Locating and Editing the Triangle Symbol for MA7 chords in Finale

In Finale 2012 and several earlier versions, chord suffixes can be created by simply typing them in with the Chord tool.   If every chord suffix library for Finale was the same, you could simply type in a standard keystroke for each suffix.

However, depending on the library that is currently in use for the suffix, this isn’t always the case. For instance, consider the different ways arrangers indicate a major 7th chord: M7, MA7, MAJ7, etc. In Finale, the in order to type in a chord suffix directly, it has to exactly match one of the existing suffixes in the current library.

In addition, some symbols, like the Triangle ∆ (Delta symbol) sometimes used for MA or MA7 chords isn’t an obvious keystroke. Furthermore, some chord fonts, such as the JazzCord font, are designed to display each suffix and any of its alterations using a single font character (e.g. “∆7” isn’t two keystrokes in JazzCord, it is a single character).

To locate, display or edit these suffixes which can’t simply be typed in, and for which you don’t know the shortcut: enter the chord name without the suffix, (e.g. “C”) then right-click to select “Edit Chord Definition”. This will allow you to manually choose the chord suffix.

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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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