Sibelius 2018.7 released with bug fixes


Today Avid released Sibelius 2018.7, the latest version of its notation software. This is a workmanlike release devoted to fixing bugs, some of which newly appeared in the 2018.6 update, and some which have been around longer.

There are no new features in 2018.7 since the last update from one month ago, but we are glad to see these issues addressed. A couple of them deserve a brief mention here.

Glissando lines

There are two fixes to magnetic glissandi, the feature which debuted in Sibelius 8.6. Superfluous cautionary accidentals no longer appear in some cases, and accidentals are now correctly displayed when shared between two notes that have an attached glissando line.

The latter could be particularly problematic, as it resulted in incorrect pitches being displayed, like in this passage for three trombones:

From Sibelius 2018.6. Notice the last chord, where there is a missing E-flat in the third trombone. (Example is in bass clef)
From Sibelius 2018.7. The E-flat appears correctly.

Correctly sized PDF export

It’s fair to say that the average user wasn’t bothered by the fact that sometimes Sibelius, upon creating PDF files via File > Export > PDF, would create documents with page dimensions that were slightly off — like 8.5” x 11.02” inches for a Letter-size PDF instead of a true 8.5” x 11” document.

But for certain users with particular printing workflows it could cause problems, since an 8.5″ x 11.02″ document is a non-standard size.

Sibelius 2018.7 fixes this error, which was due to floating point number calculations, the likes of which I hope to never encounter.

Full list of changes in Sibelius 2018.7

Here is the list of changes, as provided by Avid’s Joe Pearson in a post on the Sibelius support forum. They are sorted here by placing older bugs at the top of each list, with fixes to bugs in the 2018.6 release following the legacy items.


  • Legacy: Superfluous cautionary accidentals no longer appear in some cases with gliss lines
  • Legacy: Accidentals are now correctly displayed when shared between two notes that have an attached gliss line
  • Legacy: Centered bar numbers are now correctly aligned when key signature changes and certain types of barlines are present
  • 2018.6: Notes are no longer automatically respaced in some cases when deleting some notes and/or accidentals
  • 2018.6: Double and repeat barlines on the final bar of a staff cause the bar number on the subsequent staff to be misplaced
  • 2018.6: Various tweaks to improve the appearance and behavior of grace notes
  • 2018.6: When changing the voice of grace notes from one to another, extra rests are no longer added


Sibelius no longer unexpectedly quits when:

  • Legacy: Opening a score with the Quick Start dialog disabled
  • Legacy: Entering certain lyrics in Japanese and Korean on Mac
  • Legacy: Using the “Get score” function to retrieve a score from across a network license server
  • 2018.6: Attempting to change the position of a stem using arrow keys
  • 2018.6: Opening certain files created in older versions of Sibelius
  • 2018.6: Running the Add Rehearsal Mark Plus Double Barline plug-in when final bar is selected with System selection


  • Legacy: When saving a newly imported MusicXML file for the first time, Sibelius now correctly suggests a .sib file suffix
  • Legacy: Page dimensions are now more accurate when exporting to PDF in certain circumstances
  • Legacy: Sibelius is now much faster in making edits to text in certain circumstances
  • 2018.6: Enharmonic change by pressing Return now operates as expected even when there is text within the selection
  • 2018.6: Sibelius now provides extra space for accidentals, as required, when moving a note up or down in semi-tones (1/2 steps) using the keyboard
  • 2018.6: When exporting to previous versions, overlapping voices no longer appear overlain


The Sibelius 2018.7 update is free for all Sibelius users with active subscriptions and upgrade plans. The updated installers are available from users’ Avid Accounts or from Avid Application Manager.


  1. Tom Rudolph

    Phil: A question. I searched your blog and can’t find the answer. Am I correct that the early versions of Sibelius 8 are not backwardly compatible with later versions? For example, if someone is using Sibelius 8.1, can they open files saved in the current version of Sibelius – 8.6? I recall reading this here, but can’t find the post and the specifics.

    Thanks in advance. This affects some of my Berklee Online students who are using earlier version of Sibelius 8.

    1. Philip Rothman

      Tom, that’s correct. The earliest version one can use and still have it open files created in the most recent version of Sibelius is 8.6.

  2. Bob Zawalich

    It is more exciting to get new features than bug fixes but I am very pleased that the Sib development team is putting in the effort to fix not only bugs that they introduced but also what they are calling legacy bugs.

    As a software developer I know it is boring work but a good bug fix can completely change a user’s experience.

    So bravo to Sib for these fixes!

