Create your own keyboard shortcuts in Sibelius

Keyboard shortcuts can greatly increase your productivity in Sibelius. Shortcuts allow you to quickly invoke Plugins or other functions with a single keystroke. Keyboard Shortcuts are totally customizable in Sibelius.

Keyboard Shortcuts are located in Sibelius Preferences.  Choose Preferences… from the Sibelius menu

or navigate to the File Tab and choose Preferences in the left pane:

You can also open the Preferences dialog directly using the pre-defined keyboard shortcut CMND-Comma (Mac) or CNTRL-Comma (Windows).

Locate Keyboard Shortcuts in the list and select it:

In order to be able to define new shortcuts, or change the default shortcuts, you have to first create a new editable feature set with a freely selectable name.

Make sure “Base on Default Set” is checked, so you don’t have to recreate ALL of your Sibelius keyboard shortcuts from scratch. This way, the shortcuts that you have been working with so far will be retained.

The name of your new editable shortcuts feature set will have (user copy) appended to it.

The available functions of the Keyboard Shortcuts are organized by Tab or Category. For example, I have added shortcuts for “Show in Parts” and “Show in Score”, which do not have keyboard shortcuts assigned to them in the default set.

After clicking the Add… button, the Add Keyboard Shortcut dialog appears, where you can now set a keyboard shortcut for your chosen feature.

The risk of overwriting existing shortcuts is not very great: if the shortcut has already been taken, a warning message appears, for example:

A powerful feature in Sibelius is the ability to Filter for specific object types. You may already be using the predefined keyboard shortcut to filter Dynamics so you can copy them to other staves, align them in a row or column, or reset their positioning. Why not expand on this functionality in your own (User Copy) of keyboard shortcuts?

The Filter / Select menu on the left side shows all of the Text and Line types that can be filtered / selected in Sibelius. Note the single keyboard shortcut for filtering Dynamics. The Filter menu on the right is a modified (User Copy) with keyboard shortcuts to filter for Chord Symbols, Dynamics, Lyrics, Technique Text and Slurs.

A German version of this post („Shortcuts erstellen”) is available here.


Karin Vadon is a classically trained musician, singer-songwriter and music copyist from Vienna, Austria who authors a german-language music notation blog for Sibelius and Dorico users.

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