Sibelius Textures : Scores, Parts, Versions & Ideas

Q: I’m doing a piano score on Sibelius and I accidentally hit some button that turned the score page “paper” into that ivory yellowish color. I just want it white again. I assume that I’m still on the orig. score page and this isn’t some alternate, “for printing only” version?

A: You can choose from a wide variety of graphics or colors for both your music and for your workspace background in Sibelius.

Sibelius calls these “Textures”. The foreground for your music pages is called “Paper”. The background color or graphic is called “Desk”.  These Textures are user selectable.

Texture themes can be set differently for Scores and Parts. In Sibelius, the keystroke “w” toggles between the score and part views. With solo piano music, for instance, since the “score” and “part” share identical content, the different “Paper” and “Desk” Textures help you stay oriented by identifying which View you are currently working in.

Sibelius also has the ability to create multiple Versions of your music, and these Versions also display different Paper and Desk textures by default.  You can set Sibelius to automatically create a new version when you close the score. If you see the music using different Paper and Desk textures, another possibility is that you are viewing a Version other than the current one. In Sibelius 7 or later, locate the Versions Group in the Review Tab. (In Sibelius 6, locate the versions popup in the menu bar).

If both the “Previous Version” and “Next Version” buttons are greyed out, this means there is no previous or next version to switch to. However, if these buttons are available, you can view different versions which have been saved with the file:

Sibelius allows you to customize your Paper and Desk Textures. This is found in Preferences > Textures. Here, you can create unique custom Textures for Score, Parts, Versions and Ideas:

There are lots of paper and desk textures to choose from. For instance, the “Paper, Coffee-Stained” Texture is a good conversation starter:

Textures in Sibelius are a graphical, on screen display only; they do not print.

(For the technically curious, Sibelius uses the .bmp graphics file format for these textures.)

for Marius Nordal

3 Replies to “Sibelius Textures : Scores, Parts, Versions & Ideas”

    1. Yes. You don’t indicate whether you are on a Mac or PC, but if you have a dedicated graphics editor you can do this fairly easily.

      On Mac go to your Applications folder and right click on the Sibelius folder and Show Package Contents. The path inside the application package is Sibelius > Contents > Components > Textures. Locate and select “Paper, coffee-stained.bmp” and make a copy outside of the application on your desktop, for instance. Now you can edit this file in your graphics editor, then re-save as a .bmp file and replace it in the Textures subfolder of the application package (on Mac you will be asked for your admin password).

      If you are on Windows, I’m sure the process is very similar. Be very careful not to disturb anything else inside the application package for the obvious reason you don’t want to change anything that will stop Sibelius itself from working.

      This is a very similar process to changing the startup sound in Sibelius. There is an article on Sibelius blog about how to do that here:

  1. I’m on a mac. I couldn’t remove the stain. I don’t have the graphic skills to do it. But I downloaded dozen of nice free paper texture on the net and convert them to bmp using the automator.

    Thanks a lot Robert!

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