  3. Bob Zawalich

    Also: a very small point. One fix was described as fixing Sibelius so the plugin Add Rehearsal Mark plus Double Baline ran correctly in certain cases. I am glad the bug is fixed, but in fact I rewrote the plugin to go around the bug as soon as I found out about it, so the current version of the plugin has worked correctly for some time.

  4. Bob Zawalich

    Tom: I am sure you know this, but you can export to an earlier Sib version. For simple scores that do not need the 8.x formatting and features this works well. I often export to Sib 6 for example scores that I post for this reason.

    It would be useful to have a list of which version can be read by older versions without conversion. Prior to the 7 and 8 versions it was straightforward- 5 could not read 6, etc. But recently there have been multiple format changes within a version. If someone like Tom is unsure about this, what hope is there for anyone else?

    1. Philip Rothman

      This is discernable if you go to Export > Previous Version, but of course only if you have the most recent version of Sibelius.

      8.6 and higher is the current file format.

      Other file formats:

      After that, it is as you say, strictly by integer, 7,6,5,4,3,2 (1 is a special case)

      1. Tom Rudolph

        Thank, Phil. This answers my question about Sibelius 8 versions. Much appreciated.


  5. Tom Rudolph

    Thanks, Bob.

    What I am confused about is the versions of Sibelius 8. Usually, any version of an update could be read by any other version. However, now, some earlier versions of Sibelius 8 won’t read the most recent version. Since I have not retained a copy of all of the previous Sibelius 8 versions, I can’t go back and check to see which Sibelius 8 versions won’t open the most recently saved files. Do you know which Sibelius 8 versions won’t open the most recent files? If so, that would be helpful for me especially with my students who are using earlier versions. I hope my question makes sense. :)

    1. Philip Rothman

      Yes, since they moved to a subscription model and more or less a continuous update cycle, file formats may change to accommodate new features without a big announcement of a completely “new version” of Sibelius.

  6. Bob Zawalich

    So version 8.0 cannot open anything saved in 8.1 or later;
    8.1 through 8.5 use the same format, and can open each others’ files.
    8.6 and later can read all Sib file formats to this date (2018.7)

    To see which version of Sibelius a score was created in, run the downloadable plugin Score Original Version.

    To see which version of Sibelius a score was last *saved* in, you can use the python application I wrote called Get Saved Sibelius Version, which can be found at
    It runs standalone in Windows, and the web page gives instructions for other systems.

    1. Tom Rudolph

      Thanks, Bob.

      I’ll use that plug-in.


  7. Mikhail Rimsky-Korsakov

    Privet, my friends!

    Phill, I had this thought in mind for some time now and will be great if it could be done.
    How about having tabs in Application Manager called:
    A) “Conversion”;
    The functionality of this tab could be linked with AVID Server;
    So if you need a score converted to ANY format, the clever boys at Avid could have coded routines that have the algorithms to analyze score and convert it to any future OR past version of Sibelius. A “Conversion Comparison List” dialogue (printable) could be presented to user that report the notation elements that potentially will be lost;
    Perhaps Avid can give user “checkboxes” that provide max 4 scores in 4 columns of what a few pages will look like. The user can then select the score that looks the closest in what he/she desires. The server then convert the score and pushing “Download” button, the converted score can be presented to user.
    B) “Copyright Database”
    If an Arranger wish to publish an arrangement he/she has made (eg. “Star Wars”) but needs to find the rights holders of the music in order to communicate with then seeking permissions etc. It would be GREAT if Avid had a database of as many copyright owners as possible. Adding a button where users could also submit copyright owners’ details for Avid’s review will also be great. I truly find it difficult to find the correct people who can give me permission to publish a movie theme etc. to sell the music for School band, Military Bands and Orchestra as I am MAINLY an Arranger and not a Composer. I don’t know…perhaps such copyright holders can provide Avid a “Permissions Code/phrase” that arrangers obtain from Avid (through this Application Manager). So every time an “AVID COPYRIGHT CERTIFIED” score is sold on “Score Exchange” website, Avid deducts the royalties from the score sale on Score Exchange and pays the Main Copyright Holders. You see, there are guys like myself who make living only by writing Arrangements, but we need avenue to do it legally. The “Copyright” tab on Application Manager can have a “Listbox” or something that displays to user ALL “AVID COPYRIGHTS” he obtained.

    It would be FANTASTIC if this service could be provided.


  8. Aage Norman kantor Eilertsen

    On my Mac I have both the version of Sibelius 7. In addition I have the newer Ultimate.
    Since I have used the 7 version for many years I have a lot of sib.files from that period.
    But when I open those files I receive a message “This is an older version” … Why does´t not open in the newer version?

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