.

My project is set to use the default noteheads, but I would like to define my own set to use instead. So, I’ll open the Notehead Set Editor and create a new set.

I’m going to give it the name Anthony’s Noteheads. It’s very exciting.

Dorico has given me this notehead by default and you can see that it is going to be used for quarter-notes, and also for all durations shorter than a quarter-note.

Let’s click this button which will add an existing notehead to this set.

I’m going to choose noteheadDiamondHalfOld. Indeed I would like to use this for half notes. Finally, I’ll add a “noteheadSlashDiamondWhiteWholeOversized”. And this is for whole notes, and anything longer.

Great, that’s all I want to set at the moment, so I can click OK. Now I can select my notes, right-click and choose Anthony’s Noteheads, and they are updated to use the new set.

Slash noteheads (02:35)

In this example, I’m preparing some music with rhythm slashes. In some handwritten conventions, the stem can actually attach to the middle of the notehead. This can also be found in some mensural notation.

These slashes use the small slash noteheads, so let’s open the Notehead Set Editor, choose the Slashes category and select Small Slash Noteheads.

Double click on the highlighted notehead to open the editor

This time I need to actually edit the noteheads themselves. I can either double-click on the actual item or choose Edit Notehead.

The stem attachments are denoted by these blue crosses,

Edit Notehead Window in Notehead Sets

and I can enter exact values if I know them on the Stem tab, or I can drag the attachment point to the desired position.

I’ll click OK to apply the changes, and then do the same with the half-note.

When ready I can click OK and now you’ll notice the stems are protruding from the middle of the noteheads.

I’m Anthony Hughes, thanks for watching.



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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