Faking special stems in Sibelius

While working on a recent project I was faced with the challenge of recreating two varieties of custom stems. While Sibelius does offer a set of custom stems as symbols, the fact that these can not be attached to notes makes it difficult to work with them in practice. If there a lot of them in use, each one needs to be manually placed and, should anything change in the formatting, they easily slide around and need to constantly be checked. Plus the particular symbols I needed for this piece were not available.


The first type of stem basically has an “s” through it to signify a kind of exaggerated pitch fluctuation/vibrato. Here is a sample from the original manuscript:


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Curated Plug-in sets: Installing the first plug-in

A Curated Plug-in Set is a collection of Sibelius plug-ins that can be installed at one time and run from a single location. These sets are described in the Of Note post Working sets, My Plugins, and Curated plug-ins in Sibelius.

In order to install a curated plug-in set, you will first need to install the downloadable plug-in Install New Plugin, which will be used to install other plugins.

Here are step-by-step instructions for installing Install New Plugin. There are different instructions for Sibelius 6 and for Sibelius 7 or later.

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Recording Key Switches & CC Data into Sibelius

Q: How do I record Key Switches and Continuous Controller data into Sibelius?

I built a “Frankenstein”; using a fixedIP address I hooked a PC (slave) to a Mac which works very nicely. I use VEPro 5 server but mainly using EW Symphonic Orchestra Gold.

I saw a video on YouTube where the composer added staves to play those key switch notes and hid them, but it was not very clear. Can you explain what was done?

itzhak Yaron

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Working sets, My Plugins, and Curated plug-ins in Sibelius

There are about 650 published Sibelius plug-ins, of which 150 ship with Sibelius. A lot of people never use plug-ins. They can’t find them, or can’t install downloadable plug-ins, or can’t figure out which plug-in does what. This is unfortunate, because plug-ins could save them a lot of work.

A Working Set of Plug-ins

In Sibelius, plug-ins are organized by category and you run them by finding their names on a menu or by using a keyboard shortcut.

As an alternative, you can create a set of favorite plug-ins that you identify by name and find in the same place. I call this a working set. The plug-ins in the working set should be ones you use often and will be easily available when you need them.

A curated plug-in set is a working set of plug-ins chosen for certain groups of users. It can be based on instruments, such as harp or guitar, or it can be created for a specific project or a school class. A set consists of a zip file containing a text file of plug-in names that make up the set and a folder of downloaded plug-in files which will be installed on your machine.

The files needed to create a curated plugin set can be provided by a plug-in curator, who is an experienced Sibelius user who selects a set of plug-ins that would be useful. This could be a teacher, or a co-worker, or anyone else you trust who is comfortable choosing plug-ins.

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Plug-ins that run other plug-ins in Sibelius

Since Sibelius version 1, plug-ins have been able to run other plug-ins. For example, the Proof-read plug-in is just a container that lets you call the main Run() method of the plug-ins Check Pizzicatos, Check Clefs,… so you can do all your proofreading at once. These plug-ins were designed to be called by other plug-ins, and typically do not display a dialog when they run.


This document will discuss plug-ins that call the top-level Run() method of other plug-ins, which is equivalent to running the plugin from the plug-in menu.

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Eliminating Duplicate Plugins in Sibelius


If you have multiple copies of a plugin in different locations (typically a downloadable plugin you have forgotten about installing, and so you installed it again to a different location), you may not be running the copy of the plugin you expect. This is true even if you explicitly run it from one of the plugin menus (or in Sibelius 6 and earlier, from the single plugin menu).

If the plugin files are identical it doesn’t matter which copy is run, but you may have installed an update which has different code, and you will find that you are not seeing the effects of the change.

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Finale 2014.5 : TG Tools – Align/Move Dynamics : Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

If you have been using Finale 2014.5 for Mac, you may be experiencing an issue with the TG Tools LE plug-in “Align/Move Dynamics” with the keyboard shortcuts for this plug-in not working.

This has been resolved in an updated version of the plug-in bundle which is available in the MakeMusic website.

  1. Close any open programs (including Finale)
  2. Download and then Double-click the ‘Finale_Plugins_TGToolsLE_Mac_2_artifacts.zip’ file to extract its contents. A file called ‘TGToolsLE.bundle’ should appear on your Desktop
  3. Click Go > Go To Folder… from the Finder menu.
  4. Type in the following directory path…/Library/Application Support/MakeMusic/Finale 2014.5/Plug-ins/
  5. Click Go, then open the TG Tools plug-in subfolder.
  6. Move the existing ‘TGToolsLE.bundle’ file to the Trash
  7. Click and drag the new ‘TGToolsLE.bundle’ from your Desktop into this folder
  8. Launch Finale 2014.5 again.

At this point your keyboard shortcuts for Align / Move should be restored on Mac. If you are still having issues, contact MakeMusic Customer Support.