We’re pleased to announce the release of the latest update for Dorico 5, version 5.1.40, which is free for all Dorico Pro 5, Dorico Elements 5, Dorico SE 5 and Dorico for iPad users. This update includes more than 20 bug fixes, a number of useful improvements to beams, bracketing, slurs, pitch spelling, and playback – plus a brand new contextual help system that we hope will make it easier to find answers while using the software. Read on for more details.

Contextual help

Thanks to the tireless efforts of my colleague Lillie, Dorico has thousands of pages of documentation available to help guide you through your use of the software. But there have never been any direct links between the software and its documentation – until today. Dorico 5.1.40 introduces two new mechanisms to guide you to relevant pages in the Operation Manual.

Firstly, many dialogs now show help buttons, often right next to specific options or controls, providing targeted support for those settings. Options dialogs now show help buttons for whole sections or pages of options by embedding help buttons in headings at the top of the page or above particular sections of options. Many dialogs also show help buttons in the bottom right corner, next to the OK or Apply buttons, as appropriate. Simply click any of these buttons and you will be taken directly to the relevant page in the documentation in your default browser (provided, of course, your device is connected to the internet).

The other way in which you can find contextual help is to type F1 (Windows) or Command/ (macOS), or choose Help > Show Help, which will bring up the new help overlay for the project window. The window is dimmed, and areas where contextual help is available remain illuminated, with a blue help button in the center. Click any of these buttons to be taken to the relevant page in the online Operation Manual. You can navigate through the areas of the window for which help is available by pressing Tab, and then open the relevant page by hitting Return. To exit the help overlay, hit Esc. Alternatively, wait a few seconds, and Dorico will automatically close the overlay when you click a help button, or after a few seconds of inactivity.

Between the help overlay and the help buttons in Dorico’s dialogs, there are now more than 150 direct links from the application to pages in the Operation Manual. We hope that many Dorico users – new and experienced alike – will find this (pun very much intended) helpful.

Other improvements

In addition to the new contextual help system, we have squeezed in a number of other helpful improvements in this update, including:

  • A new engraving option for beamed groups that start or end with rests allows you to specify that such groups should always be horizontal, i.e. should not slant up or down.
  • A new engraving option allows you to specify whether slurs should automatically avoid collisions under their arc, and flat slurs now respect the Avoid collisions property if it is set.
  • A new layout option for sub-brackets allows you to choose whether a section player with divisi should show a sub-bracket when only one staff is shown.
  • A new layout option for showing blank staves after every flow in the layout, rather than only on the final page of the layout; this is helpful when producing parts for media music recording sessions where it might be desirable to include blank staves for players to note fill-ins or doublings at the end of each cue.
  • A new note input option allows you to specify that you want Dorico to prioritise the enharmonic spelling of transposing instruments in the current layout transposition, rather than always prioritising the concert pitch spelling.
  • In playback, when using per-switch delays in expression maps, Dorico now also offsets dynamics played via MIDI continuous controllers so that any dynamics in regions affected by a per-switch delay value are also offset correctly.

We’ve also made some improvements to staff labels, the colour picker in the Properties panel, added a button to show the context menu in the Flows panel (particularly useful in Dorico for iPad), and more – along with more than 20 bug fixes. As always, you can read full details of everything that’s changed in the Dorico 5.1.40 Version History PDF.

Installing the update

Dorico 5.1.40 is a free update for existing Dorico Pro 5, Dorico Elements 5 and Dorico SE 5 users. If you are currently running Dorico Pro 4 or Dorico Elements 4 or earlier, you can buy an update to Dorico Pro 5 or Dorico Elements 5 from the Steinberg online shop.

Assuming you already have Dorico 5 installed, you can update to Dorico 5.1.40 free of charge. First, quit Dorico and any other Steinberg application that you are running on your computer. We recommend that you run Steinberg Download Assistant, which will automatically update Steinberg Activation Manager to the latest version, along with any other elements of the Steinberg run-time environment (including eLicenser Control Center, Steinberg Library Manager, and MediaBay) that may be outdated on your computer.

Once Steinberg Download Manager has finished updating any required components, go to My Product Downloads in the left-hand list, where you will find Dorico Pro 5, Dorico Elements 5, or Dorico SE 5, depending on which product you have installed. Select this, and on the right-hand side you will see Dorico 5.1.40 Application Installer. Click the Install button immediately to the right. This will download and run the Dorico 5.1.40 installer.

If for any reason you cannot use Steinberg Download Assistant, you can find all the installers you require here.

If you already have Dorico for iPad installed, it will probably update automatically, but if you need to update it manually, you can do so following these steps provided by Apple.

What’s next

We hope you will enjoy the new features and improvements in Dorico 5.1.40, and we’re looking forward to sharing more details of what we’re working on next in future.

Try Dorico for yourself

Dorico SE is completely free to download and use, forever.

Download Now