Center Grand Pause (G.P. & other text) in Sibelius – Lines Method

Sometimes, such as when displaying “G.P.” text in an empty bar of score, it is desirable to be able to center the text between the barlines. While Sibelius doesn’t explicitly offer a “center text between barlines” feature when inputting  text, the ability to center any string of text attached to a Line makes this “centered in bar” justification possible.

In “Centering Grand Pause (G.P.) text in Sibelius – Symbols Method“, we covered a method of centering Grand Pause (G.P.) text using Symbols.

Sibelius has a “Centered Text” feature built into its Edit Lines dialog. You can immediately see this in action:

  • Highlight an empty bar
  • Type L to open the Lines Dialog
  • Select either the “gliss.” or “port” text / line combination.
  • OK the dialog to place the text / line.

No matter what the width of the bar is, this text will always remain centered, as long as the line extends the full width of the bar. Of course, the particular line and text combinations for gliss. and port. are designed to center text between two notes, but you get the idea. Sibelius centers the text within the selected region. All we have to do, then, is create a hidden line with centered text, using the desired Text Style.

Let’s try this, using “G.P.” text as an example:

  • Select Edit Lines from the Lines Group in the Notations Tab (Sibelius 7)
  • Select Edit Lines from the House Style Menu (Sibelius 6)

When the Edit Lines dialog opens, you’ll note that the left column is for Staff Lines and the right column is for System lines. Your choice here will determine how the text is displayed in the score and parts.

To display the text in the same vertical locations that Tempo Marks and Metronome Marks currently appear in the score, while appearing in every part, you would choose System Lines. If you want to build a piece of text designed for discreet staves / instruments, use Staff lines.

Using our “G.P.” example, let’s assume we would want it to appear in the score only where other tempo text appeared (e.g. at System Object Positions), and, at the same time, like Tempo or Metronome Mark text, appear in every part.

Select the Dashed System Line. This is the first System line that appears below the various ending brackets in the right column, and is chosen here because it will have no effect on playback, unless we define it to do so in the playback dictionary.

While it is highlighted, press the New… button. The dialog with pop up : “Are you sure you want to define a new line based on ‘Dashed system line’?” Click yes, and the Line Editor will open up.

Change the new line’s name to something descriptive, such as “Grand Pause (System Line)”.

Now, click the “Centered text . . .” button in the “Continuation” panel at the bottom center of the dialog. When the Text subdialog opens up, select the Tempo text style from the popup menu (you can choose any text style you want) and type “G.P.” into the text field.

All that’s left to do is to make the line itself invisible. OK to exit back into the main Line Editor, and in the top left hand corner of the dialog, type a zero into the Width entry field. As soon as you Tab or Click out of the field, you will see the result immediately:

While this technique is useful for centering text between barlines, you can also optionally use it for centering text over a note or rest in some cases as in this example:

However, using Lines with Centered text has at least one caveat associated with it. If your spacing is too narrow, the text will disappear in the center of the line, just like it might with a glissando. And, it isn’t very intuitive to center over irregular rhythms.

But, for the case where you just need text to center between barlines for either staves or systems, it works very well.

That’s it! That’s all there is to it.

~robert

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