How to Restore Missing Barlines in One Staff of a Score in Sibelius

Q: I somehow deleted all of the barlines on one of the staves of my Sibelius score, and can’t figure out how to restore them. How did the barlines on only one staff get deleted in the first place, and what can I do to restore the barlines?

A: Sibelius 6 & 7 makes it very easy to create barline groupings between staves (Sibelius calls these “Barline Joins”) simply by carefully clicking on the bottom or top of a normal barline. When the little purple square “handle” shows up, drag the barline up or down the System to extend or contract the barline:

The staves will be grouped together. Simple!

Note that only regular single barlines can be dragged; you won’t be able to extend or contract any “special” barlines such as a repeat or double barline.

However, if you happen to inadvertently press the Delete key while these handles are showing, you will delete the barlines completely from that staff! But don’t worry, the fix is pretty simple. To restore the barlines, select the square staff handle of an adjacent staff, and extend its barline up or down to restore the missing barlines in the staff where they are missing:

Of course, if you don’t need this staff’s barlines to be joined with the other staves, once you restore the barlines, you can separate the staves again by dragging the barline to contract them.

That’s it! That’s all there is to it.



8 Replies to “How to Restore Missing Barlines in One Staff of a Score in Sibelius”

  1. The same thing happened to me, but no matter where I click on the barline of either the staff above or below, the purple handles do not show up. The whole barline is simply selected (purple) with no handle.

  2. I’m working on a piano/vocal score in sib 6 and the barlines vanished on all 3 staves so there’s nothing to click on. I see that Deannna has turned handles back on – how was this done as I cant find this in any of the options.

    1. Geoffrey – based on the behavior you describe, the first thing I’d try would be to go into Engraving Rules > Barlines and make sure Single Barline is the default type (not hidden or anything else). Short of that, you can try adding a new instrument which should show the Barlines and you should be able to follow the tutorial from there.

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