Page Numbering in Finale & Sibelius : Ranges : X of Y

This tutorial was updated 9/26/12.

Question: A client wants the page numbering to read, page 2 of 7, page 3 of 7, etc., for pdf downloads of some piano pieces (regular numbering for print versions). These would be in the upper outside corners where standard page numbers would appear. If you can tell me whether this can be done and how, I would greatly appreciate it.

Depending on whether you are using Finale or Sibelius, you’ll be using text “Inserts” or “Wildcards: to facilitate this. Here’s how:


The keys to this type of of page numbering are two special text “Inserts” which are a feature of the Text Tool:

Select the Tool Tool and either create a new page number, or edit the existing one. These inserts for “Page Number” and “Total Pages” are placed in the header text as if they were regular text using the formula “page [Page Number] of [Total Pages]“. Simply select each insert from the menu as you type:

That’s it! That’s all there is to it.

see also Creating and using Text Inserts (Wildcards) in Finale.


As of Sibelius 7.1.3, (released 9/26/12) there \$NumPages\ wildcard, which shows the total number of pages in the score. This allows you to easily create page numbering schemes that include the total pages. Hide the regular page numbers, then create a new text style based on the Page Number text style to show Page X of Y. The wildcard string you type go show “Page x of y” is “Page \$PageNum\ of \$NumPages\” (without the quotes).

If you use a version of Sibelius earlier than 7.1.3, don’t worry, while there isn’t a dedicated wildcard to display the total number of pages, there *is* a wildcard for the current page number, which can be used in combination with a clever plugin called “Get Page Count” by Bob Zawalich to create “Page X of Y” page numbering in Sibelius. Here’s how:

We’re going to hide the regular page numbers, and then create a new text style based on the Page Number text style to show Page X of Y.

In Sibelius 6, go to Create > Other > Page Number Change and select Hide Page Numbers, then click in the first page of music. In Sibelius 7, select Page Number Change from the Numbering Group of the Text Tab and choose Hide Page Numbers:

Now, make a duplicate of the Page Number Text Style. In Sibelius 6, this is found in House Style>Edit Text Styles. Select the Bar Numbers Text Style and press the New button. In Sibelius 7, choose Edit Text Styles from the Styles Group of the Text Tab. Select the Bar Numbers Text Style and press the New button. Label this text style so it is easy to locate later, e.g. Page Numbers (X of Y). The horizontal location will already be duplicated, but you will need to set this new text style to repeat on all pages (Repeat tab/button), and optionally be hidden on the first page.

At this point, an explanation about how the “Get Page Count” plugin works is in order. Since Sibelius doesn’t have a “total pages” wildcard, the plugin substitutes a wildcard that *does* exist in Sibelius called “MoreInfo”. If you take a look at Score Info (found in the File Menu or tab depending on which version of Sibelius you are using), you will see a field called “Other Information”. The plugin gets the current total page count, and then writes the total number of pages into this field, where the wildcard will display it on the page as a proper page number.

Note that if you are already using the “Other Information” field is for something else, the most current version of the plugin allows you to chose another wildcard for this purpose, for instance “OpusNumber” or “YearOfComposition”.

It should be noted that there is a fairly significant caveat with using the plugin to retrieve total page count information: the page count  information is not dynamically updated as you add measures or change the layout. This is not a problem as long as you remember to run the plugin after you add measures or update the layout. The best practice is to wait until your layout is finalized, and then run the plugin to get the current total pages. 

Select the first bar of your score (blue, not purple selection) and locate your newly created “Bar Numbers (X to Y)” text style from the Create Menu or Gallery. When the cursor flashes in the header, type:

“Page \$PageNum\ of \$MoreInfo\” Wildcards are not available by menu selection in Sibelius, so they must be typed out manually**. Press the Escape key to exit the text edit, and you should see something like: “pg 1 of“. The total pages isn’t there, because we haven’t yet run the “Get Page Count” plugin. Let’s try it. Sibelius 6 users can download the “Get Page Count” plugin using the link, while Sibelius 7 users can install the plugin from the Plugins section of the File tab.

(If you are using Sibelius 7.1.3 or later, you don’t need the plugin at all; you can simply type the string “Page \$PageNum\ of \$NumPages\” and you’re done.)

Once installed, if you are working in a full score with parts, you will notice that the plugin updates all of the parts as well as the score, which is very helpful, but can take a bit of time on a large score.

** You’ll notice that the plugin author, Bob Zawalich has graciously included the somewhat arcane wildcard text string above which is required to make this work right in the plugin, so you can copy to your clipboard and paste it rather than having to type it out as a header. If you use this method, you may have to select the text and invoke Reset Design (at least I have to on my Mac) to get it to the proper font and size. But having the wildcard string available and handy is a nice convenience.

This combination of using text wildcards with the plugin will allow you to produce proper “Page X of Y” page number headers or footers. Don’t forget to update the plugin when the layout changes!

See also Creating and Using Text Wildcards (Inserts) in Sibelius.


For publishing, right facing, or odd-numbered pages appear on the right side of the page, and left-facing, or even numbered pages appear on the left. This is also referred to as “Outside Edge” text header location.

In Finale, you can set location and range attributes such as page range and location by Shift-double-clicking the text block’s handle, which opens the Frame Attributes dialog. The setting below shows “outside edge” location. Note the zero value for the last page in the page range at the top. In Finale, this zero value means “without a defined end point”. Finale will keep numbering as many pages as there are. You can use this in other places in Finale, too, such as Measure Numbers.


In Sibelius, you can set vertical and horizontal page positioning attributes within Edit Text Styles. The setting below shows “outside edge” horizontal location, and in the Vertical tab, you can choose top or bottom location. The Repeat tab allows you to choose whether the system (header/footer) text will appear on a single page or all pages.

That’s it! That’s all there is to it.

for Jimmy Locket, Las Vegas, NV

(4) Comments

4 thoughts on “Page Numbering in Finale & Sibelius : Ranges : X of Y

  1. In Finale, at least, you can create several page number ranges.

    Select the Text tool, do a page number Insert (from the Text > Inserts menu), and assign it a range.

    Then create a new page number Insert and assign it a different range.

    If you want to OFFSET page numbers, use Finale’s Edit Page Offset in the Text menu.


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