Sibelius Gap Before Bar & Brackets Appearing in Middle of Page

Q: I’m having some technical problems with a Sibelius score. I’m trying to reformat the score layout at the oboe section (pages 53-55). There is a weird thing where system brackets appear in middle of score instead of just at the left edge.

A: The brackets are caused by changing the amount of space before one or more bars. Sibelius calls this distance (normally zero) “Gap Before Bar” and it is useful to indent a the first system of a piece or movement or to create a space for a Coda in the middle of a system. Unfortunately, it is possible to add these gaps without realizing it.

In your example file, these Gaps Before Bar were a very, very small amount (.72 spaces), and if I had to guess, were very likely previously at system starts where they would be extremely hard to notice.

However, when you attempted to reformat the page layout, the “extra” brackets became visible since these bars were no longer at the starts of systems.

To correct this, select the individual bar following the mid-system bracket, then use the Inspector (Properties in Sibelius versions before v7) to reset the positioning for GAP BEFORE BAR to zero.



The bracket should disappear and now you can reformat the score without the mid-system brackets.

That’s all there is to it!


2 Replies to “Sibelius Gap Before Bar & Brackets Appearing in Middle of Page”

  1. It is easy to create such gaps accidentally by dragging the start ot end of a system, and if you reformat the score layout, it becomes more noticeable.

    If you are running Sib 7.5 or later, the downloadable plugin Gap Before Bar (category Layout) can trace or remove such gaps.

    Here is its description:

    “Optionally traces bars that contain non-zero gaps before bars, or resets such gaps to zero. Can process the current score, all open scores, or a folder of scores.

    The entire score is always processed, regardless of selection. To reset specific gaps, run the plugin to trace the location, and reset manually with the Inspector.”

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