Expanded Graphics Import and Export in Sibelius 7

Sibelius 6 can import graphics files in TIFF format. To import,  choose Create>Graphics and select a TIFF file. Once the graphic is on the page, the size can be scaled by dragging the corner of the graphic and resizing.  Sibelius 6 supports black and white, grayscale, or full color graphics, which are imported as a type of system object.

(On Mac, the built-in Preview application can convert graphics to TIFF: open the graphic you want to convert, choose File > Save As, and choose TIFF from the Format drop-down. On Windows, there are several freeware graphics applications you can use to convert a graphic into TIFF format, for example IrfanView.)

In Sibelius 7, a number of standard image formats are now natively supported – BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, TIFF, and SVG e.g. Scalable Vector Graphics –  high-quality vector graphics that look perfect when scaled to any size. Additionally, you no longer have to import from a menu, you can simply drag and drop the graphics directly onto the  page in Sibelius.

Note that while Sibelius 7 does not import EPS files, SVG is also a vector file format, and programs such as Adobe Illustrator which can save EPS files can usually also save to SVG format. 

Once you’ve imported your graphic, you can drag to rotate it to any angle or scale it to any size, or crop it.  You can also flip it along either axis, as well as adjust its color, brightness, contrast, and opacity. Edits are made from the Graphics Group of the Notations tab:

…or from the Contextual Menu by right clicking:

Here are the controls to edit the graphic’s colors and opacity:

By default, Sibelius embeds the graphic into your document, which is great if you want to be able to share the file. However, there is also an option to link the graphic to an external file, which you might want in certain cases – for instance if you have a logo or some type of graphic you use across a lot of scores, or which might be date critical.

If you unlink the external file, or if you open the file on a second machine without the graphic, Sibelius does its best to keep an embedded copy of the graphic visible.


There is a second major improvement to graphics import in Sibelius 7: it is now possible to import a graphic in any of the supported formats and use it as a Symbol. Once it is in the Symbols list, you can combine it with other symbols, or use it to create a completely new one.

To create a new Graphic Symbol, go to Edit Symbols in the Notations tab, and click NEW.

In the Symbol dialog, click on the “Graphic” radio button and then the Import button. A  dialog will open to allow you to import the symbol you’ve saved as a file on your computer.

Once imported, you can choose whether it attaches to a staff or a system by default, resize it, change its angle and so forth:

To apply, OK the Edit Symbol dialog(s) and Type Z by itself to access the Symbols list. Select your new graphic, and OK the dialog. The cursor will be “loaded” blue, so simply click where you want the graphic placed, and it will show up with the angle and scale you’ve specified in the Edit Symbols dialog:

One the export side, Sibelius 7 includes improved EPS export, with enhanced TIFF previews and wider font embedding support, plus all-new SVG export, and Windows users finally get PDF export of individual systems or pages of music.

That’s it! That’s all there is to it. You’re ready to use new graphic import and export features in Sibelius 7.