Sibelius Tips
Posted by Alex Goodman


Here are some Sibelius and chart formatting tips posted by Alex Goodman.

WORKING WITH SIBELIUS
Note – the keys listed below are from a macintosh keyboard
If operating a PC, apply the following conversion:
Command = ctrl
Option = alt
Hiding staves
- Command + option + shift + H = hides selection (helpful for removing unused piano staff)

Controlling bar numbers
- House style –> Engraving Rules –> Bar numbers

Auto layout
- Layout –> Auto Layout (helpful for quickly setting up system breaks)

Texts
- Command + K = chord symbol
- Command + L = lyrics
- Command + T = text (technique)
- Command + E = expression
- Right click + other system text = other interesting text options (i.e. boxed text)
- Command + option + t = text on score and all parts

Noteheads
- Shift + option + numbers = different notehead options (3 = slash, 1 = x notehead etc.)
- Properties –> notes – will give a drop down selection of noteheads
Drum parts
- Best created with layers, use a 2nd layer (located as numbers on the bottom of the keypad) to input shots above the staff

Switching stem direction
- Switch stem direction with the letter x
Force into system
- Layout –> format –> make into system (helpful for inputting more bars into a system then sibelius automatically allows)

Instrument changes
- Create –> text –> other staff text –> instrument change
Arrow keys
- When selecting text, operating the arrow keys will control precise movements

Clefs
- The letter Q brings up the clef menu

Symbols
- The letter Z brings up the symbols menu
Key Signatures
- The letter K brings up the key signature menu

Time Signatures
- The letter T brings up the time signature menu

Lines
- The letter L brings up the lines menu

Ossia Staves
- Create –> other –> ossia staff (above or below) – (ossia staves allow you to create a new line above or below selected bars)

Codas
- Codas can be found in the symbols menu (hotkey – Z)
- Coda symbols are also located in the menu accessed by right clicking while inputting text

Composing tools
- Plug-ins –> composing tools

CHART FORMATTING SUGGESTIONS

Setting up your chart
- Make sure to have title, composer, copyright, as well as tempo and style
Be clear about form with double bar lines

Be aware of page turns!
- Optimize where your musicians are turning the page (rests are ideal)
- Become comfortable with inputting page breaks before the end of a page to help facilitate turns

When writing for wind or brass players, include room for breathing.

Avoid codas on long charts (anything over 4 pages).

Taping charts
- Surgical tape is the most professional option.

Provide cues in parts when using long multi-measure rests .
- These cues will help musicians to not lose their place when not playing .

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