Q: I spent far too long today trying to install a Sibelius plug-in after I downloaded it. I followed the Sibelius site instructions, but it still didn’t work. I’m using Sibelius 6 on Windows 7. Can you help?
A: In addition to the plugins that ship with Sibelius, there are now more than 400 additional plug-ins available for download from the Sibelius web site. A number of these plugins very likely could become indispensable to you, once you’ve tried them out.
A nice feature of Sibelius 7.03 and later is the new Install Plug-ins dialog, which provides an automatic means to download and install any of these plug-ins directly into the software, so it’s really easy to try them out. Check out this blog post by Daniel Spreadbury and also this YouTube tutorial by Philip Rothman.
However, if you want to install plugins for Sibelius 6 (or earlier), the process is completely manual. You need to put Plug-ins in a specific directory for Sibelius to recognize them:
- Window 7 or Vista: C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\
- Mac OSX: /Library/Application Support/Sibelius Software/
Also, it’s important to note that when you download plug-ins, they are in compressed .zip format. You will need to un-compress the file before it will be recognized by Sibelius. Sibelius plug-ins have a “.plg” extension.
Your web browser may unzip these automatically, but if they don’t, you may need a utility for this purpose. On Mac, simply double click on the archive to uncompress it.
For both Mac and Windows, after installing a plugin, you will need to close and restart Sibelius before it will be recognized.
Avid’s website has a walkthrough for installation titled “How to install plug-ins” which shows the file paths for both Windows and Mac. A little more detail is provided here to help you.
WINDOWS INSTRUCTIONS (courtesy of Bob Zawalich)
For Sibelius 6 on Windows 7, use the Windows Vista instructions from the Avid website, and so start at
(assuming your Users folder is on drive C, which is almost always the case.)
Sometimes the user files are hidden, and you have to make them visible. If you have problems with the folders being hidden you might have a look at this tutorial. Scroll down to the part about the hidden protected operating system folders.
The path to my Sib 6 plugins folder on Windows 7 is:
C:\Users\Bob\AppData\Roaming\Sibelius Software\Sibelius 6\Plugins
If you install a plugin you will need to create at least one folder under
“Plugins”, such as
C:\Users\Bob\AppData\Roaming\Sibelius Software\Sibelius 6\Plugins\Downloads
Do not put your plugins in the Plugins folder itself, but in a subfolder of that folder.
First, check out Avid’s plug-in install instructions. More options and details:
Type COMMAND-N to create a New Finder Window. Select your Home Folder, which appears underneath the Places section In the Finder.
Locate and double click on the Library folder. Now, locate and double click on the Application Support folder.
Inside Application Support, locate and double click the Sibelius Software folder. If there isn’t already a folder called Sibelius Software in this location, (choose File > New Folder), name it Sibelius Software, then go inside it.
Inside the Sibelius Software folder, you should see a folder called Sibelius 6.
If there is already a folder called Plugins within in this folder, double-click it to go inside it; if not, create a new folder, label it Plugins, then go inside it.
If you are fairly sure these folders all exist, choose Go > Go To Folder from the main Finder menu. Now you can simply type in the full path above preceded by a tilde, like this:
~/Library/Application Support/Sibelius Software/Sibelius 6/Plugins.
You can also type the first part of the directory string to get you inside the Application Support folder, like this:
Click Go to navigate to that location.
FOLDERS = MENU ITEMS
Plugins in Sibelius are organized into specific categories related to common workflow, which appear as menu items in Sibelius 6.
If you want a plug-in to appear in one of the existing sub-menus in the Plug-ins menu in Sibelius, be sure to create a folder with the exact same name as the sub-menu itself. Otherwise, create a folder called anything you like: this will appear as a new sub-menu in Sibelius when you next run it.
Here are some examples of the default folder names which correspond to the default Plug-ins menu:
- Chord Symbols
- Notes and Rests
As mentioned above, you can also add your own folders and name them anything you’d like. These new folders will show up as a new “category” or menu item in Sibelius 6. For instance, I have a folder labeled “Engraver”, to which I’ve added these plug-ins:
- Add LV Symbols to Notes
- Note Spacing
- Position Dynamics
- Respace Clef Change
These are plugins which I typically use when working for a publisher, for instance.
I urge you to visit the Avid website and download and try some of the many amazing plugins currently available, many of which add a great deal of functionality to older versions of Sibelius, such as Sibelius 6.
for Wenda Zonnefeld, with thanks to Bob Zawalich for his tips for installation on Windows.