Accessing The Print Button in the Sibelius 7 Print Dialog

Q: The Sibelius 7 print dialog box apparently does not recognize Return as equivalent to clicking on the Print icon. It would be nice if it did.

A: As you may have discovered, Sibelius 7 has redesigned the Print Dialog of Sibelius 7, essentially completely replacing the OS interface for printing. As a result, things look and behave differently than you may be used to.

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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.

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Jazz Charts with 4 Bars Per System in Sibelius

Q: I’m writing a lead sheet, and I want to show 4 measures per system. This is really common in jazz charts such as the RealBook – the bars are symmetrical. Many  jazz players are familiar with this type of look and layout, but Sibelius automatically spaces the music very differently than this. How does one lay out the music like this in Sibelius 6 or 7?

In Sibelius 7, go to the Layout Tab, and select Auto Breaks from the Breaks Group. Check “Use auto system breaks” and select the radio button for Every X bars (Type in “4” or change the number of bars per system if you want more.)

In Sibelius 6, choose “Auto Breaks” from the Layout Menu. Check “Use auto system breaks” and select the radio button for Every X bars (Type in “4” or change the number of bars per system if you want more.)

Now, respace the music as normal (select the music and type CMND-SHIFT-N (CNTRL-SHIFT-N), and Sibelius will apply its spacing rules across the four evenly spaced bars per system, without changing the number of measures per system.

Note that you can “mix and match” note spacing system to system. Suppose you have 4 systems that you want 4 measures per system, but then you need a different number of measures per line, for multirests, or whatever reason. Set up the document for four bars per system, then lock the layout to that point. (select the bars and type CMND-SHIFT-L / CNTRL-SHIFT-L)

Now, you can go back into the Auto Breaks dialog and change the settings. Starting at the point where the music is unlocked, your new system breaks rule will apply, until you lock this group of measures. You can do this as many times as you need to within the same chart.


Show Bar Rests for Score and Parts Differently in Sibelius

Q: The conductor I am working with does not want bar rests in the conductor’s orchestral score, so I have Show Bar Rests turned off. However, when I go into the parts, the whole rests are hidden there as well. This makes little sense in the parts, where the player needs them. In Sibelius, how do I make these independent: “Show Bar Rests in Parts” and “Show Bar Rests in Score”?

A:  Simply turn off rests in Engraving Rules of the score before you print, then toggle them back on for the parts.

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Creating lyric elision slurs more easily in Finale 2012 and earlier


Elision is defined as the omission of a vowel, consonant, or syllable while pronouncing or writing something, sometimes as a natural shortening, as in “he’s,” sometimes for literary or poetic effect, as in “’tis”.

In vocal music, elision slurs are the curvy ligatures used to connect two lyric syllables under one note. This type of markup is quite common in vocal music in a language other than English:


In Finale, the process to show two elided syllables on the same note should be very straightforward. One could ideally type a specific keystroke to produce the elision (it’s a underscore in Sibelius) and you could type these in on the fly.

In Finale, you use a single keystroke to create the elision character; SHIFT-I. But even in Finale 2012, the process described in the User Manual requires several steps:

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