Moving notes/items rhythmically

Dorico Elements Help

Dorico Elements
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You can move notes and items to new rhythmic positions to the right/left along staves after they have been input. For example, if you want a cresc. dynamic to start a beat later. You can also move individual dynamics and playing techniques within a group.

  • These steps do not apply to the following items: barlines, notehead brackets, glissando lines, notehead-attached horizontal lines, fingerings and fingering slides, jazz articulations, guitar bends, vibrato bar dives/returns, pedal retakes, and tremolo strokes. If you want to change the rhythmic positions of these items, you must delete them from their original positions and input new ones at the new positions.

    We recommend deleting and inputting new arpeggio signs and vertical lines rather than moving them. If you move arpeggio signs and vertical lines to the rhythmic position of a rest, they are deleted.

  • Because markers have a fixed position in time, moving markers relative to the notated music automatically changes the tempo on either side of the marker. If you want to move a marker to a new time position, you must change the timecode of the marker; for example, if you want to move it from 25 seconds to 28 seconds.


You have chosen the appropriate rhythmic grid resolution.


  1. In Write mode, select the notes, items, or signposts that you want to move.
    • If you want tuplet notes to remain tuplets, you must also select their tuplet numbers/ratios, brackets, or tuplet signposts, otherwise notes become normal notes of their rhythmic value when you move them beyond the boundaries of tuplets.

    • You can only move a single slur, marker, repeat ending, or bar repeat region at a time.

    • When using the mouse, you can only move a single item at a time. You cannot move notes or the following items using the mouse: tuplets, lyrics, slash regions, time signatures, arpeggio signs, and vertical lines.

    • You can only select clefs that you have input. You cannot select initial clefs at the start of flows or clefs shown automatically at the start of each system.

    • To move a single dynamic within a group, you must click and drag it with the mouse. If you use the key commands, the whole group is moved.

    • Moving multiple playing techniques or dynamics in the same group at the same time ungroups them.

  2. Optional: If you selected notes and do not want them to overwrite existing notes they pass over as part of their move, activate one of the following:
    • If you want the selected notes to overlap with existing notes, activate Chord mode by pressing Q or clicking Chords in the Notes toolbox.

    • If you want the selected notes to move through existing notes, activate Insert mode in Write mode by pressing I or clicking Insert in the Notes toolbox.


      Moving notes rhythmically with Insert mode activated can affect the durations of existing notes the selected notes move through.

  3. Move the notes, items, and/or signposts in any of the following ways:
    • To move them to the right, press Alt/Opt-Right Arrow.

    • To move them to the left, press Alt/Opt-Left Arrow.


      Most items move according to the current rhythmic grid resolution. A single selection of the following items moves to adjacent noteheads, bars, or barlines: dynamics, ornaments, slurs, lines, octave lines, pedal lines, playing techniques, rehearsal marks, repeat endings, and bar repeat regions.

    • To move items to the right according to the current rhythmic grid resolution, press Ctrl/Cmd-Alt/Opt-Right Arrow.

    • To move items to the left according to the current rhythmic grid resolution, press Ctrl/Cmd-Alt/Opt-Left Arrow.

    • Click and drag the selected item to the right/left.


      The following items move to adjacent noteheads, bars, or barlines: dynamics, ornaments, slurs, horizontal lines, octave lines, pedal lines, playing techniques, rehearsal marks, repeat endings, and bar repeat regions.


The selected notes, items, and/or signposts are moved to new rhythmic positions. Attachment lines link items to the rhythmic positions to which they apply.

Most items move according to the current rhythmic grid resolution. However, a single selection of some items automatically moves to adjacent noteheads, bars, or barlines. When multiple items are selected, they move as a block according to the current rhythmic grid resolution.


Only a single instance of many items, such as tempo marks and clefs, can exist at each rhythmic position on each staff. If an item passes over another item of the same type as part of its move, the existing item is deleted or shortened accordingly.

You can undo this action, but any items deleted in the process are only restored if you moved items using the keyboard.

Items that can have multiple instances at the same rhythmic position on the same staff include dynamics, octave lines, playing techniques, horizontal lines, slash regions, and text items. However, if you move multiple items together, any existing items of the same type between the selected items or that they pass over as part of the move are deleted or shortened accordingly unless Insert mode is activated.

Notes are automatically positioned according to their rhythmic duration and position relative to other notes.

If a tuplet number/ratio or tuplet bracket is included in the selection, the whole tuplet is moved along the staff. If it crosses a barline, the tuplet is automatically adjusted to compensate. However, tuplets are not automatically adjusted at the mid-point of bars, where it is convention to split tuplets to show the beat division. You must enter two tuplets manually to show the beat division at the mid-point of bars.

Items such as clefs, key signatures, and time signatures take effect from their new positions until the next item of the same type or the end of the flow, whichever comes first. Barlines on either side of a moved time signature are automatically updated up to the previous/next existing time signature, or the start/end of the flow.

If you moved divisi change signposts, any music on divisi staves outside of divisi passages is automatically hidden, and any unison ranges before/after divisi passages are automatically updated.

If you moved harp pedal diagrams and colors are shown for notes out of range, any notes that no longer fit with the prevailing harp pedal diagram appear red.

The position of holds and pauses you have moved might not appear to change. For example, if one staff has a bar rest and you move a fermata rhythmically within the bar, the fermata still appears above the bar rest.

The rhythmic duration of slurs is usually maintained. However, depending on the rhythms they cross as they move, slurs may cover longer/shorter durations than before the move.

Moving repeat endings does not automatically input, delete, or move repeat barlines.

When you move markers, their fixed position in time is not changed. Therefore, the tempo immediately preceding the marker automatically updates so that the marker occurs at the correct time. For example, moving a marker to the right increases the preceding tempo. Any gradual tempo changes between the preceding tempo change or the start of the flow and the marker are removed. The tempo change affects the positions of all other markers in the flow relative to the notated music.