If you’ve been looking to catch up of reading material over the holiday season, no doubt you’ve thumbed through our recent 2016 year-in-review, and perhaps perused several of the books on our holiday shopping guide.
But if notation software reference manuals are your thing, here’s a present you’ll enjoy: the first version of the Dorico guide is now available to download as a PDF from Steinberg’s help site.
If you are a fan of the whimsy and occasionally irreverent style of the Sibelius Reference, the Dorico guide will strike you as dull by comparison. Don’t misunderstand — it is easy to follow and logically structured, following strict conventions that align with the references for Steinberg’s other products. Many topics clearly label a prerequisite, procedure, and result to get you easily on your way to sorting out a problem or learning about a feature. But apart from a discussion on Dorico’s conceptual design or a brief etymological digression about the meaning of the word “caret” (p. 83), if amusement is what you’re looking for, you’ll have to search for it elsewhere.
The manual is far from exhaustive in its present state — for example, Play mode is completely ignored — and at 161 pages it’s lightweight, compared to the 855-page Sibelius Reference or the 1,344-page Cubase tome. Still, the Dorico guide is a comprehensive, well-organized resource that, when read together with viewing the recent tutorial videos that are making their way online, will leave you in a strong position to make the most of the new software. Surely in time it will be updated, and hopefully expanded, to reflect changes in the software.
The material in the PDF appears to duplicate the information found via the online help guide, which is where you’ll be taken if you access Help > Dorico Help or press F1 from within Dorico.
I’ve written here how the Sibelius Reference is an important resource, and that reading a manual on a tablet is a fine way to have such useful information at your fingertips. The Dorico manual follows in that tradition; its bookmarks, index and internal links make it easy to navigate. I’m glad that Steinberg is supporting the concept of an offline manual for Dorico.